The Advance-Titan

Breakfast honors alumni employees

UW Oshkosh thanked alumni staff members of UWO at the Titan x2 Alumni-Employee Appreciation Breakfast held by the alumni association on Nov. 18 at the Alumni Welcome and Conference Center.

Director of Alumni Affairs Christine Gantner said the purpose of the event was to show alumni who work at UWO that their work and meaningful engagement within the community is appreciated.

“We want our alums to be engaged with our students and there is an awareness and engagement from them,” Gantner said. “I think it is exciting because I see that alums really want to help their institution. I am really grateful for their campus support.”

Alumna and Clinical Placement Coordinator Donna Steinke said she was thrilled and honored the University asked her to come back and be a staff member in the nursing program to help other nursing students pursue their dreams.

“I never thought I could be working for a school of this stature,” Steinke said. “This program is so highly regarded. To think that they picked me, it’s just too good to be true.”

Steinke graduated from UWO back in 2012, when she received her nursing degree from the University after deciding to go back to school.

“Back in 2008 I had been a customer service manager, but during that time frame is when a lot of businesses were closing,” Steinke said. “They closed the doors where I worked and I was forced to look for new opportunities. I always wanted to be a nurse, but didn’t think I was smart enough for it.”

Steinke said it wasn’t always easy trying to get her degree, but the people she met at UWO became her family.

“The people here are so welcoming,” Steinke said. “It truly is another family to me. Because of my age, I am going on 57, I feel like these kids going through the program are my own kids. I just want to be looking out for them because everyone needs someone to look out for them.”

Assistant to the Vice Chancellor Jean Kwaterski came back to work at UWO after graduating in 1985 and said helping the community surrounding UWO is her favorite part of working here after graduating.

“It meant a lot to come back and to try and help improve the community that I was a part of for many years,” Kwaterski said. “I love watching the students grow and mature into people who help our world.”

Steinke said the opportunities offered through the UWO community is why she loves working here.

“You are really not limited here,” Steinke said. “There are so many programs here and through networking within this community you have so many options.”

Kwaterski said being an alumna of UWO gives her another perspective in helping students currently enrolled.

“I know what it is like to walk on this campus and how to experience Oshkosh,” Kwaterski said. “Every new class of students that comes to Oshkosh amazes me and I love that Oshkosh has been such a part in my life.”

Kwaterski said she hopes many students will be engaged in UWO after they have graduated from the University.

“There is so many things students can do once they graduate,” Kwaterski said. “I encourage future alumni to give to the University and attend homecoming. It all positively impacts and help the University for generations to come.”

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Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Breakfast honors alumni employees