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The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh announced today the recipients of scholarships as a result of the UW System 70 for 70 and UW Oshkosh Vax Up Titans COVID-19 vaccination programs.

Winners: 70 for 70

Several UWO students will receive a $7,000 scholarship through the UW System program. They include:

  • Sydney Draeger, senior, from Wausau
  • Kathleen Fisher, a senior, from Jackson
  • Patrick Lampe, a freshman, from Watertown
  • Dylan Ruebl, a freshman, from Brillion
  • Joe Statz, a senior, from Green Bay
  • Carissa Sundholm, a junior, from Muskego
  • Elizabeth Teske, sophomore, from Wausau

Winners: Vax Up Titans!

Ten UWO students will receive a $1,000 scholarship through the University’s Vax Up Titans program. Among the winners are:

  • Makayla Byington, senior, from Shullsburg
  • Joseph “Sifi” Fafalios, senior, from Waukesha
  • Billy Sincere, sophomore, from Greendale
  • Sam Smits, sophomore, from Omro
  • Haylie Stefonek, freshman, from Rhinelander

The five other recipients have been notified, have accepted their awards and elected not to announced.

Why vaccinate?

70 for 70 scholarship winner Patrick Lampe said he got vaccinated to do his part to defeat COVID-19.

“COVID ruined many of my junior and senior year of high school experiences, and everyone doing their part to get vaccinated and continue to wear masks will hopefully prevent any more experiences from being ruined,” Lampe said.

“I got vaccinated because I wanted to protect myself, as well as those around me,” Carissa Sundholm said. “Being a student-athlete, I also wanted to do my part in keeping our campus safe and making it possible for our athletes to safely compete this year.”

“I got vaccinated because I felt it was important to take measures to protect myself, my family and my community as a whole,” Sydney Draeger said. “As a nursing student, I also thought it was important to be vaccinated since I would likely be working with high-risk patients in a clinical setting.”

Dylan Ruebl said he got vaccinated because he thought it was the right thing to do and because his father is highly susceptible to the effects of COVID. “I wanted to protect my family,” he said.

As a nursing student, Joe Statz said he knows how important it is to protect himself and his patients.

“Most hospitals in the area require the vaccine and so do our clinical placement sites for school, so it just made sense to get it,” Statz said. “Lastly I wanted to protect my family, friends, campus and community by slowing the spread of COVID, and I just wanted to play my part by getting the vaccine.”

Elizabeth Teske said she got vaccinated because she knew it was the best way to fight the spread of COVID. “And I didn’t want to get COVID or unknowingly give it to those closest to me,” she said.

Makayla Byington, a student in the accelerated BSN program said the scholarship will allow her to focus on school and worry less about working. As a healthcare worker, she said she sees firsthand the effects of COVID and she got vaccinated to protect her family, friends and patients.

Right thing to do

The scholarship will help him pay for his tuition, said Joseph “Sifi” Fafalios, allowing him to instead use money he would have spent on tuition on food and rent.

“I decided to get the vaccine because family is the most important thing in my life and I wanted to be able to spend time with my high-risk family members, like my parents and grandparents, without having to worry as much about getting any of them sick, “ he said. “Thanks to the vaccine we have been able to enjoy family gatherings, which has made us all so happy.”

Haylie Stefonek worked as a CNA, is the aunt of several young children and has younger siblings. She said getting vaccinated not only helps keep her safe, but those around her.

“I feel it was my duty to help protect those I care about,” she said.

While the extra financial boost is important, Stefonek said she got vaccinated before the scholarship opportunity was presented so she could protect others. It wasn’t for the money.

Billy Sincere said he got vaccinated because he didn’t want to get sick and fall behind in school or sports. The vaccine also gave him peace of mind to travel safely this past summer.

The scholarship is a great way to encourage students to get vaccinated, he said, adding that he hopes the campus community will get to an 80% or higher vaccination rate soon.

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