The sixth volume of “Oshkosh Scholar” highlights the work of students who are serious about academics but also understand that research can be fun.
Topics such as text-messaging bans, conceptions of witches throughout the millennium, patterns in conversations between men and women and Toni Morrison’s “Beloved,” represent the content for this year’s publication.
In the preface of “Oshkosh Scholar,” Linda Freed, director in the Office of Grants and Faculty Development, and Tracy Slagter, faculty advisor, wrote: “While education within a classroom setting is the foundation upon which universities are built, some of the most exciting learning experiences are those that take place outside of the classroom and are fueled by the individual student’s interest and motivation.”
“Oshkosh Scholar” is an annual journal that was founded by Freed and is funded jointly by differential tuition, the Provost’s Office and the Office of Grants and Faculty Development.
The students featured in the 2011 volume include Matthew Moebius, Nicole Selenka, Chris Tempas, Jennifer Haegele, Rebecca Stupka, Sara Willkomm and Michael Beaupre.
“I think the main purpose of “Oshkosh Scholar” is to provide students who are serious about academics to have their work published,” Selenka said. “Being published in the journal is also great resume fodder and a good first step toward graduate school. It also makes a nice gift to the parents.”
Selenka graduated from UW Oshkosh during the midyear commencement in December 2011. A major in secondary education English with a minor in English as a second language, she said the experience can be very intellectually rewarding.
“Working closely with a faculty member is an important part of any student’s academic development,” Selenka said. “I spent several hours a week on this project, but I wouldn’t consider it work. It was fun; I love research writing.”
Slagter said the work of the faculty members is what has inspired the students to work hard and feel safe exploring new ideas.
“The student has a chance to gain some useful experience beyond the classroom,” Slagter said. “And the faculty member has a chance to in turn be inspired by a student’s enthusiasm and fresh ideas. It can be a very beautiful, mutually-beneficial relationship.”
Even though the journal has the same overall theme from year-to-year – a journal of undergraduate discoveries – each volume is different because there is always a different combination of disciplines represented.
“Some years, for example, we’ve been heavy on submissions from just a few departments,” Slagter said. “This issue is quite lovely because it’s really interdisciplinary.”
In addition to publishing the work of student authors, the scholarly journal also works with students on the editing and design of “Oshkosh Scholar.” Every year a few student editors help check for style, contact students about drafts, sit in on all meetings and help make final edits.
Also, students from Professor Karina Cutler-Lake’s design classes create a variety of cover art for the journal every year.
“The journal is really all about students and giving them experience on multiple levels,” Slagter said. “We want this to be a journal that students can really be proud of and take ownership of.”
Copies of “Oshkosh Scholar” can be found at various places around campus, but according to Slagter, the entrance of Polk Library is the most reliable place to pick one up.
Readers are welcome to share thoughts ad feedback about the sixth volume of “Oshkosh Scholar” by sending a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.