UW Colleges honors student Jo Niswonger as ‘inspirational’ leader

By UW-Marinette

Chancellor Cathy Sandeen and student Jo Niswonger

UW-Marinette sophomore Jo Niswonger has been selected for the 2017 UW Colleges Newman Civic Fellows Award, which honors inspiring college student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country.

The Oconto Falls high school graduate is president of the UW-Marinette LGBT student organization and is a student-worker at the campus’ recently founded LGBT Center, which serves the campus and the three-county area. In this capacity, Niswonger has worked to help build connections with community agencies and providers, worked one-on-one and in groups with high school and college students, the public, and has become an instrumental part of the work of the LGBT Center.

“UW Colleges congratulates Jo on receiving the Newman Civic Fellows Award,” said UW Colleges and Extension Chancellor Cathy Sandeen. “This is a highly competitive award that recognizes students who ‘go the extra mile’ in terms of community service and civic engagement. We appreciate Jo’s efforts and are very proud of her as a representative of the UW Colleges.”

“This award means that people are seeing a positive outcome from the things I take part in or do on campus to make for a more inclusive environment,” said Niswonger, who will complete her Associate of Arts and Science degree, with an emphasis in Women and Gender Studies, later this month. “I am honored to be working in this community because without a community to be involved in, there would be no opportunities to lead. I’m humbled to receive this award and am thankful to the faculty and staff at UW-Marinette who gave me the chance to grow in myself and in my leadership skills.”

Niswonger plans to continue her college education next fall at UW-Stevens Point, where she will pursue a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy.


Brian Becker