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University of Wisconsin Oshkosh students and their professor are part of a team celebrating three awards of excellence received for the four-campus Lands We Share exhibition—including the prestigious Oral History Association Mason Multi-Media Award.

Jennifer Depew, Madeline Hass and Nick Metoxen, all recent graduates of UWO, worked with history professor Stephen Kercher on the interactive oral history project that was displayed last year at Polk Library. Community members were invited to “farm dinner conversations”—a regional culmination that took place with locally sourced food on each leg of the exhibit.

In addition to Kercher, other leaders of the Lands We Share curatorial team were Troy Reeves of UW-Madison, Jasmine Alinder of UW-Milwaukee and James Levy of UW-Whitewater.

“The students from UWO who were involved were exceptional,” Kercher said, of the three who are now furthering their educations and careers.

Depew will begin graduate studies at Stanford University this fall. Hass is a graduate student at UW-Madison, and Metoxen is teaching at Oneida High School on the Oneida reservation.


Earlier this summer, the Lands We Share exhibition received the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Board of Curators 2020 Public Program Award as well as an Award of Excellence from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH).

The distinguished Oral History Association (OHA) multi-media award capped the string of honors.

Considering the strong competition for the award, Kercher was thrilled when he learned of the OHA award in an email Friday morning.

“There were many worthy entries this year, but your initiative and traveling exhibit is especially impressive!” said Karen Neurohr, committee chair. “Lands We Share exemplifies everything that makes oral history such a dynamic field of study.”

The Lands We Share team will be honored at the OHA annual conference to be held virtually Oct. 20-25 from Baltimore, Maryland.

  • The prestigious AASLH Leadership in History Award recognizes achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.
  • The Wisconsin Historical Society award is presented to a state organization that has launched an exceptional history public program during the preceding year.

About the program

The Lands We Share Traveling Exhibition and Community Conversation Tour circulated through parts of eastern and central Wisconsin between October 2018 and May 2019 and sought to foster cross-cultural collaboration by using formal and informal histories of land, farming and food to address racial, economic and rural-urban divisions in the state.

The exhibit featured the stories, histories, artifacts, images and sounds of five culturally and regionally distinct farms and farm sites and invited visitors to share their own stories, insights and questions.

Each stop on the tour included a three-week run at a community-based venue near one of the five sites and a farm-to-table community conversation.

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