Interview with Melissa Hunt, 04/20/2017

UW Oshkosh Campus Stories
Ethan Fredericks, Interviewer | uwocs_Melissa_Hunt_04202017_uc.mp3
Campus Stories Oral History Project (UWO Audio Series 51) |

0:00

´╗┐Ethan Fredericks: My name is Ethan Fredericks, I am with The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh oral history project. I am here with alumni Melissa Hunt. Melissa can you give we the date and the exact time of this interview?

Melissa Hunt: Yes it is April 20th 2017 and it is 3:00pm

EF: Let's start off with my first question. Where are you from?

MH: Originally, I am from Kenosha, Wisconsin.

EF: Did you move at all?

MH: I moved when I came to school and Oshkosh stayed there, and moved recently in 2016 to Madison, Wisconsin.

EF: What was your childhood like?

MH: Probably the average 1980's 1990's, I was active in sports, in enjoyed going 1:00to school. Pretty much the basics, I had a great group of friends in the neighborhood I grew up in. I grew up in a small Italian community in Kenosha. Was actively in youth sports around the community, and helped around the community and was active in Holy (unclear) Catholic Church.

EF: Do you have any siblings?

MH: I have one sister, she's three years younger than me and she is also a UW- Oshkosh alumni and graduate.

EF: What was her major?

MH: Education

EF: How much of an impact can you say that they had on you growing up, being the older sister?

MH: Being the older sibling? I think a lot we were very close. She looked up to 2:00me, we did a lot of the same things, we were very good friends and continue to be to this day.

EF: What interested did you have growing up? You said that you were active around your community can you get into more detail with that?

MH: Yes, I played softball, basketball, volleyball. I was involved with many community activists. We volunteered with my family. We were active with the Catholic Church. My mom was very involved in the schools with PTO and so we did all the different activities throw our middle school and our high school.

EF: What were your parents like?

3:00

MH: My parents were great. They were very supportive of anything that we participated in, or activity that we were engaged in. Very active with participating all our sports activities. They supported us and payed for all the activities and camps. I was also a girl scout, and they were always there leading us in any of those activities and participating in those activities as well.

EF: So you can say that they had a very big impact on your life just being there?

MH: Very much.

EF: Did they go to school?

MH: College, they booth went to UW-Parkside.

EF: What did they study?

MH: Medical technology.

EF: Both of them?

MH: Yes, that's how they met.

EF: Nice, what high school did you go to?

MH: Kenosha Bradford

4:00

EF: How far is that from Oshkosh?

MH: About two hours, or 120 miles.

EF: Was it a bigger school or more a smaller private type of school?

MH: No it was a public school, division one, about two thousand students maybe more.

EF: Did you enjoy high school?

MH: Very much

EF: What did you enjoy about it?

MH: I was very active in student council, and in the yearbook, in basketball, volleyball, track and field and any of those activities. We were engaged in youth group and many other extracurricular activities and loved my community and gave back, we planned go back and make a difference. We call it go mad activities, were we would give back to the community. Very active and involved within my community, and enjoyed doing so.

5:00

EF: What kind of classes did you enjoy, in school?

MH: I loved math, I was in honors. Honors courses as well, I didn't like science as well. For the yearbook I was auditor. Social studies I always enjoyed.

EF: Are there and memorable moments in high school that you'll like never forget?

MH: Yes, first senior trip where we went to New York City. I was on the marketing class DECA, participated in DECA. I took first place in state at least one year. I went state I think every year. And for our senior trip throw our marketing department and throw our marketing association this was our DECA course, we went on "Total Request Live" toured one of the ad agencies that did 6:00all the advertisements for Sports Illustrated, and had some really cool opportunities. We got to see a feu Broadway shows, we were really lucky to have an awesome trip.

EF: Ya you guys must have been great, going as a DECA like team? I was never on any DECA activities. What did you do for DECA by chance? I'm sorry I never heard of it, I heard of it I just never really got into it.

MH: Ya, DECA is a competition I guess. You studied for it. It's marketing students, so it's for association of marketing students. It's kind of a leadership cores and could take it. And then you competed in activities in 7:00regards to presentation skills, business skills, problem solving skills that I'd probably say. It was a cool activity.

EF: What got you interested in UW-Oshkosh? Why here?

MH: I had it narrowed down that I really wanted to stay in Wisconsin. I'm very passionate about the school system. I work for the state now. I knew that I wanted to say in Wisconsin and not be too far away from home, but I wanted to be a little bit farther away from home. And when I came I just toured the campus. I thought everything was really nice. I also grew up on the lake, and so being not far from the lake was important to me, me being right on the river there. And I think the first feu torus and engagement with people was really, positive experience, and enjoyed it and knew that was where I wanted to go to school.

8:00

EF: What were the people like?

MH: I think it was like, I was there and I just remember very vividly a beautiful spring day. There were people outside playing sports. Just kind of all around campus. At volleyball courts. Just really applied to me like man that you could really have some fun here and enjoyed all the downtown with the community. Things that were always really important to me. Depends on grown up. And so I think it was knit to experience just the downtown area. And how close knit the community was, how you can kind of walk along to a lot of places. I remember it being an awesome day, walking into the union. It wasn't a long walk like Madison 9:00or like other places that I had looked at as well. And thought it would be a good fit.

EF: What other colleges? You said Madison you were looking at? What other colleges where you kind of shifting your weight toward?

MH: It was Madison, Marquette and Oshkosh. Price wise it just made more sense and I thought Madison was too big.

EF: Ya I know what you mean, I went to U for a visit and I couldn't deal with the walking .What was the biggest change from high school to college?

10:00

MH: I think, not no one necessarily caring if you woke up in your dorm. At least when you were home you mom might have checked on you. But you know no one was there, it was kind of on you to make sure you got to class on time, you got your work in. And no one calling in and checking back home. No one reporting you weren't there. And just the independence of you know of having to plan your own schedule and get you your own dinner. Kind of the whole nine yards of being an adult was a little different for me. I came from a very close knit family, we did dinners together every night, and I was very well taken care of. So it was interesting change for me.

EF: What was the first day of class like? Being a new freshman, getting done 11:00with high school and moving on though with your life.

MH: I don't really remember. I remember the first couple of weeks. Enjoying the activities and all the different groups that were on campus, and meeting new people. Having done the Odyssey experience, I just remember enjoying it all, taking it all in one moment at a time.

EF: What did you think of your Odyssey day?

MH: I enjoyed it, I thought it was nice, I met some nice people and got to connect with them once I got to campus. Didn't stay to connected I think I really built my relationships in the dorms. I thought it was great preparation, kind of nice to have. I think our parents were there for our first Odyssey meeting before school started, and was a great experience.

EF: Was it nice having them with you for this first Odyssey step?

MH: Ya it was cool, I like sharing my experiences with my family and was nice to 12:00have that opportunity.

EF: When did you decide on an Urban and Regional Studies major?

MH: I think I decided on that, my third year. I wanted to be a teacher then I wanted to go into business. But I had a little too much fun my first couple of years and my GPA was a little low. And I had taken some of the required gen eds and one of them was taught by Michael Brady was professor at the time, he was amazing, it was kind of on urban and regional studies that they used. And us on community development and he had speakers come in every week, and it was so cool. And when I heard, kind of what their job was and what they did I was like "This is what I want to do".

EF: Did they offer an interim at this time to help with the GPA in the early 13:00years of your college career?

MH: Yes.

EF: What type of classes did you take during that time?

MH: I took interim every year. I took English my first year with Brestfers. I took an interim every year. Usually my English course, whatever was offered that fit into my schedule that made sense. I think I took a women's studies courses. I took one every time I could.

EF: How was the program here for the Regional Studies course? Core classes that you had to take?

MH: I really enjoyed my urban and regional studies classes. The professor at the 14:00time Michael Brady was unbelievable. So I really enjoyed taking those classes and being in there to kind of participate. A lot of the classes were taught by him so. I really enjoyed those and I think that's why I went into the field of that community development side that I went into because of it.

EF: During your time with the Rainbow Alliance for HOPE, what drove you to join this group/ club?

MH: I think just coming into my own, identifying as lesbian, was what drove me to be involved and active in that group. It was with a focus on the LGBTQ 15:00community, and having a safe space on campus for LGBTQ students. And being actively engaged in just being a part of the space, and being a part of that was important to me. To know I could implement change or architects or engaged was something that I was interested in doing.

EF: Were the people that you were going to school with, or the friends you hung around with were they supportive of this group. Or what was the social status of the Rainbow Alliance for HOPE?

MH: It was more of a group of LGBTQ students Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/ Questioning allied students that were very supportive of that. Many of my friends were involved in that. I became even more heavily involved, at one point I was the vice president, and my best friend he was the 16:00president of the organization. I think it allowed me to meet more people and engage in activities.

EF: When did you get involved with the rugby team?

MH: My freshman year, I had met them at the, while I was walking around. Doing the, what do you call it? Whatever was the first week of school, were you could see all the different clubs and activities and all that.

EF: I want to say that's a part of Odyssey. Like Odyssey is kind of affiliated with that. I might be wrong, but I'm pretty sure, because with my Odyssey with had all the little clubs out near, I'm pretty sure it's the big grass patch of land near the REC near the river. Right outside near the river.

17:00

MH: Ok ours was right outside of Dempsey, and it was all set up by reeve union. Ya and I met some nice girls and they were like "Hey, did you play a sport?" I was probably in shorts and a t-shirt like sports sure, they said "have you ever played rugby? Would you like to try" and it was a club sport at the time. But we played against all the other UW schools including Madison and we also played against Marquette. It was fun, I got hurt one of the years, so I couldn't play afterwards. But it was a great group of people and connected with a handful of some of them.

EF: How many years did you play for?

MH: Only my first year then I count play after that. Then I just played intramural sport.

EF: What kind of injury? If you don't mind me asking.

MH: I hurt my knee, I blew out my knee

EF: My brother tore his ACL I think three time

18:00

MH: Ya not fun.

EF: Nope, nope. Did you work during school?

MH: I did.

EF: Where did you work?

MH: I worked at, let's see. The Boy and Girls Club of Oshkosh, Eastbay and then I also, I had three internships. The City of Ripon, The City of Oshkosh and The Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce that I got all thought my Urban and Regional Studies department thought the Geography department.

EF: How did you plan out your schedule, your freshman year? Cause I know a lot 19:00of people like to schedule their classes more in the afternoon so they can sleep in.

MH: My freshman year I probably didn't know better, but my second semester freshman year I probably did better, I planning it out so I didn't have class on Fridays, and I usually liked to take a lot of the night classes, all the urban and regional studies classes, to cause then it got to be later on, so not freshman year. Those were all classes that were on Wednesdays usually, from 6:00 pm-9:00 pm or Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays from 6:00 pm-9: 00 pm so I would do a lot of night courses to.

EF: Do you think high school prepared you for the amount of work and the effort that you have to put to be a college student?

MH: Ya, I was in honors classes in all though high school so ya I feel like it differently prepared me. I don't know if I started honors my freshman year. I don't know if I did honors in college or not. I might have taken one class then didn't take any more.

20:00

EF: What was campus life like?

MH: I think I stayed in the network or groups of people that I knew met and introduced. Or became partners with the LGBTQ group and network and then the rugby girls and I had some friends that played sports so I participated with them and I made friends with the dorms with the people I live with. I think it was great, I really enjoyed it, I love being able to walk downtown and be close to campus.

EF: You went to school between the years of 2000-2005, correct?

MH: Correct.

EF: I have to ask, I know this is going to kind of sound a little out there but I have to ask. What do you remember about September, 11?

MH: I do remember September 11th. I had strep throat, and I was in my dorm room. 21:00I remember coming out and all the TV's were on in union everyone was talking about it, people were crying and in disbelief. I remember it being just very, hitting everyone differently but all of us coming together. You know that passion about your community and passion for our country, and overwhelming positive responses and very saddened by how it had all come down.

EF: I know that a lot of people after 9/11 they decided to enlisted, did you know anyone or did yourself want to enlist in the military?

MH: I did not, but I did have a handful of friends that I played softball with or knew of that did enlist because of that.

EF: Do you remember any names?

22:00

MH: No, not off the top of my head.

EF: Did the administration say anything about the attack?

MH: Ya, I think there was a mass email and letter that went out to everyone, I know there was definitely a lot of communication in regards to what was happening, I believe Oshkosh because of Oshkosh Corp being a major defense contractor of the United States was also on higher alert of the community. At the time I think of all the great communication, I remember lots of conversations, I remember lots of classes talking about it.

EF: So class wasn't canceled?

MH: I was sick, I didn't go to class that day anyway so I don't remember. It might have been, there were definitely moments of silence. And all kinds of 23:00activities that people could talk with counselors, I remember all that being an option.

EF: Overall, they tried to keep the ball rolling?

MH: Ya, I mean I think it was, we didn't stop life by any means but I think it was very much acknowledged.

EF: I'm sorry, I'm going to have to jump a little bit over again. From what you remember what was something that you believe the geography department could have improved, during your time being a UWO student?

MH: I really enjoyed it, I thought one of the things that I found somewhat interesting was we were smaller group, I think we started out more like a 24:00geography club, I was the president and there were only five or six of us. So I think, I know all the different groups and organization and everyone kind of has their clubs and activities but we were smaller group, so it would have been nice to partner with another division or other school or something within letter and science that we could have been closer connected and more active to do more in the community

EF: What dorms did you stay in?

MH: I lived in, Webster room 130 two years in a row 2000-2001 than 2001-2002.

EF: Did you live off campus for the next three years?

25:00

MH: I did.

EF: Do you remember the streets?

MH: Yup, I lived farther away, I lived. First year I lived on Eagle Street, and in the apartments off Brooks. Then, I guess my second year off campus, it was Eagle and Witzel. Then broke right off of Frontage road by Dairy Queen. Then I lived my fifth year I lived in an apartment it was a rehab, off of Main Street and New York. And it was a rehab that the city had done on an old firehouse 26:00turned into apartment, I loved that place.

EF: What buildings were you in, for your core classes?

MH: Let's see, what's the far back corner, I can't remember the name, across from Radio TV film. They redid it my last year and redid it.

EF: Halsey?

MH: Halsey, was some of them, is it Halsey I guess it was, all of my classes where in Halsey.

EF: Do you believe that UWO prepared you enough for the job/jobs that you have had after college?

MH: Definitely.

EF: In what ways?

MH: I think it really opened up my eyes, especially in the Urban and Regional 27:00Studies department. And specifically the internships that I had and the partnerships that the city throw the Chamber of Commerce, to engage in the activities that I do every day now I'm still partners with people, I still work to this day. I thoroughly enjoyed the relationships I build and continue opened up my eyes to continue to be active in the university the alumni board. Fitting in perfectly with my personality to transition into the work life and still staying engaged and active to this day.

EF: Did the university have you take any required classes or any kind of WIBS or a quest

MH: I might have had to take a career development one credit course my first 28:00year, I don't remember what it was called. It might have been called quest.

EF: What was communication between you and other students like? Because isn't this kind of the time were like mobile cell phone are actually starting to hit mainstream?

MH: Yes, we all had our phone in our dorm and our cards to call home and friends that maybe went to other campuses, other schools. But I did have a cell phone in high school and then I had a cell phone all through college, then I think the biggest thing we used was huge was the IM AOL aim messenger.

EF: What was the feelings that you felt walking across the stage during graduation?

29:00

MH: I think it was, about that time, was pretty cool, my whole family was there. My grandparents, aunt and uncles godfather, my parents my sister. My sister was a student at the time, and my brother in law had actually graduated as well. He wasn't my brother in law then but. So it was a pretty awesome experience.

EF: Did you have a job lined up for after college?

MH: I had a full time position not with benefits, were I had a feeling it was an internship with the and that's how I met the Chamber of Commerce.

EF: What did you do for this internship?

MH: I was the economic development manager, working on economic community and 30:00development with the Chamber of Commerce. Working with members of the Chamber of Commerce.

EF: What would your day to day look like doing that?

MH: In the internship I was there just maybe one day a week working, on building development and gathering data on new construction permits and sharing that data with committee partners, there was a revolving loan fund. I help out with the downtown business improvement district activities and one of my bigger projects when I was an intern for both the Chamber of Commerce and the city, was putting together an inventory of the buildings and businesses of the downtown area, and 31:00having a hard copy and an electronic copy of all the data. So pretty fun and net and I think, I was, successful and a hard worker, and that's probably why they kept me around so. That internship was in 2003, so would have been in the spring, and I ended up staying on all the way on until I graduated. As a part time employee through college also I guess I worked with as an intern, kept me on as a inter until I graduated. Then I worked full time doing project for them and downtown activities in the summer and after I graduate they kept me on as a fulltime with benefits and the whole nine yards.

EF: What kind of activities did they had you doing?

MH: I planned a concert series, some of the downtown activity, and participated 32:00in some of the events, was involved with the business and different activities that they did, there was a business expo so, I did a lot helped out a lot of different staff members with the marketing team, but I reported to the vice president of economic development our (unclear) director at the time, position has transitioned just recently, he was the executive director of the Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corporation and prior to that they were called the Oshkosh Commercial Development Corporation.

EF: Why did it take you five years to graduate? Was it a credit thing? Was it a financial thing?

MH: I was just having a really good time and didn't want to leave.

EF: Ya I think we all can feel that one.

33:00

MH: I took 18 credit most semesters. I didn't switch to Urban and Regional Studies until a little bit later on, probably my third of fourth year, at the end of my third year, but my GPA was a little lower I might have had a little too much fun my freshman and sophomore year. Or one of my freshman years.

EF: How many credits did you take on average you said 18?

MH: Ya 18, I probably went to the max, I also took a lot of credits in women's studies, I never finished out a minor in that, and then I had a business minor, that I did complete and have credits for a business minor.

EF: I don't really know about what the study of what women's studies is. Can you go into more detail with that? What did you study about women?

34:00

MH: There was women in religion and just form a calculator prospective, looking at the differences in society and just the time and how women and diversity and women in race and religion women and was in the cauler and social economic factors, and what impact women had in general and in history. A lot of it was Grenade studies, there was a gender studies class. Very culturally focused and anthropology sort of from a history side, and women's right and women's movement and how gender impacted society. There was a women in religion course that I took. I didn't finish get the whole minor degree.

EF: You got a degree with Urban and Regional studies with a minor in what exactly?

35:00

MH: Business, I should have finished up the women's studies but I didn't get enough credits.

EF: Why do you say that?

MH: I wish I would have, it was very interesting in change in our culture and society it would be neat to have. And the classes were fun.

EF: What about the classes were fun?

MH: I think it was just especially really being, you know 15-17 years ago having those conversations about culture and socio economic impact wasn't necessarily, something that was talked about as regularly. LGBTQ issues were conversations 36:00that we had in a lot of those classes as well, there has been I think a major social shift in just how we think of things, and how things transitions, It's just been a very interesting, I think the things that we learned in those courses were interesting and still would be relevant to this day and the changes in race conversations that are being had from a political perspective at the National level. Very interesting to think, how I think we have come a long way in some of those conversations, ya, I feel like we come along with those conversations, I feel like it was a very safe space on campus to have those conversations back then. I almost wonder what it would be like to have them now.

EF: Was the LGBTQ society, were was that on the political scale socially? Being 37:00in the early 2000's?

MH: Would have been very socially liberal, I mean I think transgender issues were not acknowledged the way they are now. Campus was a very safe place. Campus I don't want to sound sad but I don't think anyone necessarily judged us, recently the university had done some studies, and I felt very safe back then, and didn't have a ton of issues. We had drag shows, we had carried out a lot of activities we were. People were always very kind to us and we were a respected organization, I think we were very involved. It was kind of weird, because when I hear about the experience that students and people are having now. My experiences were all very positive back then, I never felt, especially identifying as lesbian, I never felt unsafe or discriminated against or treated 38:00any differently.

EF: How many jobs have you had since you graduated college up to now?

MH: One, two let's see, I worked at the Ashcrest Chamber of Fond du Lac county and the state, so technically only three.

EF: Did being a part of the LGBTQ society, being a player on the rugby team, did this kind of give you a sense of direction, were you kind of wanted to go in your life?

MH: No, I think I always been very active in organizations that I'm passionate 39:00about or that impacted me vie church or societal issues. So I think it was just in my nature it's what I know I'm still very involved in many LGBTQ foundations and community's activities and events and still very active in sports and athletics and I also coach high school softball. So from a career perspective I don't know if it was as big of a deal, as it was what made me tick. I think the internships and that piece was classes were a lot more important in Oshkosh.

EF: You mentioned religion a lot. How religious was your family?

MH: I was raised Catholic. I think I was very involved then, I went to the Newman's Center on campus. It started to phase out a little bit, I would say after college I wasn't as involved.

EF: Why was that? Because work got too much of your time?

40:00

MH: I think we went to church and became, Easter and Christmas holiday church goer, I think part of it was just the religion that I was raised in was very conservative and my lifestyle didn't necessarily reflect that conservative view. I consider myself to be fiscally conservative but socially rather liberal. And so I think there was an interesting balance on how that reflected my lifestyle in general. I am an active member in a church at this time. I am no longer in the catholic religion but in a different religion, Lutheran and still participate I didn't think I would find other ways to continue with community activity it's important not more important than going to church on Sunday's

41:00

EF: What was the reason why for the switch between religions?

MH: Well based on the fact that I was lesbian and I wanted to have a family and raise a family in a religion that believed in marriage not just between a man and a women.

EF: As a student what did you do during your free time?

MH: We got together and hang out a lot. I think there was a lot of, everyone had their own computer that was not something, pretty common in my dorm, but it was kind of the first year everyone had their own computer. So we did a lot of webcam chatting, and chatting via the instant messenger chat, and downloading 42:00songs on Napster and playing songs and burning CD's. We spent a lot of the time down at the lake. Going to the park, and the cultural amenities in Oshkosh and in that area and we spent a lot of time outside, played a lot of sports. We drank, we went out drinking, you know we went to different house parties.

EF: When you turned 21 what was the bar to go to?

MH: I think we went to Kelly's cause you could walk right there. Well "The Bar" was always the bar to go to, we went every Thursday night for wings and we stopped by, we spent a lot of time at Maple Murphy's. There was also a bar that was gay friendly, and I played softball for them in the summer every year 43:00Debbie's Spare Time, I actually just saw they celebrated their 20th anniversary I think she 22 years 23 they have been in existence. They were very gay friendly so we spent a lot of time there, but "The Bar" the bar out on the highway on Kohler. That was the place to get your mug and drink for free, kind of hitting up everything else you know downtown walking throw around campus go dancing at Kelly's or what was it Molly's they had quarter tapers and wings 15 cent wings I think wings were.

EF: Now I'm pretty sure there 25 cents, they are bumping up the prices.

MH: Actually, I think they are 50 cents now down at The Bar.

EF: I don't know about The Bar. I know where it's at, it's like across the 44:00highway. I'm from Chicago so, don't worry I'm a Packers fan though.

MH: Well I'm a Bears fan so.

EF: What kind of music was popular during your time in college?

MH: I remember the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Beatles came out with their first album of all of their number one, we listened to a lot of 70's rock, country was big I'd didn't really listen to country music until I'd came to Oshkosh a lot of people really liked country music in Oshkosh, and there was a country music festival, so we listened to a lot of music and in the summer we went to country U.S.A. every year. It was a nice diverse mix of a little bit of everything, then the trendy pop, Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys that kind of thing. NSync maybe, 45:00I don't know maybe that was more 90's.

EF: What were the names of your friends that you hung out with at this time? Or still are I'd assume.

MH: I guess Tary Obleo, now she's Tary Foster, went to Oshkosh just my freshman year we are still best friends. I'm trying to think of the hand full of girls that were in the dorms, Kristen, the soccer girls were in the room next to me, a handful, a couple of the golfer (unclear) Emily her dad owned a bar over in Rosendale. Guess I'm kind of blanking on some of the names, Alisa was my CA I 46:00still talk to her occasionally. It's kind of nice with Facebook that you can stay connected with these people. Then, Amber man who else, I still see a handful of people.

EF: Do you remember who was your chancellor at the time?

MH: Yep, Chancellor Wells I still, I knew Chancellor Wells very well then and ended up working with Chancellor Wells up to when we retired.

EF: When did he retire, do you remember?

MH: Ya Chancellor Wells retired, how long has Chancellor Leavitt, this his third year?

EF: I want to say it's his second.

MH: I want to that Chancellor Wells retired in 2014 and Chancellor Leavitt 47:00started after that.

EF: I came to school kind of between the time, we got inducted to be our chancellor he had already been our chancellor for a year. Is that how it works you have to be the chancellor for a year and them they see where you're at?

MH: Ya, they do the induction after.

EF: What's the point of that year then? Is it just to see how they are going to run the school and see if the school improves in any way?

MH: Ya, I don't know, that's a darn good question. See if it's a good fit for him.

EF: Ya, I don't know it's all political.

MH: Ya, I think that's the part of the process when they hired the chancellor I 48:00think it's a actually a pretty decent process being in government know there was lot of input that went into it. I think there was someone local that, could have been a great chancellor but I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with Chancellor Levitt, and enjoy Andy's company very much. And I had a great relationship with Chancellor Wells as well, I saw him quite regularly after I graduated, with my career.

EF: So you kind of said that you have a good relationship with the chancellor's, how did you get to talk to them regularly?

MH: Well form a work aspect, in my career. I was on a lot of different committees, I was involved on economic development, and the chancellors are 49:00still involved with a lot of the economic activities in the regions. So I was on a lot of those committees that the chancellors were involved. The Chamber of Commerce and engaged in activities at the city, and the regional level and the city and the county and even the larger regional perspectives, so I saw him in a lot of activities and then. I've been on the alumni board now for about four or five years, and so the chancellor comes to all of our alumni board meetings usually. And so then I interested in that sense as well.

EF: What kind of conversations would he have with you, what would they be about usually?

MH: I think we talked about, what campus was like when, when I was back in school. And what activities I was involved in. Most of the stuff we talked 50:00about, I think was on, Economic development and how can we better engage in the growth and the development and the community and how the university and has an impact on engaging an intricate player. More importantly a partner in all the activities and developments that were going on.

EF: What were the big social events around campus?

MH: I don't know, going out every weekend.

EF: I meant more like activities that the university held, for instance football games volleyball games

MH: I mean ya, homecoming week, had a lot of friends that played softball, so I would go to softball. We usually had a concert on campus once a year.

EF: Would that be at the end of the year?

51:00

MH: Well there was the two, there was the bear garden, obviously not held on campus, there was usually a concert every year at Kolf. And you could buy tickets to attend. I think one year it was light house, I remembered hearing, I didn't go but if you sat outside you could hear it from Kolf. And then the homecoming basic activities with the spirt week and I wasn't in any of the fraternity. I know they had their week and activities. We had a lot of activities around for the Rainbow Alliance for HOPE. We had a drag show that we did every year. And all the different first week, activities that tied into people registering for organizations and groups and signup and all that, it was engaged activities as well.

52:00

EF: So your second year Senior, your last class, you're tuning in all your papers, you're tuning in all your exams, all of the really hard work is done or about to be done or in the mix of being done, what was your mentality like making sure that, it's only 24 hours or IRS only this one test, or it's only this one paper. What were you what were you kind of thinking in that kind of stressful time before you were graduated?

MH: I think my last year was, I don't know if it was all that stress full. I think I enjoyed it, got all my papers in. I was within my core classes tied to Urban and Regional studies, and the professor was great.

EF: Do you remember the professor's name?

53:00

MH: Ya Michael Brady, was amazing, Kool was awesome his last name was Kollabolly, let me think of the chair of our department geography he was from Turkestan or Russia. I don't know, he was awesome. Michael Brady was my favorite. So ya no there wasn't a ton of stress I think there was excitement. My sister was still going to school at the university so I know I was still going to be spending time there, and I was living in the community at the time, and planned on staying in the community that worked so, I could start probably giving back and being in the "real world" for lack of a better term, and kind of enjoying life. Parents bought be a new car for graduation. So I couldn't complain.

EF: What kind of car?

54:00

MH: A Honda Civic.

EF: What year?

MH: Whatever year that would have been 2014.

EF: Nice.

MH: Gotten it when school started ya, or not 2014, geez Louise 2004

EF: I was about to like "2014". So they went in the future I like it.

MH: No, ya 2004.

EF: What were the teachers that you enjoyed just being the student of, what would they do differently then the teachers you didn't enjoy as much, didn't do or wouldn't do?

MH: I think back to Urban and Regional studies was, with some of my favorites. You know they brought in a lot of speakers to talk about what it was like what you did with your career, what jobs were out there, what activities you could participate in. So it was neat to see people in the field, doing that work. But 55:00I think as we learned, it was very interactive there was a lot of discussion. It wasn't just being spoke at, there were smaller class sizes which was nice, and so it was easier to be interactive. But it wasn't just here's your PowerPoint and hey take some good notes. It was take on papers and items that interested you, so your writing information that projects that you doing that you could be passionate about. For one of the classes we actually did a study with a community, which was amazing. I had experience going into the world and I was able to do a study on the impact on community development and the impact of infrastructure and highways and railroads and travel patterns, I think very into go continued success and desire and passion that continue moving forward in the field.

EF: Sorry, I'm trying to find the next question. We kind of have been jumping 56:00around on my question sheet, just give me a second.

MH: No problem

EF: From your time with being a freshman, like first day of being a freshman to the time you graduate with your diploma. What was the biggest eye opener that you found throughout your whole college career?

MH: I don't know, I just think that. I came from a very close family, starting 57:00out school my freshman year, not having my Mom and Dad being there, or giving me cash when I needed it. Making sure that I get food on the table. Having to do all that stuff and having to be so independent and having to do it on my own. To the end, when I have to save my own money and pay my own bills and pay for my phone and pay for my car. I think it was a very different transistor having to pay bills. I think that was very eye opening, not anything you can get prepared for until you're doing it. Then, I think just college in general I mean it's, the university provided opportunity to share their opinions and their research. But really let you form your own thoughts and opinions on many different things. 58:00So it was just kind of interesting dynamic to go from sort of told a lot, and following procedure and kind of mapping out the way you want your life to look, and what you want to do and how you want to see it go, and really that step into independence was probably the biggest. Not knowing what to expect and then making it through day by day

EF: I know what you mean, that's how I live my life. When you were living off campus, what was the biggest difference between living off campus and living on campus?

MH: Well on campus you can go anywhere and eat, there are a lot of great 59:00opportunities and you're in a very small space and have my own bathroom. But I think have going thought having my own bathroom my own bedroom a room to myself, being in an apartment and having my own kitchen then I would have to clean up after myself, us just a huge difference. Living on my own the first time I think dorms, you did live on your own, but you didn't have to vacuum the hallways and you didn't have to clean the bathroom and just that transition to from, not having responsibilities payed some of the bills but not all the bills. You paid your phone bills and some of the basics and had meal plan and going into an apartment, having to do all of your own meal planning and grocery shopping.

EF: Was there any bill that you just dreaded seeing?

MH: Well sometime the cell phone got a little high, I did give plasma a handful of times during college to pay the cellphone or the bill calling family back home or friends or whatever. Otherwise my family was really supportive, so I 60:00could not complain too much.

EF: Is there anything else that you would like to talk about with your college experience here that we didn't go over that we didn't already talk about?

MH: No, they were awesome questions, I really enjoyed college, and I'm really glad to still continue be a part of UW-Oshkosh family and engage in activities as an alumni and participate in the alumni board.

EF: Awesome, thank you so much for your interview, thank you so much. I'll make sure I give you a copy of the recording. Can you now say the time?

MH: Yes it is, 4:00 pm on April 20th 2017

EF: Alright thank you so much have a great day.

MH: Thanks you too.

Search This Transcript
Search Clear