Leaving Oshkosh with a Smile

22 05 2013

By: Eli Drljaca (@edrljaca)

As we know some of our own journalism students went on to graduate this spring, but that doesn’t mean we can’t go back and see what it was like for these students to go through the journalism program here at UW-Oshkosh and what some of their last journalism classes were like.

One person I was fortunate to meet was Olivia Blanke, a recent graduate through the Journalism program. I was able to have a class with her during her last semester and had the chance to talk to her about her new media class, which was one of her last classes here at UWO. Olivia explained to me how they used all new media in that class including social media, and emphasized on blogging. “The class was a lot of fun and I learned a lot as well.” Olivia said, “It was cool to use social media in the classroom while also learning how to use it professionally and in a marketing and advertising sense.”

She also went on to say how her professor, Dr. Sara Hansen, made the class much more enjoyable and fun. “My favorite part about the class was getting to use social media on a daily basis. Professor Hansen makes the class fun by incorporating a lot of fun YouTube videos and encouraging live tweeting during student presentations and guest speakers.”

Olivia created her blog targeting incoming freshman into college. She shares with the reader how college really is, and the advice that these students need to not only succeed, but to survive.

So if you’re a freshman, or a soon to be senior, don’t hesitate to check out Olivia’s blog and other journalism students blogs here at UWO.

olivia blog

UWO 101   Hints, tips and friendly advice for your adventures at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh


Grad Thanks Journalism Department for Jumpstarting Career and Party.0

5 05 2013

By: Jake White



My name is Jake White and I am a professional storyteller… well I guess most people call it motivational speaking.  So before this  weekend’s ceremonies, I want to share a short story of how the Journalism Department at UW-Oshkosh launched my career before I even graduated.

To give you an idea of what I do… I basically travel to schools and conferences, meet awesome people, and talk about the importance of depending on ourselves for our own happiness. Others might call me a health educator, substance abuse speaker, or hopefully even a peer educator.

This all started because my freshmen year I got involved in clubs and organizations. I was so involved that the staff asked me to speak to hundreds of incoming freshmen each year about student leadership and involvement. It took me awhile, but I finally realized that this could actually be my profession. So I decided that I would use my journalism classes to build a business. Here’s how I did it:

  • Step 1: Gather Materials

In order to spread the word about my service I needed marketing materials. My friend Michelle (also a Journalism major) took some killer photos for me, and my other friend Nathan (Radio TV Film major) helped me put together a demo video.

  • Step 2: Create Marketing Basics

I used the materials to create a website in my Online Publishing class. I had learned some basics from my Worldwide Web Site Development class and this one gave me a broader skill set. The main project was to publish our own website. While working toward an A, I was contacted by a school that found my site on Google and wanted to book me for a speaking gig!

  • Step 3: Build a Platform

Since the website would be good to reach administrators and those who booked me, I needed a platform to connect with students who I hoped to influence. I started a business called Party.0 Sober Parties with my buddy and built a strong social media presence in my New & Emerging Media class. After just a semester we had a blog and Facebook page that was reaching people from all over the U.S. (and even Australia!)


Now this doesn’t pertain to my current career direction but I owe the proudest moment of my life to Dr. Hansen from the Journalism Department as well. Her projects always have pushed me and expanded my network. The summer of my sophomore year I traveled across the country to take an internship I wasn’t given, hopped from house to house each night for a place to stay, put on an amazing music festival, and had the best experience of my life. I found this opportunity because of an interview we had to do for her Principles of Public Relations class.

Thanks UW-Oshkosh for having a sweet Journalism department and great people to keep it growing! I couldn’t have done all this without you!


Jake White

-Alcohol Safety/ Motivational Speaker

-Co-Founder of Party.0 Sober Parties

-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence Winner 2013

 –Call or text me at 920.216.1827