Select Page

Conflicts between students and the Wisconsin State University Authority on WSU campuses peaked during the 1960s.

During that time, the University did not allow a radical group called Students for a Democratic Society to get University recognition, causing a conflict between the students and administration. Another conflict arose between African American students and the administration because of perceived racism within the system.

Anthony Pietsch, a senior majoring in history and anthropology, spent nearly two years researching the Wisconsin State Authority’s reaction to student dissent on campuses at that time.

Pietsch presented his research, along with four other University of Wisconsin Oshkosh students, in Madison for Posters in the Rotunda: A Celebration of Undergraduate Research on May 5.

To conduct his research, Pietsch combed Wisconsin State University’s Board of Regent files that previously had not been read by historians, which contained administrators’ perceptions and reactions to the two major conflicts.

Pietsch found that the administration was worried they would lose its control over students and sought to expand its dominance to keep the students from undermining the system’s order. He was excited to present his findings to legislators at the state Capitol.

“UW Oshkosh provides students with excellent opportunities to develop their research skills and begin a career of publication,” Pietsch said. “In an atmosphere of economic crisis and frequent budget cuts, students, faculty and administrators should be concerned about the permanency of these student research opportunities.”

Jean M. Neal, a junior social work major, presented her research on the feasibility of providing mental health courts that emphasize a problem-solving model as an alternative sentencing method for those suffering chronic mental illness.

From questionnaires sent out to mental health professionals in Fond du Lac, Outagamie and Winnebago counties, she found that there may be a favorable response to the establishment of mental health courts in these communities.

Neal, a McNair scholar, hopes county executives might use her work in the planning and researching stages of implementing mental health courts to show support for the idea.

“I realized that those with mental illnesses are often warehoused within our jails or prisons without adequate mental health services available to them,” Neal said. “Society as a whole would benefit more from providing proper treatment rather than warehousing them within the correctional setting.”

Other UW Oshkosh presenters and topics at Posters in the Rotunda included:

  • Kendra Casanova, “Assessing Genetic Variation Within and Among Ethnic Groups”
  • Kathryn Gruber, “Development of Youth Social Movement Characteristics”
  • Krista Newell, “A Geometric Mean SSD Portfolio”

University of Wisconsin System Symposium

Last month, eight UW Oshkosh students presented research at the UW System Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity April 30 at UW-River Falls.

Carrie Caldwell, a senior fine arts major, presented a series of paintings titled “Deaf in a Hearing World.” The paintings include a series called “The Seven Days of Creation” that show the number of the day in sign language, along with a painting of what was created on that day.

Caldwell said she wanted to increase awareness about deaf people and their culture through the paintings.

“I want to bring to light misconceptions about deaf people that many hearing people have, to educate and bridge the gap between two cultures of the same people,” she said.

Other UW Oshkosh presenters and topics at the UW System Symposium included:

  • Seth Block, “A Study in Sustainability; A Benchmark for a Region”
  • Adam Gipril, “A Study of Amorphous Alumina Nanofibers”
  • Seth Block, “A Study in Sustainability; A Benchmark for a Region”Adam Gipril, “A Study of Amorphous Alumina Nanofibers”
  • Liem Nguyen, “Enhancing the fastness of natural dyes”
  • Alexander Turinske, “CdO doped ZnO nanofibers”
  • Krista Newell, “A Geometric Mean Based SSD Portfolio”
  • Will (Kent) Kovac, “Clustering of Base Pairings (GC/AT) in Small Circular Genomes”
  • Karissa Metko, “Searching for small clusters in the Milky Way Galaxy.”

Read more stories about student and faculty research at UW Oshkosh.