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Insight on Manufacturing, July 2015

The Northwestern, July 24

Orang-2For about three months each year, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh anthropology professor Stephanie Spehar spends  her time deep within the jungles of Borneo, studying the local primates and helping conserve the Wehea, one of the oldest rainforests in the world.

Spehar’s most recent findings could change the way wild orangutans are studied in the future.

Located in Indonesia, Borneo claims the title of Asia’s largest island, and its Wehea forest is home to several rare and endangered species. An indigenous population called the Wehea Dayak protect and manage its 38,000 hectares, which provide habitat for perhaps its most elusive creature–the Bornean orangutan.

Normally, tracking and studying orangutans is a difficult task. They must be followed through dense jungle, a territory that’s much easier to navigate if you have the ability swing through the trees. Determining the population of orangutans using current methods is also somewhat taxing and unreliable–one of the most popular ways is to physically count the frequency of ground nests.

In an effort to find an easier and more accurate way to measure the population of the orangutans in the Wehea, Spehar performed an experiment along with a team of students, locals and research assistants. The experiment compared some of the old methods of population estimation with one that uses motion detecting camera traps.

Spehar_Stephanie_07“People have been using camera trapping to study and monitor populations of large cats, but nobody had applied the techniques to studying great apes,” Spehar said. “That was essentially what we did in this study. Orangutans are currently endangered, so one of the things we have to do to prevent their extinction is to monitor their current population.”

Spehar said she and her team were initially doubtful of the effectiveness of their camera traps because of the orangutans’ arboreal tendencies.

“We were kind of skeptical at first because camera traps are typically set pretty close to the ground,” Spehar said. “The thing about orangutans is that they spend a lot of time in the trees.”

Despite their doubts, the camera traps captured countless images of orangutans roaming the forest floor. After meticulously sifting through them, the team was even able to identify individual orangutans, something that Spehar said is essential for estimating population size.

“The two methods give us somewhat different results, but the most important thing that I think came out of it was that camera trapping is potentially a more precise method of counting orangutans,” Spehar said.

Spehar’s results are somewhat of a revelation in primatology. Previous studies indicated that Orangutans only traveled on the ground for short distances–mainly larger males.

“What we found is that we captured orangutans on the ground as often as we captured other primates that are known to be primarily terrestrial,” Spehar said. “So this tells us that orangutans at Wahea are moving on the ground a lot. They also found that males and females travel on the ground with equal frequency.”

Spehar’s findings illustrate how technology may shape future study of Orangutans and other primates, and she said will continue to travel to Borneo for further research.

“The Wehea is a really special place and these trips are really only possible because I work collaboratively with the Wehea people, students, assistants and many others,” Spehar said.

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The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s Greg Kleinheinz will be featured on an upcoming Wisconsin Public Television (WPT) lecture series episode of “Wednesday Nite @ the Lab.”

Kleinheinz, Viessman Chair of Sustainable Technology and environmental engineering technology professor at UW Oshkosh, will give a talk titled  “Wisconsin Beaches:  A confluence of Environment, Economics and Equity” as part of WPT’s Northern Lights Tour, which takes place July 27 through 31.

The Northern Lights presentations will be recorded by WPT for later broadcast on the the University Place series of WPT’s Wisconsin Channel; the presentations will be available anytime online.

The presentation will feature work that has been done by UW Oshkosh over the years. The work, largely done by students, shows how sustainability principles can be used to solve natural world issues in partnerships with communities throughout the state.​ Kleinheinz said Door County alone  has 34 public beaches that draw hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

“This will reach a broad, statewide audience and highlight the good work by UW Oshkosh faculty and students,” Kleinheinz said. “Along the way, we have realized this endeavor has done much more than solve a public health or beach contamination issue.  It has enhanced economic viability of communities and provided a socially equitable resource for the citizens of Wisconsin. It will hopefully put a different perspective, a more diverse perspective, to this work.”

“This presentation will review the complex variety and confluence of approaches and practices that are required to help ensure our beaches are free of contamination,” he said. “Beaches are an integral part of the culture of Wisconsin, a driving force in the Door County economy, and a resource that can be shared without a thought to social or economic status. The work that has been conducted in Door County not only has enhanced the natural resource quality of the water at beaches, but also has proven to be an enhancement to the economic vitality in communities while providing equitable access to our natural resources.”

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Campus Community,

On Friday, a memo was released from UW System President Cross and Regent President Millner regarding the status of shared governance. The Shared Governance Policy Task Force, appointed in March, has been disbanded. Their role was to craft language for the UW System in anticipation of shared governance being eliminated from state statute. With shared governance retained in state statute through the budget process, that task force is no longer necessary.

We are now charged at UW Oshkosh to review, update and modify, as needed, these policies and practices on our campus. Our shared governance leaders are driving forward the effort to ensure our policies reflect state statute while preserving the spirit of shared governance this campus has embraced for many decades.

I am unwavering in my commitment to the practices that have made UW Oshkosh a success throughout its long history. I thank the governance leaders for their service to this campus and I look forward to the upcoming campus dialogue regarding the future of shared governance at UW Oshkosh.

Thank you,
Chancellor Andy Leavitt

Two University of Wisconsin Oshkosh students have recently been awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships to help pay for the cost of studying abroad.

Both Ger Xiong and Joseph King received $5,000 for their trips to Japan and England, respectively. The scholarship is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The mission of the Gilman Scholarship is to make studying abroad easier and more accessible to those who couldn’t ordinarily afford to make the trip.

“I’m really proud of these two students for being awarded this scholarship. I served on the Gilman Panel this past April and helped determine who would receive scholarships for the summer term. There were a lot of great essays so I know first-hand how competitive this program is,” said Kelsey McDaniels, study away coordinator in the Office of International Education at UW Oshkosh. “These students definitely deserved this award, I know they’ll both do great things during their time abroad and after. Part of being a Gilman Scholar requires the students to complete a follow-on service project at their home campus to promote study abroad when they return. I think they will make great advocates and I look forward to seeing their projects take form.”

Both Xiong and King said they heard about the scholarship through the Office of International Education.

“They are a wonderful resource in finding funds for studying abroad,” Xiong said.

Xiong will be traveling to the University of Nagasaki Siebold where he will add credits to his Japanese studies major.

Studying abroad can sometimes seem like a daunting endeavor– one that is out of reach, too expensive or uncomfortably different. But there are as many reasons to study abroad as there are excuses to avoid it, UW Oshkosh study abroad representatives and students agree.

“I feel that studying abroad is important because as a student, you have so many opportunities to take these trips, where in the future you may be too busy to even think about taking such a trip, especially for the lengths of time that study abroad offers,” King said. “I have heard the excuses before, about how it is not for me or I cannot afford it, but through determination, hard work and applying for as many scholarships as you can, it is something that you can achieve.”

Although this will be his first time leaving North America, King said he is excited to study theatre at St. Mary’s University in London.

“I think it is an important cultural experience that everyone should have,” King said. “We as a society sometimes get stuck in our own culture and do not have the opportunity to think outside of our country. Studying abroad helps us to gain new cultural experiences to share with others.”

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Aero News Network, July 21

GoodheadshotUniversity of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumni not only take their degrees into their careers, but they also put knowledge and life experiences from college into philanthropic efforts.

Alumnus William Schumann ’71, of Wheaton, Ill., will be honored in October with a 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award for his achievements in his career and his small community.

Schumann said the most compelling moment of his undergraduate years was studying abroad in the former Soviet Union with Juris Veidemanis, former department chair for sociology and anthropology and founder of the International Studies Program.

In Europe, Schumann gained an understanding of the Latvian heritage, culture and freedom, and he internalized the experience into lessons that he carries with him today.

He then worked as a security manager to make his way through school. He served in active and reserve duty for six years in the U.S. Army, after earning degrees in history and political science.

When his parents fell ill, he managed their care and supervised their investments, taxes and other financial needs. He passed his stock broker examination, traded and handled the inheritance he received, and started designing portfolios for people.

After learning more about design portfolios, he returned to school to become a Certified Financial Planner. He started his own company, Schumann Financial, in 1986, and has since prepared more than 41,000 tax returns and managed $400 million of customer money. He works with clients in 40 states and employs eight, full-time people.

In 2006, he was inducted as a fellow to the National Tax Practiced Institute and has been the largest-producing representative for his broker/dealer for 25 of the last 26 years. For 29 years, Schumann has been a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals and a member of the National Association of Enrolled Agents for 10 years.

An independent broker-dealer out of Maryland, H. Beck Inc., named Schumann Adviser of the Year in 2011.

Although he is buried in work with managing money and profiles, he also keeps busy by volunteering at the United Association for Blind Athletes as a coach and guide. In 1986, he won the national championship in St. Louis, Mo.

Today, Schumann doesn’t let retirement stop him from continuing his advancements in the field of finance. He still leads as a representative out of more than 1,000 producing representatives of his broker-dealer and is responsible for managing retirement and educational funds for many families.

Even for his 65th birthday, he didn’t stop contributing to the community. Schumann threw a birthday bash with 240 of his closest friends and customers to raise money for the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans in Wheaton, Ill. Through the generous donations of many, a center for female veterans of wars who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder was opened.

He explained that a lot of female veterans in Illinois are homeless, most of them seeking shelter in the train stations. The center for female veterans offers counseling, fresh clothing, a place to live, internet access and job opportunities for the women who are affected by their time in the military and over seas.

The death of his daughter eight years ago from mental illness has given Schumann more insight into helping women who suffer from PTSD.

“I decided to talk to these people who had mental illnesses, same as my daughter, and I turned all the negative things into positive opportunities for them,” Schumann said.

Because of his tremendous contributions to the shelter, the City of Wheaton declared March 7, 2014, to be “William C. Schumann Day.”

He attributes his lessons learned at UW Oshkosh to his success in his financial career, as he always tells clients and customers stories of his time at UWO.

Gladys Veidemanis, wife and widow of Veidemanis, worked with Schumann on his 65th birthday project. She originally met him while he was an undergraduate at UWO and they have stayed in touch.

“Besides earning a reputation throughout the Midwest as a brilliant and highly productive financial adviser, Schumann is a devoted and loving family man, beloved by his many friends, and treasured for his leadership skills and civic dedication,” Gladys said.

Juris passed away in 1970. In honor of his work, a crescent-shaped bench still stands in front of Dempsey Hall, with the engraved words, “Take time to share.”

“This was one of Veidemanis’ famous quotes,” Schumann said. “When I return to campus, it makes me smile to think of him, and that his inscribed words are still there over 40 years later.”

Schumann still visits the bench to ensure its upkeep and has pledged to be a continuing benefactor to the University.

For more information about the alumni awards celebration on Oct. 16 during Homecoming 2015, please contact the UW Oshkosh Alumni Relations Office at (920) 424-3449 or send an email to alumni@uwosh.edu.

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Meet Laura Jean Baker, faculty member in the Department of English at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh:



Viessmann 4This year marked the third year of a partnership between the Viessmann Group and the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh for an international business “Leadership Development Program,” which was developed by B.S. Sridhar, a professor in the UW Oshkosh College of Business.

The program was launched in summer 2013 as a result of the Viessmann Group partnership with UW Oshkosh through BIOFerm Energy Systems, a Wisconsin-based anaerobic digestion company that provides renewable energy and waste management solutions to North American operations. The program demonstrates UW Oshkosh’s commitment to sustainability through a prosperous, international, public-private partnership that is propelling cross-cultural academic programs and internship experiences.

During the past three years, 60 employees of the Viessmann Group from Germany, Finland, Turkey, Poland and France have participated in the program that Sridhar describes as “a gratifying and unqualified success.”

“Personally, it was very satisfying to be able to meld individuals from five countries into a cohesive group who, together, are embarking upon a journey of personal and professional development,” Sridhar said.

On June 16, program participants earned certificates of completion after executive teams presented their final, “Smart Globalization: The Viessmann Challenge” projects to peers, Viessman executives, and UW Oshkosh academic and institutional leaders. Present from Viessmann Group out of Germany were Walter Bornscheuer, senior vice president for technology and Manfred Greis, chief representative. The final Leadership Development Program presentations by the Viessmann Group students gave emergent company executives the opportunity present innovative ideas on how the company could grow business and leverage the BOP (bottom of the pyramid) market in impoverished, developing countries while maintaining the “people, planet and profit” philosophy.

The College of Business designs and annually delivers the high quality development program “that can be an envy for any business school,” Sridhar said.

“Personally, it was very satisfying to be able to meld twenty individuals from five countries into a cohesive group who, together, are embarking upon a journey of personal and professional development,” Sridhar said. “… Participants were enthusiastic and open minded throughout the four weeks, and it was a pleasure for presenters and facilitators to work with such a highly talented and motivated group of high-potential managers.”

Following the presentations, participants received a certificate of completion from Chancellor Andrew Leavitt and attended a final luncheon prior to their departure. The day concluded four weeks of business-focused classes at UW Oshkosh and off-campus, involving experiences in team building, professional development, creative thinking techniques, strategic planning and cultural understanding.

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