Dean of UWO’s College of Humanities and Sciences provides back-to-school update
The arrival of August can only mean one thing… the new academic year is fast approaching. In just one month, students at the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh will begin or return to college at one of our three campuses: Oshkosh, Fond du Lac or Fox Cities.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring Q&A stories with our college leaders and hitting campuses to find out what to expect in 2022-23. Today we begin with our Dean of the College of Letters and Science, Anne Stevens, who joined us in early 2022.
What’s new in your college for the next school year?
This fall, we will welcome 11 new tenure-track faculty in African American Studies/Communication Studies, Biology/Medical Technology, English, Environmental Studies/Geography, Indigenous Studies/History, Kinesiology, Political Science, Psychology, radio telefilm and sociology . Among these faculty, for the first time ever, we will have a faculty position split between the Fox Cities campus and the Oshkosh campus, Amber Lusvardi in Political Science. And a number of other new faculty contribute to more than one department and/or program.
Our new Director of Native Studies, Margaret Huettl, will be responsible for developing and promoting the Native Studies Certificate, and new African American Studies faculty member, Denae Powell, will help expand the course offerings for this program.
Kinesiology and Athletic Training will add two new faculty, Kevin Biese and Kyle Petit, to support this popular undergraduate program and the new Masters in Athletic Training program.
We are also hiring a number of teaching staff, including a Ukrainian scholar, Oksana Katsanivska, and we continue to hire new staff for the fall.
A lot of new equipment will be coming to the college this fall, such as replacing obsolete computers in the labs and some facility updates that affect the college. One of great personal interest to me is the COLS Dean’s new office on the first floor of Swart Hall.
What are you personally looking forward to the most from the fall semester?
I joined UWO in January, so I’m really looking forward to my first fall semester. My office is currently planning orientation events for department chairs and program directors as well as new faculty and staff. I am also delighted to experience the opening day and all the beginning of semester festivities. And of course, I can’t wait to get back to Wisconsin’s famous fall colors after living in the desert for so many years.
What advice would you give new freshmen on how to succeed at UWO?
The two pieces of advice I would give to incoming students and share with parent and supporter groups during Titan Takeoff are to take advantage of everything the University has to offer and to ask questions.
Freshmen should explore all the wonderful opportunities they will have while in college: working on campus through the Titan student employment program, getting involved in undergraduate research, and presenting at the graduation celebration. fellowship, publish their work in the Scholar of Oshkoshparticipate in internships, join campus organizations like Model United Nations, listen to campus radio station WRST, and cheer on the new Titan Thunder marching band.
Second, I cannot stress enough the importance of asking questions inside and outside of the classroom. When I teach, I always encourage students to visit their professors’ office hours and ask questions in class if there’s anything they don’t understand about upcoming materials or assignments. Usually, if one student has a question, many others have the same question, and everyone in the class will benefit from having the question asked.
Share something you learned over summer vacation.
I’m an English teacher so I read constantly. A summer read I would recommend is Percival Everett’s novel Trees. I liked Everett’s satirical novels, like Erasure, in the past, and Trees it combines political satire with a mysterious murder plot set in rural Mississippi. I also really liked Torrey Peters Detransition, babyand Nella Larsen Who passed, a classic work that had somehow eluded me until now. Apart from reading, I was also able to travel to Iceland this summer, so I learned a lot about the history, geography, culture and geology of this country.