Pass the Mic – Byron Adams


What’s your Oshkosh story?

I’m originally from Illinois (Go Bears!). I was born in Chicago, and my family eventually moved to Oak Park, a Chicago suburb. I came to Oshkosh when I was 18 years-old to go to school. I decided to come to Oshkosh because at the time I had a family friend who was working at the university. I have lived in Oshkosh ever since.

What do you do here?

I work at UW Oshkosh as a Program Manager for Student Engagement and Retention in the Division of Academic Support of Inclusive Excellence. I serve as a student retention specialist, co-advise the Black Student Union and coordinate the Lawton Undergraduate Minority Retention Grant. I received both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from UW Oshkosh in Communication, Business Administration and Educational Leadership.

What do you like about Oshkosh?

Oshkosh has become a home away from home for me. It’s the place where I was able to grow and develop myself. My Oshkosh experiences have made me the person I am today, and I am truly grateful for that. I also like that Oshkosh is a very family friendly city.

What needs to change in Oshkosh?

No place is ever going to be perfect, and Oshkosh has lots of areas where it can grow. The areas I would like to see continue to grow are our efforts towards sustainability. Areas of culture, environment and economics.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Let’s all continue to make Oshkosh a place that is welcoming to all demographics and a place to be proud of.

Pass the Mic” is a new feature in Oshkosh Independent designed to celebrate the richness of our diversity through simply showing and telling a little bit about all kinds of people that make Oshkosh what it is, through snowballing, or passing the mic from one person to another person in their network. Byron had the mic passed to him by Na Kita Butler. Stay tuned to see who gets the mic next.


About Author

Paul Van Auken

Paul Van Auken has been a member of the sociology and environmental studies faculty at University of Wisconsin Oshkosh since 2007, after completing a Ph.D. in sociology from UW-Madison. A native of Iowa but resident of Wisconsin since 1999, Paul conducts research on issues related to neighborhood, community, land use planning and access to public space, sustainability, and teaching and learning. He also practices public sociology, regularly writing a column called “Shortening the Distance” for Oshkosh Independent.

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  1. Pingback: Diversity in Oshkosh: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives

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