At 22, Scott Mahloch decided to take a break from active duty with the U.S. Navy to pursue a degree in journalism at UW Oshkosh, graduating in 2002. Nearly 20 years later, he came back to campus to accept Distinguished Alumni honors for 2022 from the UWO Alumni Association Board of Directors.
Marc Nylen, associate director of Residence Life, nominated Mahloch for the award because of the impact he’s had on the community since graduating.
Mahloch has always been one for volunteering. While in school at UWO he was part of the student government.
“[I’m most proud of] my work in USRH, United Students in Residence Halls,” Mahloch said. “USHR represented students living in the residence halls so I worked for a couple years as the food chairman.”
As food chairman, Mahloch worked with Chartwells and campus food services to report students’ concerns about food on campus. Mahloch attended weekly meetings to advocate for the underrepresented student voices.
“It was a great opportunity to bridge that gap between the food service on campus and students,” Mahloch said. “That was also before the renovation of Reeve Union so I got to sit in on some meetings going over the kind of food services they were going to be offering.”
Mahloch continued to serve his community after graduation. He is now a special agent for the FBI’s Milwaukee division as the weapons of mass destruction coordinator.
When asked if he was expecting the award, Mahloch can’t help but laugh.
“No, not at all. In fact, I happened to visit campus within the last year on business and I had some time so I stopped by campus and walked around a little bit,” he said. “I stopped by to visit Mark Nylen in Gruenhagen Hall. Mark and I started talking and Mark sent me an email and said, ‘hey you know they have this alumni award and I think you’d be great for it.’”
Initially, Mahloch shied away from it.
“I think there are a lot of deserving alumni. I didn’t understand what would separate me from the other alumni or what made me special,” Mahloch said. “The organization that I work with has a lot of UWO alumni and they’re doing great things as well, you know?”
Nylen eventually convinced Mahloch it would be a good idea and nominated him.
“Next thing I know, I end up receiving the award!” Mahloch said. “ A huge honor. Like I said, I mean there are Oshkosh alumni out there doing great things everyday and I just happened to be selected.”
Through school, Mahloch was influenced by many mentors around campus. Right now, he says his role model is his wife.
“Her strength, beauty and her tenacity in everything she does and how she kind of holds the house together with three boys, two dogs, three cats and two fish is really phenomenal. She’s something else.”
Mahloch expresses much gratitude to this opportunity to come back and visit campus.
“It’s great to see how the campus has grown; lots of new, but a lot of old, too.”
Other alumni award winners
Outstanding Young Alumni WinnersJohn Ackerman ’14,
of Oshkosh, float pool nurse, Mercy Medical Center Christine Juhas ’18
, of Elk Grove Village, Illinois, content creator and comedian Thomas Kenote ’16
, of Keshena, director of the Sustainable Development Institute at the College of Menominee Nation Eric Saeger ’08, ’09, ’11 MBA
, of Oshkosh, divisional leader at Modular Web Solutions Sarah Schettle ’08
of Rochester, Minnesota, cardiovascular surgery practitioner and assistant professor of surgery at Mayo Clinic
Distinguished Alumni Award winnersHolly (Hahn) Brenner ’99
,‘ 09 MBA,
of Fond du Lac, senior vice president of strategic development and marketing at C.D. Smith Construction Barbara Herzog ’70
, of Oshkosh, retired, 40-year career in public education Oscar Mireles ’96
, of Madison, executive director of Omega School