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Thirty-five high-achieving University of Wisconsin Oshkosh seniors who exemplify top academic and leadership qualities and a deep commitment to serving others have earned recognition as recipients of the 2021 Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence. The criteria for this award include academic performance, University-related service and community involvement.

“These Titans have applied themselves and their educations in remarkable ways throughout the course of their UWO journeys. Of course, that includes navigating the historic global pandemic this past year, which added incredible challenges and pressures on top of the everyday rigors of a UWO education,” Chancellor Andy Leavitt said. “We know these students, as alumni, will make a difference in people’s lives and will continue embody what this institution stands for in their endeavors to come.”

Twenty-seven of the award recipients are set to graduate in one of four in-person ceremonies on Saturday, May 15, and eight are expected to graduate at the end of the fall semester. All of the 2021 honoree will be recognized at the virtual Celebration of Student Leadership on Friday, April 30.

Spring 2021 grads

Morgan Anibas, a nursing major from Durand, has an impressive academic record and is an Honors College student. She has been active in the Oshkosh Student Nurses Association, currently serving as vice president. She has served in a number of roles in UW Oshkosh’s Center for Academic Resources for the past two years, including tutoring for physiology, math and art courses.

Becca Birriel, a nursing major from Schaumburg, Illinois, is dedicated to academic excellence. She completed a capstone project for the Honors College that explored best practices in healthcare for the LGBTQIA+ community. She maintained an active schedule as a member of the UWO swim team and served as a campus leader involved in many campus and student organizations. She helped plan and implement a virtual Trans Day of Remembrance for the Rainbow Alliance for HOPE.

Patrick Caine, a supply chain management major from Lowell, has distinguished himself as a campus leader through his involvement with the Oshkosh Students Association, previously serving as a senator and currently as chief of staff. He has advocated on behalf of nontraditional students and helped restart UWO’s student transportation system known as UWO GO. He also has served as chair of the Differential Tuition Committee, assuring funds are allocated fairly.

Mikayla Cann, a nursing major from Belleville, is a well-rounded student scholar and campus leader with more than 11 additional certifications and trainings completed at UWO. She is an independent worker and dedicated student employee with the Environmental Research and Innovation Center (ERIC lab). Her humanitarian efforts include spending academic breaks assisting communities in Honduras and Puerto Rico, volunteering at flu clinics and serving as president of the UWO chapter of Circle K International.

Morgan DiPietro, a saxophone music major from Black Creek, is a thoughtful, reliable and innovative student who founded and serves as president of the Titan Saxophone Club. DiPietro studied LGBTQ+ composers and will be performing some of these pieces for saxophone at their senior recital. As a work-study student for UWO’s LGBTQ+ Resource Center, they helped organize an International Pronouns Day event and the Harvey Milk LGBTQ+ Scholarship Dinner.

Natalie Dominguez, a human services leadership major with an Indigenous studies certificate, from Woodstock, Illinois, is an example of an inclusive leader who takes initiative and creates solutions in her campus activities as well as her advanced field placement with UWO’s Women’s Center. She has taken part in TRIO Student Support Services and served as a health advocate in Residence Life. Dominguez plans to pursue a career in higher education.

Andy Flood, a political science major from Sullivan, is an active and engaged student who runs the UWO Student Legal Services program. He also is a volunteer firefighter and an emergency medical technician. He plans to further his education following graduation and has been accepted to a number of law schools.

Molly Hennig, a music major from New Ulm, Minnesota, is a talented and well-rounded student who possesses a versatile soprano voice she applies to classical repertoire, musical theatre and pop/folk music with equal finesse. Her accomplishments include winning the Honors Recital, music department’s highest honor; singing leads in both opera and musical theatre productions and undertaking a number of creative scholarly projects.

Chloe Lambie, a rehabilitation science major from Marinette, is a hard-working, proactive learner and a kind, inclusive and considerate classmate. At the top of her class, she has a strong propensity for grasping difficult concepts. Lambie juggles a full course load, extra-curricular activities and working part-time. She is preparing applications to attend dental school following graduation from UWO.

Amanda Martinez, a social work major from New London, is a strong leader and an exceptional student who has been involved in the Student Organization of Latinos and the McNair Scholars Program. In her work as an intern with UWO’s Women’s Center, Martinez led a research project to explore how women students of color experienced higher education during the pandemic. As part of her social justice minor coursework, she organized a virtual campus talk by Dolores Huerta, a labor leader and civil rights activist.

Nicholas Massoth, an accounting major from Des Plaines, Illinois, is a hard-working student who has excelled as a community adviser in residence life, leaning into the department’s philosophy of developing interpersonal relationships through hosting and promoting campus activities. He helped develop budgets and did administrative work for events in Fletcher Hall, South Gruenhagen Hall and Horizon Village. Massoth also took part in student organizations, including Party.0, Illinois Student Organization and Accounting Club.

Ian McDonald, a political science major from Oshkosh, has a strong work ethic and is a critical thinker with a positive attitude and a personable nature. He has been an energetic student leader, serving as vice president and then president of the Oshkosh Student Association (OSA). He also served as a fellow for the American Democracy Project. In addition, he represented UWO and helped to improve the effectiveness of the UW System Student Presidential Council. He also volunteered with the student food pantry and assisted OSA student senators in learning how to write resolutions to bring change to the UWO campus.

Morgan Mulroe, an anthropology major with an Indigenous studies certificate from Crystal Lake, Illinois, is an engaged, analytical student with a broad worldview. She has been active in the Inter-Tribal Student Council as an ally. She produced a short film about Indigenous women on the UWO campus, capturing their personal thoughts and feelings about the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women. She is now working a statewide taskforce and grassroots teams to produce a larger ethnographic film and publication on the crisis.

Taylor Nelson, a marketing major from Verona, is a strategic, decisive and caring leader and a well-rounded, strategic-thinking student who has completed four internships and earned a Six Sigma White Belt. She has excelled in the UWO Student Marketing and Sales Club, serving in a number of roles including president. She also took part in Alpha Lambda Delta, is a peer mentor for the Undergraduate Advising Resource Center and volunteers at NEW Pawsabilities.

Gabrielle Newman, a communication studies major from Oshkosh, is committed to both scholarship and service. Her essay, Reframing Womanhood: A Rhetorical Analysis of Ada James’ ‘The Womanly Woman,’ has been accepted for publication in the spring 2021 edition of Oshkosh Scholar. She also has served as president of the Communication Club and has worked as an intern for the American Democracy Project.

Zak Petasek, an electrical engineering tech major from New Franken, has achieved great academic success, including having the top scores of all military science students at five area universities. He has represented ROTC in military competitions throughout the year and held UWO ROTC and Cadet Club leadership positions, which have included mentoring other students and organizing veteran outreach events.

Jessica Plascencia, a double major in psychology and Spanish from Green Bay, has excellent leadership and academic skills. As president of the Student Organization of Latinos, she has worked to educate the community about cultural, social and political issues concerning Hispanic/Latinos in the United States. The McNair Scholar has developed strong decision-making skills and has the ability to solve difficult problems.

Margaret Propp, a double major in economics and Spanish from New Berlin, personifies academic excellence and is an engaged student who asks insightful questions. In an independent study in preparation for graduate school, she wrote a paper exploring the impact of changes in Federal Reserve interest rate policies on commercial lending. She also has excelled in leadership roles, including serving as a vice president for Alpha Xi Delta, treasurer of the History Club and as a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success.

Allison Raddant, a double major in accounting and economics from Shawano, is a focused and driven student who balances academics and campus and community activities. She has served as a peer mentor in the University Studies Program, a classroom volunteer for Junior Achievement and treasurer for Phi Beta Lambda. In addition, Raddant was a member of the Titan Cheer and Stunt team for two years and worked as a peer advising liaison for the Undergraduate Advising Resource Center.

Alyssa Reinke, a double major in environmental studies and geography from Fond du Lac, possesses high academic and leadership qualities. For her environmental studies capstone seminar, she presented a class research project to the city of Oshkosh Sustainability Advisory Board. She has been active in the Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC), the Green Fund, the Oshkosh Student Association Executive Board and the Geography Club. For SEAC, she helped organize the annual Free School event, which provides fun, nontraditional educational opportunities to the Oshkosh community.

Karely Rodriguez Jimenez, a psychology major from Rice Lake, is a serious and dedicated first-generation college student. Through her involvement with the Student Organization for Latinos, she helped raise over $500 to help fund student participation in the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute. She has traveled to California and Japan as part of the National Student Exchange. She also was a Titan Advantage Program scholar and a McNair Scholar.

Alyssa Sabel, a double major in elementary education and special education from Oakfield, is a creative, thoughtful and insightful student with a passion for teaching and helping others. Her academic success has garnered her several scholarships, including the Doug and Carla Salmon Foundation Scholarship, the Talarek Family Scholarship and the Louis Chicquette Scholarship. As a student worker in the College of Education and Human Services Dean’s Office, she always went above and beyond and quickly became the go-to person to get projects done.

Samantha Sprenger, a double major in environmental studies and geology from Larsen, excels in academics and is a passionate student activist and model campus citizen. She has served as a leader in the Student Environmental Action Coalition, rejuvenating the student organization, helping organize the Free School event and working to make the campus a greener and more sustainable place. She also took part in a study-abroad trip to Belize.

Megan Sullivan, a communication studies major from Oak Park, Illinois, has been part of the prestigious Titan Gold Corps, serving as the face of UWO to prospective students and families in the admissions office for three years. She also have been dedicated to other clubs and organizations, including the UWO chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of American and the Communication Club. She was inducted into the Alpha Lambda Delta Society and has volunteered with the Christine Anne Domestic Abuse Center.

Ava Tryon, a double major in political science and psychology from Oshkosh, is a skillful advocate and a strong leader. She served as the first women’s advocacy senator for the Oshkosh Student Association and worked hard to create positive change on campus for women and other historically marginalized groups. She developed a petition and successfully persuaded the administration to retain blue safety lights on campus.

Cassidy Vande Berg, a nursing major from Eldorado, is a top Honors College student with well-honed, critical-thinking skills. She is active in the Oshkosh Student Nurse Association, serves as a Student Nurse Ambassador and belongs to her community’s Lion’s Club. She advocated for proper sharps disposal at a small-town gas station and developed a virtual workshop about human trafficking and healthy relationships at a local Boys and Girls Club.

Selena Yang, a human services leadership major from Marshfield, is a motivated student who is already applying the theories she learns in the classroom to her work as a lead teacher at the Boys and Girls Club. She also works as the manager on duty within UWO’s Gruenhagen Conference Center, where is known for her high level of professionalism and exemplary service. She has been active in the Titan Advantage Program and has made a deep impact on UWO’s International Student Association.

Fall 2021 grads

Pam Fleming, a nursing major from Cudahy, is an engaged role model and student leaders. As a peer mentor with the University Studies program, she has excelled at connecting with others and sharing her knowledge of campus. With the Titan Takeoff program, she is patient and kind in her work with incoming students who may feel uneasy or overwhelmed. Fleming also has made her mark as vice president and president of Sigma Sigma Sigma and as the women’s caucus director for the College Democrats.

Kayleigh May, a math education major from New Berlin, is a high-achieving Honors College student who also maintains significant leadership positions within UWO Center for Academic Resources. She began as a math tutor and has grown into a student learning assistant. She also has served as an academic resources tutor and a peer content tutor. May is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta and volunteers for Hands on Oshkosh, NEW Pawsibilities and EAA holiday events.

Mariah Mihm, an early childhood special education major from Slinger, is an Honors College student with a deep commitment to serving others. In her work at the Reeve Union Student Involvement desk, she has great attention to detail and customer service and leadership skills. She also has served as a tour guide for the admissions office and secretary of her residence hall. Volunteer work as a camp counselor and with local youth events and Hands on Oshkosh display her passion for community involvement.

Oscar Morales, a finance major from Sheboygan, is a high-achieving student with a commitment to servanthood and excellence, enriching UWO’s multicultural community. He serves as vice president of the Gentlemen of Excellence, a student organization that helps men persevere in their pursuit of a college degree. He also is a member of the Student Organization of Latinos. In addition, Morales has mentored students at Webster Elementary and Oshkosh West High schools.

Sophia Nunn, a double major in English and Spanish language education from Appleton, is an outstanding student and leader inside and out of the classroom. She has worked in the Student Affairs Office and has supported Project Success students as a note-taker. In the community, she has served as a lifeguard, taught children at church and volunteered with the Juneteenth celebration in Appleton.

Amber Raygo, a public relations major with certificates in marketing and digital marketing, is from Menominee, Michigan. She excels academically and as a leader and high-performing student manager in the Gruenhagen Conference Center. Raygo has served as a peer mentor UWO’s retention program. Off campus, she works as a wedding and special event intern at the Paine Art Center and Gardens.

Abby Shreve, a music major from Kenosha, balances dedication to academic success with commitment to serving as an exceptional student employee as the assistant guest manager for the EAA on-campus lodging program and the Oshkosh Placement Exchange. She is president of the Student National Association of Teachers of Singing and vice president of the Music and Wellness student organization. She also maintains her own private studio as an independent voice coach.

Erin Thompson, a double major in environmental studies and multimedia journalism from Iola, is a dedicated Honors College student and a committed citizen-student activist. She earned a research award from the Office of Student Research and Creative Activity to create a photo essay, documenting urban agriculture in Wisconsin. She attended Montana State University in fall 2020 through the National Student Exchange Program. She also has been involved with the Sustainability Institute for Regional Transformation, the Campus Sustainability Council and Student Environmental Action Coalition.

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