Interview with Jessica King, 04/24/2018

UW Oshkosh Campus Stories
Brandon Mathes, Interviewer | uwocs_Jessica_King_04242018_uc.mp3
Campus Stories Oral History Project (UWO Audio Series 51) |

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BM: Alright, this is a interview with Jessica King. Jessica would you please state your majors, and your years you went here.

JK: Certainly. My name is Jessica King, I was a student at University of Wisconsin Oshkosh from the fall of 1993 to the spring of 1998, I have sense attended one or two classes as an adult, nontraditional student but that was my primary time here.

BM: Alright

JK: Oh my majors were international studies, political science, and history.

BM: Yes, just tell me a little bit about how it was to grow up in Fond du lac, the Fond du lac area.

JK: Well I, I was born in 1975 so I think Fond du lac was probably about 50,000 people at that time and my grandfather. Well I'll back up a little bit. I'm actually the fifth generation born in Fond du lac county, so my great great great grandfather came over from Ireland and I think that is what is interesting 1:00about some of our Wisconsin historical roots is that Fond du lac somewhat similar to Oshkosh has those families that for generations have stayed in one place. So I joke my, my father was one of fourteen siblings who grew up in Eaton as dairy farmers, so as one of fourteen you know he was the sixth kid and he went off to join the Navy you know to kind of get away from the farm, and see a little bit of the life. So for me, my experience, I think I too wanted to be the big adventurer right so now of course I live in Oshkosh you know I ended up moving back to my college town as an adult, so I joke that I'm the big explorer that moved seventeen miles north after seeing the world I ended up coming back too. I, I liked growing up in Fond du lac it was, I went to the public and parochial schools there so it was, it had a real small feeling to it. When I was fifteen I moved to Rosen, the village of Rosedale which is actually about twelve 2:00minutes from Fond du lac and that was an even smaller rural community and I think it was good for me. As a teenager then I got to experience some of that farm experience or rural experience, I had a pet pig and I got to run a grain auger and I got to you know move grain between the, the grain drier and then bring it to the, to Fond du lac to, for storage. So it was kind of an interesting change to have that farm experience I guess but then when I graduated from high school I got a job in a drink box factory in Rosedale, its called Power Packaging or was at the time and I was sitting there working at that factory and I'm like there's got to be something better for me. And then what happened was I came to a college preview day, the preview day was in the AC building, the Arts and Communications building and I listened to the presenters 3:00and there was one presenter there that really somehow spoke to me, I felt that he was really talking to me and that was Professor Ken Grieb who is still a teacher here today. And at the time he really challenged the audience, he said you know "If you come to this school and you participate in my program I'll make you the best in the world". And I was kind of taken aback by that statement, he spoke with such confidence and I was sitting in the audience, in my jeans that had drink box dye on them because I had worked in this factory and I was like ok I don't, I don't know what it means to be the best in the world but I don't think I have anything to lose to try. Thats what kind of motivated to come to this University and seek him out as a teacher and I think the rest you know that maybe we will talk about today can really demonstrate that Dr. Grieb and those kind of motivated teachers really changed my life.

BM: Nice, so throughout your life and all the way of coming up to Oshkosh what 4:00values did you learn from the community of Fond du Lac and even your family.

JK: Okay um values, I think the biggest value I got from my family was the notion of hard work and that you would have to repeat yourself a lot in life to get things the right way you know you aren't going to get something right the first time and that you needed to follow through on things you know, how does that go, you can't win if you don't enter right like Ed Mickman used to say that for the sweepstakes. But it is so true that if you just show up and being ernest and then finishing what you start makes a difference and that so many people can't quiet do that and.. thats what I took away from that. And just to be humble and appreciate your opportunities because sometimes you may only get one opportunity and is you don't make the most of it you might not get another one, and what I found in life is that making the most of the one opportunity usually 5:00ends up leading to the next opportunity and that you do a good job on the the first task you are given and the people, people respond to that. Then that builds some trust to say you know what I know Jessica is going to work hard and I know she is going to show up and I know that I'm, she'll understand what I'm wanting from her and then she'll ask questions if she doesn't and I think you build that reputation as a young person and then people seek you out to do other things.

BM: And how was it like to grow up with your two sisters and brother, you know up in that rural area, along with the family dynamic.

JK: Sure I can give you a little background on that. My siblings and I are separated by a number of years so my sister is eighteen years older than me, my other sister is seventeen years older that me and my brother is sixteen years older than I am so I didn't actually life with them very long. And the other 6:00unique reality of our family is each of us were placed in foster homes or were rewards of the state so you know when my siblings were thirteen, fourteen, and fifteen then ended up cause our mother got sick, they ended up living in foster homes and I think their experience was very different that mine. My, one of my sister graduated from high school, the other one got a GED and then my brother never finished and then so for me to come along then sixteen years later you know my father made a commitment to sending me to St. Mary's Springs which is a private school in Fond du lac. And then when I was fifteen I moved to Rosedale again as a award of the state as part of the foster care program because both of my parents got sick. My dad is a, a hundred percent service connected military 7:00veteran who had bipolar disorder they really call it post traumatic stress disorder now but, it was connected to his military service and he met my mom while he was being treated for his behavioral health issues and it turned out my mom suffered from schizophrenia and so that kind of explains growing up just having some additional challenges that maybe not every other person has, they don't understand but it taught me a lot about life because again you get, you get a opportunity you are going to make the most of it because you may not get another one. And, and to appreciate that you want to accept people and understand that that have something to offer, it may not be what you would traditionally think a person has to offer but there is value there, so I think that what my parents couldn't do for me as far as you know maybe taking care of me or meeting my basic needs, that wasn't something they could always do but 8:00they always provided me that emotional support and that encouragement that I needed to do these bigger things in life. I got a lot out of that, now my siblings you know I don't know if they felt as much support, I don't know if maybe their foster placements you know didn't encourage education the way my situation worked out. But and then again because I met that teacher that I thought wow this is really something I need to do because I could see what had happened with my siblings as far as what the kind of jobs they got and how their living situations were turning out when they were in their late twenties early thirties and I'm like I want something better for myself.

BM: So did that kinda change your importance of school between what your siblings had valued in it and along with your family and community?

JK: Yeah I, I defiantly think it did and I want to say this. My siblings respected education it's just they never felt they got the support to see it 9:00through and this is something interesting that I think may have changes over time but when you were in the foster care system at that time if you turned eighteen there, you were considered the age of majority and you lost your support benefits right, there was nobody looking out to make sure you had food clothing and shelter anymore. You were basically considered a adult and needed to fend for yourself, now what makes that difficult then is if you have a birthday where you turn eighteen before you graduate high school that could cause a lot of instability because suddenly you are asked to go get a job and people may not graduate. And so for me I really even consider myself fortunate that my, I was living with relatives who were taking me in as part of the foster care system but then I had a summer birthday too, so that meant that I graduated high school when I was seventeen and I didn't have those same kind of barriers 10:00that my siblings did. But I, so thats what I would say and I think truly that my siblings have some learning disabilities that I don't think were diagnosed either and I think that just shows the change in how society is now as far as trying to get people those supports and early diagnosis of things like dyslexia and trying to really say, well whats your path to success even though you have these. You know we may have to make some accommodations but you can be successful and, and that's another reason why I feel blessed is that I, I was able through Pell grants and through the financial aid office and being, you know when you are a award of the state when you fill out your financial aid applications you know there is no income attributed to you so the you do get the funding support to go to school. So that meant I could actually work a summer job and had enough money to make in through and them I would work a study job at 11:00school and it worked out for me. As I went through college the farther I got through college, then I could, I got some scholarships, I got some grants and I got to some really great things but not everyone gets those same opportunities and I defiantly had a lot of friends that worked while they were in school and they were just hitting that threshold where they, maybe they had income attributed to them that maybe wasn't really there you know to support them. And then they couldn't take advantage of these other opportunities and so again I feel like I was blessed. I got to come to school here an it really worked out and like I said I kept seeking opportunities to make sure I could make it.

BM: So thats something that they have developed kind of recently, where they have the student testing centers at Polk library where you can do that thing, is that something that you really fell is really helping the students now a days?

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JK: Yeah I think it would, I think if something like project success had existed you know when my siblings were going through high school, if they had known something like that or if people had an expectation to say we want these at risk students to go to school, I mean I know they have the trio program now which is a federally funded program that helps first generation college kids make it through college. I think that's such a big, big piece of it because my siblings you know our parents did not go to college. We were first generation college or I'm a first generation college student and so we didn't have that background of assumption that you are going to do that, that your going to go to higher ed. You know it was really like go get a factory job and so I did that for a summer and was like, okay I want want something better and then you know some of my uncles stayed on the farm and then there's and farming is a great, a viable 13:00option too. And what we are seeing now in 2018 is family farms are really shutting down and you know farming is becoming corporate and so you have to decide what your other path is going to be.

BM: So as you were going through high school and progressing towards college, when did you first start to begin about having the chance to go to college?

JK: Well and this is what's interesting because my father made that commitment, and I'll tell you a little bit about this. My dad because he was a disabled veteran you know he had a monthly income that he got from the federal government because of his 100% service connected disability. What my dad chose to do was live in an efficiency apartment and he didn't have a TV and he didn't have a VCR he had no electronics, he had one of those plug in coffee makers you know it 14:00was, it was very spartan, he was a very spartan guy. And he chose to pay that tuition for my private school and he had, many of his siblings and he had gone to St. Mary's Springs so there was a kind of family tradition to go there and then of course it depended of the price of milk for my dad's generation because they were dairy farmers. So if the price of milk was good the kids were going to the Springs and if the, if the price of milk dipped well then they might go to Eaton public school. I think one of my uncles went to [Camsports?] so it really depended but my dad wanted me to have the small class sizes and the extra support and even thought I didn't live with him he still prioritized education with me. And that's what's unique about my siblings is that they have a different father so we share the same mom and then what was also unique about going to St. Mary's Springs is every student there, the guidance counseling and 15:00students supports they really assumed everyone was going to go to college. And I think me being in that different environment with these other 88 because our class was small, we had 88 students in my high school class and it was just assumed that you were going to take this path so they made sure you were signed up for your standardized testing and they always had college recruiters coming to the school every week and everybody just signed up so it was almost like I just was following the crowd, going through these motions but I don't think I was certain that was my path but that's how I got exposed to it. So I took all the same standardized tests because everybody took them, which is a very different experience then, then my friends that maybe wen to public school. I think you know they had class sizes of five or six hundred because Fond du lac high school is a very big high school so I think, I don't think there is 16:00structure in the path to move you onto that post secondary education.

BM: So then why did you end up choosing Oshkosh between the schools you had, actually which schools did you narrow it down to other than Oshkosh?

JK: Well that's kind of funny I, I had sent some material to Eduate College and I don't even remember why. But I remember something about that program looked really interesting to me and I think they had an Art program and they, I had this idea, of well maybe I'll go to school for a year and I'll transfer to UW Madison you know or maybe I can get into that school and I think Eduate had a program with Madison. But when I came to hear Dr. Grieb's speak, when I came to the preview day and heard Dr. Grieb that really changed, that really made my decision because initially I was like I want to get as far away from my hometown as I can get you know. I want to start over because I felt like you know when I 17:00was growing up I had a little bit of anger about you know always being labeled that "poor kid" or the "kid on welfare" or what ever, what ever the thing I felt on me. I was like I want to start over and be a completely different person and not be judged for my socio-economic class or my family or my parents disabilities sadly enough. You know people with disabilities are judged rather critically in society and I was like, you know I just want to start over. But and so to me when Dr. Grieb spoke at that preview day I was like I think that's, that's what I want you know if this guy is serious, because even if he is half right you know it will change my life.

BM: So before Dr. Grieb's speech did you really have any idea of what you wanted to do in school?

JK: No, well I, well I was thinking, this is what I was saying I think I was toying with this notion of art you know because I was like I really like art and 18:00them my dad you know he kept saying, well Jessica you have to go to school for something practical and then he kept on saying well why don't you be an accountant? you know why don't you be an accountant? And I'm like, you know at the time you know it was probably a really forward thinking of my dad to want to be an accountant because I don't think women were encouraged to go into those kid of roles and yet at the same point I was like I just, that's just not interesting to me and I didn't, I didn't enjoy my math classes that I'd had. So I thought no I don't want to be an accountant and I get what my dad was saying about the art, art college maybe that doesn't make sense and then you know my dad walked through what the tuition was at Eduate College and you know it was astronomical right. And so, so that was the other things that really helped me say well UWO was really affordable at the time I went to school here and I'm like well the the teacher, lets check out what Dr. Grieb is doing and Dr. Grieb was the chair of international studies here are the college of letters and 19:00science and he still is today. I went to his model UN preview day which was the third week of school in September and the rest is history. So that's how I got into the international studies program and from there I realized that the program was interdisciplinary and so then I could pick topics within international studies that were interesting to me which ended up being political science and history and that's how because it's interdisciplinary I was able to get the triple major because some of the credits counted twice. They would count for history and international studies or political science and international studies.

BM: Was there anything that kid of surprised you when you got here that you weren't really expecting to you know see?

JK: I'm trying to think. I think maybe I was a little naive a little sheltered because, and I always tell this story, because of my background I think even the 20:00food exposure right like just different, eating different foods like I really lived in Fond du lac lived in Rosedale had a very narrow view of the world right and then going to UWO suddenly you know you are around all this different culture, all these different people, people from Milwaukee, people from you know big cities and then I had never been on a plane before. And so my first plane ride was part of the model UN team going to New York City to compete and so that, I suddenly got this opportunity to go to New York City for a week and we also went to St. Louis for a week for competition and that kind of opened up my thinking about what's possible. Like here it turns out that maybe Dr. Grieb was right, there is more to the world that maybe what I can actually get to some of it. So what had happened was that first summer after college I actually worked at Gruenhagen conference center on the linen crew. So I changed all the sheets 21:00in Gruenhagen for EAA people and for you name it, all the sports camps and everything that come through in the summer and so I stayed here and learned what it was like to be on my own for a summer and not in school. But then I had bigger ambitions, the second summer after I was at UWO I was the at the time the youngest intern that the helicopter international, helicopter association international hired to be in its DC office. So I got to go to DC I was the legislative affairs intern for the helicopter association international and it was kind of a joke because they look at your resumes and they think oh you went or you go to UW Oshkosh and they know about EAA and then maybe they think that maybe you know something about EVA aviation and I'm like actually I don't know anything about aviation but I'll learn you know. But, and then what happened is 22:00this is, I have a copy of my roader magazine here and I got to publish my first article so I was about 19 going on 20 and I got to be published in roader magazine. The other things I got to do was I got to go to the small business administration summit you know a conference at the white house at all those kinds of things and I got to go listening to hearings about jet fuel tax and you know helicopter noise and all these things where I was like wow I'm in Washington, DC on my own going to work everyday how cool right? Then I was like okay this is a great experience and they just kept happening. So the next summer I signed up to take a course at UW Milwaukee that offered a, a exchange to study in New York City at the UN building so I actually studies in their public, 23:00probably their public affairs department is who we were affiliated with. We stayed at the NYU medical dorms and everyday we went to the UN and we got to interview people and learn about what they do and learn about what the topics were of the day and truly back then it was a lot about globalization you know I went to school from 1993-1998 so thats when people were just starting to use the internet and I know you probably can't imagine that but you know thats just when people were starting to you know for affluent kids would have cell phone's even. The first email we had her was called [eudora?] it was an email program called eudora and then we had a gopher mail maybe it was called so these early stages of email that now people wouldn't even know what that is and one of these articles even talks about it like oh my gosh there was an email crash panicked students. you know in 1997 and they are talking about in this article in this 24:00advanced titan they are talking about all these things that, I don't know [microvax?] what is that you know and the [hallens?] system and these are things that were the archaic, you know the founding of email on college campus's. I didn't mean to go off on a tangent, but basically the world was different you know email was being created, globalization was happening you know the wall was coming down politically. You know communism was changing in Europe and in the Soviet Union was turning into Russia and the CIS republic and all this stuff was changing and so it was a great time to go to school that way. I ended up getting a scholarship from the Wisconsin Woman in Government Association and I used that scholarship to attend the University of Cambridge in London. So I went to Claire College and I attended their medieval studies summer school in 1996 and this was 25:00like mind blowing experience for me because this became my first trip out of the country. Then I went to you know these lectures, I did a paper, I got to see these eluminated manuscripts made by monks from the thirteenth century and all this kind of amazing stuff and when I got done with the academic program then I actually took two weeks to see the rest of Europe on my own you know I was 21, I was just turn no I was just turning 20 and I had my backpack and I didn't speak you know I had some very primary German skills and obviously English, no French at the time and I just took the bus. I just went and explored, and I think I developed all of this confidence in college to do that kind of stuff. Then the 26:00fourth summer because it took me five years to graduate, the fourth summer I went to Bangladesh. UW Oshkosh received a grant from USAID which is the international development arm of the federal government to send some student scholars to Bangladesh and it was interdisciplinary so that meant that they were trying to find the students trying to study from all different career avenues so there was a nursing student that came, there was a religious studies student that came, there was a criminal justice student that came, there was a college of business student that came, and then I was the political science/international studies development student that came. So I got to, and this was the first trip of its kind Chancellor Kerrigan, John Kerrigan and vice chancellor Vicki Lord Larson they really wanted this trip to be a success because it was a really cutting edge thing to do you know in 1997 to send some 27:00college kids to the highest population density place on the planet you know the tenth poorest country in the world and it happened to be monsoon season when we were going so that means that like a third of its underwater depending when you are there. And it was so eye opening just to see that other part of life so that is what this article that I brought is kind of about the reactions when we came home and just you know your average day on the crowded street in Bangladesh and how the population density you could feel it immediately because you are just, your body to body to body and there's no green grass and its kind of amazing and yet just the income disparity and poverty and the challenges that they have trying to you know live their modern life because that is a contemporary culture even though it is so different from ours. But it but, so this is what I mean 28:00like yeah college changed me and I was suppressed by a lot but at the same point I just kept reaching our for it, keep soaking it up as any young person would if they, they thought there was value and to keep trying to get those opportunities to do more.

BM: So kinda when you hit that trip in New York was that kind of the tipping point for what you were hoping to get out of and kind of broaden your perspective on what you were hoping to get out of your majors?

JK: Yeah I think so, because Dr. Grieb was really trying to show us how to you know the model UN team at its core is trying to teach you research skills, communication skills, how to build consensus among differing opinions, how to be professional, how to engage a group, how to you know that whole package, how to prepare to work with people that may not agree with you and then come up with a professional looking document. We had to write resolutions but the whole process 29:00of teaching us how to do all those things and them the learning and the issue knowledge that we got along with that process and that appreciate, we didn't do this for a grade or for credits you know this was something we did in addition to our academic work but it was the thrill of the competition and the quality of the program, yeah. I just think that the more reading we did, and the more experience or that I did and the more experience that I got yeah it just kept opening doors and opening my mind to thinking about all these things I could do with my life, and I would never do it different. You know I am so blessed that it worked out the way that it did because I am finding that throughout my professional life now is you know as a professional I got to do some many things that correlate to what I did in college and I think right now politically you 30:00know there is this move to scrap humanities classes and to say that you know we really want to focus people on, in these other directions and I'm like you know what. These critical thinking skills and the speaking skills and the writing skills and all those things they were completely prepared me to do whatever I chose to do in life, now I ended up getting a law degree and I'm an attorney now but I did serve some time in local government here in Oshkosh, I was on the Oshkosh city council. I was the deputy mayor here, I was elected to the Wisconsin state senate in 2011 so I served a term in the legislature but also through my legal career I've been a bankruptcy attorney, a bankrupt trustee for the eastern district of Wisconsin but what I do today. I work for a company called [Our Source?] LLC and their a health care company that represents 31:00hospitals to get wrongfully denied medical claims overturned for people to help people with medical bills because what their finding is the average person isn't really able to assert their rights against the insurance companies and then even the hospitals themselves don't have the same level of skill. But what I'm doing now at this company I work for, I'm the assistant vice president for process improvement but basically I'm writing these logic trees for a software migration to automate some of the things we do. I'm like how is it that I Jessica King am now drafting logic trees to build, for a software thats going to automate our company. That doesn't sound like something a history major, political science major, or international studies major would do but in the end its because I have those logic and critical thinking skills and I could keep learning and that is really what life it, your in this constant evolution and in 1993, 1998 UW 32:00Oshkosh was trying to prepare me for the fact that they didn't know what the future looked like. You can't tell what the future careers are going to be and so what, what fundamentally you need is you need to be able to have good oral communication skills and present yourself orally, you need to be able to write well which is really difficult where I'm at now in my company, I edit and read and draft a lot of other what other people write and I can tell depending on your level of education your not able to be eloquent or really be understood in writing. So any employer or even if you become an entrepreneur you need to be able to represent yourself through written word and you only learn that through practice and the only place you are going to get practice is at UWO or in college. That is what is so amazing to me now looking back at, looking back at 33:00everything what a great place to experiment and to try is higher ed because you don't have that, you shouldn't have that fear of failure maybe people do you know but the thing is, it only get higher and harder when you are employed and your worried about well if a mistake is going to cost me my job or is it going to have a negative impact on a review or my income or something like that. Well in college its just this opportunity top try everything and get you repetitions in and better to have a teacher give you tough feedback then you know on something where its an experiment than something where its a real life consequence so..

BM: Were there any majors that were popular then or that you remember that were popular because they fluctuate throughout the years?

JK: Yeah well and this is interesting you know, some of the departments definitely are larger or smaller right, you had a understanding of that. I was 34:00in a sorority at UWO and that gave me an opportunity to meet students that I normally wouldn't have met because you do kind of get isolated once you pick a major you know you are kind of hanging out with all the international studies students or your hanging out with all the history kids or what have you. And thats kind of your cohort but the nice thing about greek life was I got to hang out with these women who were pursuing other disciplines so I ended up making a lot of friends in the college of nursing and then I also made a lot of friends in the college of business that I think today I'm really grateful they are my friends and I thought gosh I would have never met them otherwise because we were never even in the same building you know, the academic buildings are really segregated based on what you are going to school for. I think you know that was, when I was in school defiantly by the time I was leaving school I felt like the college of nursing was getting more dynamic and I think the college of business was also growing very dynamically. What's interesting is when I was in school I 35:00know there was students going to school for MIS, for management informational systems for computer school to get your bachelor's degree and I can't even imagine what that must look like today or what it was that they were trying to learn when they were in school versus what they do now right. So that was, for me computer technology it was just on the eve of its spread into mainstream population right, like the average person was still kind of getting to understand what email was or the internet, you know we were all still using books and hard research material and primary sources. So I wonder if you would interview some folks that went to school when I did for MIS I'm sure they would have some funny stories because even when I was in high school we were working 36:00off of apples in high school and you to, and it was everything was like daws and you were open apple like you were pushing all these keys to try and get one function but now if you would just click or it wouldn't even be a process anymore it was all complicated. So I think that's probably since 1993 and beyond that I'm sure the computer science department is probably huge now and we all take it for granted like, or here is another example so when I was at UWO we got our first 24 hour computer lab and that was in Radford and I don't know if they still have that anymore but that was a big deal like oh we finally got a 24 hour computer lab, this is great. Well I was working on a project, this project was a competitive grade class so like the professor only gave out one A and one B and one C and you had to work on teams and it took the whole semester. What this is, is a 25 year development plan for a fictitious country and you had to do 37:00everything and then at the end of the semester the teacher would basically show you all the things you got wrong, right and it was this big heartache here you spent all this time working on this and it was so challenging and building the flow charts. Back then we used lotus 1-2-3 to do our, like I don't think we had excel back then you know stuff like that and you put all this together, well what happened was we were still using these hard floppy disks that, have you ever seen one? So we were using these old disks well one of our disks got corrupted and so we lost like a big chunk of this document, I'd say like three chapters of this project that we were working on and I went back to my sorority house and I was crying and I was like oh my God I lost my project and I had these old drafts that were editing-- things that we had edited so it's not like we lost it all but we just didn't have it in digital form anymore to fix it and so a bunch of my sorority sisters came down to Radford because it was a new 24 38:00hour computer lab and they were all sitting there trying to help me re-type this stuff in and I was like thank God. My partner you know in the class because we were a two person team, Christian was just amazed he was like how are these people helping us and I'm like I don't know but thank God but then what was so funny about it is some of them didn't know how to type because they were in the college of nursing and back then you didn't need to know how to type. Now today I'm sure they all know how to type now and that typing is just this taken for granted, everybody knows how to do it but in 1997 there was still people going to college that couldn't type they were like hunt and peck you know but they were helping me and I love them to death and it was a great story.

BM: So what was dorm life then you know throughout your years or did you ever go off campus a little?

JK: Yeah my first two years at UWO I lived in Clemens hall which was a rather small dorm and it was right next to Reeve memorial union and it was one of those 39:00dorms where it was every other floor, so the second and fourth floors were female and the first and third floors were male and they would pair you, you know that incoming year they would pair you with a random person and then my second year in the dorms I still stayed with that, my roommate. Then my third and fourth year of college I actually lived on Algoma blvd buy that intersection of Wisconsin and Algoma so I lived in a house that was converted into a bunch of apartments over there and that was super fun and then my fifth year of college I actually lived in the Stewart community which was for older students and I just wanted to be on campus again it was just easier for me. And then the financing of it was a little easier for me because you paid everything ahead and I think that my first two years living off campus I thought oh this will be cheaper, this will be better, this will be easier and then it turned out actually this 40:00takes more thought then what I want to give to it. So I moved back to Stewart and I think it was a good experience you know when you are trying to go move somewhere you have never been you kind of have no, I don't know what to say here you are I just turned 18 I'm moving to this new city I don't know where anything is I don't know anybody, so it was nice to you at least had your roommate and even if your roommate--and when your randomly paired with somebody you don't necessarily have anything in common with them so it is just this random experience which I'm sure is still the same today. My roommate at the time, and this is whats funny is her name is Rebecca and she was from Menasha and she had about eight of nine friends that she went to high school with that all came to UWO too so for that first month of school I was hanging out with all these people from Menasha because I really didn't know anybody else yet and I was 41:00still trying to figure that out. And its so funny you know we lived together for those two years and at the time I wasn't at that time I didn't know I was going to go to law school I wasn't convinced of it. My roommate she was convinced she was going to law school and she went to school for criminal justice I think was her undergrad and she was very focused and driven to do that so that's whats so funny is fast forward to today Rebecca is a lawyer in town and she works at a private law firm and I moved back to Oshkosh in 2004 and I was shocked to find out that we both ended up as lawyers and we both ended up back in Oshkosh. Here we were you know we went out to lunch one day and I'm like would you have thought you know back in 1993 that we both end up in the same town and working here and you know that we both found our fortune here where we went to college 42:00and we stayed or I came back, she stayed so--

BM: Was there anything you kind of remember from living on campus that you really liked to do or what there any, anything that you spent your most time with?

JK: Yeah and maybe thats speaks to some of these clippings I brought but I was really engaged that first year of college defiantly the residents life having the programing it had made things really fun. We had a you know a fun educational give you an opportunity to meet other people figure out who you were and find your cohort and in the end I probably spent most of my time with my international studies buddies, my model UN buddies but I did enjoy that winter carnival time and the homecoming time. They did a lot of programing around back when I was in school during that time and so this is just an example of an 43:00article, this was winter carnival. We all used to do ice sculptures carving right, you know thats something you know who does that. Where do you ever get exposed to that right and it was just one of those things where oh you can try you know register for this team and we are going to do some ice carving and then funny enough they took this picture of me working on this ice sculpture and my dad saw it and I remember you know I went home from college and showed him like look dad I got in the paper so this was the first time I was ever in the paper probably in my life. He was like can't you get in the paper for something more you know something better that ice carving like what, like what are you doing in college are you wasting my money or wasting time pursuing something like this and I'm like well dad its actually fun and you have to have a little fun in your life you know you can't just be studying all of the time. And then I ended up joining my sorority but then I still ended up staying involved in winter 44:00carnival, homecoming all those activities so you'd do skits, they'd have a theme every year and so this year this is Steve Chmielwski and myself but they had a like a halloween theme right so this, even though this happened in January of February it was a halloween themed event that year and we did these great skits and you know we were in Reeve union just having fun. It was kind of light hearted it gave you something else to do to just take some of that you know the hardness of studying all the time and your papers and all the oh I'm never going to make it kind of feeling that you have because you are still in that life transition of just learning how to be independent and balance your time and everything and yet you are still kind of a kid you know we aren't all grown up when we are 22 or 20 or 18 you know? So yeah I had a lot of fun doing that stuff 45:00we did, I'm trying to remember what..we used to have an ice hockey game too and then they ended up getting rid of it because for liability reasons right somebody got hurt or something and I can just remember all of us were like really are you going to take everything away like we can't help it if somebody got hit in the mouth with a puck or whatever the thing was. It was a freak accident it's not like somebody did it on purpose and but I think that is normal gripes and groans of young people life right like your trying to just be fun and then something like that happens and then it wrecks it for everybody and then your like come on were just having fun. So yeah I really enjoyed that kind of programing it was really really great and I think now a days I don't think that they do all that stuff quite the same but they had homecoming courts so you know I was in 96 I was the homecoming queen with Davy Jones and in 97 I was winter 46:00carnival queen with Steve Chmielwski was winter carnival king and that just really went to, you know I don't think it had anything to do with looks or anything like that like it really went to like how engaged are you and how much fun are you having and do people see you as somebody thats a good person to work with or a good person to be on a team with and thats what it was really about. You know it wasn't--like it didn't feel like how high school felt you know I think in high school everything felt really cliquy and you maybe had these three people you hung out with and then everybody felt kind of isolated but in college it was this, everybody was a lot more open and accepting I think of who you were and that again to go back to what I was saying earlier about how I wanted to start over and make a new identity for myself and feel like I could do anything. What I found is my peers you know I showed up and I did what I said I was going to do and they all felt that they could trust me and it just created this great 47:00space for me as a college student.

BM: Yeah and I know you participated in a lot of co-curricular activities but specifically relating to the Oshkosh Student Association how did you get into that and king of what was it's influence to students back then?

JK: Well OSA was always--the Oshkosh Student Association was always fighting for, for the students voice in processes and we had something back then that really you know the legislature, Wisconsin's legislature had a shared govern statute that mandated that when there was a decision affecting student life that students have to have a place at the table in that decision making and that students actually have to agree with the things going on. Now what I know is the legislature recently in the last few years has really taken a lot of teeth out of that statute to say that students don't have that some power of decision making and I got involved with the Oshkosh Student Association probably my, the 48:00end of my second beginning of my third year year of college. And I started out with the legislative affairs committee because I was..I think because my knowledge I gained in model UN you know really learning about international law and how it is important and how you build consensus and how to affect it right. Well some of my friends in model UN were also involved in OSA and then I decided you know what I should get involved in these things too because this is affecting out life you know and so the things we were voting for like and this is--I wish I hadn't actually cut this out of the paper because I can't tell what date it's from but just looking at some of these headlines. You know OSA members in favor of tuition cap bill, tuition cap would limit increases to 33% for Wisconsin students. So what that meant was that the legislature, this piece of 49:00legislation was asking the legislature to say this is public education we should be using public tax dollars for this because it is suppose to be public school and the legislature is suppose to honor their commitment to pay 2/3 of the tuition and then students would pay 1/3 and that would be the commitment made. Well unfortunately the bill didn't pass and we can kind of see what has happened now because of that in modern times you know you talk about student loan debt reaching 1.4 trillion and how it cripples people and makes it impossible to take a job that doesn't pay you know and then you can't buy a home, people are putting off having families, people are putting of getting married, people are changing their whole course of life but you know OSA the students were fighting for it back then. You know here is an advanced titan from 98 so this was my last year of school and here we are registering students to vote because we are trying to say listen your voice matters you know you get a seat at the table again to participate and vote in the elections. And what's interesting is back 50:00then you know we were doing this, it was possible to be a--to have the city clerk come deputize you and teach you how to register voters and then you could go do that. Well the last few years the current has taken away the ability to have special registration deputies so now students on their own have to go to the city clerk and they have to know have to get registered and the advocacy point and the ability to have registration deputies be on campus and actually register people right on campus where you are I think is, I don't think is possible today. So that just goes to show how things are changing and then some of these, the other thing about shared governments that was really important 51:00when I went to school back in 97, 96-97 was when we begin to discuss project 2000. Project 2000 was the union renovation that made the union kind of what it is today and it almost didn't pass because the students were really concerned about the amount of segregated fee that, there student segregated fee that was going to go to the development of the building. And you know I was on the side saying that actually I know--at the time is was controversial because there wasn't a history of student segregated fees going to buildings other than except for maybe for titan stadium because that was a recreation facility but to have student segregated fees going to the union that was a pretty controversial issue at the time and it almost didn't pass. In the OSA in 1990 oh I can't remember if it was in 96 or 97 anymore but we took an initial vote of the student senate and 52:00the student assembly and the student senate didn't pass it. It had to pass by 2/3 vote because it was declared a important issue you know so it needed a higher vote, it needed a super majority and it didn't pass and we anded up having to hold another meeting to reconsider it. And that meeting someone had pulled the fire alarms over at Clemens hall and we ended having this meeting at like 10 pm at night and somebody pulled those fire alarms and then all these kids came to the meeting and there was protests and signs up and all this stuff and then it passed by one vote. So it was this big big deal and then you know all this stuff spun off of it and I graduated so I wasn't a student when they finally built it or finished the renovation but I was here for that big push to, 53:00is this a good idea or not should we--and the truth was that the average student at the time was like we need you know we want a better quality of life you know we went and it had a lot to do with dinning options. When I was at school here 93-98 we didn't have any commercial franchised dinning options her it was all like you go to this cafeteria you go to this cafeteria and then all of the supposedly fast casual food that was in the union at the time was it was called [pasticos?] or it was called, I'm trying to remember the other name oh gosh. They had these chicken sandwich's called the clucker that I completely remember calling these chicken sandwich's the clucker but I can't think of the name. But that was the whole point, it was all food service food there was no Pizza Hut no Burger King no subway no nothing like that and I think we were all saying you 54:00know can we just get some better food because we all had the food plans. You had to have a food plan if you lived on campus and we were like we have zero options and other campus's, you go to another campus and you would be like how do they have all this stuff and we seriously have [pasticos?] and the clucker, like this is not what we want you know. So we were like we want a different--but then the other interesting thing is you don't always get what you want because the Reeve union used to have a bowling alley, and it used to have a bowling alley and a bar in the basement and that was a really fun place to be. And they ended up taking out the bowling alley and I think they do have some kind of limited beverage service if you throw a special event maybe you can get beer of alcohol on campus but that was a change because the union used to have a regular bowling alley a regular bar down there, you could go down to the union and get a pitcher of beer you could just sit there and bowl and have a good time and I think that 55:00went away. I think part of it is because of you know risk management issues, I think the campus you know when I was in school was also when we had a lot of the riots. We had a riot here in 1994, the spring of 94 that was--did a lot of damage to the local and surrounding community because lets face it our campus is rather close to downtown Main st. and the police department is right in the middle of that and the state got a grant to bust illegal taverns basically so there were all these houses that were selling beer illegally and people were in basements and things like that. They busted a bunch of party's on that particular night and then all these kids, they actually had school buses, the police were renting buses to put all these underage drinkers onto the bus and then they took them down to the police department and they got their ticket or 56:00whatever and then they were all allowed to walk home. Then by the time they were walking home it was about two in the morning and that's when all the bars closed with all the of age people and then I would say some ne'er-do-well non-students were involved in this too and then someone pulled the fire alarms in the Scott towers and then there were 3,000 kids out because of the fire alarms. So you had all of this chaos and belligerence and then it instantly just turned into a mob and people were throwing over dumpsters, people were lighting trash on fire, people were they broke the street lights, they went downtown they smashed windows. All this stuff just like a mob and I wasn't--what's interesting is I was actually staying overnight at a friends house over of Franklin or Frederick's st. so it was off, like student housing but not on campus like we were all over there watching movies because we had just come back from New York 57:00the week before and we were like ah we are home we are done from the competition we won our award thank God I can relax and just do nothing. And that morning I was going back, you know someone was driving me back to my dorm and we were driving down Algoma blvd and the National Guard had been called in and so we had no idea that any of this stuff had gone on like what had informed us later was the news paper articles and the videos. People actually had camcorders out like filming this and so I try to imagine todays world where everybody would just have their phone video on right but back when we were in school you had these big bazooka big camcorder things and I'm like what college student even had those but evidently some did, I didn't and they had video tapes of it but the National Guard was walking down in formation down Algoma blvd and it was like five or six in the morning. So my friend and I were in the car and we turned the corner to get on Algoma to drive down it and we were just like what, where do we 58:00go like what is going on? You know and the campus then for the next week had tv trucks MTV, CNN, all these places all these news outlets were on campus kind of trying to understand what had happened and it was a shame and as a student who was in Greek life and who was involved in student government you know or at the time limited involvement with student government, we were all just trying to say well not all of us as a student body are these negative influences that then the city wanted to paint us. And so we had to do some fund raisers and we had to try and make it right and then that was actually something I did, tells you the future right like I, I ended up--and this happened a couple more times not to the same extent as 1994 but I want to say that in 95 or 96 there was some more student uprisings on campus that the community, local community was kind of 59:00obviously frowned upon, very upset about you know because they don't want damage they don't want property damage and it makes the relationship difficult with the local community. Well I went to an Oshkosh common council meeting and I testified you know it the citizen comments about well these are the things that, you know us the student population that was not involved in these activities you know these are the other benefits that we confer onto the city and you know I'm not trying to make excuses for the bad apples that are causing these problems but appreciate that there's 10,000 of us here that are very serious about what we do and are very serious and engaged in the campus and we spend a lot of money here we work, we make his community a better place and to label all of this university community as a negative thing when you've only got this small population of trouble makers really isn't the right way to go right. And I had 60:00to stand up there and put that out there and I remember that then when I later in life when I became a member of the Oshkosh common council when I was the deputy mayor, there was a couple times where students came to speak for us about actually putting in the pedestrian mall that you guys have now on Elmwood. That was a big deal that almost didn't happen you know and students had to come and voice support for that kind of a campus change and I, and even with the late night busing that you can access with your titan card you know that was another negotiated thing with the city and when I was on the city council working to help and I said ah I remember this you know I remember being a student activist and trying to get to build that bond, they call it town and gown you know trying to have the local community and the university be symbiotic. It was a, good early experiences I guess.

BM: Was it kind of difficult to kind of get rid of that stigma about all of the 61:00students becoming these troublemakers at the time or--?

JK: Yeah it was very hard and honestly some people didn't want to hear it you know some people have their mind made up and they just want to think what they want to think you know. But when you actually sit down and present the numbers and thats where you have to find your voice you know I had to find my voice as a student activist and say wait a minute, the university is a positive contributor to the community and when you have 10,000 students and now it is probably more like 12 (thousand) I'm not quite sure what their enrollment is now but realizing what a powerful economic impact that has and then the amount of culture and diversity and all these other intangible quality of life things that this school brings because of its existence brings to Oshkosh that otherwise wouldn't be here. Yeah you really had to defend that because there defiantly was a part of 62:00the community that had a negative opinion, I think a lot of that has changed now you know being a citizen here and being my, being of my age and caliber. I think the university has really shown itself to be a really good partner especially with the high schools and you know and developing some of the relationships with this titan stadium and trying to be a good community advocate to have quality sports complex. You know I think those kind of thinks really help bridge the gap.

BM: Were there any other events that you liked to participate that happened like I know you explained homecoming and the ice sculpture events--

JK: Yeah winter carnival

BM: Was there any others that were at the time because right now we have you know still homecoming obviously but we have pub crawl, we have summer bash where they invite a person to come perform and do a little performance and some of that stuff?

JK: Yeah I think they were kind of experimenting with, we always had a speaker 63:00series right Reeve union always had a speaker series and they brought in some very neat people like they brought it you know Greg Brady and they brought in Dr.[Ruth?] and they brought is Sarah Weddington and they brought in--and so they defiantly brought in and Justice Scalia they brought in so there was some speakers that defiantly came to the school when I was here that I remember. They brought it you know some ventriloquist and some silly light hearted things so I would really say that the union was really the union programing was still, and they had the movie series here where you could go to movies so that was nice because if you know if you didn't have a car of you didn't want to drive off campus I mean that was a--it was nice to have these things that were just walkable. And then I would say Greek life they had formals, they would have a 64:00spring formal that was, you know homecoming was the homecoming in the fall and in the spring you had you spring formal where that was just a nice opportunity to get dressed up and have some fun. I'm trying to think I also, when I was at UWO I worked in the arts and communications building I think this goes back to my whole love of art and I didn't go to art school but I still wanted to be engaged with it. I used to work for the Annex and [prebe?] galleries over in the AC, so I would help monitor the exhibits and then I was actually a student art model you know for the classes that had to do the portraits and drawing classes you know they would have people come in and have a pose of posture for them to draw. So I was like oh how wonderful was that I got paid $5.25 an hour or $7 an hour to do that kind of stuff but it was a nice job. I can't think of anything 65:00else off the top of my head, I know there was a spring well they always had taste of Oshkosh right so that was always in the fall and thats where you got to see every club and every possible thing you could get involved with and then yeah I really can't think of--I know there was on in the spring too but I can't think of the name of it so--

BM: Yeah we still have a good amount of those things still today just a not the ice, I mean they might have some of the ice sculptures but it's not as present.

JK: Winter carnival right they don't have winter carnival anymore right.

BM: Yeah. I know women have really fought hard to gain kind of equality especially in the professional world but also at college's, how different was it for being a woman to you know in the activities you were involved with. Did it impact you at all?

JK: Well I think it did what, how I think I was able to overcome it and this is again probably not the typical you know when people talk about being engaged in 66:00Greek life right they think oh you just party and you pay for your friends and all of these negative things that they associate with it but one of the things I really enjoyed about it was you were in an organization that was full of women so you didn't have to like there was never this issue about I have to compete for a space for a man or am I fighting for who's going to be in charge so to speak or who the decision maker is going to be or what are we going to decide to do. And I think that did help because I ended up being the president of my sorority when I was on campus and I think that helped develop my leadership skills. I would say when I was on the model UN team the nice thing was I did have female mentors I did have female role models and so and then because I was in a interdisciplinary area where they were working on your public speaking and your written communication and your ability to be a leader right and not be 67:00afraid to exercise your voice and make an opinion and state an opinion and be okay with that you have an opinion. I think all those things really helped empower me to enter my professional life the way I did to get into politics and to do all these other things I did. If I wouldn't have had such a positive experience in college I don't know if I would have been able to go on and do these other things and I can remember there were defiantly times when I was on the Oshkosh common council where I was not only the only woman representative but I was the youngest you know and then I was a lawyer on top of it and I used to wonder are my colleagues not agreeing with me because I'm younger then they are or is it because I'm a woman or is it because I am a lawyer like why, why am I having such a disconnect with my peer group on the Oshkosh common council when 68:00it came to vote for things. And the only way I could reconcile is, reconcile the difference in my mind and say I'm okay with these differences and it was because I'm going to do what every fourth grade math teacher told me to do, I'm going to show my work, I'm going to explain how I came to my decision and then you have to just respect it right or my colleagues just have to respect it. Then the voters when it comes time to be re-elected well they'll have their, they'll let me know you know the election is the most ultimate form of feedback right either they like what you did and they are going to give you another shot to keep representing them or they are going to pick someone else because they think someone else has something better to offer. I think because I was involved and engaged in all this other programing at UWO and really made the most of these opportunities it gave me the self confidence and the skills to go into the workplace and say I understand there may not be a lot of women at the table here 69:00for decision making or I understand that there's people here older than me who's had more experience or seen more of life but I also understand that I have something to offer too. That my perspective is valuable because my perspective represents the future you know and there is a place for that at every table so I would say that college actually helped with that transition and I think the place where you could succeed by merit was occurring here at this campus versus maybe other work places or you know again who are older than me and say well what was my you know my two older sisters what have their experiences been like and their very different and if I would look at my mom's life and set of experiences and say you know did they ever fell like they had a equal place or equal bargaining power, did they ever feel like they could change their life 70:00like I was able to change mine and I'd say the answer was no but it has a lot to do with the environment here on this campus really empowering me and building my confidence. Yeah.

BM: Was it hard for you to find work in your area of interest once you got done with college or were you fairly broad with your interest of trying to find a job?

JK: Yeah I think no matter what you do I think you have to decide to be flexible right and say well what am I going to pursue and then where do I have to put myself and what kind of mentorship do I need because sometimes you can't just get a job. It has a lot to do with having those letters of references and having people say you know what I've worked with her on a project and she does a really great job and that's when I came back to Oshkosh and became a mentor of college students, I was an advisor for the sorority for a while and then I was actually 71:00was an adjunct professor here for a while through the center for new learning and the political science department. I would talk to college kids coming up and I really said to them, you know think about a person that you know that is doing what you want to do and then actually go approach them. Actually show interest in what they're doing and anyone that is more senior or lived life or lived some experiences is always going to want to share that with that next generation because most of us think in the back of our mind oh if I could do it over how would I do something different or what was the quicker way to get the cheese so to speak right. And having those mentors building those relationships with them and then following through with projects or assignments or things your working on with them, you get that level of respect that then helps you later in life. So I went to law school in San Diego in southern California so I left Wisconsin after I graduated here, moved to southern California lived there for four years 72:00and then 9-11 happened when I--right after I graduated law school and I had a lot of friends living in New York City and living in DC and I was suddenly like you know what I can live anywhere why don't I just go out there I want to be by my friends I really felt that kind of trauma of gosh what could have happened to them and you know we really didn't know what was going on in the world at that time. So I moved to DC and then finding a job when you move to a new city like that and its a big city and the economy was in the tank after 9-11 you know there was a lot of economic fallout from that and lawyers in DC are kind of a dime a dozen right so you have to go with the flow and say okay there is nothing special about me being a lawyer out in DC and so I had to take a couple jobs that were not you know related to my legal work as I was struggling to find a job. I ended up working for a marketing company for a while and it was in sales 73:00for this marketing company and I did that for about four months and I even took a retail job for about a month and thats when I had never worked retail in my life and I lasted a month and I'm like okay I've got to get out of here so that's why I ended up going to the marketing company because I'm like well I know how to talk and I know how to sell and I can at least make some money doing this versus whatever I was doing retail. I was like how am I 26 years old and doing that and but it was just part of the economy and part of the time and because I was a brand new lawyer that had no experience it was a little difficult to find a job right away but I did find one you know obviously everybody gets their first job and I ended up working in healthcare. Actually doing something similar to what I do today and I worked in DC for a couple of years and then my mom, my parents both got sick and I had to make that decision about coming back to Wisconsin and I decided to move to Oshkosh instead of Fond du lac because I was like you know Oshkosh was such a special place because it 74:00had all of this opportunity for me and I got to do all these wonderful things at school and I'm like you know I really like it there. So I moved back to Oshkosh and the first thing I did was I had lunch with John Kerrigan who is no longer the chancellor anymore but was the chancellor when I was here and he remembered me from student government and all the things I had done and all the projects and he took lunch with me and I said John Kerrigan who do you know that needs a lawyer because I'm moving back here to help my parents and I need to find a job and I didn't know any lawyers in the area because I didn't live here. And he helped me get a couple interviews and I interviewed with the lawyers and then I ended up getting a job and it was a testamate to that mentorship idea again. You know here was John Kerrigan someone who I had worked with who was very well respected but you know as a student your thinking well he's the chancellor of 10-11,000 kids is he really going to remember me? Well he remembered me because 75:00I was engaged in these activities and he was like, Jessica King she is a hard worker and you know could anybody say anything any better than that right around here. So then I got my first job here locally at a bankruptcy firm and I got to do bankruptcy and business reorganization works so then suddenly I was doing this math that my dad had asked me to be an accountant and now suddenly I was like oh I don't want to be an accountant well here I'm doing all this accounting math and balance sheets and I'm reading business plans and trying to do projections for income and all this stuff and I'm like oh my gosh I'm right here. You know and it turned out for the lawyer that I worked for his undergrad was in accounting and he actually went to UWO too and it was just how funny that I ended up right back, right back in it. So yeah its a, it a made a difference.

BM: What are your thoughts about UWO now that you've you know gone to school 76:00you've come back to live in the area and now your more of a resident nearby?

JK: Well I still am always a fan I believe this institution has the ability to change lives, it dramatically changed my life like if somebody you know knew me at four years old and thought does this kid even have a chance you know being a foster kid, being a award of the state, having two disabled parents to say what do you really expect when that's your roots right? And then to say well look you know I've been all over the world, I've done things with the state department I owned my own law firm for a while, I worked for the department of justice for a while, I was a state senator for the vary place where I was born. To get do all those things and I credit it to UWO, I credit it to this school and the teachers here, I think this is a magical place and that is what is so painful to see what 77:00is happening with the legislature and the lack of public support for funding the UW system and to see that students who go to school here today don't, you know their either working two jobs and trying to go to college or they can't really get the same experience that I had and this all looks like luxury to people. But the point was is all these activities I was in they were really the practical application of the thing that I was learning in the classroom and this gave me the opportunity to have the repetitions and make the mistakes and do all the planning and all the project management and all those things that people say oh your just in a student club. Well really your a project manager executing a plan for free you know I mean and you start to learn or I appreciate all that and when I was in the legislature and having that experience of sitting in the chairs and being on of the 33 deciders for a state budget from that chamber and 78:00saying what are we supposed to be doing. I'm no longer in the legislature and I'm looking at my former colleagues and I'm thinking they are making a huge mistake by cutting this university to the point where its not able to function properly and to make other schools in the UW system limit opportunities in the college of letters and science and limit the ability, like I just found out that UWO has to cut their forensics team. They cut the soccer team and their cutting this and their cutting that and its saying you know every student needs to find an opportunity to build their confidence, to get their repetitions in these life skills and to find a mentor and the more you take away from the extracurriculars the co-curriculars these things that give you the opportunity to do something 79:00voluntary that isn't tied to a grade and is just because you want to do it and you want to get good at it and you want to have that relationship and mentorship. That's what this school is about and I feel like the legislature is just making a horrible mistake and I really worry because as somebody who went to school with humanities I realize that my dad is happy it wasn't art school but I could have gone to art school here and they have a very fine art program, they have a beautiful radio, tv, film program here. This school is a great school and then to say I didn't do that, I didn't got to the college of business either, I found my love in humanities and what was really wonderful from that is that I learned to read I learned to read a lot you know I learned to educate myself and that happens with all the volume of reading and then when I went to law school I could keep up because I knew what it was to read all those books. 80:00You know I mean it wasn't, I wasn't intimidating by the volume or the concepts or the critical thinking or the diagraming of cases or any of that stuff because college had taught me to read a lot of material and absorb it. So humanities is necessary so yeah I'm the biggest fan, I'll always be the biggest fan of UWO, go titans you know and even though the leadership changes and the you know faculty changes and time changes and things aren't the way they used to be when I was here in school because things have revolutionized. I just think about technology and the entertainment and maybe cultural things that you guys are probably doing today is pry very different then what I had but the idea of post secondary education and how it can transform people and that;s what we want to do we want 81:00to take--human potential is the best potential you can have when your a state like Wisconsin. We can't move ourself like we are in the rust belt, we are always going to be here I mean climate change may make it a little warmer here but I mean were in this rust belt, we are where we are you know you have your certain fixed resources right that's what this revolution and development class, we--you have your fixed geography, you have your fixed water and minerals and some stated have oil and some don't right. The things that make you you right but the one thing you have thats changeable and that you can really get the full potential is your people right and so if you give your people the education and training they can go onto do anything and the minute you stop educating people thats, your short changing the one resource you have that makes you, that is 82:00your potential, the potential that you can grow right, yourself and its in your human capital. So that's why I hope more people appreciate the growth that is happening here at this university because it's amazing. It's amazing how people transform here and I'm just one student but there is so many stories like that, that I hope your class captures for the sesquicentennial thats coming because it's amazing what graduates from UWO have done, so--.

BM: And lastly, What would be one piece of advice you'd give to the students that are going here and in the future?

JK: Well again I might have said this before, my one piece of advice to students is make the effort to reach out to a faculty member or an advisor that is, has 83:00some experience in doing something that you think you want to do and actually have the courage to reach out and talk to them about it. You can find their resumes and their backgrounds and their biographies on the internet and actually read up about your teachers and actually select classes based on the biographies of your teachers because thats going to tell you what are they really great at or what do they know about, what's in there life story because then they can you know as I was saying before, they can show you hove to do it quicker, better, faster because they have done it already. And they are like ah if I can do it over again and people who go into teaching go into teaching because they want to see they development of human capacity, they want to see all their students sprout and thats what gets them, right because people, teachers at college 84:00universities they have PHD's they are really smart, and they choose to take an occupation that is kind of limited economically in what they can get paid but its because they aren't really in it for the money, they are in it for that experience of like watching the transformation of people. And so if you can get a teacher talking about that about what you want to know because you want to go do it too or you know your teacher will know how to get to that next level of what you want to do, thats like the best thing you can do. Then once you've identified that teacher well then take their classes you know, take their advice you know Dr. Grieb was the one that got me the Helicopter Association International internship right, and then I did really good at that internship and then he actually had something to write in a letter of recommendation for me, it wasn't canned it was a genuine letter saying this is the things that 85:00Jessica has done and then when I went to the UN and did that internship and went to Claire college, did all that stuff that was again more tangible things that my mentors could actually talk about and say hey this is something she has done. Then when I became president of the Oshkosh Student Association and did all the lobbying activity same thing, I made the relationship with my mentors, I followed through on my projects, I gave them something to actually talk about in those letters that then made me stand out amongst other people and then when I came back and was a job applicant they could go to bat for me because they trusted me. And I think thats the best thing a student can do I mean obviously studying, you know the obvious things but the intangible thing is that those relationships because now you know I'll admit it I'm in my early 40's and I'm reaching that point in my life where some of my mentors have passed away, thank God Dr. Grieb is still here teaching so he's still here but some of these great 86:00giants in my life are gone now but I really appreciate the knowledge transfer of what they gave me and then its my job to pass that on, and I think a lot of teachers and people involved at the college here would think the same way. That they want that knowledge transfer and they want students to engage them.

BM: Alright thank you it has been a pleasure to interview you.

JK: Sure, thank you.

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