It’s been an exciting and eventful year for the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Through it all—the arrival of new leaders, major road construction on the Oshkosh campus, a 48th national championship for Titan athletics and the conferring of nearly 3,000 academic degrees—student success remains at the heart of everything. And it’s the success of past, present and future UW Oshkosh students that readers were drawn to in 2022.
Here’s a look at the year’s most-read stories from UWO Today:
Alexandria Mahoney, who graduated in 2016 with a management degree with a focus on entrepreneurship, became one of the youngest Culver’s franchisees in the country in 2021. She’s the owner-operator of the Culver’s in Sun Prairie, part of an ownership team with a pair of brothers who have a stake in dozens of locations in four states.
“It’s the hospitality part I like most,” said the 29-year-old Mahoney, who landed her first Culver’s job at 15. “And at the corporate level, they really care about every franchisee.”
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There seems to be an endless flow of accolades coming to UWO’s College of Nursing. This summer Nursing Schools Almanac published findings from a project that looked at more than 3,000 institutions and found UWO to be among the top 100 public nursing schools in the country—and No. 3 in Wisconsin. The schools were evaluated based on academic prestige, perceived value, breadth and depth of nursing programs offered and student success in those programs.
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Jordan Karsten, an associate anthropology professor at UWO, has garnered attention in recent years thanks to his work assisting law enforcement on locally known cold cases. In 2021, he played a role in the identification of the remains of Starkie Swenson, a Neenah man whose disappearance puzzled police for nearly 40 years. He debuted a new season of his Cold Case: Frozen Tundra podcast this year, analyzing another mysterious case—this one the 1992 disappearance of Fox Cities woman Laurie Depies.
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Sometimes it seems like UWO radio TV film grads are everywhere. Look no further than northeast Wisconsin’s sports coverage, where three alumni are in prominent TV station roles.
“From Milwaukee to Madison and beyond, the state of Wisconsin is littered with UW Oshkosh radio TV film graduates,” said Burke Griffin ’95. Griffin, along with Ryan Wing ’09, and Brandon Kinnard ’14, are all helping set the agenda for sports coverage in the Green Bay TV market on a daily basis.
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‘Those two are definitely going to make a difference’: Graduating brothers to step right into hometown law enforcement
Spring commencement was especially meaningful for the Schlosser family in Fond du Lac, with brothers Steven Schlosser Jr. and Ryan Schlosser both earning criminal justice degrees. Both also had jobs secured in or around their hometown by graduation day: Steven with the Fond du Lac Police Department and Ryan with the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office.
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UWO’s Dance Team went to Daytona Beach in the spring and came back as national champions. The 15-student team won the Division III Pom at the Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championships, topping a field of more than 100 teams. Along with the Pom title, the team also placed third for Division III Jazz.
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Following a nationwide search, Seon Yoon Chung was announced as the leader of UWO’s College of Nursing this spring. Chung, who took over for interim CON dean Bonnie Nickasch on July 1, came from the Mennonite College of Nursing at Illinois State University. She is a registered nurse and a certified nurse and healthcare simulation educator.
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Zach Easton, a second-year pre-social work major from Wisconsin Rapids, has made a name for himself on the Oshkosh campus as the host of Zach’s Bingo Hall in Reeve Memorial Union. An average of nearly 100 people show up to play and the activity has helped Easton feel a sense of belonging at UWO.
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Anyone who spent even a day on the Oshkosh campus this year likely came across a construction barrel or two. That’s because two major projects progressed through 2022: the University’s still-ongoing $27 million update to the Nursing/Education complex and an $8.3 million reconstruction of Algoma Boulevard by the city. The Algoma work concluded in November, returning traffic patterns to normalcy in time for midyear commencement.
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UWO football named its new leader in March, with former UW-Whitewater offensive coordinator Peter Jennings taking on the head coach vacancy left behind after the retirement of Pat Cerroni. Jennings became the 23rd head coach in the 126-year history of the Titans program and in his first year finished with a 6-4 record.
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A few other well-read stories from 2022:
▪️ Skylar, the detection dog who joined UWO police in 2018, moved on to the Winnebago Sheriff’s Department in September. Don’t worry: She’ll still be working on campus from time to time. Read the story →
▪️ Eddie Stuczynski, a sophomore music education major from Neenah, was diagnosed with a tumor in his skull in 2020 and has since underwent several surgeries to combat it. Despite the challenges, he’s back in class and continuing his quest to become a music teacher. Read the story →
▪️ Draia Bieth, a senior graphic design major from New London, had her design chosen for the updated TitanCard look that debuted in the fall. Read the story →
▪️ Oksana Katsanivska, who came to UWO this fall after fleeing Ukraine after Russia invaded her home country, talked about her chaotic path to Oshkosh and settling in as a lecturer in the anthropology, global religions and cultures, English and international studies departments. Read the story →
▪️ Honorees and award winners, whether alumni, students or past athletes, garnered well-deserved attention this year: