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WLUK-Fox 11, Jan. 19

mlk2For University of Wisconsin Oshkosh student Ciara Hill, the important work to empower more black students and help them succeed must not be confined to the campus.

“We shouldn’t only focus on the African-Americans on campus but those in this city as whole,” wrote Hill, an active member of UW Oshkosh’s Black Student Union (BSU) who is exploring the possibility of establishing a chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha at the institution.

“For example, we should be working with the Boys and Girls Club as well as the middle and high schools to target the future students of the University. The positive actions of the black students on this campus should be what the Oshkosh community sees, not the negative images…of African-American youth from the media.”

That was just one call to action that earned Hill UW Oshkosh’s 2014 African American Student Leadership Award, created to honor students “who continue the efforts of the Oshkosh 94” – a group of African-American alumni who, in 1968, staged a protest demanding greater equality and opportunities for peers at UW Oshkosh. More than 45 years later, that same group of alumni co-fund the $1,000 annual UW Oshkosh Foundation scholarship that Hill earned and was bestowed before an audience of a few hundred campus and community members on Jan. 19.

Hill’s commitment and the words and work of other students, staff, faculty and greater-Oshkosh community members took center stage as UW Oshkosh hosted the 20th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration in Reeve Memorial Union.

“Dr. King is a hero,” Chancellor Andrew Leavitt said, offering his welcome and opening remarks at the event. “He was incredibly courageous. He nurtured a vision and shared words and inspiration that our nation and world will never forget. And we must not forget he did not go it alone.”

“Dr. King surrounded himself with people – all kinds of people,” Leavitt said. “He listened to an array of advisers. He worked with the leaders of national organizations and local groups. He showed us that a movement for good – for change — is not only built upon a foundation of strong principles and a dream for a better life for all, but it is strengthened by a fabric woven of all kinds of different, vibrant threads.”

This year, in honor of the Community Celebration’s 20th Anniversary, campus and broader community members were welcomed to attend for free.

This program supported King’s creed of equality for all, featuring a Martin Luther King Jr. “Gallery Walk Through Time” in Reeve’s third-floor Steinhilber Art Gallery. The exhibit including a montage of Dr. King’s legacy.


An evening program awarded several Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest winners from area K-12 schools and recognized the area school with the most essay entries: ALPs Charter School in Oshkosh, which earned a $400 award.

Students in three grade-categories were posed two questions as the basis for their essays. Students in grades 4 through 8 were asked, “If Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., were to come to your school or community this week, and look around and listen, what would he say about the nature of diversity there now? What would you recommend to overcome any obstacles he might find?”

Students in grades 9 through 12 were asked to “Write a guest editorial for your local newspaper explaining what needs to change in your community in order for Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream to be realized… and explain why and how making that change will help your community become more tolerant of differences.”

This year’s contest winners included: Quynh Nguyen-Rivers and Elise Liske, from ALPs; Jada Clark, from Carl Traeger Elementary School; Allison Engstrom, Anna Gannon and Derek Pope, from Carl Traeger Middle School; and Mason Sonnenberg, Hope Williams and Pooja Dogra, from Oshkosh West High School.

Oshkosh Area United Way Executive Director Sue Panek earned the evening’s Community Service Award, presented by UW Oshkosh Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Petra Roter.

UW Oshkosh Department of History Professor and Chair Stephen Kercher earned the “MLK Drum Major Service Award,” which recognizes “an individual who has demonstrated sacrificial service and leadership in promoting human dignity and achieving racial equality and harmony among the Oshkosh campus and community.”

Kercher co-developed UW Oshkosh’s “Black Thursday Oral History Project,” an examination of and digital, interactive retrospective looking back on the 1968 demonstration that would become known as “Black Thursday.” He also helped found the African-American Alumni/Student Mentoring Initiative (AAASMI) in 2011 and launch the African-American Student Leadership Award.

The Community Celebration was co-sponsored by UW Oshkosh’s Division for Academic Support of Inclusive Excellence (ASIE) and community nonprofit One Oshkosh. Tracey Robertson, executive director of the organization Fit Oshkosh, offered closing remarks. The grassroots organization’s mission is to “provide racial and technology literacy education workshops, and training to the adult residents of Winnebago County.”

Keynote speaker and Vice Chancellor for ASIE Sylvia Carey-Butler stressed the ongoing work necessary to acknowledge and address inequalities, tensions and injustices still rooted in communities throughout the United States.

“So here we are, some 47 years later a nation still reeling from social, economic and educational injustices in Ferguson, California, Cleveland, Florida, New York,  Phoenix and even Wisconsin,” Carey-Butler said. “Martin Luther King in his last book begged the question: ‘Where do we go from here, Chaos or Community?’”

“The social tumult of the past months has many unsuspecting college students wondering about their commitment to principles of peace and justice, as well as, the options for constructive engagement,” Carey-Butler said.

“Collectively, we are the guardians of the dream; we must be steadfast even in times of social discord that we speak truth to power. As guardians of the dream, we have a moral obligation to demonstrate the same restraint, resiliency and urgency of Dr. King and those unsung heroes that stood up and fought along his side for social justice. We must not be silent on issues of inequality, and, as an institution, we must do all that we can to ensure student success through academic programs and support within co-curricular programs. Within the greater Oshkosh community we must ensure that all of her citizens’ experiences are equitable through increased representation in leadership, policing and education. This is how we honor the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King; this is how we keep marching towards a more perfect America.”


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Academic Support for Inclusive Excellence at UW Oshkosh

Four University of Wisconsin Oshkosh employees will serve as chefs for the 15th Annual Christine Ann Men Who Cook on Saturday, Jan. 31 at the Alumni Welcome and Conference Center.

Art Rathjen 2010


Art Rathjen, UW Oshkosh foundation president; Darryl Sims, athletics director; Greg Wypiszynski, director of graduate studies; and John Strous, medical technology program director; are cooking for The Oscars-themed Christine Ann Men Who Cook fundraiser, which starts with cocktails at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m.

Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services, Inc., is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit agency serving individuals and families in Winnebago and Green Lake Counties who are struggling with the devastating effects of domestic abuse.

Men Who Cook is the largest fundraiser for Christine Ann. Funds are raised through the event tickets, silent and live auction items and raffle ticket sales.

Strous John 2009


“It’s our obligation to do what we can that helps our community, to support something this important,” Strous, who has been cooking for Men Who Cook for 12 years, said. Strous will be cooking ginger soy salmon with his wife Tess, who prepares the glaze and helps serve guests.

Men Who Cook is structured so the participating chefs – more than 50 this year – purchase their own ingredients to serve event-goers, which means the price of the entire event ticket goes to the cause. Aside from purchasing a dinner ticket, the community can make donations by voting for their favorite chef.

Julie Keller, executive director at Christine Ann, said the participation from UWO men reflects the strong collaboration with the University and Christine Ann.

“We are grateful for the University’s support and the partnership that we have developed,” Keller said.



Rathjen, in his first year as a chef and third year volunteering for Men Who Cook, said he and his wife Pam got involved because they believe everyone has the right to live in a home without domestic abuse and violence.

“We believe domestic abuse is a wide-spread problem that generally goes undetected and is detrimental to a healthy and successful family structure,” Rathjen said. “The health and welfare of any community is contingent upon the health and welfare of its residents.”

Rathjen will be cooking Momma’s Karen’s all-day mushrooms, which will be served as a garnish to Sims’ sauteed pork cutlets with tomato bacon and creole mustard.

“This kind of fundraising event, like many others, is widely-supported by a generous faculty and staff who give so much time and energy to support our community,” Rathjen said.



Wypiszynski, who has participated in all 15 Men Who Cook fundraisers, and a partner are cooking Morelianas, a type of open-faced enchilada.

“Volunteerism and the chance to improve our community is paramount to the success of our region, and that includes our University,” Rathjen said. “We have so many needs in our city so anything we can do to improve the quality of life for our neighbors and residents in the region is a win for all of us.”





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MyZone in Blackhawk Commons offers a safe gluten-free food zone for those students, faculty and staff requiring gluten-free options.

Chef Fritz Niebergall can guide students through what gluten-free options are available, what those who are gluten-intolerant shouldn’t eat and is open to suggestions from students on what they would like to see included MyZone.

Dining Options at UW Oshkosh
UW Oshkosh has a variety of dining venues available throughout campus with convenient hours of operation; from a coffeehouse to a made-to-order salad station, there is definitely something available for everyone. All of our dining locations accept a variety of payment methods, from our flexible meal plans and Titan Dollars to cash and credit card.

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December_Star_2014-5_David Hietpas, library Web developer for Library Technology Services at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, has been named the recipient of the January STAR Award.

He was nominated by Maccabee Levine, Head of Library Technology Services.

Portions of David’s nomination follow:

“David Hietpas has dramatically improved the library’s online services since joining Polk Library, first as a STEP intern and then full-time after graduation.  As our library Web developer, David has created a variety of new online tools that help students research and study, from group study room scheduling to dynamic library subject pages.  David has also led our newer STEP interns in building additional student-requested services like the new quick library information kiosk at the main entrance. But beyond his contributions to library services, I’m nominating David for this award because of his larger commitment to helping others around the University and beyond — both by sharing his expertise and by using his software, built for library’s needs, to also support other units’ services.

“In late 2012, Ted Mulvey and other Polk librarians proposed building ANVIL (Active iNstructional Videos on Information Literacy), a fun combination of video tutorial and game that would help students learn the information literacy skills required for the new University Studies Program. David’s software code and Ted’s and Erin McArthur’s information literacy content went live in Fall 2013 and were used by more than 500 students in 40+ classes in that first term. David planned ahead, using common open source technologies so that the software could be used by other libraries for their own instruction, as well as other departments and universities with different content altogether. Since releasing the application as open source software, David has received interest from many campuses locally and across the country. David also built the ability for quiz writers to export and share their content with others, so that other institutions can benefit from our librarians’ information literacy content and we may benefit from theirs. Most recently, David was nominated for D2L’s Desire2Excel award for making it easy for students to submit completed quizzes to their D2L dropbox.

“Beyond ANVIL, David regularly assists other campus Plone developers through weekly confabs and mailing lists, and he shared a service built to locate course-specific library resources with Summer Session and College of Business for their own course listing needs. David is always willing to share his knowledge and his skills with others, while at the same time developing key online library services for the University community.”

The CSAC Awards & Recognition Committee submitted this announcement. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to contribute calendar items, campus announcements and other good news to UW Oshkosh Today.

The Northwestern, Jan. 19

The Oshkosh episode of Around the Corner with John McGivern will be publically screened in Oshkosh Jan. 27. The episode will, of course, feature Wisconsin’s Event City.

McGivern and crew members will be at the event, which will be held at the Oshkosh Convention Center, 2 N. Main St. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the screening begins at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Free DVDs of the show will be given out at the event.

Around the Corner‘s John McGivern and crew members spent time on the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh campus to film for the episode last summer. The show is produced by Milwaukee Public Television and takes a close look at communities throughout the state.

The Oshkosh episode of Around the Corner will air on Wisconsin Public Television at 7 p.m. Jan. 29, 1 p.m. Jan. 30, 2 p.m. Jan. 31 and 11:30 p.m. Feb. 3.

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Fox 11, Jan. 19

The Northwestern, Jan. 19