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Nine University of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumni from Canada to Florida will return to campus to receive UWO Alumni Association awards during Homecoming 2010.

The awards reception and dinner, which are open to the public, will be held Friday, Oct. 22, in Reeve Memorial Union.

“We look forward to honoring our top UW Oshkosh alumni, who are making an impact across the nation and the world through their professional and community successes,” said UWO Alumni Board President Traci Raether ’87 and MSN ’95.

At the event, five UWO alumni will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award ― the highest alumni award from the association ― for being active in their professional fields and widely recognized for their career and civic accomplishments.

The 2010 UW Oshkosh Distinguished Alumni Award winners include Alan Hobson ’82, of Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Col. Carolyn Jolitz ’84, of Fort Knox, Ky.; Gwendolyn Kelly ’74, of Bentonville, Ark., Jeffery Marks ’77, of Appleton; and Thomas Oleson ’63, of Dunedin, Fla.

Recipients of the Outstanding Young Alumni Award — given for professional and civic accomplishments and future promise to those who have graduated within the last 15 years ― include John Feld ’00, of Milwaukee; Brenda Hicks-Sorensen ’98, of Fond du Lac; Jeffrey LaVicka ’99, of Little Rock, Ark.; and Jamal Scott ’97, of Tinley Park, Ill.

The accomplishments of the Distinguished Alumni Award winners include:

  • Hobson, who majored in journalism and radio-TV-film, is president of Climb Back Inc. A professional, motivational speaker, he draws from his experiences having survived leukemia and successfully climbed to the Mount Everest summit.
  • Jolitz, who earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing, serves as the deputy commander for nursing at the Army Medical Activity in Fort Knox. She is the senior nurse executive for the Army Hospital and six other large medical facilities in five states.
  • A radio-TV-film major, Kelly is the senior manager for multicultural marketing for Walmart. She also makes an impact through her civic and charitable activities, including serving as a board member for the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History.
  • Marks, a social work major, is the support services director for the Outagamie County Health Center/Brewster Village. He is known for his groundbreaking efforts involved in funding, building and incorporating the “village concept” into Brewster Village, a national model for long-term residential care.
  • An art education major, Oleson retired from writing vocational evaluations for the Lighthouse for the Blind in 2009. He continues to serve as director of Para Los Niños, an organization he founded in 1994 to provide humanitarian relief to poor children in Central America.

The Outstanding Young Alumni Award winners’ accomplishments include:

  • Feld, who majored in journalism, is the vice president/management supervisor at Cramer-Krasselt Public Relations, the largest advertising/PR firm in Milwaukee. He recently was recognized as a dynamic young business leader by The Milwaukee Business Journal in its “Forty under 40” feature.
  • Hicks-Sorensen, a sociology major, is a certified economic developer and president of the Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation. She recently played a critical role in the effort to keep Mercury Marine jobs in Fond du Lac.
  • A radio-TV-film major at UWO, LaVicka earned a law degree from the University of Arkansa, Little Rock School of Law. He currently serves as an assistant U.S. attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice. He has taken on many volunteer assignments, including reviewing hundreds of thousands of FBI documents and interviews in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001.
  • Scott, who majored in speech, is president of DeVry University’s Tinley Park Campus and Centers. He has a doctorate in organizational leadership from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology. He has more than 12 years of experience in higher education with specialties in admissions/recruitment, financial/operations management and student support.

To make reservations for the dinner, which cost $25 per person, call (920) 424-3449 or e-mail

More Homecoming 2010 information