#TitansAre: Leaders, researchers and champions


▶︎ UWO will begin offering a new biomedical engineering degree this fall to prepare graduates for a growing biomedical technology and healthcare workforce in Wisconsin. The UW System Board of Regents approved the interdisciplinary degree—the first engineering degree at UWO—on March 31. Greg Kleinheinz, chair of the engineering and engineering technology department, said the degree will prepare graduates for a wide range of careers working with medical implants and prosthetics, devices and signal processing, and organ and tissue engineering.

▶︎ It could be a whole new ball game for Titans and area high school baseball players as Fox Valley philanthropist Mary Beth Nienhaus made a $500,000 matching pledge to help renovate UWO’s deteriorating baseball field. The current field, a natural surface field built on a former landfill, has been plagued in recent years with spring thaw issues and significant erosion from runoff. The renovation project will include installing an artificial surface and adding lights.

▶︎ Edwin Martini began serving as UW Oshkosh’s new provost on July 5, following the retirement of John Koker, who held the post since October 2018. As the new chief academic officer, he will be responsible for leading UWO’s colleges, faculty, instructional staff and academic programs.

▶︎ Josiah Benjamin, a junior human services leadership major from Oshkosh, was honored with the Oshkosh 94 Student Leadership Award at the third annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration and Awards Program in February. The award recognizes students who work to advance the standing and enhance the experiences of African American students at UWO. It also acknowledges students who have demonstrated leadership in promoting equity, inclusion and social justice for African Americans.

▶︎ Brittney Harrison, a senior choral music education major from Racine, will serve as the drum major for the Titan Thunder Marching Band’s second season. The drum major serves as the leader and chief student liaison connecting the band’s members and staff. Musically, the drum major serves as the primary rehearsal and stands conductor and helps develop the routines for on-field performances.

▶︎ UWO’s commitment to advancing the outcomes of first-generation students was recognized in March by the Center for First-Generation Student Success, an initiative of NASPA and the Suder Foundation. More than 40% of UWO students are the first in their families to pursue a degree.

▶︎ In March, the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce recognized Dale Feinauer, assistant dean of the College of Business, with the Lynne Webster Leadership Award. Feinauer, an expert in labor and human resource management, was honored for his commitment to the Leadership Oshkosh program. He has inspired hundreds of budding community leaders for more than 15 years.


▶︎ Pawel Olszewski, an associate mechanical engineering technology professor, recently was granted a U.S.patent for his flameless impingement oven, designed and built in the Teaching and Energy Research Industrial Lab on the Oshkosh campus. The hot new invention arranges natural gas and air jets to directly affect the object being heated, substantially transferring heat by impingement transfer rather than by conventional radiation and thermally induced convection. Olszewski is hoping a local company involved in melting aluminum, cast iron, steel or glass will take an interest in the technology.

▶︎ Seven UWO seniors and their faculty mentors presented research findings on a variety of topics to legislators, state leaders and alumni in Wisconsin’s Capitol Rotunda at the 19th annual Research in the Rotunda in March. The undergraduate researchers included: Yanet Fernandez, a mathematics major with a statistics emphasis from Oshkosh; Eric Giese, anthropology and geography major from West Bend; Catie Gullickson, history major from Oshkosh; Meagan Leach, criminal justice and psychology major from Monroe; Joseph Sandy, music composition major from Kaukauna; Adam Sobieski, microbiology major from Berlin; and Kendal Watwood, a biomedical science major from Centennial, Colorado.

▶︎ Six undergraduate scholars with the African American Studies program traveled to the University of Florida in Gainesville to present their research at the 47th annual National Council for Black Studies Conference in March. Those presenting were Samuel Maceno, a junior political science major from Sherwood; Jayden Nicole Flowers, a senior psychology major from Milwaukee; Ene Priscilla Idoko, an economics major from Abuja, Nigeria; Keashun J. Lawrence, a sophomore business major from Milwaukee; Imagine Rose Manders, senior psychology and sociology major from Appleton; and Makaylee Catherine Stewart, a senior psychology major from Menomonee Falls.


▶︎  The Advance-Titan, the independent student newspaper covering UWO, earned 17 awards in the 2022 Collegiate Better Newspaper Contest at the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Convention. Among the winners was editor-in-chief Katie Pulvermacher, a senior advertising and multimedia journalism major from Hartford, who received first place in breaking news reporting, first place in feature writing and a third place and honorable mention in page design.

▶︎ Mai See Thao, UWO’s Hmong studies director, was named in January as an emerging scholar by Diverse Issues in Higher Education magazine. She is a medical anthropologist with research interests in historical trauma, displacement, the refugee body, biopolitics and care (long-term care and chronic disease management).

▶︎ Zach’s Bingo Hall, an event presented by Reeve Union Board and hosted by student Zach Easton, a pre-social work major from Wisconsin Rapids, earned the Student-Driven Program of the Year Award in March at the Association of College Unions International. Easton works to bring energy, crowd participation and charisma to the fun game of chance.

▶︎ Professor of teaching and learning Tammy Ladwig was named Educator of the Year by the Fox Cities Chamber in April. She was honored for outstanding commitment to supporting students and efforts outside of the classroom to enhance educational experiences and outcomes of students. The selection committee couldn’t help but notice Ladwig’s eight independent nominations and two dozen letters of support.

▶︎ Taylor Swanson, a junior psychology major, earned the title Miss Oshkosh 2023 in March. The Wisconsin Rapids native received a $3,500 scholarship for her first-place finish. She also was awarded the Spirit of Miss America Award, earning an additional $300 in scholarships. For the talent portion of the competition, Swanson performed a cello solo. Her social impact initiative is mental health mindfulness.

▶︎ Lecturer Grace Lim led an effort to preserve the details of UWO’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in a 250-page book called Campus COVID Stories. MaryAnn Reindl, a medical laboratory science major from Fremont; Tanner Sarauer, a political science major from Slinger; Emelia Smith, a nursing major from Oshkosh; and Cory Sparks, radio TV film major from Pleasant Prairie, gave a multimedia presentation about the effort in April as part of their Honors College thesis projects.

▶︎ The Cheer and Stunt team secured its fifth state championship in February at the Wisconsin Association of Cheer/Pom Coaches. The event, held at Oshkosh Arena, brought together more than 100 junior varsity, varsity and college teams from across the state.

▶︎ A team of five cadets representing Fox Valley Battalion Reserve Officer Training Corps showed its strength in a test of individual and team skills in the Northern Warfare Challenge in February at Fort McCoy. The competition is designed to test the limits as cadets compete in physical challenges and soldiering skills. The team included two cadets from UWO: Mike Conway, a sophomore business administration major from Slinger; and Emily Rivero, a sophomore psychology major from Lake Forest, Illinois.

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