UW-Platteville students present at Posters in the Rotunda

April 19, 2013
Sen. Schultz discusses research with Gaile Schwickrath.

PLATTEVILLE­­­ — Fourteen University of Wisconsin-Platteville students presented their research to state legislators and other dignitaries at the 10th annual UW System Posters in the Rotunda on Wednesday, April 17 in Madison, Wis.

The Pioneer contingent was among those chosen from the 13 UW System four-year campuses as well as the UW-Extension and UW Colleges. All presenters displayed their work on the second floor of the Capitol, making for a crowd of enthusiastic students.

“I really like it. It’s a nice honor. I really didn’t know it would be like this,” said Michael Hoffmann, who displayed a flow chart he created over the summer for the Savanna, Ill. office of Colony Brands Inc. “It’s nice to be able to showcase what I did in my internship.”

Assembly member Travis Tranel (R-Cuba City) and Sen. Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) were among the first legislators to meet their constituents. UW-Platteville Chancellor Dennis J. Shields also was in attendance to discuss the students’ projects.

“That was great because we put a lot into this,” said Kyle Schewe, who presented research along with Ashley Henry and Shelby Peterson on human trafficking in Wisconsin.

The trio began researching the issue, and “we discovered that it’s a huge problem,” Schewe said. “We all felt this was something important, and we all became passionate about it.”

According to the students, 300,000 children were trafficked in the United States in 2011, and a Milwaukee office currently is dealing with 150 open cases. 

“I was shocked when we started hearing about the issue,” said Ashley Henry. Peterson added, “We had no idea. If you open your eyes, you can see it everywhere.”

Wisconsin's Assistant Attorney General Karie Davenport Cattanach spoke to the trio as well as others in Dr. Sabina Burton’s class last week, showing how timely the topic is. On Wednesday, the students were able to discuss their issues with the legislatures to raise awareness.

“There are a couple of very important aspects to this day,” Chancellor Shields said. “One, our students have invested a lot of time in their projects and research and being able to present here enriches their work. It’s what we call high impact practices. It’s great to see our students so excited about this. The second benefit is this is really important for our state legislators to see what our whole educational experience is all about. They can see it on a personal level, through the eyes of our students.”

While it may seem daunting for university students to try and influence elected officials, Tiffany Engling, who was part of a group presenting on stem-cell research, said, “the excitement overtakes the nervousness.”

The UW-Platteville students who presented at Posters in the Rotunda include:

  • Lynea Axelson, a senior art education major from Oregon, Ill.;
  • Ethan Bremer a sophomore from Reedsville, Wis;
  • Katie Bril, a senior from Decorah, Iowa;
  • Tiffany Engling, a senior from Dubuque, Iowa;
  • Ashley Henry, a senior from Lancaster, Wis.;
  • Michael Hoffmann, a senior from Fort Wayne, Ind.;
  • Ross Johnson, a sophomore from Appleton, Wis.;
  • Kyle Martin, a senior from Reedsburg, Wis.,
  • Kevin Polinski, a senior from Mt. Prospect, Ill.;
  • Kayla Potts, a junior from McFarland, Wis.;
  • Gaile Schwickrath, a 2012 UW-Platteville alumna from Platteville, Wis.;
  • Kyle Schewe, a senior from Oregon, Wis.;
  • Shelby Peterson, a senior from Waupun, Wis.;
  • James Waldschmidt, a junior from De Pere, Wis.;

 Written by: Paul Erickson, UW-Platteville University Information and Communications, (608) 342-1194, ericksop@uwplatt.edu



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