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In partnership with the popular “This I Believe” public dialog project, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh campus community is invited to share personal life philosophies.

UWO students, faculty, staff and alumni can take part in the “This We Believe at UW Oshkosh” project by writing and submitting short essays about their personal beliefs.

The long-term project, sponsored by UWO Alumni Relations, is in celebration of the University’s upcoming 140th anniversary in 2011-2012.

“In the midst of unsettling political and economic times in Wisconsin and across the nation, it is a powerful exercise to take a step back and review our own core values,” Chancellor Richard H. Wells said. “By taking part in ‘This We Believe at UW Oshkosh,’ our greater campus community will have an opportunity to share our many and varied perspectives and to celebrate our diversity of thought.”

The nonprofit, international This I Believe organization engages people from all walks of life to write and share essays describing the core values that guide their daily lives.

More than 90,000 of these essays are archived online, heard on public radio, chronicled through books and featured in weekly podcasts. The project is based on the popular 1950s radio series of the same name hosted by Edward R. Murrow.

“Our project provides an opportunity for members of our campus community to share their many unique perspectives and beliefs,” said UWO Alumni Director Christine Gantner. ”I am eager to learn what our students, faculty, staff and alumni have come to believe through their varied experiences.”

Join the conversation

Those wishing to participate in the project are invited to write a brief statement of 350 to 500 words about a personal belief, following the This I Believe essay-writing guidelines. After reviewing the submission agreement, essays should be submitted to the national project through UW Oshkosh’s online portal.

Following submission, the essays will be reviewed and posted within six to eight weeks. Selected essays also may appear in upcoming University online and print publications.

Need a little help kick-starting your writing process? Students with the UWO Writing Center are planning to develop a series of podcasts during summer 2011 to help project participants brainstorm ideas and develop and polish their essays.

“Our staff of trained writing consultants is eager to take advantage of online media to connect with writers and other partners across campus on this project,” said Writing Center Director Crystal Mueller. “It fits with our mission to help writers of all levels of expertise and at all stages of the writing process.”

In addition, Alumni Relations plans to partner with WRST, UWO’s campus radio station, to develop a series of audio versions of selected essays to air during the 2011-2012 academic year.

Books published by the This I Believe project are available at University Books & More.

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