The countdown to the start of the new academic year at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh continues as we hear from Linda Haling, dean of the College of Education and Human Services (COEHS). We’ve been a teacher-training school since our very beginning in 1871. Learn what the next chapter brings with new faculty and staff and our ongoing renovations.
Look for more stories throughout August in our Q&A series as UW Oshkosh leaders share what students, faculty, staff and alumni can expect in 2022-23.
What’s new in your college for the upcoming academic year?
The College of Education and Human Services is proud to welcome new faculty and staff. We are fortunate to have two new faculty members join our teaching and learning department.
Fawnda Norman holds a doctorate in STEM education from the University of Minnesota, a master’s in curriculum and instruction, mathematics education from the University of Minnesota, and a bachelor’s in mathematics education from the University of Northwestern.
Kimberly Oamek graduated from the UW-Madison with a doctorate and master’s in curriculum and instruction. Her specializations include multicultural education, teacher education and literacy studies.
Chris Stratton, although not new to the University, will be joining the human kinetics and health education department as an assistant professor beginning this fall. Stratton previously served in that department as an instructional academic staff member while completing his doctor of education degree in kinesiology at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. His specialization is outdoor adventure education.
Karla Leggett will join the Reading and Study Skills Center as an instructional academic staff member with a specialization in reading. She previously served as an instructional support teacher and literacy coach in the Oshkosh Area School District.
I would also like to welcome back Diana Summers to our college. Summers previously worked in the teaching and learning department and for UWO’s Residence Life. We are excited to have her rejoin our team as the unit business officer. She graduated from UW-Green Bay with a business administration degree, majoring in accounting.
Another staff member joining us this summer is Nicole McKnight who is serving in the role of administrative assistant for the Reading and Study Skills Center. Finally, we welcome Christina McCarty, who began her position this past winter as the administrative assistant in the teaching and learning department.
Our Professional Education Programs (PEP) office will start the school year with a new team of staff members as well. Kathryn Allen, associate professor of literacy, will join the team in the role of associate dean. She will oversee all of our undergraduate teacher education programs and licensing.
Tara Gagne will serve in the role of student teaching coordinator. Gagne is an alumna of UW Oshkosh and brings a wealth of experience in K-12 schools. We are currently in a search process for a new certifying officer. As a teacher education major, if you have questions about student teaching, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have licensing or certifying officer questions, please contact email@example.com. For all other teacher education questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This fall, students will notice the extensive renovation taking place in Clow Hall, which houses our college. Construction is progressing and on target to finish in summer 2023. Faculty and staff are in temporary locations throughout campus. You can stay up to date on the renovations on the Education Building Renovation website.
What are you personally looking forward to the most about the fall semester?
In the fall, I always look forward to the activity and energy that returns to campus after the summer break. I invite all of our students to join us for an open house in Albee Hall on Tuesday, Sept. 6 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Come meet COEHS faculty, enjoy some refreshments and games, and pick up some COEHS swag to start the school year off right!
This is a great opportunity to meet fellow education and human services majors as well as learn about student organizations within the college and how you can join.
What advice would you give to incoming first-year students about how to succeed at UWO?
College campuses can seem like big places for first-year students, so my advice would be to get involved right away. There are nearly 200 student organizations and clubs from which to choose, representing a plethora of interests. I also recommend taking the time to get to know your professors and take advantage of the multiple academic resources available on the UWO campuses. Most importantly, think about making connections that help campus feel like home.
Share something you learned over summer break.
One of my passions is reading and writing adolescent literature. In fact, I have been known to spend an entire weekend reading a good book. In the past few years, though, I was struggling to find time to enjoy these activities. But this summer I was able to read some adolescent literature, which sparked my motivation to get back to my own writing. I always learn so much about myself as a writer and my writing process when I engage in personal writing. It has always been a lifelong dream to publish one of my fiction books. Some day…
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