Storytelling as an art

For five University of Wisconsin Oshkosh journalism students, it was about telling a story. For their sources, the stories were real-life experiences in war zones.

Late last fall, the five UW Oshkosh student storytellers presented their multimedia projects—in-depth stories that got to the heart of what it means to be in a war zone—through the second volume of War: Through Their Eyes, Warriors & Nurses project. Five veterans, who were either current students or alumni of the College of Nursing, were featured.

“This project made me a better storyteller,” said Morgan Counts, a senior studying journalism and economics from Oshkosh.

Counts and her peers worked on the podcasts and written elements in partnership with journalism instructor Grace Lim; the project was not graded, instead done on a volunteer basis.

“This project really opened my eyes to how personal stories can be,” said Noell Dickmann, a senior studying journalism from Jackson, Wis. “The overall experience made me grow and showed me that you always have to support our troops no matter what.”

War: Through Their Eyes, Warriors & Nurses was a collaborative project. Grace Lim coordinated Brian Ledwell, Shawn McAfee and John Beam to work with journalism students Amy Wasnidge ‘12, Brad Beck, Morgan Counts, Nate Cate and Noell Dickmann with additional help on music from Matt Muelling.

Lim, who watched her student writers grow, change and evolve through the months-long interviewing and writing process with countless drafts and rounds of edits, said she’s proud.

“These students signed up for something they weren’t graded on, and they thought it was a cool project,” Lim said. “Of all the student projects I’ve overseen, this was the most gratifying to date.”

The stories were unveiled publicly during Veterans Week at UW Oshkosh and—like all good stories do—will live on for a lifetime through the podcasts and a traditional print publication.

“I’m really proud of everyone who worked so hard on this project to tell the stories of our veterans. It’s cool seeing these types of stories go from an idea to a reality,” Dickmann said.

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  • Imagine my surprise when I opened my Engage and the first thing I saw was an image of my son-in-law, Will Anderson in his uniform. Proud does some justice, but not completely. As a Viet Nam veteran, there is a connection beyond the writing project which I highly endorse. Too bad he didn’t mention about this exhibit to me. Thanks for doing this, for many of us, decades too late, but at least these people got their due. Thanks!