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Endeavors Spring 2014

Endeavors is the faculty scholarship magazine that showcases the exceptional work being conducted by faculty and staff at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

Endeavors 2014 masthead

LaneEarnsA Letter from Lane R. Earns, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Thank you for taking the time to examine the third issue of Endeavors, a magazine dedicated to recognizing the professional accomplishments of the faculty and instructional academic staff at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. The magazine has grown out of efforts led by the Provost’s Office and the Office of Grants and Faculty Development to showcase the exceptional work being conducted by faculty and staff across our campus.

Read the entire letter here.

 

Druscilla Scribner

Druscilla Scribner

photo of Druscilla Scribner

by Grace Lim and Morgan Counts

Druscilla Scribner found political science on the side of the road between San Salvador and La Libertad in El Salvador. It was spring of 1992 and the small Central American country was nearing the end of its civil war. Barely two months out of college, Scribner and a friend talked their way out of some tight spots as they made their way from the capital to the coast. They had already traveled 

Scribner 1
Dr. Druscilla Scribner with sons Jack and August and husband, Dallas, on a family grip to Tanzania in 2012.

“We had spent two increasingly troubling days in San Salvador explaining to authorities why we were there; and we were finally leaving the city with our visas extended by three days, enough time to make it to the border by bus,” Scribner recalled. through the poorest and most troubled countries of the region.

The rural poverty she saw was eye-opening, unparalleled to anything she has seen before and since. She saw families cultivating the shoulder and ditches along two-lane highways that run alongside the barbed wire-fence of coffee estates. She saw patches of withering corn stalks, the occasional squash or bean vines, makeshift shacks. For Scribner, then all of 22, that was what she called her “coming to political science” moment.

“Poverty, inequality, stark concentration of wealth and land: these issues had political roots – an intertwining of economic, political, and social power and privilege that doomed many economic development efforts to failure.”

It was one of those “a-ha” moments that she would later hope her political science students at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh would one day experience.

 To read the entire story, please down the Druscilla Scribner PDF.


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Druscilla Scribner found political science on the side of the road between San Salvador and La Libertad in El Salvador. It was spring of 1992 and the small Central American country was nearing the end of its civil war.

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Eric Brunsell

Eric Brunsell

photo of Eric Brunsell

by Morgan Counts

Student Multimedia Reporter

a passion for science


When he is teaching Elementary and Secondary Science Methods to future teachers, Eric Brunsell knows he does not have to try to instill in them a love for helping kids. They all have that. “They are in it to make a positive difference in the lives of kids,” said Brunsell, an associate professor in the College of Education and Human Services Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

What is less apparent is the students’ passion for science. His students may enjoy many aspects of the various subjects they will have to teach, but, for them, science can be as hit and miss as subjects like math.

Dr. Eric Brunsell helping second-graders explore properties of air.
 Dr. Eric Brunsell helping second-graders explore properties of air at the Walworth Balbour American International School in Even Yehurda, Israel. (January 2013)
“One of the things I try to do with my students is help them find a way to like [science] and realize there are a lot of different aspects to it they can have fun with,” he said. Even if they don’t have a passion for science, Brunsell said the methods used to teach the subject can help build relationships with their future students. Science’s hands-on nature and exploration of ideas can be an effective tool in his own classroom. “I think most of the time, when my students see science presented that way, they start to understand why it can be such a powerful thing for elementary kids to learn.”

Just like not every future teacher in his class loves science, Brunsell stresses that not every one their future students will become a scientist. His students’ job is not to turn them into scientists, but rather focus on their primary goal as a teacher: to have a positive impact. “What you want to do is to keep the doors open for students to find their own path in life.”

To read the entire story, please down the Eric Brunsell PDF.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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When he is teaching Elementary and Secondary Science Methods to future teachers, Eric Brunsell knows he does not have to try to instill in them a love for helping kids. They all have that. “They are in it to make a positive difference in the lives of kids,” Brunsell said.

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Jennifer Considine

Jennifer Considine

photo of Jennifer Considine

By Grace Lim and Morgan Counts

Learn from Losing

It is difficult to think of Jennifer Considine as anything but optimistic. She oozes positivity. Even when a photographer asks her to look serious for a few shots, she tries but fails spectacularly. Her irrepressible grin tugs at the corners of her mouth. The hint of a smile soon gives way to full-blown heaving guffaws. Before long, everyone, including the photographer, laughs along.

Considine 1
Dr. Jennifer Considine with her sons Isiah, 3, and Isaac, 5.

This is why the story Considine, an associate professor of Communication Studies at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, tells about her first major speech is such a delight.

“When I was in fifth grade I gave a speech to the Optimists Club. I cried through the whole thing because I was so nervous,” she said with smile. “Yes, I gave a speech about optimism while crying.”

As Considine tells the story, her tears weren’t only anxiety driven, they were equal parts outrage. The other competitors, several years older and in high school, weren’t following the rules, which stated that entrants had to memorize their speech. But after watching the older kids read their entries, Considine, who did memorize her speech, took to the stage and promptly burst into tears. “It felt very unfair, and I cried through the whole thing.”

If Considine’s story had been made into an after-school TV special, her tear-ridden speech would have won over the judges who would have rightfully disqualified the other contestants. But it wasn’t feel-good TV, and Considine didn’t win. “I was told afterward that I had a really, really great speech, but…” Considine said, pausing for effect as a polished storyteller would, “I had to work on my delivery.”

To read the entire story, please down the Jennifer Considine PDF.

 

Video Podcast

 

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It is difficult to think of Jennifer Considine as anything but optimistic. She oozes positivity. Even when a photographer asks her to look serious for a few shots, she tries but fails spectacularly.

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R. Shelly Lancaster

R. Shelly Lancaster

photo of R. Shelly Lancaster

By Morgan Counts
Student Multimedia Reporter

being an inspiration

In a pit class full of sleepy college students, R. Shelly Lancaster commands the room. Her voice loud and fearless, she asks the students, “Do you know how you are supposed to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner”? Are you supposed to be quiet or sing along?” A simple question, but every student seems to be sitting on the edge of their seat waiting for her answer.
One student suggests a polite silence. Lancaster shakes her head. Not in her world. She answers her own question with as much force as a gospel pastor delivering a sermon, “No, you are supposed to sing it at the top of your lungs. You have to sing it like you mean it!”

Lancaster 3
Dr. R. Shelly Lancaster at the Global Hospital and Health City in Chennai, India, holding the son of a local nurse with whom she has become friends.  
With that, Lancaster has everyone’s undivided attention. The large lecture hall is full of nursing students at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, and Lancaster is volunteering her time to share her experiences as a medic in the Air Force. She explains what the national anthem means to her and how she still gets emotional when she hears Whitney Houston’s version of the anthem from the 1991 Super Bowl, performed right after the United States entered the Gulf War, when Lancaster herself was stationed in Germany.
Although she is not teaching this particular class, these students are learning, learning from someone who was once in their place, listening and looking for guidance and inspiration.

Every step in Lancaster’s life, from her decision to join the Air Force to going for her Ph.D. and becoming a nursing professor, is marked with a significant person, a person who inspired her to try something new, to take the next step. She says these people saw something in her that she never saw and inspired her to believe in herself, and it started from the day she was born.

To read the entire story, please down the R. Shelly Lancaster PDF.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video Podcasts 

 

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R. Shelly Lancaster teaches future nurses at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. As she guides her students to become nursing professionals, she never forgets those who've guided her in the past.

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Scott Beyer

by Morgan Counts

Student Multimedia Reporter

life lessons in the classroom

If there’s one thing more challenging than learning about risk management and insurance regulations, it could be teaching it. Keeping students engaged in finance classes is no easy task. That is why in the middle of reviewing for the final exam in Risk Management and Insurance at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Scott Beyer tells the story of his college friend who took Beyer’s dad’s car on an off-road joyride and ended up in jail. The lesson? The difference between primary and secondary insurance.

Beyer, a professor of finance and insurance for UW Oshkosh’s College of Business, tries to find ways to make his students excited about the content of his courses.

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Dr. Scott Beyer with daughter, Anna, at the 2012 French Open in Paris.
“Dr. Beyer did an excellent job of keeping students engaged in the material through real-world case studies that got the students involved,” said Bryce Gannon, a senior at UW Oshkosh majoring in finance, with a minor in risk management and insurance. Gannon took both Commercial Risk Management and Advanced Risk Management with Beyer. “He is well-connected in the community, so he brought in a wide array of professionals to talk about their roles in risk management.”

In addition to bringing outside insight into the classroom, Beyer also uses popular culture to pull his students back into an otherwise dense lecture.

“I’ll see a video from a movie or a clip from “The Simpsons” that refers to something in finance,” he said. “It may be a joke, but it could start a good discussion. That 20 seconds, even if I’m just referencing the video, can bring everybody back in just like that, and all of a sudden I have a fresh window where they’re still engaged.”

Beyer knows how important his role is in motivating students to learn more. Although he has a Ph.D. in finance from the University of Missouri, he wasn’t always an enthusiastic learner.

 To read the entire story, please down the Scott Beyer PDF.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Video Podcasts

Filed under: ,
If there’s one thing more challenging than learning about risk management and insurance regulations, it could be teaching it. That is why in the middle of reviewing for a final exam, Scott Beyer tells the story of his college friend who took Beyer’s dad’s car on an off-road joyride and ended up in jail.

Read This Story …

Scholarship and Achievements 2014

Scholarship and Achievements 2014

photo of Endeavors 2014 cover

The following are the lists of achievements of the faculty and instructional academic staff at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Please note, information was provided by academic departments. Achievements included were those taking place between June 2012 and May 2013, excluding forthcoming publications, book/cd reviews, blogs, panel chairs/facilitators, Wisconsin conferences, and collaborative research grants. If there are errors or omissions, we apologize. 

PDF of Achievements

PDF of the Endowments and Teaching Awards

Endeavor faculty profiles can be found here.

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Endeavors magazine is proud to highlight the many achievements of the faculty and instructional academic staff at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

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