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Stacey Sparks

Three University of Wisconsin Oshkosh students were recognized for their presentations during Student Research and Innovation Showcases as part of the WiSys SPARK Symposium June 2-9.

“This is a very strong showing for UW Oshkosh students at statewide student research presentation events,” said Stephen Kercher, history professor and interim director of UWO’s Office of Student Research and Creative Activity.

In the first showcase on June 2, English major Stacey Sparks, of Neenah, took first place and a $1,000 prize for the presentation “Navigating States of Mind in Jane Austen’s Persuasion.”

New music graduate Molly Hennig, of New Ulm, Minnesota, took second place and a $500 prize for the presentation “A Vocalist’s Guide to Mysteries of the Macabre by György Ligeti.”

In the second showcase on June 9, recent nursing graduate Becca Birriel, of Schaumburg, Illinois, took second and a $500 prize for the presentation “Culturally Sensitive Care in the Clinic: Understanding LGBTQIA+ Healthcare Best Practice Methods in Wisconsin’s Fox Valley Area Clinics.”

Molly Hennig

Congratulations to Stacey, Molly and Becca for their excellent work and presentations,” said WiSys President Arjun Sanga. “Further congratulations to UW Oshkosh for developing many impressive undergraduate researchers. UW Oshkosh students have become a fixture at WiSys’ events in recent years as the University has grown its vibrant research and innovation culture.”

The WiSys SPARK Symposium is an annual celebration of research, innovation and entrepreneurship in the UW System. WiSys will host one more Student Research and Innovation Showcase on Aug. 11. The awards were sponsored by Boyle Fredrickson Intellectual Property Law and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

Research projects are welcome from any discipline (from social sciences, humanities to science, technology, etc.) and a broad range of innovative projects (product prototypes, video games, applications, business ideas, social efforts, etc.).

Becca Birriel

For more information about the WiSys SPARK Symposium, visit

WiSys is a nonprofit organization that works with faculty, staff, students, and alumni of the UW System to facilitate cutting-edge research programs, develop and commercialize discoveries and foster a spirit of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking across the state.

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