UWM Announces Plans to Close Washington County Campus
Following a directive from the Universities of Wisconsin, UWM will close the UWM at Washington County campus, with a goal of completing the process by June 30, 2024.

Joe, a First-Year Bridge Student, takes advantage of main campus opportunities

joe presenting at symposium
Joe O'Keefe presents on his journey as a playwright at the Office of Undergraduate Research Symposium in the UWM Student Union on Friday, April 29, 2022. (UWM Photo/Kyle Bursaw)

Joe is a First-Year Bridge student, a program that is part of the College of General Studies but takes place on UWM’s main campus. College of General Studies students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of main-campus activities and resources and Joe made sure to participate in as much as he could.

Joe is pursuing a film major with an interest in creative writing. During the Spring 2022 semester, UWM had the 24-hour Film Competition. Joe, along with two other classmates Karsten and Dorian, worked on a film together that won three awards: Best Sound Design, Best Cinematography, and The Judges’ Award.

“The film was created by three people, and we all contributed in our own ways over the course of 24 hours. My friend Karsten did the music on Garageband and is the main actor in the film. My other friend Dorian helped come up with the story and props. I edited the whole thing on iMovie and came up with most of the shots and cinematography that I shot on my iPhone.”

film screen grab
Screen grab from Joe’s film.

In addition to participating in the film competition, Joe also presented at the 2022 UWM Student Research Symposium. His presentation was “The Endless Spiral of Writing a Play” and he was mentored by James Jackson.

“My oral presentation would be about my recently completed one-act play. I would go into detail on how I wrote it and how to continue writing more. to potentially spark more interest not only in the play itself but in others’ necessity to press their writing endeavors. This one-act is only one part of the web of resources I had to uncover while the journey of getting it produced. I decided to meet with various professors and learned that there is more armor than just the teachers in my classrooms that can help me. To name a few examples I met with the bridge writing specialist and they gave me creative advice which guided me on the road towards more resources. leading me to have a conversation with the head of the theater department. While it didn’t get produced it left me with a sense of pride that I believe can be shared with other students. Because of the people I’ve talked to and the things I’ve done to meet them I feel adequately prepared to share this information and story with all who will listen. I want to tell this story to all the students that feel as if they can’t find the direction they need in their respective fields. I felt inadequate with myself until I sat down and wrote something new. I looked at my field of study and thought about what would be the most entry-level piece of writing I could do. The one-act play is a representation of how we all have to start somewhere. Instead of saying how you will do it tomorrow, I say we concur today and challenge whom we were yesterday by making us better people in the future.”

The Student Research Symposium provides students with a unique opportunity to conduct original research and distinguish themselves in their chosen field of study. Students select a project topic in the fall term and work independently with a faculty sponsor. The results are presented at a multidisciplinary symposium in the spring.