About US

Our Mission

Build partnerships between individuals and organizations to address community needs and increase civic engagement.

Who We Serve

All people and agencies in the UW Oshkosh three campus footprints and surrounding communities including: community residents, nonprofit agencies and UW Oshkosh academic programs, students, faculty and staff.

Our History

Community Engagement is a key part of the UW Oshkosh mission and UW Oshkosh has a long history of partnering with local non-profits through academic coursework and co-curricular programs. This work allows the university to fulfill the ideal of the Wisconsin Idea, “that education should influence people’s lives beyond the boundaries of the classroom.”  

In 2008, Reeve Union launched a new Volunteerism area, in 2014, the new general education program created a group of required courses called “Quest III which connects over 1,000 students a year to local nonprofits. However, there have also been some consistent problems and challenges throughout the years.  Some agencies do not receive much support from the university programs. There are communication challenges and a lack of knowledge on both sides regarding how to build reciprocal relationships and experiences that benefit students, partners, and the community.  

For the past several years, there has also been an increased call from nonprofits to receive support from a local volunteer center which can help with organization capacity building and volunteer placement.  In 2018 a Taskforce was created to explore opportunities for partnership, understand the community and campus need, and develop a plan of action. A plan was presented and unfortunately put on hold due to a challenging financial situation for the university and then the COVID-19 global pandemic.  In the fall of 2021, conditions changed and the Center was given permission to move forward.   

Learn More About Our Center

Watch An informational interview with Mike Lueder (Director, interim) and Dr. Gabriel Loiacono (History Professor).   

Or watch this and more great videos from Oshkosh Media on YouTube.