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Nearly 1,700 University of Wisconsin Oshkosh students graduate today during the 144th spring commencement ceremonies at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Kolf Sports Center, 785 High Ave. The new grads—including more than 1,400 with bachelor’s degrees, nearly 250 with master’s degree candidates and more than 30 with doctoral degrees—join more than 90,000 others as UW Oshkosh alumni. Check out UWO’s 2018 commencement photo gallery.

Nursing grad cares for dad in final days

Abby Loritz, of De Pere, graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s in nursing. Loritz’s father recently passed away as she was finishing her schooling at UWO. During her father’s final days, she assisted with hospice care using the skills and knowledge gained through years of coursework and clinicals. Before he passed, the two were able to celebrate together as she accepted a position at Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay. As an esteemed member of her cohort, Loritz was selected to speak at the College of Nursing’s 2018 spring recognition ceremony.

Sliding into home, Titan grad ready to teach

As a student-athlete Robert Kleman III, of Oshkosh, knows that hard work and dedication is needed to win the game. Kleman played baseball for four years and now looks to teach the next generation his love of athletics. Kleman, who graduates with a bachelor’s in education, plans to secure a job as a physical education teacher. This day marks a special day for the Kleman family as Katie, Robert’s younger sister, also is graduating from UW Oshkosh with her bachelor’s in business.

Community is the key to success

Jack Yang, of Sheboygan, is looking forward to being an agent of change as he enters the world of non-profits. Yang said internships that introduced him to many local and community people and agencies were his favorite aspects of his human services leadership major. He credits the support of his tight-knit family for the success he has had while at UWO. Yang’s stole designates his involvement in the National Society of Leadership and Success.

 

Teaching others to believe in themselves

Matthew Schauer, of Franklin, is graduating with a bachelor’s in elementary education and special education. He will be joining Appleton’s Jefferson Elementary’s staff in the fall. Schauer said that many of his future students lack a father figure in their lives, and he hopes to be a positive role model and one that can provide them with the support they need each day.

Titan joy times two

Emma Peters, of Green Bay, is riding a roller coaster of emotions. Today is filled with joy not just because she is graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s in nursing from UW Oshkosh, but also because her boyfriend Dylan proposed to her at the nursing recognition ceremony last night. She looks forward to beginning the next two amazing chapters of her life as a nurse and a future bride.

Nursing grad completes BSN in only three years

Jessica Myers, of West Bend, graduated cum laude from the Honors College and the College of Nursing with a bachelor’s in nursing. What’s most impressive and uncommon about Myers is the fact that she graduated from the nursing program in only three years. As a nurse scholar, she was accepted into the College of Nursing while still in high school. Myers excelled in school by maintaining a heavy course load with advanced courses. After graduation, she’s accepted a position at St. Agnes Hospital in Fond du Lac on the neuro medical surgical floor.

Veteran graduates with honors

Monica Preston, of Necedah, was among those standing when the audience honored current members and veterans of our military with applause and cheers. Preston said with her service behind her, she is looking forward to starting graduate school at UW-Milwaukee to begin research in the geochemical analysis of the Wisconsin sedimentary bedrock that is used in making wine. Preston is adorned with the SALUTE stoll, recognizing her involvement in the only national honor society honoring the service and scholastic achievements of student veterans.

Criminal justice majors to serve community

Zacharias Hyatt and Terrell Fleming, both criminal justice majors, have big plans following commencement. Fleming, of Menasha, plans to do sociological research across the U.S., studying various cultures before beginning a job with the Appleton Police Department. Fleming said during his sophomore year, he decided he wanted to help change the public’s negative perception of law enforcement. Hyatt, a Racine native who transferred to UW Oshkosh, has a position with the Racine Police Department.

Friends walk across stage together

Leadership and organizational studies majors Tamara Fabisiak and Rachel Heineman, both from New London, wear honors chords as they graduate from the Division of Online and Continuing Education. The two graduates admit they likely wouldn’t be walking across the stage today if they hadn’t received such awesome support and guidance from their academic program adviser, Debbie Harris.

Graduate serves the larger community

State Rep. Gordon Hintz challenged UW Oshkosh graduates to use their time, talents and energy back to their communities. Serena Larie, of Oshkosh, was named Miss Oshkosh in 2016 and Miss Harbor Cities’ Outstanding Teen in 2018 and is a graduate who has been actively working towards engaging the community through her organization G.I.V.E (Get Involved Via Engagement). Larie has used her public platform to help combat isolation, depression and loneliness by encouraging others to build a strong community together. Larie graduates with a bachelor’s in communication in radio tv film.

Titan grad plans to travel to the land down under

After graduation, Mikayla Truax, of Kimberly, will head to Melbourne, Australia, to start a marketing internship with The Sample Room, a design company that brings young entrepreneurs’ clothing ideas to life. Supporting her today in the audience is her mother, father, sister and boyfriend.

Forging partnerships with classmates

Jennifer Coats and Hosea London Jr., of Oshkosh, began their Master’s in Social Work Program without knowing each other. Through classes and discussions, the two realized they shared a lot of common interests related to child and family care, and a partnership blossomed over time. Today, the two are wearing matching graduation caps decorated by Coats and her 1-year-old daughter.

Hand-stitched with love

Cheng Vang, a geography and urban planning major from Wausau, stands with his grandparents Charlie and Shoua Lo. Cheng is wearing a decorative stole that was hand-sewn by his grandmother. This needlepoint piece took three months to create, but it is worth it to see her grandson sporting his cultural heritage and walking across the commencement stage.

Traveling 1,000 miles to walk across the stage

Jason Olsen, an organizational administration major from Fort Worth, Texas, traveled with his wife and children to attend the spring commencement ceremony. Olsen worked in information technology for Kimberly Clark for 25 years before taking a position with American Airlines in Dallas, Texas. He has been taking online classes for the past 10 years and is excited to finally earn his bachelor’s of liberal studies degree.