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11 talented and successful UW Oshkosh Alumni are set to be celebrated and honored for their achievements by their alma mater during Homecoming 2023.

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Alumni Association will present seven top graduates with the Distinguished Alumni Award for their widely recognized accomplishments in their professional fields. Three grads will be honored with the Outstanding Young Alumni Award for their professional and civic accomplishments within 15 years of receiving their degrees as well as their future promise; and one will receive the Alumni Outstanding Service Award for making exemplary contributions to support UWO through volunteer efforts, energy, leadership and/or philanthropic donations.

The 2023 award recipients are making an impact on their communities locally, regionally and globally.

Distinguished Alumni Award recipients

Jeni Asaba, of Robbinsdale, Minnesota, a 2005 journalism major, serves as senior manager of community engagement and advocacy for Jamf.

Teresa Connolly, of Scottsdale, Arizona, a 1987 nursing major, is the associate vice president of international delivery services at Mayo Clinic.

Jeffery Gerritt, of Detroit, a 1978 philosophy and music major, serves as the editorial page editor for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He has more than 60 national and state journalism awards, including the Pulitzer Prize.

John Krajnak, of Franklin, a 1993 business administration major, is the park president of Six Flags Great America.

Cheryl Mellenthin, of Cat Spring, Texas, a 1979 nursing major, is the president of four oil and gas companies and of the Mark A. Chapman Foundation that provides student scholarships and funding to schools.

Maurice Wince, of Milwaukee, a 1995 human service and education major who owns Sherman Park Grocery with his wife, provides healthy food options to an area that was experiencing food insecurity.

Bryan Wright, of Butte des Morts, a 2008 criminal justice major, has worked as a prevention educator within the fields of domestic and sexual violence for over 11 years.

Outstanding Young Alumni Award recipients

Kathryn Golab, of New Berlin, a 2016 medical technology major, is a clinical laboratory utilization specialist with Wisconsin Diagnostics Laboratories.

Brody Karmenzind, of Chicago, a 2014 journalism major, serves as a client partner for Meta (formerly Facebook).

Christiana Trapani, of Egg Harbor, a 2016 communication studies major, owns Door County Candle Co., which has raised over $1 million for Ukraine.

Alumni Outstanding Service Award

Marc Nylen, of Oshkosh, a 1991 Spanish major who also earned his master’s degree in counseling in 1993, serves as the associate director of residence life and director of Gruenhagen Conference Center/Residence Life Conference Service at UW Oshkosh.

The Alumni Awards Celebration is Oct. 27 at the Culver Family Welcome Center, with a reception at 5 p.m. followed by the dinner and program beginning at 6 p.m. The cost of the event is $40 per person. For more information, contact UWO’s Alumni Relations Office at (920) 424-3449 or


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