Interview with Liz Sangbusch, 04/20/2018

UW Oshkosh Campus Stories
Natasha Richardson, Interviewer | uwocs_Liz_Sangbusch_04202018_uc.mp3
Campus Stories Oral History Project (UWO Audio Series 51) |

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´╗┐NR: Hello, I am Natasha Richardson. I am going to be interviewing an Alumni from UW Oshkosh. We are in the Alumni Welcome Center, on Friday April 20th, 2018. Liz could you please say your full name for us?

LS: Sure! My name is Liz Slack-Sangbusch. Slack was my maiden name and Sangbusch is my married name.

NR: So, What was your hometown and family life like?

LS: Okay, so I grew up in a suburb of Milwaukee, called South Milwaukee which is right along the shores of Lake Michigan; obviously on the South side of Milwaukee. And I had three; there were three in our family at that time. I have three older brothers that were step brothers, that were not living with us. [unclear] I lived with two of my brothers and my mom and my dad. And family life 1:00was good. You know, we had a pretty tight family. I played basketball and softball growing up. Went to a high school that had; we graduate about three hundred kids. Most of my time was either spent doing sports or participating in neighborhood activities. We lived right along the shores of lake Michigan and there was a big park that we would play in sometimes. It was a pretty active childhood. Sports were pretty important to me during my high school years.

NR: That's pretty awesome. I was a big sports fan but I didn't play any when I went to high school because I was way too competitive.

LS: Haha.

NR: And I wanted to get into a good college.

LS: Good, good.

2:00

NR: Yeah, So what were your previous school experiences like and what made you decide that you wanted to come to UW Oshkosh?

LS: School was important to me but I guess I was good enough in school to get B's, mostly. I didn't have a desire to go to any large school or even any school too far outside of Wisconsin. So, that was never even something I considered. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do when I started at Oshkosh. You know, sometimes I joke "I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up." Some people are gifted with the fact that they want to be a Teacher or they want to be a Police Officer. I just, I didn't have that. I had a lot of different interests. So, I just wasn't quite sure. So, I didn't actually make my decision to go to Oshkosh until like pretty late into my senior year. I really chose it for the fact that 3:00it was far enough away but close enough so that I could come home if I wanted to, but far enough away so that I would have the experience of kind of getting away. Most of my family: my grandpa, my uncle, my mom, all went to Marquette University and my mom did want me to go there. But for whatever reason, it just wasn't speaking to me at the time. I did since then go back to get my MBA [Master of Business Administration degree] from Marquette. So I kind of feel like I checked that box for her. But when I decided to make my decision to go to Oshkosh. It was really one of not sure what I wanted to do with my life, and my college careers, and I kind of went because a number of people from my high school were going there. We kind of made the decision together. That's kind of why I decided to go to Oshkosh. I think it was a great decision in the end, but 4:00there wasn't really much thought behind it; except for its distance away from home and the size of it was good. I think it was pretty small back then and I knew people going there.

NR: Yeah, that sounds like a pretty good reason for choosing.

LS: Mmhmm

NR: And you said none of your other family came to UW Oshkosh, they went to Marquette?

LS: Yeah

NR: Okay, and was anyone pressuring you to go to college or was it more of a "I want to go to college just to, you know, have that experience?"

LS: No. Yeah, no. My mom, she-- I was going somewhere. So it wasn't-- she said "I don't care where you go, but you're going to college." So, I'm very fortunate to have that kind of push. That it-- You know, looking back on it, I probably-- I'm not sure I would have gone. I probably would have done something, still to 5:00educate-- you know, an education but I'm not sure I would have gone to a four year University. She said " I don't care where you're going, where you choose but you're going to college." So, there was no choice to not, but she didn't care where I went. She actually really did end up liking the choice as well. When we first went up to register, she said "I think you're going to like it here," and I-- you know, I agreed with her.

NR: That's pretty nice. My dad really wanted me to go to college just to get that degree. I wanted to do, like that gap year, but he said it would be better to just get into it, get it out of the way. Cause I have pretty much what I wanted to do. I wanted to go for the Nursing--

LS: Okay.

NR: Oshkosh has an amazing Nursing program.

LS: Yes, absolutely.

NR: Yeah-- So. What was the Major, you had?

LS: So, I went in Freshman year, I wanted to-- I thought I wanted to just go for 6:00General Business Degree. So, that's what I started off with. And you know, I went through the first few semesters of kind of-- What I refer to as the "Weed out" classes. You know, they're big Pit classes or they're large sizes and they're pretty hard I think.

NR: Yeah.

LS: You know? For someone making that transition into college, and I really didn't do well at all. I also-- You know, I kind of underestimated the amount of time that I should be studying for some of those bigger classes, and then I took the dreaded Accounting. And I-- I realized at that point I needed to change my Major. So, I ended up changing it to Journalism. Which I really at the time that I chose it, I really didn't-- I had no idea what I was going to do with that. Cause I knew I didn't want to be a piece writer or something like that. There were people I was in class with that knew they wanted to like write for a large 7:00Newspaper or something, but that just wasn't something that I thought I wanted to do. But after talking with some of the counsellors and I talked to the Dean of the Journalism School a few times. I can't for the life of me remember his name, unfortunately. He was really helpful in helping me kind of think through all the different things that you could do with a Journalism Major. I was very, very happy to make that switch cause-- I really didn't think that I would enjoy where I was going with that Business Degree. Like Accounting just was not for me. Now in the end of the day-- I obviously-- I think I mentioned earlier, I went back to get my MBA. Cause business is what I do now.

NR: Yeah.

LS: But at the time of my life that I was-- It just wasn't for me at that time. So, Journalism is how-- where I ended up. I'm really happy that I did that.

NR: That's awesome! What were some of the first impressions Freshman year? Like 8:00besides the "Weed out" classes, which are definitely harder. What were the biggest things that you wanted to keep coming back, instead of just going to a different University? Was it kind of--

LS: Yeah-- I like the-- I like the fact that it's small. I like the fact that it's sort of set in a city. I felt like the-- we would call them townies. The people that lived in Oshkosh. They were kind of in and around us a lot which I thought was pretty cool. It's not like it was isolated out in some of the other places I know. Like, you know, maybe-- I don't know if White Water is really like this but it kind of felt like the University was sort of set off by itself. I liked that part of it. Plus I think, you know, my roommate and I-- we made 9:00sort of a silent pact with one another, that no matter what we're getting through this. We helped each other-- and there were two girls that I lived with. I lived in North Scott. The two other girls that I lived with we all sort of made this pact together. That we were going to make it through here, so, there was no choice. Even though those classes were tough and I didn't do well my first year. I had a really good support system that I built by myself, with just my close roommates. That just said, you know, "Okay you're coming back, and we're going to do this." So, I think that was really helpful and I'm not sure that you know, that you would find that in every place, but I think everyone in my group was from Wisconsin and just, you know, really nice people. That had the best interests of each other in mind. That's what I really liked about it as well.

NR: Yeah, having that good support system is always very important. So, you 10:00lived in South Scott. Was there any big difference to how they kind of do it now, like did the have it girls this place, boys this or was it starting to un-segregate?

LS: No, I was in North Scott, actually, and North Scott-- We had-- I believe there were five-- I think it's just like it is today. So, I didn't mention earlier that my daughter goes to UW Oshkosh.

NR: Awe, cool!

LS: Yeah, she actually lives in South Scott, but I was in North Scott on the third floor. I think there were guys on our floor but obviously, on the other end of the floor. So, it's all separated by that elevator. So, we were on one side and they were on the other but I think it's the same as it was today with that. Although I think maybe they have some floors that are a little bit different or some places that are a little different, today than it was, but it's very similar in nature. I liked living in that large tower. I'm a more 11:00social person, so I really liked that aspect of it. Of being around a lot of different people. Some people felt overwhelmed, I could tell, and we heard that through our conversations with folks on the floor. But I-- Coming from a larger high school I really liked it. The people that were from up north and maybe had ten people in their high school graduating class or something, I think they were a little overwhelmed but for me it was exactly what I needed, at that time in my life.

NR: Yeah. And then, on your floor was it a lot of people that were like your grade or was it a mixture where you had some freshmen, some seniors, juniors? Cause I know sometimes the floors are more mixed with, like, different yeared students?

LS: Yeah. So I lived only in the dorms for two years. It was mandatory. At I think it's still mandatory that you live there two years; I think but I'm not 12:00sure. But when I was there you had to live in the dorms for two years, if you were not living at home. So, we stayed Freshman year and sophomore year and there was really very, very few seniors or juniors that stayed in the dorms back then because the dorms are-- you know, there wasn't as many night options for you know, just living in that little in-- I don't know if you live in any of those Scott's house but they're small little rooms, you know.

NR: Yeah.

LS: And you look back at it now and I think how did two people live in here. We wanted to get out cause we wanted a house. So, then myself and my roommate and the two girls that we became close with; we got a house off campus my junior year and then my senior year we got a another-- a different house but we were all four together again. It was nice to get out of there but mostly it was Freshman in the dorms and then Sophomores too, but mostly Freshman and Sophomores.

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NR: Were there any big dorm events that you participated in? Cause I know sometimes they have a dorm night, like where they have games and stuff. Did they have those kinds of events when you were going to school?

LS: Yeah, they did. They had things out in the area outside-- the grassy area outside. They would try to do things. The floor would try to do different events, getting people together. It worked to some degree but mostly after the first few weeks of the semester people kind of found the niche of people to hang around with, but when they would have events we would go. Freshman year and Sophomore year, the first semester I was involved with Hall Government. So, we would just try to do fun things together. We didn't generally do those things like every month or something. We tried to do a few fun things as much as we 14:00could and get people together but a lot of the times the things that the Hall Government people would work on would be more-- more geared towards policies and procedures and tell everybody not to do this or everybody to do or not do that kind of thing. It's hard when you have that many young people together cause it can kind of go a little crazy but we did have a lot of fun with the people on our floor. There weren't a lot of-- a lot, a lot of plans and events back then.

NR: Yeah. And you said you had rooms with [unclear] one of your friends and then you were close with two others. So, you and your roommates and your friends all got along and everything?

LS: Yes.

NR: And did you spend a lot of time, like, in the same classes? Or were you all different majors, or how did that go about?

LS: We were all different majors, actually. We spent a lot of time, though, when 15:00we weren't in class together. So, we also, each one of us made other friends too. So, for the most part just like in any other friend group we had our core people but different times other people would come in and out of our group or we would invite other people to participate in things that we would do. Go for dinner or going out to parties and that sort of thing. But we all-- We all were similar in that we liked to do the same things. Some people just liked to do some stuff more frequently. Like a couple of my roommates really, really liked to go to the library and study whereas I would study in the dorm room. My-- my-- one of my roommates was-- you know, she had a serious boyfriend at the time and they would do things together and be gone. So everyone kind of did their own thing. That's kind of what I liked about Oshkosh too. Is there wasn't-- there 16:00weren't too many people that were super intense about stuff. Like had to get the best grades ever known to mankind, you know, about it?

NR: Yeah.

LS: Like that. It was-- people were pretty chill but people all tried to do a good job. I mean obviously, the first semester was a little rough on everyone just cause we were all, like for the first time, away from our families and we could go crazy at the parties if we wanted to and not study and sleep in if we wanted to. Once that kind of calmed down. I think it was everyone had kind of a similar desire to get through, but nobody was so intense that they, you know, were like nervous or having a lot of like issues. That I think more just today. Like there's a lot of pressure on kids today, that I don't remember feeling that much pressure. I mean I felt the pressure to do well and I felt the pressure to finish. But I think maybe at even other Universities there is so much pressure 17:00to be Top of your class or something. I didn't feel that as much at Oshkosh which was really good, I think, for me and for the friends that I had.

NR: Yeah. The pressure is pretty big now, to get good grades. So-- but we also try to have fun too. I don't live in the dorms, I commute. So, I don't have that dorm experience but--

LS: Okay.

NR: I've gone to my friends dorm rooms and helped like study and stuff. And I definitely understand living in a small space and I definitely didn't want to do that again for college, so--

LS: Yeah.

NR: I picked commuting just cause I lived in a camper with six people with four dogs and three cats. So--

LS: Oh my gosh!

NR: Yeah. So, like when my friends complain sometimes about the dorm life; I'm like you guys have no idea what it's like living in a small space but it's so fun to go and hang out and I think I'm missing out a little bit; but I think 18:00it's something that I've had different experiences that are similar.

LS: Yeah, absolutely--

NR: But yeah.

LS: -- and everybody's experiences differ. And everyone's is, you know. Like I said I think what is interesting is some people really liked the dorm life and some people just didn't want to socialize with anyone.

NR: Yeah

LS: And I kept thinking to myself, I felt bad for those people, right. Cause I mean, we were loud. Like we were loud! It was loud in there sometimes because people just, you know, everyone was like "AAAAH!", you know?

NR: Yeah.

LS: What partying was. You know, like a Thursday night or the weekends were-- most of the time the weekends, like half the people left, so that was a little calmer sometimes; but other times when they had big events going on. There was something called [Rodata?], I honestly don't remember when it-- when it ended. I don't think it-- it doesn't happen anymore. At least I haven't heard my daughter talk about it. But it was like a big kind of spring festival, where people would 19:00go and I mean, it was like a big huge party down by the river. I think they did like some sailing of different little ships or boats that people would build or stuff like that. That was super fun but that was the weekends where it was really crazy and really loud. So, if you were somebody that didn't like that kind of stuff, that was tough. That was really, really tough on people. So, I can see why, you know, living at home might have its benefits for some people.

NR: Yeah.

LS: For some people, yeah.

NR: So, you kind of talked about how there's like parties and stuff that you went to? How did like--

LS: Yeah.

NR: -- the dorms handle the drinking or you know, drug use or whatever? Or was that kind of something that wasn't too big of an issue, back then?

LS: I mean, the drug use. I-- I really didn't see anybody, really doing any drugs. I mean, I guess people were smoking pot from time to time, I saw but definitely not at all any major drugs. I don't remember ever seeing that at 20:00Oshkosh. I'm sure it happened, it's just not something that I was ever around. Drinking, I mean they were pretty-- They were pretty strict on us, obviously cause, you know, the vast majority of us were underage; however, that-- When I was there the drinking age was changing. It used to be, I think it used to be 18 and then it was 19. It turned to 21 when I was there. So, there were-- The difference with that is that there were people that were living in the dorms that might have been of legal drinking age. Then there were people living in the dorm that were clearly not of legal drinking age. So, I think it was a little tough but I still think they had like pretty strict rules on you. Most of the parties we would go to would be off campus parties. Where they would have, probably similar to [unclear] they do today. I don't know as much about, obviously what they do today--

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NR: Yeah.

LS: But I think, you know, they would be like a couple of different big houses. I can remember a house called the "Bud house". That they would just have like these huge, huge, huge parties. Where like you can't even walk in the house, that kind of thing.

NR: Wow.

LS: That was mostly where people would go. You know, kind of off-- off-- out of the dorms. There were very rarely big huge dorm parties cause, obviously, they don't-- they didn't let that happen.

NR: Yeah.

LS: Yeah, but yeah. I didn't see too much drugs at all, on campus. Which was good for me. I was definitely on into that chain. So, it was good for me not to see that, but I did, you know, you could get yourself into trouble certainly.

NR: Yeah. And then you said during like, grade school and high school sports were important, was that something you also did during college? Like intramurals that they have now? I think it's like frisbee, soccer, volleyball, and stuff. Were you in sports and participating or was that something that kind of took a 22:00backseat, when you got to college?

LS: Yeah, I did not. One of my basketball teammates went-- played basketball at Oshkosh. It was a different sort of theme for me, you know, in the eighties. It was just not something that I had any interest in doing. It was just a lot different then it is today. Girls sports were just really just sort of starting, I felt like at that time and the people that were the girls sports were just the people that were maybe not necessarily like me. So, I-- I chose not even think about trying out for any kind of collegiate team but I-- I would-- I would try to encourage people on my floor to do some kind of sport stuff too. Like the intramurals but nobody had any interest in it, at least in the group that I hung with so, I didn't participate in any sort of sport. I don't think we did any of 23:00the intramurals. We might have done one year, done softball or something, I believe, we did but nothing, nothing major. You know, it was not a theme that really happened too much, unfortunately. I mean some of the guys did but mostly girls didn't really-- didn't really do that.

NR: Yeah. So, was like around the time where basketball was still different from boys versus girls basketball? Or was it starting to do-- shift to be more of the same?

LS: I think it was-- I think it was pretty much the same. Yeah, it was the same.

NR: Then you said you did softball one year for intramurals.

LS: Yeah.

NR: I take it with your friend group and everything there wasn't really a pressure to do sports? It just school and then having fun with parties and everything?

LS: Yeah, that's pretty much what we did. You know, hanging out, we were-- again 24:00we were in the Hall Government so we kind of did some stuff with that, and then yeah, just socializing-- and kind of having fun with each other was, I think, was the biggest thing. Meeting new people, clearly, being from closer to Milwaukee I had a much different-- It was a shock kind of to me, to meet some people that never lived-- like they lived in such small towns that was kind of interesting. Cause I was like "What? You had 10 people in your graduating class? How is that possible?"

NR: Wow.

LS: Yeah. That was an interesting thing. I think for me, the lack of diversity that was there was kind of odd. I didn't have a whole lot of adver-- diversity, excuse me, in my highschool either. There were more people in Oshkosh that-- You 25:00know, that came from a very like, everybody was the same. Really small town, everybody thought the same, everybody was the same religion and that kind of thing. So, I thought that was a little interesting. But it didn't get in the way of anything, like everybody was pretty welcoming. We had-- we had some different sort of people on our floor and everybody got along really well. So, there wasn't any kind of animosity or anything but it was just people-- The things that people would say that I was like " What? How do you not know anybody that, you know, maybe is a different, I don't know, religion or something?" but--

NR: Yeah.

LS: I think that was a small town, you know, a small town mixing with a bit of a bigger town than what I grew up in.

NR: Yeah. I grew up all over. So, I totally understand like the difference in thoughts and stuff. And then kind of coming to a place where everyone's the same thing and it's kind of like "this is a little weird, but--"

LS: Yeah, yeah!

NR: It's definitely getting a lot more diverse and everything that they're doing 26:00and they just keep expanding, and it's just amazing to see the diversity that's finally like, coming to fruition with everything they've put into place.

LS: Yep. I agree with you. And it's interesting to see it because when I went there you know. I kind of thought as and you know-- It had all these nicknames and I'm sure that people at Oshkosh, you know, UW Zero, UW OH, like you know [unclear] it was somewhat of a negative connotation and--

NR: Yeah.

LS: -- sometimes it still is today. And I tell people that my daughter is going there. I would super duper impressed when I came back with her when she wanted to take the tour, and how it's continuing to advance and continuing to try to be cutting edge and things. I just think its an excellent University and I could not be more proud to have graduated from there now. That I look back and I could not be more proud to have my daughter graduate from there too. I just-- it's-- 27:00it's-- it's a, I think-- it's done itself well through the years, in continuing to improve and continue to get good professors and good sports teams. So that more kids want to come and play sports there. So, I think it's a great place and I'm happy to be affiliated with it.

NR: Yeah. And then you said you were like in Hall Government?

LS: Yeah.

NR: What specifically did being in Hall Government like entail? Did you have to like go, like from room to room to make sure people were following the rules set in place? Or was it more just to kind of keep everything moving smoothly so you didn't have big, you know, arguments or something?

LS: Yeah. That's kind of more of what it was. We didn't do a whole lot of-- It was more policies and you know, procedures and like if anything had to change or we had to review things with the new, incoming freshmen, if they came in. But it was all done kind of in a meeting there wasn't any one on one or hey go through 28:00and make sure people are doing this. But if there were problems, then we saw people like leaving their garbage in the hall or something like that. We might have to have a meeting to talk about it. Things like that, it was more let's all get along kind of thing and you know, just kind of keeping the peace, but really our-- our-- our CA was really the one that did all of that stuff. Like there was one person on the floor that was a little bit older than us and I don't know what else [unclear] got for to be-- to do a good job because we were probably horrible. Cause she was like the kind of our boss, our supervisor if you will. And if things got out of control or somebody was loud she would be the one to come and tell us to be quiet or-- They don't-- Today I think they're-- they take those things like super duper serious, like I remember my daughter telling me about people getting into really big trouble with the cops and things like that. They didn't ever do that. Cause they could-- they could, I felt like they could 29:00control it a little bit more, maybe, I don't know; but nobody ever got that far out of hand. They would listen, they were always kind of afraid of that person. So, they just fell in line because they didn't want to-- they didn't want to get in trouble. So that's kind of how Hall Government was. It was a very easy job but it was kind of fun to be part of something like that.

NR: So, with it being like a job, were you getting paid to do it? Or was it just more for the experience that you were getting from participating?

LS: More for the experience.

NR: Okay.

LS: I did have a job on campus. I worked at the Testing Center and I went into classrooms to administer the Professors review or I don't even know what-- I can't remember what they call it, now but or you know what they called it then. I can't remember but it was something like they had an assessment done by the kids at the end of the semester and sometimes they would have them done in the 30:00middle of the semester. Where I would pass it out to them and they would fill it out and then I would bring it back to the Testing Center, so that they could, you know, have a review of the professor. And then I also-- Do they still do that today, Natasha?

NR: Yes, we do still have the-- oh goodness, I'm blanking on what they call it. It's just the professor review and instead of having someone from the Testing Center to come in, they send it to the professor, who brings it in, hands it out. And like you said it depends on the professor on what time they hand it out, sometimes it's like in the middle, sometimes they do it one at the beginning and one at the end to see how people like felt the changing in the test-- like styles--

LS: Yes, yes.

NR: -- and everything change. But then the professor then has to leave the room for like fifteen minutes cause they're not supposed to be in the room when everyone is doing the survey.

31:00

LS: Yeah..

NR: Like he or she depending on the professor will then give it to a student to take to Polk, to hand in.

LS: Oh wow.

NR: Yeah, so--

LS: Interesting, okay. Yeah, I was the person that walked into these rooms. And I could remember, oh gosh. It was one of those things though that I loved because I could actually-- I-- I had the opportunity to do things that-- I spoke in front of these big pit classes, you know, and I-- I walked in there un-- you know, I didn't know anybody in the class and so it was kind of a good experience for me but I did that all throughout. And I did enjoy it. I did some other things at the Testing Center whatever they kind of needed but that was-- that was the main thing that I was there for. And then I started to work off campus my Junior and Senior year. At a place that was a salon. Right near campus, it's not there anymore but-- always had a job during cam-- during school just because I needed some more money. Even though it was ridiculously cheap back then. It 32:00was still at the time-- it was you know. I needed some spending money.

NR: Yeah. So, were the finances for coming to school have been harder, easier, or about the same then?

LS: I think it was a little bit easier back then for me to get the loan. I did pick-- My mom and dad seperated for a period of time. So, she was a single mom and that must have made it easier because I was able to get some grants and I was able--. But then I also had to take a loan for the rest of it. And it was a small loan though like in total you know, with the grants and my loans-- With the grants I could take less loans and then I-- So, I think my loans for the whole entire college career was like seven thousand dollars.

33:00

NR: Wow.

LS: Compared to now, you know?

NR: Yeah, that's--

LS: Seven thousand dollars is one year.

NR: Yeah.

LS: But yeah, it was-- It was much cheaper back then and like I said. I think because my parents had separated at that point, I was able to get a little bit of grant, which helped me.

NR: Yeah, that sounds pretty nice. And then, did the college cost change a lot or was it like pretty, you know, the same from semester to semester? For like books and everything?

LS: Yeah. Everything was-- was the same like I didn't feel like at any point in any year things went up too much. Our housing was cheap, especially when we moved off campus. You know, that was like really, really cheap for us to rent these big houses, at the time, and then, you know, food was cheap. Books, I don't recall spending the amount of money that you kids spend on books. I don't 34:00ever remember spending four hundred dollars for a book, but I don't know if I did, and I don't remember it cause it was part of my loan. But I'm sure it was much less, just cause everything was much less back then.

NR: Yeah.

LS: But I feel like books are way more expensive today, than they were and the percentage of our cost.

NR: Yeah, everything definitely getting more expensive and much harder to buy.

LS: Yeah.

NR: It's so sad to just see how much debt we're going to be in after college, but--

LS: I know, I know.

NR: Yeah. So what was one of the bigger challenges while you were going to college like was money and issue or was it more the classes were hard?

LS: I would say balancing, for me, just who I am. I'm a pretty social person. I 35:00would just say my time management was probably the hardest. You know, and balancing when someone calls and say "Hey, you wanna go out?"

NR: Yeah

LS: And I'm sitting there going "Oh! I should not go out!" but "Sure!". You know, and then I'd come back and I was like "Why!?" cause there was all this stuff to cram into two hours. So, I think for me it was my time management that-- that probably would-- very challenging. And then, on top of it, I don't think, and I still think it probably happens today to people. I don't think I was quite as prepared academically, from a studying perspective. You see, in highschool like I think I was just smart enough, in highschool to not really have to try that hard and still get B's and A's. Then in college I struggled a little bit with just how do I prepare for this test that's on twelve chapters. I don't think high school prepared me very well. I think, today it sounds like you 36:00guys, have-- Oshkosh does a good job with like, I don't it's called Study Skills but sort of easing you into some things, it felt like a little bit. At least that's what my daughter went through a couple years ago as she was a Freshman. We didn't have that, and I think-- And I wasn't forced to some of the things like I don't know why you're doing this interview with me. If it's because of a class or-- but this kind of thing was just for you, I think, just to talk to somebody else. I never did stuff like this.

NR: Yeah.

LS: This would have been very helpful for me, in my life. I know it may not feel like that to you now but it's just like hearing form somebody that already went through it. That you had no idea who I am. I think, would have been really a nice experience for me back then, but they didn't do anything like that.

NR: Yeah.

LS: I didn't have to take an internship. I think I took the internship class and then I took the internship but I didn't-- I didn't have to take an internship. My daughter had to do that. They've made it-- Different things to kind of help I 37:00think, the kids to ease in-- even on the way out, to kind of ease them on the way out to the real world. And on the way in they've made some enhancements there, but they didn't have that. That was a struggle for me too. Like even just what will I do when I get out of school now? You know.

NR: Yeah.

LS: Yeah. I think they've made a lot of improvements in helping to ease that sort of thing. Clearly, time management is going to be a struggle for any college kid because, you know, they want to be with their friends and then they also know they have to study and then they have to study more than they did before.

NR: Yeah.

LS: That's a personal thing I think, though.

NR: Yeah. I know a lot of my friends have a hard time with time management still, but they're getting better because UWO now has Time management like workshops and how to study for class workshops.

LS: Yeah.

NR: And some of them are even like one credit or two credit or three credits, towards the overall credits to graduate, which is really nice. So-- I know 38:00friends very much enjoy being able to have that opportunity to be able to learn how to like go to school. If that makes sense?

LS: Yes. Yes, absolutely.

NR: Yeah. So, for like the social life that you were talking about earlier. Was Greek Life pretty big back then or I don't know, maybe like Sororities or something?

LS: Nope. It was not. No I didn't know anybody that was in a sorority. I mean we had one-- the fraternity I think. It might have been two or three I don't even know. I didn't know anybody that participated in that. You know, and I don't think I ever went to any parties at their places either. It just-- That was no very big on our campus at that time. They did participate in like the Homecoming parades, I do remember that for some reason. That they would you know, put their floats together and things. But I never knew any of them. And probably-- they 39:00may have been involved with different things that we just weren't. Cause the dorms didn't do-- or I don't know. I didn't really know anybody.

NR: Yeah. Did you have any like, features that inspired you to continue on with your job or like in school did you have a study group or something that was just really nice to like encourage and continue on?

LS: You know. I had a number of professors that were like-- THat I really liked but nobody really stuck out to me as somebody that I'd want to stay friends with for the rest of my life, kind of thing.

NR: Yeah.

LS: I don't think that was them. That was probably more me because I was, as it related to interacting with my professors I was a little more shy. I was social with my friends but I wasn't somebody that would go hang out with a professor 40:00and talk about stuff.

NR: Yeah.

LS: I never did that in high school but I know people do. I know there are people that really, you know, stay close to different people from college but that wasn't just something that I did. There were the Dean of the Journalism program at the time when I was there. I didn't mean with him very often. Like I can't remember his name that's how pathetic it is. I think he's passed away now, if I remember correctly. He-- he helped me with my decision when I went into journalism, which I very much appreciated, and then when I was graduating I was on the fence with to whether or not I should go right away for my MBA or if I should-- What I should do cause I know I wanted more education. He said "No, I think you should go and work, and then get your company to pay for that. At the time I thought "Who's going to pay for that?" But that's exactly what happened. So, I went-- I left and then, you know. Let's see it was probably 10 years 41:00later, the company that I work for now paid for my MBA. He was absolutely spot on. I didn't stay in contact with him but he was very-- He was very helpful to me at that time in my life. Cause I didn't know what I was-- what I should do. Cause again like I told you I had a Degree in Journalism and I didn't want to be a writer. I wasn't even quite sure what to do. I knew I wanted to move back to Southern Wisconsin cause-- I met my husband while I was in school. He didn't go to Oshkosh but he was important in my life, so I wanted to move back down south and he and I kind of started our family down here. Now I'm working in Illinois and living in like Southern Wisconsin. It all worked out but long story short I didn't stay in contact with any of them [Recorder stopped]

NR: [Recorder Started back up] Yeah that's really nice that you had someone who 42:00helped point out here this is what you can do on--

LS: Yeah, absolutely.

NR: That's so cool. We really like our Academic Advisors cause they do some of the same stuff. This is some stuff that you can do to get into the courses that you need. Were they big back then too or was it more just like the Dean of Students and everything?

LS: I remember meeting with my Advisor but-- No I don't even remember-- I only remember my advisor one time like I remember one time they kind of set me up. I think maybe like when I got close to graduation. I went in and talked to somebody but I don't remember the person. Like I don't remember having the same person throughout. I remember just because I had the Dean of the Journalism school as a teacher my senior year. I remember talking to him about that 43:00particular topic but-- No I don't remember Advisors being that big of an impact because I think they changed. I don't think it was the same one's. Like I remember a girl when I first started and then I remember when I was leaving it was a guy that helped me pick my last classes to make sure I covered everything. Yeah.

NR: So, what was journalism for you all about? Like did you learn big things that helped you with what you're doing now or?

LS: Yes. Good question because really I mean I-- Most people when they think of journalism think "okay, well you can write." I can write but I came in knowing how to write, you know what I mean?

NR: Yeah.

LS: So I really wasn't writing as much as it was just explaining. I mean I did take some English classes. I had to do that. It was more when I-- What I got out of it more was just it really was the whole college experience was having an 44:00open mind and always being a student. Whether you're in class or you're, you know, 50 years old like I am today. I still want to learn. I still want to read things. Journalism today is very different than Journalism back then and I would love to see how they are teaching Journalism today because-- When I think of Journalism it's this whole thing about "Just the facts, Man." I'm supposed to just, as a journalist, I'm supposed to share the facts. Today and I'm not supposed to give my opinion by the way. My opinion doesn't matter as a writer.

NR: Yeah.

LS: As a journalistic writer my opinion does not matter and that is so different today. You'll have-- And it starts at the top with the journalistic groups, like you know, Fox News or-- I hesitate to even call them journalists some of these 45:00people, even though I know that's what they say they are because they're giving their own opinion of the environment in which we live, which I think there's a place for that. I think as a journalist or just journalism major or a student of journalism like you shouldn't do that. Like you should never let on whether you like one thing or the other that's happening in this world, as a journalism major or as someone who is writing for a paper. I just that's I think for me now kind of going through the years. That's something that's stuck with me. I'm in a marketing role right now. So obviously all my advertising classes really helped out. Just learning about advertising in general. I think just if I could say that like college for people is you have to do it today. You have to get your Bachelors Degree and then even more some, in some cases. It's just teaching you to be a student and continuing to be a student and not just taking your Business 46:00Degree or your Journalism Degree or your Finance Degree or whatever it is that you-- Econ Degree, and going away thinking that you're going to be the best whatever that is.

NR: Yeah.

LS: You know, you have to keep learning because things change-- things-- There's new information that is shared all the time and if you only learn what you learn in college you would-- You'll never-- You're not going to continue to be smart, and be with it, and understand what's happening, you know. I think if nothing else that's kind of what it taught me is just to-- Just to continue to try and learn. Obviously, the things that I learned in my classes helped me to pass said class, but it wasn't something that like I thought okay now that I'm out-- Now I can go and be the best whatever I want to be. I still had to keep learning because nobody once they get out of college is gonna-- You know, you're going to join a company and then whatever that company is, unless you're working for 47:00yourself of course, you'll join that company and then you have to learn how people at that company do whatever it is that you do. It's good to have the foundation as an example: If I was you know, now that I'm in marketing now it's good to have the foundation of what kind of advertising people do. How do people write and what's a good way to say this and say that. A lot of the stuff if you do in your life, you hone after you get out of college. College teaches you to have an open mind and continue to learn, I think. That's why people want someone with a college degree, I think. So that's kind of a long winded answer but that's kind of how I feel about my degree and what it did for me.

NR: Yeah.

LS: I'm still very happy that I had more of a liberal, kind of a Liberal Arts Degree. As opposed to a, you know, sticking with my Business Degree cause I really am thankful for the way that I switched.

NR: Yeah. Were there any important events in college that helped you realize 48:00what job you wanted to get after college? Or was that kind of something that just came up after you left college? You were like hey I kind of want to do this?

LS: No. I kind of as I started off saying I didn't really know what I wanted to do when I got out of college. I-- There wasn't any events that happened that I can remember. I think I kind of knew what I didn't want to do and that was being like a beat writer. I knew I didn't want to do that because I-- that's just not my personality, to barge my way in there like some of those folks in journalism. So, I kind of knew what I didn't want to do but that wasn't because of an event that was more of what I learned and what I saw when people were doing what they-- what they were doing in their roles. No I totally stumbled into working 49:00for the company that I work in. My neighbor worked here and she said "Hey, they're hiring part time" and I had just had my baby because we had children pretty quickly when I got out of school. Actually, I just had one child at that time. I stumbled into it and I love it. I kind of grew up at this company. I've been here twenty--. Let's see, twenty-four years this year. And I had the honor to do a lot of different jobs here. It's something I stumbled into and it wasn't like "Okay. Now I want to go work at this Healthcare company" that I am working at right now.

NR: Yeah.

LS: It was more like "Okay, well here's a job. Okay well this is cool. Oh! This is really cool!" I like the company, I like their values, I like the mission and I like what we do for people, so, I'm going to stay here. And I'm going to move to these jobs and keep learning. Yeah.

NR: So, I guess like-- What is some advice you would have for like new coming 50:00students, who want to come to UW OSHkosh? Or any advice on how to then use whatever degree you get?

LS: Yeah. Well for people that are looking to make a choice. Obviously, everyone has a different reason why they are going to school. Some people want the college experience like a four year degree. Some people want a two year degree or they want to do something else. They-- they want-- They want to go to the trades or something like that but for people who want to go to a University and they don't want to go to Madison, you know, because there are people that just have to go to Madison. Or they have to go to Marquette. They have to go to these bigger, more I don't even know if prestigious is the right word, but the bigger names.

NR: Yeah.

LS: They're going to do that anyway, but if you don't want to do that because that's just not your thing. I feel like the advice that I would give someone 51:00that is making the choice is, you know, you should really look at Oshkosh. I like, like I said, the place where it is set, the closeness to the community, the sports teams that are there. If you like to, you know, if you're interested in sports or watching sports, I think it's good. The football team is pretty good, it was not good by the way when I was there.

NR: Yeah.

LS: The baseball team, I think is pretty good. All the basketball, the girls and the guys basketball, teams are good. So, if you like that kind of thing, I think, it gives you a great experience. It's not going to be similar to Madison, because there's not as many people attending events, but it's still a good thing. I like-- I just would say that you, you know, you should pick Oshkosh because of the fact that it's close by to the community and the community is there. You feel like you're in a city and you feel like you're part of 52:00something. The University just has a feel to it. That feels-- It feels like it-- it's always trying to improve itself and the people that go there are people that want to be in school or they want to participate in sports because they want to continue their sports at the collegiate level. They want to be there. They're not getting paid to go there. They want to go there. I think, the people that are there are just, they're genuine. I guess that's kind of what I would tell people. I would tell them once getting out and what they're going to do with their education. Is just kind of what I said before is just use it as a springboard. You'll never be done learning and I think people get that, because no matter where you go you're going to have to learn the culture. You'll have to learn how to participate in different activities that-- when you're at work. How 53:00to share things. How to not share things. How to, you know, be professional to the that point someone will always look to you and say "Wow, that person is a professional." That kind of thing. And always just remember your University and remember where you came from. And try to give back whenever you can. You know, a lot of people-- At least the people that I know that went to Oshkosh. They just go and they just never come back and I, maybe I have a different perspective because my daughter wanted to go there. So, I'm back at campus, you know, not as much as she's a Senior, but earlier in Freshman and Sophomore year. She'd be like "Come up for lunch." So, I was there more frequently. I actually really appreciate my connection there. I've been to the Alumni Center there. We've been back for Homecoming. I try to get my roommates, all four of us, to go back every year. To the football game and then just have dinner and go out. You know, that 54:00sort of thing, have some fun. So, never forget where you came from and try to continue to give back to the place that gave you so much because at the end of the day we have a Degree from a great University.

NR: Yeah.

LS: And we are able to move on with our life. Whatever phase you want to, you know. Not everybody got a great job. Some people that I know became great stay at home moms and they were completely okay with that, but they were educated stay at home moms.

NR: Yeah.

LS: Take your education and do all that you can with it and be proud of where you came from.

NR: Yeah. So, What was maybe any regrets after leaving campus? Or is there anything you wish you could have done when you were still going to school?

LS: Oh, boy, yes. I wish that I would have been more involved with, you know-- 55:00You asked me you know any of the teachers or you know, did anyone make an impact on you or that kind of thing. Like I kind of didn't participate with the professors, like I probably should have. I'm sure there was some great people there but I really was-- I was on a mission to get out, I think. I probably, if I could do it over again. Well first I would probably study more, than I did. Second, I would probably just try to get a little closer to my professors and maybe-- maybe try to have a more of a leadership role in some of my classes. Like I said, I just, and I don't know if I would have done that at 19, 20, 21, I might not have. If I could do it again that's probably what I would do. Is just be more present when I'm there and not try to get out so fast.

NR: Yeah.

LS: Cause, you know, when you get out then you have a job and then your life starts.

NR: Yeah.

LS: And then you can't do what you did in college. Then you sort of wished it 56:00away, a little bit. I think I did that mostly because my husband, my now husband, you know, was living in-- you know, far away from me. So, I kind of wanted to hurry up and get done with it, so I could get home, and we could start our little life together. Which was fine, but at the same time, it kind of rushed things through.

NR: Yeah. Was there anything that you're really proud of that you got to do while you were on campus?

LS: That's a great question. You know, I don't that I'd say I was proud of this, cause I was just one of many. I think I was proud to be a Graduate. I was proud to have made the decision to just finish and stay. At the time, I think the dropout and transfer rate was pretty high. So, I was proud that I started something and I finished something. Additionally, we-- we had a cool experience 57:00while we were there. We had Jesse Jackson, I think, was running for president at the time. So, He came and spoke to us. That was pretty cool to be part of something like that. Again, I was in the audience but I didn't participate in bringing him here or anything like that. That was a really cool experience that I'm-- maybe not proud but I'm happy to of had that opportunity, to listen to somebody that was in that type of role. And continues to be whatever he is doing. Yes. That's kind of-- I'm proud that I finished and I know that that's kind of a low bar to set but I am really proud that I could be a graduate. Now, everyone that I see that graduates, you know, from Oshkosh. Cause my niece went there as well. She graduated two years ago. Everyone that graduates from there, I always say to mention "Another, Titan Graduate! Another, Titan Graduate!" Just because I think, you know. You hear people say well nobody graduates from 58:00Oshkosh, they always transfer someplace else. I think that's wrong. I think, you know, there's a lot of good college graduates from Oshkosh. Proud to be a part of it.

NR: So, would you say you definitely encourage some of the people that are in you life to come here? Or did you let them make their own decision to come?

LS: Yeah. So, that was a delicate balance, as you might imagine.

NR: Yeah.

LS: My niece, really I didn't even know she was-- I didn't even know she was looking there, cause she really didn't say until she said to me, "Hey, What do you think about going there?" and I'm like "Oh my Gosh! Yes! You have to go!" you know, that kind of thing. So, she had already, I think, made her decision. Then my daughter, I definitely, had to like go slowly with that, because I think I brought it up originally. She had the opportunity to play basketball at a couple different schools, but they were small. Ripon and a couple of different schools that size. I said "I think you owe it to yourself to look at those places." She never wanted to go to Madison, or any of those big places. I don't 59:00think she even thought about White Water, but she said "Well," she came to me and said "What do you think about if we go to Oshkosh?" and I was like inside of course, I'm like "YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!" but I was like "Oh, sure we can go up and look." So, I had to be really careful with her, just cause I didn't want-- I didn't want to force her into something that-- Quite frankly, I hadn't been on campus. I hadn't been-- I didn't know what type of school-- business school they had cause she went into Finance.

NR: Yeah.

LS: So, I really didn't know at all what she was getting herself into and then of course after the visit, the I was like "Yes, you should go there! Yes, you should go there!" cause I was super impressed with the Business school and what they did for us when we were there. Because you know, the kids went one way and then the parents went-- listened to the Dean and all the other Professor's talked about what they did and things like that. I didn't pressure her but I definitely encouraged her to take a look. I'm really super happy that she did, 60:00obviously. Cause now we have three women in my family that graduated from there, so that's exciting.

NR: Yeah, it's really nice to hear of someone having like a fond, "Yes, people do graduate from UW Oshkosh. Cause like you said there's still, not as big of one I don't think, but there's still that stigma of "Oh yeah. That's Sloshkosh" or "That's just a party school" or "People don't actually get good degrees."

LS: Yeah.

NR: When in reality it's a really good campus and they've got amazing staff--

LS: Yeah

NR: --and everything. So--

LS: Yeah, they do. You know, there's-- I-- The one thing that I would-- I wish and I don't know how they could do it, but I feel like the Alumni News and the Alumni things that we get-- You know, they celebrate a few people but there's so many people that I know. That are doing great things. My roommate for example is a Principal at an elementary school in Neenah. Like, oh my gosh! She graduated from Oshkosh! My other roommates a Pharmacist at one of the hospitals in 61:00Appleton. I mean come on! She graduated from Oshkosh, shouldn't we be celebrating this kind of thing? Like I wish they would do more of that celebration. They do kind of celebrate people, don't get me wrong but it's-- it's-- In my opinion there's more people-- And you're so right. We need to get rid of that stigma of like oh people-- "It's Sloshkosh! And everyone does parties like rockstars!" Now granted, yeah, you should be social if you want to go there, I think.

NR: Yeah.

LS: But you can still get a really good degree. That will continue to open your mind for learning. Most of the people I know that, and in fact almost everybody that I know, went on for further degrees. At least the people in my little group.

NR: Yeah.

LS: My one--Actually, my one-- One of my roommates didn't but she went into a different area and got some different education. So, there wasn't a degree necessarily, she's like in the Vet field.

NR: Yeah.

LS: But yes. People learn and that's why I said, I think that's what college is supposed to teach you. Is that you should be a lifelong learner. Get your degree 62:00but then keep learning because you've got to keep making a-- making things better for yourself and this world and that's why we are here, right? Is to continue to improve the-- improve and be good citizens and a improve other people's lives. I don't know.

NR: Yeah. No it's just really great to hear that there's graduates that are like encouraging other students to come here. And that that stigma--

LS: Yeah.

NR: -- shouldn't really be what defines the college. When we do have a lot of great people graduating.

LS: Right.

NR: And doing great things like you said. So that's--

LS: Yeah.

NR: That's like amazing to hear that you were encouraging and stuff. I thank you for doing that. Cause we need to help raise the awareness for sure. And maybe that's something we can bring up-- Maybe, I'll do it in class to see if there's a way we could start, you know, opening that up and allowing more people to be celebrated for what they're doing now that they're out of Oshkosh.

63:00

LS: Yeah, I think that will be great. Another guy that I know, he's a lawyer. Like he went there! He got his degree there. So, it's like there are so many people that are so successful in their little careers because of what started there.

NR: Yeah.

LS: I think that'd be great. Maybe, it'd be a fun little project for you.

NR: Yeah! Maybe I'll and do that. That'll definitely give me something really cool to try and work on.

LS: Yeah. Yeah.

NR: Yeah. I want to thank you for letting me do this interview with and all that advice and your story was just awesome to listen to.

LS: Good. And you're welcome.

NR: Yeah. I will definitely be sending you over that Deed of Gift. And then we can, you know, exchange further emails on pictures or anything that you think would be important.

LS: You know, I'll look for some pictures and scan them over to you. Do you have a deadline for all that you're doing? Is there a day you have to turn in?

NR: I think May 2nd is when we have to turn in the project.

LS: Okay. So, I'll get it to you before then. I'll look this weekend to see what 64:00I can find and then I'll put a little plea out to my other roommates. To see if they have anything.

NR: Okay.

LS: If they would like me to send.

NR: Yeah but you know, Thank you for coming here. And thanks for all the encouragement and the time that you gave to me. To be able to conduct this project.

LS: Yeah. No problem. Anytime if you need anything, Natasha. Now you've got my email.

NR: Yeah. Definitely.

LS: Okay!

NR: Okay, thank you. Have a good day.

LS: Okay. You too. Take care. Bye.

NR: Bye.

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