Community Partner

Oshkosh Senior Center

The center is open to the public and targets its services to persons age 50+. The center provides a wide variety of services, activities, and events throughout the year.

200 North Campbell Road

Oshkosh, WI 54902


GO TRANSIT bus route: 3.

The goal of our community experience project is to develop a deeper sense of place for the location you’ve found yourself spending serious time in: Oshkosh and its environs. We will do this by interviewing and mapping the life experiences and memories of long-time Oshkosh-area residents. This assignment, called the Community Engagement Experience Map (hereafter referred to as the CEE Map, worth the 25% of your grade), will help you to recognize what is truly unique and special about this seemingly average town. Oshkosh may be known worldwide for overalls and air shows, but the real treasures of any city are the lives lived within it. Much has happened here, most of it very quietly. At the conclusion of this project, I guarantee that you will not see this place the same again. The format and size of each map will be determined in direct response to the information collected. In other words, each map will be as unique as its participants!

To accomplish our task, we have the honor of working with our Community Partner. Small groups of 2-3 students will be paired with local senior citizens at the Senior Center.

This experience will entail approximately 14–20 hours of work both in and outside of class.

Interview/Information Gathering visits will take place during class time. You will arrive at your interviews with a prepared list of questions to start with.

Examples of questions you might ask include:

How has Oshkosh changed since your earliest memory of it? Can you explain buildings, businesses, schools, roads, parks, or features that are now gone or are drastically different?

Explain in detail a place that is gone.

Are there any local buildings or features that have existed pretty much unchanged since your earliest memory?

What were your favorite local places as a child?

What were your favorite local places as a young adult?

Has living in Oshkosh and Wisconsin helped to shape who you are as a person? If so, in what way?

Please share your experiences and observations about the local neighborhood or area you lived in for a significant amount of time.

How have you experienced natural features — such as parks, lakes, and rivers —in this area?

How would you describe your relationship over time to the Fox River, which bisects Oshkosh? Is it a feature you have enjoyed spending time on/near, or is it just a hurdle (bridge) to drive over to get from one place to another?

Have you fished or hunted? If so, where were the best places to go?

Over your lifetime, what means of transport have you used to get around the city and the state?

Most of us have seen the large landfill on the northern side of town, but were you aware of — or did you ever consider — where your garbage was transported to on trash day? Did you ever have to bring it there yourself?

Where did you attend school? How has that place changed since then?

Where have you done most of your shopping over time? What sorts of items (milk, for example) were delivered right to your residence?

Did you ever visit or spend time on local farms or dairies? How were they different then?

How have you seen Main Street/Downtown Oshkosh change over time?

How have you seen Highway 41 change over time?

How have you seen UW Oshkosh change over time?

The Senior Center is located on GO TRANSIT bus route 3. You are encouraged to use this free service: just flash your UWO I.D.

Please be very aware that our community experience will be guided by the following principles:

Reciprocity: partnerships are meaningful for students and their communities. A major purpose of the CEE Map project is to connect the most awesome students UWO has to offer (that’s you, of course!) with some truly amazing longtime Oshkosh-area residents. Be very aware that they will learn from you just as you will learn from them. (See Respect, below.)

Reflection: Students engage in intentional, systematic contextualization of the Community Experiences. You will be required to turn in a guided written reflection based on the questions “How do you now see Oshkosh differently?” and “How has this project helped you to understand firsthand the idea of Place?” during the last week of class, which will be placed alongside a visual file of your CEE Map in your ePortfolio.

Respect: Community Experiences demonstrate value for the voices of the community partners and the students. Just to be clear: we all have something important to say. It’s just that some people are just quieter than others. Have patience and always, always be kind.

Results: Outcomes are shared publicly with the campus and community.

Maps from our class will be exhibited at both Evergreen and the Oshkosh Seniors Center as well as at the upcoming Celebration of Scholarship in April.

Community Experience Conduct and Process Expectations

Students are expected to abide by the UW Oshkosh Student Academic and Non-Academic Disciplinary Procedures during their Quest III Community Experience. All students will be asked to acknowledge in writing that they have been made aware of these policies. Other policies that may be relevant to the Community Experience in this course are described in the online Quest III Handbook.