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Graduates were recognized for their academic achievements Saturday, May 18, at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s spring commencement ceremonies.

This spring, more than 1,500 students graduated–joining more than 90,000 others as UW Oshkosh alumni—including more than 1,200 with bachelor’s degrees, more than 250 master’s degree candidates and nearly 30 with Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees.

#TitansAre Teachers

These four College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) graduates are already gearing up to start teaching next fall. Caitlin Gawlick, of West Bend, will teach at Winneconne Elementary School; Hallie Martin, of Libertyville, Illinois, will teach at Menasha High School; Rebecca Sendra, of Krakow, will teach at Bayview Middle School in the Howard-Suamico School District; and Sarah Stassi, of Oconomowoc, will teach at Appleton North High School. What will they miss most about UW Oshkosh? “The professors…all of the COEHS professors are outstanding!”

Finance grad hired before graduation

Kiera M. Simanovsky, of Washburn, is excited to finally graduate with a BBA in finance from the College of Business, though she already has been working as an accountant for School Specialty in Greenville since March. She says she will miss all of her friends on campus, but she’s excited to start working full time and put her business knowledge to the test.

HSL students honor a favorite professor

Many Human Services Leadership graduates are wearing blue pins today in support of one of their favorite professors, Alfred Kisubi, who passed away last December. Kisubi had taught in the College of Education and Human Services at UW Oshkosh since 1991, and regularly led study abroad experiences to Kenya and Uganda. The commemorative pins were created as a fundraising effort with proceeds going toward a scholarship for students in the Human Services Leadership program.

UWO College of Business grad to help dad with businesses

A College of Business graduate is going home, literally, to help her father with his business. Isabella Olson, a Fond du Lac native whose degrees are in human resources and marketing, will work for her dad’s Service Master franchise in four counties, working in human resources, social media and with online marketing. “I’m glad I’m done with classes,” Olson said. “But I’ll miss being around my friends.”

College of Nursing students ‘have each other’s backs’

Ryan Vang and Mitchell Ellingson were reminiscing before the commencement ceremony, talking about the friends they made and the support they received. Both earned bachelor’s degrees in nursing.

Vang, of Somerset, plans to seek a position in medical surgery at a hospital close to his hometown. “I feel like the program prepared us very well, for exams and for work.”

Ellingson, of Oshkosh, said he will focus on a job in mental health. He had clinical training at Wisconsin Resource Center and Winnebago Mental Health Institute. He will miss the support of friends. “It seems like we have each other’s backs.”

Social work graduate accepts job prior to graduation

Caitlin Simonsmeier earned a master’s degree in social work at Saturday’s morning ceremony. Simonsmeier, of Oshkosh, had a large group of family in attendance, including parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. “All the family is here. I’m really happy,” she beamed as she lined up for the processional. Simonsmeier has accepted a job as a foster care social worker with Lutheran Social Services.

Student-athlete found home at UWO

Katie Hodges, of East Troy, graduated with a degree in psychology. She said she will miss UW Oshkosh as she starts grad school in fall at Western Illinois University. “What I’ll remember most is all the people that I met and the memories I made. I came into Oshkosh not knowing anyone but through the course of four years I’ve met some of my best friends. Between classes and volleyball, I was constantly surrounded by people who supported me and pushed me out of my comfort zone.”

 

 

Grad goes abroad

Benjamin Alden, who graduated with a degree in radio TV film and Japanese, has an impressive job lined up that will take him far from home. Alden, a Manitowoc native, was selected through a State of Wisconsin teaching program to serve in Chiba, Japan, as an assistant English teacher in a middle school or high school setting. “I had the chance to take Japanese at my high school and it was the only thing I really enjoyed studying in high school,” he said. “I came to UW Oshkosh for the Japanese program.”

OCE grad wants a career helping kids

Wautoma resident Natalie Raymond, who is graduating with a degree in leadership development from the division of Online and Continuing Education, will start a graduate program in 10 days at UW-Stevens Point. A bus driver with the Wautoma Area School District, she said she is continuing her education seeking a master’s degree in special education. “I had some really awesome professors at UW Oshkosh,” she said. “I want to be working with kids.”

Criminal justice grad goes onto police academy

Rajon Hall, a criminal justice graduate from Green Bay, is working as a research assistant with Fit Oshkosh—something he calls an “amazing experience”—interviewing regional black business owners, in partnership with UW Extension, to learn more about obstacles, history, business successes and failures. The data will be used to help business owners and teach others how to support black business owners. Hall said he “just learned” he was accepted into the police academy at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College that begins July 9. “I have a lot of ultimate goals…and the academy will definitely be a great stepping stone,” he said.

 

Associate degree jumpstarts career in public service

Montae Brown-Crawford, of Milwaukee, was excited to get the Commencement ceremony started. He graduates with an associate of arts and science degree in social work with a minor in criminal justice. Brown-Crawford, who is considering a career as a probation agent, will transfer to UW-Milwaukee to continue his pursuit of a bachelor’s degree. He said his go-to instructor at UW Oshkosh was Jeff Pickron.

Automotive sales entrepreneur receives honorary doctorate

Dorian Boyland has spent his career as a successful entrepreneur with a dedication to humanitarian and philanthropic pursuits. He has had a dynamic career in the automotive sales industry, owning many car dealerships and other business endeavors throughout the country. Boyland received an honorary doctorate degree during the Spring 2019 morning commencement ceremony.

International student inspired by social justice classes

Claire Gheng came to Oshkosh from Nanjing, China, as an international student almost one year ago. Today, she graduates with a master’s degree in educational leadership and policy. She loved her experience being fully immersed in American culture, and enjoyed learning about social justice, accessibility and student affairs in her classes. When she returns to China, she plans to share her new knowledge with the education bureau, where she works, to lead change and develop policies to make Nanjing a more inclusive, progressive and accommodating place to learn.