Faculty members honored for service

Megan Behnke, News Reporter

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Two UWO faculty members, Morgan Bailey and Catherine Schmitt, were chosen as the 2019 Veterans of the Game for their careers in the Armed Forces.

They were celebrated during the home Titans football game against UW-River Falls as part of veterans appreciation activities on Nov. 9.

UWO Veterans Resource Center Coordinator Timber Smith told UW Oshkosh Today the UWO Veterans Appreciation Football Game is their humble “thank you” to the veterans community.

“It symbolizes that UWO and Titans everywhere recognize and are grateful for the service and sacrifice of our military community,” he said. “This year’s Veterans of the Game are outstanding examples of those who have served our nation humbly, honorably, and above all else, proudly.”

Before becoming an assistant professor for the College of Nursing, Schmitt began her military career in 1987 with a direct commission as a second lieutenant with the Army Nurse Corps in the Wisconsin Army National Guard.

Schmitt joined because she needed to find a way to give back.

“I needed to do something more with my career,” Schmitt said. “So the Army Nurse Corps was a really good fit.”
Smith said Veterans of the Game is the center’s way to honor veterans who have some type of association with UW Oshkosh.

“[It’s] someone who’s served honorably and someone who is associated with the university is just what we’re looking for,” She said.

According to UW Oshkosh Today, Bailey was commissioned as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve Nurse Corp Branch in 1989, entering active duty service and attending the preoperative nursing program two years later.

As a faculty member, Schmitt likes to think her experience in the Army affects the way she teaches, making her more clear and organized with directions.

Smith said there used to be only one honoree, but the university made the change a couple years ago to make it more inclusive.

“It’s really easy to fall into a situation where you pick the same kind of Veterans,” he said. “I wanted to make sure we looked at all veterans and made it diverse.”

According to UW Oshkosh Today, Schmitt makes sure CON soldier students are recognized during graduation.

Schmitt said it’s important to recognize soldier students because these are the students that move quietly through the program and oftentimes, their intent is to take this education and move forward to help support our troops.

“Being a soldier [and] student is additional work, additional responsibility,” Schmitt said. “I think in some way that needs to be called out if they want it to be. I put out the call during the last four weeks and ask them to self-identify and if they do, we make sure they have their honor cord.”