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Fox 11, July 21

Fox 11, July 21

Adult learners and career-changers with degrees in STEM-related fields can now become licensed technology education teachers though the Alternative Careers in Teaching (act!) program at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

Data from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) shows technology education teachers are needed throughout the state.  In the 2015-16 academic year, the DPI issued 33 emergency licenses or permits to teach technology education; and in 2014-15 the DPI issued another 34 emergency licenses and permits.

Recently approved by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), this post-baccalaureate technology education licensure program leads to initial teacher licensure at the early childhood to adolescence level.

“Speaking with superintendents throughout the state, they advised the college that the supply of technology education teachers is at an all-time low, while the demand is at an all-time high,” Fred Yeo, Dean of the College of Education and Human Services said.  “We developed the DPI approved program because we knew the college had the expertise and infrastructure in place to help the interested K-12 districts and teachers, who need the license.”

act! is a cooperative program between UW Oshkosh and University of Wisconsin Colleges, offering individually tailored, alternative pathways to initial Wisconsin licensure. The program is structured to meet the needs of adult learner and career-changers looking for a flexible, fast and convenient path to licensure.

With approval of the technology education license by DPI, the act! program can now offer secondary education licenses in three areasmathematics, science and technology education.

Courses for all licensure programs are delivered in hybrid, online and face-to-face formats and can be completed in as little as 18 months.  

To learn more, contact Michael Beeth at (920) 424-3326 or beeth@uwosh.edu

ESPN, July 19

For University of Wisconsin Oshkosh assistant professor of biology Courtney Kurtz, the most gratifying part of her job is taking students to conferences and meetings.

Headshot of Courtney Kurtz“It is rewarding to see them mingle with other students. For my undergraduate students, they are usually the only undergraduates there so they get to interact with people who are more senior and I have always had good comments from faculty on how mature and knowledgeable my students are,” Kurtz said.

Kurtz, who has a bachelor’s degree in biology from UW-Stevens Point and a doctorate in comparative biomedical sciences from UW-Madison, earned an honorable mention at UW Oshkosh’s Celebration of Scholarship for her role as a faculty mentor.

“She is tireless in helping her students as they leave UW Oshkosh for bigger and better things, providing networking for graduate school placement opportunities as well as innumerable letters of recommendation,” said Dana Merriman, Axle Tech international professor of biology at UWO.

Since joining the UW Oshkosh biology department in 2010, Kurtz has mentored 18 undergraduate students in research projects. Her own research centers on hibernation in ground squirrels.

Faculty Mentor Courtney Kurtz works in the lab with her students“We are studying immunology and obesity during hibernation,” Kurtz said. “Hibernators go into a cycle of fattening, and in humans, obesity and fat tissues lead to inflammation and other issues. We are looking at potentially using squirrels to treat human obesity and are working toward an NIH (National Institute of Health) grant.”

Hibernators go through massive immune changes from high white blood cell counts to zero and then when they wake up the white blood cell count comes back up, Kurtz said.

“People have always said ground squirrels could be a model for obesity,” Kurtz said. “It’s a new area in human studies.”

Kurtz said she has always loved ground squirrels and hibernation, and sharing that with her students is rewarding.

“I bring students into the lab and have them hold the ground squirrels and they are cold and don’t move and the students are always fascinated with that,” Kurtz said.

For graduating senior biology major Vishwajit Tuchscherer, his time spent in Kurtz’s lab has prepared him for graduate school.

“Through example, she started small showing me how to properly pipette samples or document lab experiments in the lab notebook to how to perform lab protocols, while always being open to questions,” Tuchscherer said. “She had confidence in me and continues to push her students to grow their knowledge of lab experience.”

In her lab, Kurtz pairs new students with more senior students to provide a lot of a hands-on training

“I find that most undergraduates have been way more dedicated than I ever would have thought. They come in on weekends and even stay late,” Kurtz said. “I have never had bad personality clashes. My students become a little family with brother/sister mentoring between students.”

Learn more:

SCB head shot 110613University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Alumni Association President Scott Barr ’86, of Appleton, kicked off the 2016-2017 term last week by leading the Board of Directors in a summer retreat.

Barr plans to align the board’s goals to  support the University’s new strategic plan.

“The alumni board will work hard to support the achievement of the goals stated in the strategic plan in any way we can,” Barr said.

In particular, the board will focus its efforts on advocacy, engagement, fundraising and recruiting.

The board will continue to support and maintain alumni chapters and affiliate groups, seek additional opportunities for alumni engagement and build resources for growth. The board will work to foster a stronger culture of giving among alumni.

Barr, who started his two-year term as president on July 1, is grateful for the opportunity to serve as president of  the board.

“My experiences and education at UW Oshkosh were important foundations for my future life and career,” Barr said.

Barr is a business practice attorney at McCarty Law LLP. He writes and reviews contracts and helps people negotiate and document complicated transactions and relationships.

In his free time, Barr enjoys working out, biking, running and playing tennis. He spends the summer at the track racing his Spec Racer Ford.

The board has 24 members who work to create connections between the alumni, students and the University. Board members are elected through a nomination process. Membership is open to all members of the Alumni Association.

Learn more:

The Northwestern, July 15

NBC 26, July 14

Fox 11, July 14

WBAY, July 14