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So many photos! Class of ’24 celebrated at 150th spring commencement

So many photos! Class of ’24 celebrated at 150th spring commencement

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh celebrated the achievements of more than 1,300 students in two ceremonies May 18 inside Kolf Sports Center. The 150th spring commencement included the recognition of candidates for doctoral, master’s degree, bachelor’s degree and associates degree students.

Frances “Frankie” Kerkhof provided comments from the graduating class for the morning ceremony. Eli Tranel was the speaker in the afternoon. Alumnus Jim VandeHei, provided a commencement address at both ceremonies. Click through our Commencement photo gallery, capturing hundreds of moments on graduates’ big day…

 

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UW Oshkosh students celebrate year’s end at Bye Gosh Fest 2024

UW Oshkosh students celebrate year’s end at Bye Gosh Fest 2024

The end of the spring semester is in sight at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, and what better way to celebrate than Bye Gosh Fest 2024!

The student-focused event Thursday put on by Reeve Union Board, featured the headliners Hot Chelle Rae and Chase Matthew at Kolf Lot 13.
Besides great music and food trucks, other activities included a joust arena, inflatables, caricature artists and mechanical bull.
Check out Bye Gosh Fest 2024 these photos captured by campus photographer Patrick Flood.

Bye Gosh Fest May 9 2024

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Groundbreaking kicks off construction of new track at Titan Stadium

Groundbreaking kicks off construction of new track at Titan Stadium

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Titan track and field teams are excited about the prospect of holding home outdoor track events on an all-new track, beginning with the 2025 outdoor season.

Construction of a new track began recently and is expected to be completed in August.

A ceremonial groundbreaking event took place April 24 at Titan Stadium, with Justin Kinseth, track and field head coach; Darryl Sims, athletic director; Abby Gildernick, assistant athletic director; Andrew Leavitt, chancellor; as well as track and field student athletes and Oshkosh Student Government leaders among those in attendance.

The Titans last held outdoor track meets in the 2014 season. UWO served as hosts of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Conference (WIAC) Championship and the National Collegiate Athletic Conference Qualifier in May of that year.

Check out the photo gallery from the groundbreaking:

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Men’s track and field

Women’s track and field

Titans Day of Giving: Celebrate the black and gold while giving back

Titans Day of Giving: Celebrate the black and gold while giving back

Sept. 12 is more than just the anniversary of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s first day of classes in 1871—it’s also the third annual Titans Day of Giving.

Titans Day of Giving is a 24-hour robust virtual fundraising campaign to encourage alumni, patrons and friends to donate to an area of the University they are passionate about.

The goal is not only to raise funds to support a variety of academic programs and campus initiatives, but also to remind alumni and friends the impact that UW Oshkosh has had on their lives. By being a part of Titans Day of Giving, you have the chance to share your memories and stories of yesterday, as well as support the leaders, researchers and champions of tomorrow.

▶︎ Support Titans Day of Giving now

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UW Oshkosh alumni Obituaries: July 2024

’50s

Audrey (Madison) Wachter (EHS) ’56 and (EHS) ’59, Neenah, May 3, 2024

Barbara York (EHS) ’59, Lomira, June 15, 2024

’60s

Larry Armstrong (B) ’68, De Pere, June 14, 2024

Hollie Collins (LS) ’60, Floodwood, Minnesota, May 18, 2024

Virginia “Ginny” Cramer (EHS) ’61, Beaver Dam, May 8, 2024

Judith (Eickstaedt) Lyons (LS) ’65, Ripon, June 20, 2024

’70s

Gary Austin (EHS) ’70, De Pere, May 29, 2024

Robert “Bob” Brehm (B) ’73, (MBA) ’77, Oshkosh, June 7, 2024

Gregory Hansen (EHS) ’71, Milwaukee, April 30, 2024

Donald Kohlman (EHS) ’75 and (MSE) ’78, Fond du Lac, May 24, 2024

Barbara Schaal (MSE) ’77, Green Bay, May 23, 2024

’80s

Suzanne (Farooq) Dahms (LS) ’80, (MSE) ’81, Verona, May 8, 2024

Michael Schuldes (LS) ’80, Platteville, May 31, 2024

David Waldman (LS) ’88, West Palm Beach, Florida, March 17, 2024

’90s

Jan Atkinson (MS) ’98, Wittenberg, May 26, 2024

Brian Bose (LS) ’90, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 25, 2024

Virginia (Stoller) Haske (MBA) ’94, Algoma, June 3, 2024

Frank Mousley (MSE) ’92, Layton, Utah, May 25, 2024

‘00s

Kevin “Bruiser” Gross (B) ’00, Oshkosh, May 22, 2024

Nicole Ver Kuilen (EHS) ’09, Wasilla, Alaska, March 31, 2024

‘10s

Sterling Walsh (EHS) ’19, New Lisbon, June 15, 2024

Friends and Faculty

Norman Frenzel, professor emeritus, College of Education and Human Services, 1959-1991, Appleton, June 16, 2024

Duane Grage, 1971-1972 Religious Studies Department, Park Rapids, Minnesota, April 10, 2024

Anne Hintz, 1974-1984 Foreign Language Department, Oshkosh, May 15, 2024

UW Oshkosh alumni Class Notes: July 2024

’73 Carl Wegner (B), of West Bend, is the retired president of Wegner & Associates. Wegner and his wife, ’73 Marlene (Lechner) Wegner (B), are expecting their seventh great grandchild in July.

’74 Eugene Lorge (LS), of Newport News, Virginia, retired after over 50 years of military, public and civil service. Lorge was a senior military analyst with the U.S. Army.

’74 Lauren Young (LS), of Milton, completed her doctoral studies at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Lauren Young

’78 David Tehle (LS), of San Diego, California, was named board chair for U.S. Foods where he has been a director since 2016. Tehle was the executive vice president and chief financial officer of Dollar General Corporation from 2004 to 2015.

’85 Steve Jorgensen (EHS), of Oshkosh, was named head coach of the Bay Port High School football team. Prior to serving as an assistant coach at Bay Port, Jorgensen was the coach at Fond du Lac High School.

’85 Jan (Ralston) Ptacek (EHS) and ’91 (MSE), of Clintonville, was initiated into the DKG Nu Chapter, an international society of key women educators in Shawano and Waupaca Counties. Ptacek had a 37-year career in the Clintonville School District and currently works part-time in the Shawano School District.

Dan Lenz

’89 Dan Lenz (B), of Oshkosh, celebrated 25 years of service with National Exchange Bank & Trust. Lenz is currently vice president of lending and credit.

’91 Greg Giles (EHS), of Fond du Lac, is the executive director of the Fond du Lac Area Community Foundation. Giles is the former executive director of the UW Oshkosh Foundation.

’91 Michael Gustafson (LS), of Kiel, is CEO of Sheboygan County YMCA. Gustafson has been the Sheboygan Falls YMCA executive director since 2001.

’93 Steve Heimermann (B), of Chanhassen, Minnesota, is executive vice president and head of wealth management with MidWestOne Financial Group, Inc. Heimermann was previously a senior vice president and regional senior investment officer with Northern Trust Corporation in Chicago.

’95 Karen (Woelfel) Schuchardt (EHS), of Sheboygan Falls, is a claim consultant with Acuity Insurance. Schuchardt holds the Certified Leadership Program (CLP) designation.

’95 Aaron Vanden Heuvel (B) and ’16 (MBA), of Sun Prairie, is the Chief Information Officer (CIO) at the Wisconsin Office of the State Public Defender.

Aaron Vanden Heuvel

’97 Travis Froze (B), of Hortonville, is the president of First Business Bank Northeast Region. Froze is married to ’97 Jill (Suttner) Froze (B).

’98 Mike Vaughan (B), of Winneconne, is the senior vice president of business banking at Bank First. Vaughan has over 26 years of experience in the banking industry.

’99 Kim (Paape) Esselman (LS), of Appleton, graduated from the 2023-2024 Leadership Fox Cities program through the Fox Cities Chamber. Esselman is the Housing Choice Voucher Program and Public Housing Program supervisor. She is married to ’99 Patrick Esselman (B).

’00 Keri Harke (LS), of Oshkosh, obtained her 4th degree black belt in May.

’04 Jennifer Koenecke (EHS), of Hortonville, is the Neenah Middle School principal after serving as the assistant principal for the past two years. Koenecke was a founding member of the Fox West Academy in the Hortonville Area School District and taught there for 12 years.

’05 Alicia (Smolinski) Frank (LS), of Menasha, graduated from the 2023-2024 Leadership Fox Cities program through the Fox Cities Chamber. Frank is the associate director of resource development with United Way Fox Cities.

’06 Steven Rosencrans (EHS) and ’18 (MBA), of Oshkosh, is an assistant principal at Fond Du Lac High School. Rosencrans has previously been an English and literacy teacher in the Menasha, Oshkosh and Fond du Lac School Districts.

’07 Holly Magnus (MSE), of Kaukauna, graduated from the 2023-2024 Leadership Fox Cities program through the Fox Cities Chamber. Magnus is the director of curriculum, instruction, and continuous improvement with the Kaukauna Area School District.

’07 Melanie Steinbarth (MSE), of Fond du Lac, is the new principal of Chegwin Elementary School. Steinbarth has 10 years of teaching experience.

’08 Kari (Mathusek) Godsill (LS), of Neenah, graduated from the 2023-2024 Leadership Fox Cities program through the Fox Cities Chamber. Godsill is the housing portfolio manager for the Appleton Housing Authority.

’08 David Knepfel (LS), of Plymouth, is an officer with the Omro Police Department.

’10 Robert Goplin (LS), of Green Bay, is the new fire chief for the Waukesha Fire Department. Goplin has over 27 years of experience with Green Bay Metro and the City of Green Bay Fire Department.

’11 Dexter Hoban (LS), of Manitowoc, is the general manager for information systems at Acuity Insurance.

’11 Kari (Cassidy) Seefeldt (LS), of Neenah, graduated from the 2023-2024 Leadership Fox Cities program through the Fox Cities Chamber. Seefeldt is a senior marketing generalist with Bassett Mechanical.

’13 Joe Johnson (LS), of Northfield, Minnesota, is the Rice County director of emergency services. Johnson has over 17 years of experience in the paramedic and ambulance service industry.

’13 Jake Schreiber (B), of Milton, is the regional manager for Advia Credit Union’s Wisconsin and Illinois markets.

’14 Christopher Van Dyke (B), of De Pere, graduated from the 2023-2024 Leadership Fox Cities program through the Fox Cities Chamber. Van Dyke is the director of data services for Capital Credit Union.

’15 Danielle Kolman (LS), of Oshkosh, graduated from the 2023-2024 Leadership Fox Cities program through the Fox Cities Chamber. Kolman is the assistant director of employee and alumni relations at Lawrence University.

’15 Matthew Spence (MPA), of Sheboygan, was appointed by Governor Evers as the Sheboygan County Sheriff. Spence is an experienced law enforcement officer with over two decades of service in the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Office.

’16 Abigail Martin (LS), of Kaukauna, is a business analyst at Pitney Bowes and finished her ninth season as an assistant track and field coach at Lawrence University. Martin earned a Master’s Degree in Sports Management and Athletic Administration in 2019.

Miranda Rudnick

’17 Branden Lloyd (LS), of the Town of Wilson, is a senior commercial underwriter with Acuity Insurance. Lloyd holds the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation.

’18 Kendyl Clark (MSE), of De Pere, is a high school science teacher for multilingual learners in the Little Chute Area School District. Clark previously taught at an International Baccalaureate School within Green Bay West High School.

’18 Brooke Giltner (LS), of Two Rivers, is an assistant athletic trainer for the Seattle Mariners’ High-A affiliate, the Everett AquaSox. Giltner was previously the head athletic trainer with the Green Bay Blizzard football team.

’19 Zach Radde (LS), of Oshkosh, is an officer with the City of Oshkosh Police Department. Radde was formerly a corrections deputy with the Winnebago County Jail.

’20 Miranda Rudnick (LS), of Clinton, Illinois, will graduate with her Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree in August. Rudnick has accepted an acute care physical therapy position at Carle Hospital.

 

Demerse appointed as UWO associate vice chancellor for campus life and dean of students

Kate Demerse will serve as UW Oshkosh’s new associate vice chancellor for campus life and dean of students, effective Aug. 1.
Demerse has an extensive background in student affairs leadership, a profound dedication to student success and a vision for fostering a dynamic and supportive campus environment. She holds a master’s degree in student affairs administration in higher education from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. She will complete her doctorate in education in student affairs administration and leadership from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in May 2025.
Demerse brings over 15 years of service in higher education administration within the Universities of Wisconsin system and extensive experience working in dynamic, collaborative environments with a demonstrated ability to make student-focused decisions.
Prior to joining UWO, she served as the Dean of Students and Senior Student Affairs Officer at UW-Platteville, where she played a pivotal role in enhancing student services, leading critical threat assessment and response teams, developing student-centered institutional policies, and creating comprehensive student support programs.
In her new role as UWO associate vice chancellor for campus life and dean of students, Demerse will oversee the Center for Accessibility and Disability Resources, Residence Life and Dining Services, Student Health and Wellness, the Center for Student Success and Belonging, Student Leadership and Engagement, Reeve Student Union, and student care and conduct.
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UW Oshkosh alumni Obituaries: June 2024

‘40s

Maxine (Gaddis) Cristy (EHS) ’47 and (EHS) ’84, Appleton, May 23, 2024

’50s

Jacqueline “Jackie” (Peterson) Dittloff (EHS) ’59 and (MSE) ’89, Green Bay, May 11, 2024

John Shoman (EHS) ’53, Little Rock, Arkansas, April 16, 2024

Muriel (Waldron) Willman (EHS) ’51, Crystal Falls, Michigan, May 12, 2024

’60s

Carol (Dibelius) Brachmann (EHS) ’62 Sheboygan, April 28, 2024

Neal Buck (LS) ’62, Fond du Lac, May 11, 2024

James Coller (LS) ’67 and (MSE) ’70, Green Bay, May 7, 2024

Arlyn “Bobby” Day (EHS) ’63, Cedar Grove, April 26, 2024

Gerhard “Gary” Fisher (LS) ’67, West Bend, May 5, 2024

John “Jack” Goedjen (LS) ’61, Two Rivers, April 18, 2024

James Schleg (EHS) ’65, Port Washington, May 15, 2024

Keith Wautlet (EHS) ’65, Largo, Florida, April 5, 2024

Kathye (Coughlin) Wierman (EHS) ’65, West Bend, May 10, 2024

’70s

Ronald Engel (LS) ’79, Fond du Lac, April 23, 2024

Randall “Randy” Payant (B) ’76 and (MBA) ’77, Scottsdale, Arizona, March 14, 2024

Robert Slattery (MSE) ’74, Manitowoc, May 15, 2024

Guy Verstegen (EHS) ’79, Appleton, April 8, 2024

’80s

Helen (Bernier) Heimerl (MSE) ’84, Fond du Lac, May 2, 2024

Kathleen (Cox) Kruk (LS) ’80, Fort Atkinson, Feb. 4, 2024

Mary Roders (EHS) ’83, Kenosha, April 24, 2024

Anne Skidmore (EHS) ’84 and (MSE) ’87, Visalia, California, April 23, 2024

’90s

Kathleen Lehman (EHS) ’95 and (MSE) ’01, Watertown, May 6, 2024

Robert Newman (MPA) ’93, Chetek, May 6, 2024

‘00s

Marlene Engel (N) ’01, Waupun, May 21, 2024

Carla Toney (LS) ’00, Oshkosh, April 13, 2024

Friends and Faculty

Corrine Donley, lecturer and asst. professor, College of Education and Human Services

1992-2002, Stow, Ohio, Dec. 19, 2023

Karen Norton, program assistant, College of Education and Human Services 1969-2009, Oshkosh, April 23, 2024

Mike Sabel, UWO postal and printing office 2002-2024, Oshkosh, April 27, 2024

UW Oshkosh alumni Class Notes: June 2024

’66 Kenneth Shingler (EHS), of Shawano, is retiring from the College of Menominee Nation where he has been an English teacher since 2001. Shingler previously taught English at Shawano High School for 33 years.

’69 Ken Wydeven (EHS), of Appleton, was one member of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 351 who presented about his war experiences to the Hilbert High School students and the public. Wydeven said he graduated from UW Oshkosh on a Friday night and was drafted the following Monday morning. After his service in Vietnam, Wydeven was a teacher and principal at St. John Sacred Heart Sherwood.

John Close ’76

’76 John Close (LS), of Charlotte, North Carolina, sported his Titan gear while vacationing in Frankfurt, Germany.

’78 Jeff Gerritt (LS), of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, took first place for column writing in the 2024 National Headliner Awards. Gerritt wrote as the editorial page editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

’82 Tom Washatka (LS), of Oshkosh, was the guest saxophonist with the Ripon College Jazz Ensemble in April. Washatka is a composer, arranger, recording engineer and producer who has been performing music for over 40 years. Washatka is married to performing artist Janet Planet.

’94 Craig Weberg (LS), of East Troy, was named the Rock County Sheriff’s Office 2024 Correctional Officer of the Year. Weberg works in the Community Corrections Bureau as a diversion officer and the only Huber officer.

’99 Teri (Kemppainen) McKean (EHS), of Skokie, Illinois, is the director of crisis and support operations for NAMI Chicago and an adjunct instructor with the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign School of Social Work. McKean is married to ’00 Jason McKean (EHS).

’03 Curt Kubiak (MBA), of Neenah, is the president and CEO of The Alliance whose mission is to improve the quality and affordability of healthcare. Kubiak is the founder and CEO of NOVO Health since 2014.

’05 Lauren Garstecki (LS), of San Tan Valley, Arizona, is the managing director of Aker Ink PR and Marketing. Garstecki has two decades of experience guiding business development strategies in healthcare, financial services, manufacturing and more.

’08 Rebekah Peppler (LS), of Paris, France, has written a cookbook, Le Sud: Recipes from Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur, which delves into the food, drinks and places that inspire her love of southern France.

’14 Leah (Christian) Anderson (EHS), of Denver, Colorado, and her husband, ’13 Dan Anderson (EHS) are expecting a baby girl.

’14 Steve Harrison (MS), of Winneconne, is the superintendent of the Neenah Joint School District. Harrison has been the Appleton Area School District’s assistant superintendent for five years.

’15 Irineo “Neo” Medina (LS), of Kaukauna, celebrated the completion of a new mural on the side of Read Elementary School in Oshkosh. Medina, the students, several teachers and more than 40 community members helped paint the mural next to the playground. Depicted are portraits of students in bright colors representing the vibrant and diverse nature of the school body.

’15 Carrie Rule (LS), of Oshkosh, launched Carrie Rule Limitless, a leadership development consulting business.

’17 Kim Lohman (N), of Prairie du Sac, has been a nurse at Sauk Prairie Hospital for 12 years. Lohman volunteers with Sauk Prairie Ambulance and has two children.

Kim Lohman ’17 and family

’17 Mai Nu (Thao) Vang (EHS) and ’22 (MS), of Green Bay, is a teacher in the Green Bay Area Public School District. Vang was named one of the Top 40 Most Influential Asian American Leaders in Wisconsin in 2023 by Madison 365. Vang was also named one of the 2024 Top 40 Under 40 Young Professionals of Northeast Wisconsin by Insight Publications.

’18 Colby Kasten (LS), of Reedsville, is opening Legacy Spine and Sport, specializing in family chiropractic services and sports performance and rehab.

Mai Nu Vang ’17 and ’22 MS

’19 Danielle Block (MPA), of Appleton, is the Village of Kimberly’s village administrator and public works director. Block held this same position from 2017-2022 before joining the City of Appleton as public works director.

’19 Anthony Burgard (LS) and ’21 (LS), of Hubertus, is chief of the Hartford Fire and Rescue Department. Burgard was previously chief of the Richfield Volunteer Fire Company for four years where he had worked since 2004.

’22 Jack Halbach (EHS), of Hilbert, has returned to his alma mater to teach tech education at Hilbert High School.

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