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For the first time in three decades, the Celebration of Scholarship and Creative Activity (COSCA) will be spread over two days, a testament to the breadth and depth of the research and artistic projects by 100 students at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. 

 The 31st annual symposium will be open to the public. Held inside Reeve Memorial Union, the event takes place Wednesday, April 24, and Thursday, April 25, with a Provost’s Award Ceremony at 4 p.m.  

 “COSCA 2024 will mark the first time that an entire day, the first day, is devoted to research undertaken by graduate students in the College of Nursing,” said Stephen Kercher, interim director of the Office of Student Research and Creative Activity. “Nursing DNP and MSN students are prepared to inform the university community and members of the general public with a broad array of insight into challenges facing doctors, nurses and their patients.” 

UWO’s 2023 Celebration of Scholarship and Creative Activity featured the research and artisitic projects of dozens of students.


 Undergraduate students will take over the second day of the presentations.  

 “I think anyone who attends COSCA 2024 will marvel at students’ broad range of inquiry and come away with an appreciation for the value of students and faculty working and learning together on solving problems and exploring ideas,” Kercher said.  

Sheldon Schroeder of Oshkosh, a junior majoring in biomedical science, said he is grateful for the experiential learning opportunity.

“By doing research as an undergraduate I was exposed to the research process,” he said. “This research taught me crucial skills that I hope to use in my future career.”  

Schroeder, who plans to attend medical school after graduation, was among seven UWO students who presented at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in Long Beach, California, earlier this month. He will give an oral presentation at COSCA 2024 on his project: Identifying the role seed mucilage plays in seed germination under drought stress.

At the national conference, Willem Flaugher of New Berlin, shared his research,  The Places In Between: Photographing Gentrification and Segregation in Milwaukee’s Harambee and Riverwest Neighborhoods.

Flaugher is a senior majoring in instrumental/general music education. 

UWO professor Stephen Kercher, third from left, accompanied students David Makar, Peter Berry, Sheldon Schroeder, Lydia Medina, Adam Sobieski, Emma Smith and Willem Flaugher at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) earlier this month in Long Beach, California.

 “Attending the conference and presenting my research was a transformative experience that reaffirmed the power of storytelling and the importance of representation,” Flaugher said. “It not only allowed me to share the untold narratives of my community but also fostered invaluable connections and ignited a deeper passion for driving positive change through my work.”   

Lydia Medina, a native of Manitowoc, is a senior majoring in social work, with minors in anthropology and music industry. Medina’s research focus is Interventions for Multiple Adverse Childhood Experiences.

“I love the opportunity to share knowledge with others,” Medina said. “I especially enjoy sharing with those who may not know about my research topic, which involves adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), as well as ACEs impact on mental health, physical health and life outcomes/opportunities in relation to the best interventions for people with multiple ACEs.”

Medina said participating in research allows her “an amazing opportunity to present my work nationally” and has solidified her interest in continuing research at the graduate level.

Lydia Medina presents research in California in early April.


Following are the additional four UWO students who presented at NCUR. All are seniors and will be participating in the COSCA 2024:  

Peter Berry
Major: physics, mechanical engineering technology
Hometown: Oshkosh
Title: Rock Launch: Design, Applications and Lessons Learned

David Makar
Major: psychology
Hometown: Oshkosh
Title: The effect of technology on life satisfaction: Case study of elderly population in Oshkosh

Emma Smith
Major: biology Major
Hometown: Kenosha
Title: Exploration into the Function Conservation of the Kinesin-7 in Arabidopsis thaliana

Adam Sobieski
Major: microbiology and biomedical science
Hometown: Berlin
Title: Laboratory Life Cycle Maintenance of the Soft Tick Ornithodoros tartakovskyi

Learn more: 

Celebration of Scholarship and Creative Activity  

Office of Student Research & Creative Activity