It was a beautiful autumn day at UW Oshkosh.
And Jordan Karsten’s students ventured outside the classroom walls, opting for the colorful campus’s cordoned-off crime scene.
… A mock crime scene, right down to the skeletal remains poking out of one faux-victim’s “KISS” rock-and-roll band t-shirt.
“They’re learning how to recover human skeletal elements from forensic crime scenes,” Karsten said, in between drop-ins to student investigative teams.
Karsten’s human osteology tended to mock-up forensic scenes in a temporarily fenced-off area on campus between Halsey Science Center and Swart Hall on Oct. 8. Students recovered real human skeletal remains as part of the exercise, which honed their skill for identifying bones and measuring, mapping and documenting crime scenes.
“This is turning into a minor in anthropology for me,” said Jamie Mikrut of Lake Geneva, one of Karsten’s students. “… It’s kind of like ‘Bones’ is the inspiration – the TV show.”
Here’s a quick glimpse of the class project and learning experience as it happened…
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s annual Hot Topics in Literacy conference spelled great success for dozens of educators and literacy advocates who attended the event on Saturday, Oct. 11.
For decades, the one-day conference, sponsored by the Department of Literacy and Language, has been connecting faculty and students with talented, well known writers and speakers in the field of literacy.
“The conference provides teachers throughout the state of Wisconsin with an opportunity to participate in a rich, meaningful professional development.” UW Oshkosh College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) Professor Elizabeth Alderton said.
More than 200 educators attended the 2014 conference, representing school communities from throughout Wisconsin, including Milwaukee, Fennimore, Lac du Flambeau and other districts.
The conference was divided into three breakout sessions. Each session offered five to six different topics and a variety of speakers. Subjects ranged from motivating readers to utilizing teaching aides and volunteers in the classroom. Each speaking topic was catered to a specific age group allowing educators of all levels to learn about subjects that best fit the interests and needs of their students.
This year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Timothy Rasinski, is one of the most prominent figures in the field related to fluency and word study. Rasinski teaches literacy education at Kent State University and his research on reading has landed him in several journals including The Reading Teacher and Reading Psychology.
He spent the day exchanging ideas with other educational professionals to develop better literary practices in the classroom and improve student learning.
“I was so impressed by the willingness and dedication of teachers in the UW Oshkosh area to give up a Saturday to engage in professional development in literacy education in order to become better teachers of reading,” Rasinski said. “Clearly, literacy instruction in Oshkosh and its environs are in wonderful and competent hands.”
Rasinski’s visit was met with praise from the faculty that attended the event. COEHS Professor Michael Ford said the conference is a great chance to bring alumni, current graduate students and undergraduates together.
“It showcases the talents of our faculty and graduates, Ford said. “I have been attending the reading conferences since 1979, so it’s nice to know that the legacy lives on.”
All proceeds benefit Gender Outfitters, a new service providing a safe and confidential resource for transgender and gender nonconforming students to purchase, exchange and donate necessary items for everyday comfort.
The event will feature homemade bread, spaghetti, roasted vegetables and dessert bars. Vegan and gluten-free options will be available.
Participants can purchase tickets in advance or at the door. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Cash, checks and Titan Dollars are accepted.
Purchase tickets by visiting the UW Oshkosh LGBTQ Resource Center in the Center for Equity and Diversity on campus or in the Reeve Memorial Union Concourse between 11:30 a.m. adn 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 4 or Thursday, Nov. 6
The campus community and broader public are invited to attend the free, day-long series of forums and film screenings, beginning with “The Berlin Wall—Historical Background and Personal Experiences,” a presentation set for 9:40 a.m. to 11:10 a.m. in Reeve Memorial Union, Room 307.
UW Oshkosh speakers will include Dr. Michelle Mouton (History), Dr. Heike Alberts (Geography) and Dr. Monika Hohbein-Deegen (Foreign Languages and Literatures).
Other scheduled events include:
Taste of Nations Germany
Global Implications of the Fall of the Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall: Conflict and Memorial—An Art Project
Ode to Freedom: The Official Concert of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony Celebrating the Fall of the Berlin Wall
Movie: “The Tunnel”
This year’s event sponsors include UW Oshkosh Departments of Art, Foreign Languages and Literatures, Geography and Urban Planning, History and Political Science and the Office of International Education.
The free event’s Grand Entries will take place at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. A dinner break is scheduled from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Dancers and drummers from throughout Wisconsin will participate in the powwow, representing Wisconsin’s Native American nations. At 1 p.m. and 7 pm, the dancers will enter the arena ceremonially in a Grand Entry, which will be led by the Menominee Veterans. Traditional dances will take place throughout the day.
“We would like people to celebrate native culture and see the ways native traditions—thousands-of-years-old traditions—are still being celebrated and participated in today by contemporary native people,” said Miriam Schacht of the UW Oshkosh Department of English and advisor to the ITSO.
“(Participants) might see dances that people have been doing for hundreds of years,” Schacht said. “They’ll also see kids sitting around on their cell phones. They’ll see that those two things are all part and parcel of the same culture. It’s a celebration. It’s a coming together. We often have alumni—especially native alumni—come back. It’s a chance to be a part of this wide community.”
Five invited drum groups featured in this year’s powwow are Smokeytown (the host), Wisconsin Dells Singers, Young Eagle Bear Singers, Grass Whistle and Bad River Youth Singers.
The event is open to the UW Oshkosh students, staff, faculty and the public. UW Oshkosh Quest students are also encouraged to attend. Dress casually—dancers will be wearing regalia when they dance (it is offensive to refer to the regalia as a costume), but visitors generally wear whatever clothes they feel comfortable in. Aside from the Grand Entry, visitors are free to come and go from the arena at any time.
ITSO asks that visitors be respectful of the traditions and the powwow participants. There will be volunteers on hand if anyone has questions.
More information is available at ITSO’s Powwow event page on Facebook.
Vendors will offer a variety of items like handmade jewelry, beauty products, clothing and food.
The Community Early Learning Center (CELC) of the Fox Valley hosted its Grand Opening and Open House for the newly renovated facility located at 313 S. State Street, Appleton, on Tuesday, Oct. 28.
The event featured a ribbon cutting ceremony at 6 p.m. Among the guests attending the ribbon cutting ceremony were Appleton Mayor Tim Hanna and Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson.
The CELC houses five different not-for-profit and public organizations under one roof to serve children from birth to five years old in the Fox River Valley and beyond: Appleton Area School District’s Birth to Five programs, Even Start Family Literacy, Outagamie County Early Intervention, Project Bridges Day Care, and the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Head Start program.
“The Community Early Learning Center is the culmination of many years of dreams and discussions along with an intense year of planning and work by many people including the co-locating partners, supporters, advisors, and work teams,” CELC Board President Jon Stellmacher said. “We celebrate the achievement of these dedicated community members and we rejoice at the prospect of the impact the Center will have on the lives of young children today and in the future, both at the Center and in our region as the partners offer collaborative programs and as the Center pursues outreach and shares research findings.”
Appleton Area School District Superintendent, Lee Allinger, thinks CELC will bring more educational options to the Fox Cities.
“The Fox Cities excels at K-16 education,” Allinger said. “The Community Early Learning Center will bring an even greater focus to high quality educational opportunities during the birth to five years.”
“School readiness has a high return on investment especially for children coming from an environment of poverty, neglect, abuse or poor nutrition,” founder Dr. John Mielke said. “Furthermore, best practices developed through research by Lawrence University and others at the Center, will be shared throughout our community and region so all our children will be ready for school by the age of five.”
Multiple early childhood organizations in the same building will optimize resources for families and educators and create a foundation of success for the children participating in the programs.
“The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is proud to be a partner in this important endeavor to serve young children in the Appleton area,” said Tom Sonnleitner, UW Oshkosh Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services. “Our University is committed to the goal of life-long learning. We know that children’s future academic success depends on their early readiness and excitement to learn. The Community Early Learning Center provides the perfect environment to nurture these shared values.”
The $2 million dollar renovation project of the former St. Mary Catholic Central School was completed in early September and will accommodate approximately 275 children and 105 full-time and part-time staff.
“Keeping the building in the education realm was very important to our parish. The community will reap great rewards by having all those programs under one roof,” said Brian Dresang, Business Administrator for St. Mary Parish.
Community Early Learning Center is a multi-agency center that focuses on the families of young children and those serving them so their children will be ready for Kindergarten by age five -especially those families with young children who are at risk due to experiences of poverty or other unhealthy stresses. The Center serves not only those children and families on site, but also the Fox Valley region and beyond through: collaborative programming; outreach to local and regional educational and family resources; various program initiatives; and the dissemination of information. For more information contact Jon Stellmacher (920) 733-5527.
Appleton Area School District (AASD) 3-5 year Old Developmental Screening - The AASD encourages all families with children 3, 4 and 5 years old to participate in a developmental screening. Considered a child’s “other check-up,” screening considers all areas of development and can provide families with reassurance a child is on the right developmental track or can identify supports which might benefit the child. For more information contact Kimberly Quinn (920) 997-1399, ext. 2914.
AASD Appleton Community 4K – AASD four year old kindergarten (4K) is a community based early learning experience for children who are 4 on or before September 1st each school year. Through a community collaboration that includes local preschools, child cares, and private schools, universal 4K provides AASD 4 year olds the opportunity to participate in quality learning environments with a WI DPI licensed teacher. All Appleton Community 4K classrooms follow the same curriculum developed from the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards. The Appleton Community 4K Office is located at the Community Early Learning Center. For more information contact Suzette Preston, Director, (920) 832-1742.
AASD Birth—Five Outreach Program – The Birth-Five Outreach Program connects families with school and community supports through welcome visits, parent/child playgroups and activities…and more. For more information contact Amy Wilson, Birth—Five Coordinator, (920) 832-6470.
AASD Diagnostic Center – The AASD Early Childhood Diagnostic Center assists families through the referral and evaluation process to determine if a child demonstrates special education needs. The evaluation is child-centered, play-based and includes the family as team members. If a special education need is determined, the team develops an educational plan to meet the child’s needs. For more information contact Melissa Toshner, Special Education Coordinator (920) 832-6214.
Even Start Family Literacy – Appleton Even Start Family Literacy is a comprehensive, integrated program addressing the educational needs of families with children between birth to age five. Adults learn to speak, read, and write English or acquire a GED in a supportive environment, while children engage with trained early childhood educators in a preschool setting. Families must live within the Appleton Area School District, have a child under age 5, and complete a screening form to determine income and literacy eligibility. For more information contact Donna Hodges, Coordinator, (920) 832-6321
Head Start – The Head Start program serves over 600 children in Calumet, Outagamie, Shawano and Winnebago Counties. At the CELC, Head Start serves almost 200 children. Head Start’s early childhood and family development program focuses on school readiness with an emphasis on the total child and provides opportunities supporting cognitive, physical, social and emotional development. The high quality, 5 star program provides comprehensive education, health, nutrition and parent support and engagement opportunities to eligible children and their families. Children served are ages 3-5 and program options include 3 1/2 hour classroom, extended day classroom, and home visitation, as well as 4-year old Kindergarten classes in collaboration with AASD Appleton Community 4K. Head Start can enroll up to 10% of children from families who are not income eligible and welcomes children with special needs. For more information contact Jenny Thorn, Early Childhood Coordinator, (920)858-6628
Outagamie County Early Intervention (Birth to Three Program) – The Early Intervention Program provides home-based, family-centered services to children under the age of three who are demonstrating delays in their development, and who live in Outagamie County. The program’s mission is to help children develop the skills they need to participate in typical activities in their homes and communities, with a focus on supporting parents in promoting their children’s development. The program offers screening, evaluation and assessment, early childhood special education, speech, physical, and occupational therapy, resource and referral, and service coordination. For more information contact Wendy Hein, Program Director, (920)740-9536
Project Bridges – Day Care Center & Preschool – A nationally accredited, five-star center serving over 100 families with children ages six weeks to six years of age. Since 1973 we have been dedicated to providing high quality child care for children of diverse needs, cultures and socio-economic backgrounds. We offer a variety of early care options and supports for families, including tuition assistance for low-income parents, scholarships for dual language learners, and inclusive classrooms for children with special needs. We are also an AASD Community 4K Partner Site and UW-Oshkosh Head Start Collaboration Center, offering comprehensive programming to eligible children with optional wrap-around child care. Enrollment applications are accepted year round. For more information contact Nicole Desten, Director, (920) 739-3840, or, email@example.com
“It’s On Us.”
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh has joined the national It’s On Us campaign, a White House-initiated, nationwide effort encouraging higher education institutions’ student populations and administrations alike to play a greater, active role in the effort to prevent, better respond to and end sexual assault on and off U.S. campuses.
UW Oshkosh’s Dean of Students’ office, Women’s Center, Student Health Center, Counseling Center, Titan Athletics, University Police and other campus partners in the initiative are already sharing information and easy-to-use links to their online campus resources at a new website: uwosh.edu/itsonus.
“From our administrative offices to our residence hall communities to the classrooms and courts where we teach and coach, this is a campaign UW Oshkosh wholeheartedly endorses,” UW Oshkosh Interim Chancellor Petra Roter states in a message to the campus community at the initiative website.
“Ours is a community that supports those impacted by sexual and gender-related misconduct, assault and violence,” Roter states. “For years, UW Oshkosh has committed itself to victim support, advocacy and bystander education. Our students, staff and faculty members’ have a shared responsibility to help create a safe culture encouraging prevention and reporting.”
Roter cites programs collaboratively developed by students, staff and faculty including, but not limited to, the Division of Student Affairs’ “UMatter” campaign, Campus Awareness for Relationship Education (CARE) and Women’s Center initiatives and educational forums — programs designed to “empower students, faculty and staff to do the right thing – to break bystander culture by speaking out, stepping up and taking action before people are in danger or endanger others.”
An array of the campaign’s supporters—including students, faculty, regional diversity advocates and University fraternity members—lent their voices in the production of a short It’s On Us video message before the Oct. 8 Fox Valley Take Back the Night rally and march at UW Oshkosh.
Women’s Center Director M. Geneva Murray cited the Center’s annual lineup of awareness-and-ally-building events as further examples of the University’s commitment to the It’s On Us model and mission. Each year, the Women’s Center co-hosts the Fox Valley Take Back The Night rally and march. This year, it co-sponsored the Aug. 18 display of the “Monument Quilt” in Kolf Sports Center, a project of FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture. It also supports the annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® event, which, like It’s on Us, activates men in the effort to end sexual assault.
“The It’s On Us campaign is a call to action for each of us on campus to take direct action in challenging rape culture and affirm our continued effort to ensure that survivors and victims of sexual violence are supported on campus and in our communities,” Murray said.
UW Oshkosh Counseling Center Director Sandra Cox said the campaign “exemplifies the core of what we hope all individuals understand which is that we are all responsible for each other’s wellbeing.”
“At the Center, we focus our prevention and intervention efforts on developing insight into how to keep ourselves safe and well as well as how to intervene if you are a bystander,” Cox said. “The Counseling Center philosophy of having an impact on encouraging a healthy, safe campus greatly aligns with the campaign in that it is truly on all of us to commit to the safety and wellbeing of all.”
Roter states that UW Oshkosh will continue to share resources and chronicle the campus community’s work related to the It’s on Us campaign on the new website as the academic year progresses.
Meanwhile, that information hub is providing easy access to existing campus resources for students, staff and faculty to help them “recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault, identify situations in which sexual assault may occur, intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given, and create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.”
“Our caring, compassionate campus community is a national leader when it comes to education, support, advocacy and bystander-prevention efforts,” she said. “That must not prevent us from continually finding ways to test ourselves and strengthen our resolve in the national pledge to prevent and end sexual and gender-related misconduct, assault and violence on campuses.”
Bob Wise, who served for more than 20 years as a member of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh science faculty, has recently joined WiSys Technology Foundation as its first regional associate.
Wise will focus outreach and development efforts on three UW System comprehensive campuses in central Wisconsin and the Fox Valley region: Oshkosh, Stevens Point and Green Bay. He also will work with the two-year UW colleges in those regions.
“By bringing our first regional associate on board we’re going to deliver stronger, more focused services to those vital campuses,” said Arjun Sanga, executive director of WiSys.
In his new role Wise aims to educate faculty, staff and students about WiSys, the foundation that patents and manages inventions coming out of the UW System. He will be on-site weekly to meet with faculty, assess their research programs and identify opportunities for WiSys support.
“Bob’s role goes beyond teaching stakeholders about intellectual property and tech transfer,” said Ray Cross, president of the UW System. “He’s tasked with promoting a culture of entrepreneurship on three campuses with a rich tradition of innovation.”
Wise, a longtime professor of biology, has served on the UW Oshkosh Faculty Development Board and as a member of a UW System applied research grant program. He also has served as a reviewer for the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture and a multinational agricultural R&D fund.
Each campus sees the initiative’s potential and has enthusiastically embraced Wise’s new role.
“We are thrilled to be a part of this exciting initiative, and we welcome the chance to work with an individual of Bob’s caliber to leverage research and innovation here at UW-Green Bay,” said Gary L. Miller, chancellor of UW-Green Bay. “This enhanced partnership will provide our research-oriented faculty with greater opportunities to connect with the business community, turning technology into jobs for the betterment of our region and the great state of Wisconsin.”
“Bob’s presence on our campuses each week demonstrates a commitment from WiSys to support commercialization of research and development efforts,” said Bernie L. Patterson, chancellor of UW-Stevens Point. “We look forward to working with him to advance patent opportunities for the intellectual property our faculty, staff and students are developing to enhance economic growth in Wisconsin.”
“We are confident that Dr. Wise’s collaborative efforts will help establish synergistic relationships between our faculty and university corporate partners,” said Lane Earns, provost of UW Oshkosh. “The strategic relationship between UWO and WiSys will unite advancements in innovation and technology to further our goal of creating foundational programs that assist with regional job creation.”
In addition to Wise, WiSys recently welcomed Jennifer Cook on staff to serve as associate director. In this role Cook will help lead technology transfer operations across the UW System. She also will manage the student ambassador program and other outreach efforts to promote research and collaboration across system campuses.
About WiSys Technology Foundation
WiSys Technology Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) supporting organization of the University of Wisconsin System. WiSys supports 11 four-year universities, 13 freshman-sophomore UW College campuses and statewide UW-Extension to identify innovative technologies and bring them to the marketplace.
Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to contribute calendar items, campus announcements and other good news to UW Oshkosh Today.
Students in the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Art Department ceramics classes and in the Students Organized For Art (S.O.F.A.) student organization donated their time and talents to create nearly 70 handcrafted bowls for the Empty Bowls fundraiser on Wednesday, Nov. 19.
Empty Bowls is an international effort to fight hunger and food insecurity, which relies on donated handcrafted bowls. Participants are invited to share a simple meal of soup and bread in exchange for a cash donation.
“Empty Bowls is an important fundraiser because it brings awareness to a worldwide issue that is present in our community,” Danielle Jones, Diversity and Inclusion Programs adviser, said. “Food insecurity affects about 12 percent of Wisconsin families, and we have the opportunity to make a difference.”
Participants select a bowl, which is meant to serve as a reminder of all of the empty bowls around the world. The money raised is donated toward working to end hunger and food insecurity.
Students in Professor Craig Clifford’s Ceramics I and II classes each make one to five bowls to donate to the Empty Bowl fundraiser.
“It’s important for both myself and the students to give back, and for the University to be part of the overall larger community,” Clifford said. “Plus the fundraiser gives a purpose to what the students are making.”
Students from around campus were also invited to make bowls during a S.O.F.A. meeting, which invited students from all majors to make bowls.
Learn more about the Students Organized for Art (S.O.F.A) student organization:
“It’s an opportunity to give our time and talents to help people who don’t have the resources to fulfill their basic needs,” Brian Felten, a senior art education and 2D studio art student, said.
The Empty Bowls fundraiser on Wednesday, Nov. 19 will take place in the Titan Underground from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.
“The most important thing about ‘Empty Bowls’ to me is that all of the money raised stays in Oshkosh to help fight hunger,” Clifford said.
“The money raised will go to the Oshkosh Area Community Food Pantry,” Jones said. “For each dollar raised, they can provide five pounds of food for a local family in need.”
Leaders from across the state will gather in Oshkosh on November 17 and 18 for the 2014 Leadership Wisconsin Conference, hosted by Leadership Wisconsin, an educational organization affiliated with the University of Wisconsin-Extension.
Leadership Wisconsin’s state-wide mission is “developing leaders to strengthen communities.” The annual conference provides leaders with an opportunity to enhance their organizational and community leadership skills, identify best practices in leadership development, expand their network of leadership contacts and resources, re-energize and re-commit to their work as leaders, and celebrate the success of community leaders.
The conference is open to the public and will be held at the Best Western Premier Waterfront Hotel & Convention Center in Oshkosh. To register go to http://conference.leadershipwisconsin.org/.
The theme for this year’s conference is “Discover Your Inner Leadership Superhero”. Everyone has a superhero inside of them and this conference will help you tap that leadership potential with breakouts and two inspiring keynote speakers. Opening keynote speaker, David Mann, delivers high-energy presentations that electrify the room while delivering practical techniques for making a lasting impact. With humor and stories, his message will help leaders build skills for “Connecting with Power”, and engaging community members, constituents, staff and leadership peers. David will also conduct a breakout entitled “Winning with Words.”
Closing keynote speaker, Dr. Morgan McCarthur, is by trade a veterinarian but is also self-described as an artist-in-a-scientist’s body. His personal motto says “if it isn’t fun, it shouldn’t be done!” and he will help leaders at the conference explore the edge of their comfort zone as a strategy for growth, excellence and fulfillment. His stories, collected along a nontraditional career path, can enlighten any leadership superhero-to-be to take the next steps.
Among the various breakout speakers will be local leaders, including:
Leaders in the Oshkosh and Appleton corridor are encouraged to attend this exciting educational and networking event. For more information go the http://conference.leadershipwisconsin.org/ or call the Leadership Wisconsin office at 608-263-0817.