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Fall semester is flying by. Today I want to pause for a moment and recognize some of the UWO students, faculty and staff who have recently made headlines in academics, athletics and service. We are moving through a challenging period in our institution’s history, but we press on and continue to shine. I hope you will join me in celebrating the hard work and accomplishments of our community.

I also want to take a minute to thank the Fox Valley Workforce Development Board for organizing a job fair for our employees. A number of regional employers were on hand to discuss openings at their companies for our staff that received layoff notices last month.

I continue to meet with shared governance and host forums, town halls and discussions on all three of our campuses to answer questions and walk through the transition plans for our campuses.


Are you part of UWO Team Volleyball yet? What a fairytale season for this team!

After 34 straight wins, the UWO Women’s Volleyball team will take the floor tonight at 7p.m. in Kolf Sports Center as they host regional competition. I hope you will join me in cheering on this team that has worked so hard while exhibiting all the characteristics of a Titan champion. A win tonight advances the team to a 7 p.m. game Friday. A win there will take them to the final game at 5 p.m. Saturday. The winner of that game advances to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Division III Championships on Nov. 29 in Claremont, Calif.


UWO is launching a new school to meet the needs of employers and the interests of our students. Informatics will engage students and regional organizations to better understand and apply cutting-edge technology – think AI, cybersecurity and augmented reality. The Chancellor’s Executive Breakfast on Tuesday, Nov. 28, at Culver Center will serve as the launching pad for the new school. There is still time to register if you’d like to learn more.

UofW honorees

I mentioned it in my email to faculty and staff members last week, but I again want to recognize Eve Hawpetoss, a psychology student, and Reneé Simpson, academic advisor, for the honors they received this month from Universities of Wisconsin. Eve is a recipient of the 2023 Dr. P.B. Poorman Award for Outstanding Achievement on Behalf of LGBTQ+ People. Reneé is a recipient of the 2023 Outstanding Women of Color in Education award.

First Gen Honors

Welcome to the 40 newest members of the Tri-alpha First-Generation College National Honors Society. More than 40% of UWO students are first-generation and this institution has a strong reputation for supporting these students as they navigate higher education.

Great alums/UWO Now

In late October, as part of Homecoming festivities, UWO recognized 11 outstanding alumni. This outstanding group is making their mark on the world. You can hear directly from some of them on this month’s UWO Now podcast with host Wendell Ray, instructor with the Radio TV Film program. If you haven’t tuned in to the podcast, it’s a great opportunity to hear conversations on trending topics with UWO faculty, staff, students and alumni.

Black Thursday

If you’ve been in Dempsey lately, you may have seen the new display on the second floor in the main hallway honoring the Oshkosh 94. The display was put together by professor Stephen Kercher and University archivist Joshua Ranger, with guidance from Sheila Knox, a member of the Oshkosh 94, and a UWO honorary doctorate degree recipient. The Oshkosh 94 is a group of former Wisconsin State University-Oshkosh students who on Thursday, Nov. 21, 1968, expressed their commitment to inclusive ideals and goals for the institution with a demonstration in the office of administration. The day became known as Black Thursday. They demanded improved experiences for students of color, and were arrested and expelled from the University.

And tonight the Black Student Union along with the Center for Student Success and Belonging are hosting an Oshkosh 94 and Black Thursday remembrance. Honoring the Impact of the Oshkosh 94 begins at 6 p.m. in Reeve Union, room 202. The event is free and open to the public. Come learn about the history of the event and the change it brought to our University.

High tech in CON

College of Nursing’s investment in technology to advance the education of our nursing students garnered headlines statewide this week. While the Simulation Training Center has for several years provided students with hands-on experience, the newest technology includes virtual reality that puts students virtually in the room with the patient. It further helps prepare students to practice clinical judgment in a timely fashion in crucial situations.

Best Vet College

UWO’s Veterans Resource Center and Student Veterans Association are listed on the 2023 Military Times Best for Vets Colleges list. UWO is one of only six public universities in Wisconsin to make the list. Congratulations to all of those doing this important work.

And more

  • Zachary Zirgibel, a pre-med student set to graduate in 2025, recently presented his research to the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions. The research focused on estrogen treatment’s role in microvasculature and sex disparities between those assigned male and female at birth. Zirgibel is an honors student, has participated in study abroad and is an All-WIAC pole vaulter who went to nationals last year.
  • Jessica Tischaefer, a graduate of the Honors College last spring in Radio TV Film and Psychology, made the film Harmony Within that has been noted as an official selection, finalist and honorable mention at film festivals across the U.S. Reeve just hosted a screening of her film on Nov. 15. The film explores the impact of music on cognitive development.
  • Ula Klein (English and Women’s and Gender Studies) presented the paper “Queer and Trans Celebrity Lives” at the Annual Conference of the Canadian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies in Montréal, Québec, Canada, Oct. 18-22.
  • Mark Lattery (Physics and Astronomy) is invited to give an international physics-teacher workshop on teaching and research in STEM education by Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands on Feb. 1 and 2, 2024.
  • Monika Hohbein-Deegan (Global Languages and Cultures) presented the paper “Nora Krug’s ‘Heimat’: A Fragmentary Exploration of Personal History and German Cultural Identity” at the 47th Annual Conference of the German Studies Association in Montréal, Québec, Canada, Oct. 5-8.
  • Kristine Nicolini and Sara Steffes Hansen (Advertising, Multimedia Journalism and Public Relations) presented a co-authored talk and pre-conference workshop recently for the Society of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Conference in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Their research article entitled “Building Bridges toward Inclusion for Internship Experiences,” helped inform their workshop, “Inspire Success: Infusing Professional Development into Curriculum Outcomes.”
  • Ron Rindo (English) was a guest on the Larry Meiller Showon Wisconsin Public Radio Oct. 26 to discuss his novel Breathing Lake Superior.
  • CAPP adjunct Luke Heath (Mauston High School) has been named an Energy Educator of the Yearby Wisconsin’s K-12 Energy Education Program.
  • Choua Xiong (Hmong Studies/Anthropology, Global Religions and Cultures) is part of a team that received an AmeriCorps National Service and Civic Engagement Research award for 2023-24 for their project “Lub Zej Zog: Hmong Educators Coalition project.”
  • Titan TV was honored with three awards at the 2023 National Student Production Awards in Orlando, Florida. “Recollect” produced by Bailey Laird, Ryan Patton and Megan Kitzman took firstplace in Best General Entertainment Program. Titan TV Sports staff Heather Hagedorn, Cory Sparks, and Dylan Przybylski took second place in Best Live Sportscast for coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Round 2 game between UW Oshkosh and Hope College. Kennedy Osterman received fourth place in Best Promo for “2023 Women’s Basketball Team.” Winning productions can be viewed at
  • Psi Chi, the Psychology honor society, participated in the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) walk in Appleton recently. Students Grace Tomlin, Kjersta Lind, Wyllow Garton, Katelynn McClintockLizzie Slobodecki,and Nuna Xiong raised over $1,600 for mental health awareness.
  • Radio TV Film students Joely Hurkman, Megan Kitzman, Lauren Terrill, and Kenzie Wolfe’s short filmNow We Wait, a social piece about gun violence, won Best Script at the MKE Film Festival Sept. 9 at Avalon Theater.

I hope everyone can enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday break ahead and connect with loved ones and friends.