Biographies for the Academy for Leadership and Innovation
Class of 2013
Marathon County UW-Extension
As the Family Living Agent with Marathon County UW-Extension, Jackie works with families and communities to improve family well-being and community awareness in the areas of family economics, poverty awareness and health/nutrition education. Jackie began her UW-Extension career in 2000 in Taylor County. She was also in Lincoln and Wood Counties before settling in her home county of Marathon. She is an avid reader and enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and two children at their home in Mosinee.
Yvonne (Bunny) Hansen
Office of Continuing Education and Extension at UW-Oshkosh
Yvonne Hanson has worked in the (former) Office of Continuing Education and Extension at UW-Oshkosh for more than 25 years in several progressive positions. Her current responsibilities as an outreach program manager are to extend the resources of the university into our communities by providing high quality educational opportunities for learners of all ages to enrich their lives and enhance their professional qualifications. Yvonne has many responsibilities in her role that range from developing campus/community partnerships to research and to provide programing within UW-Oshkosh and externally on a regional, statewide and global level.
Wisconsin Geological Survey
Barb Irvin has been the business manager at the Wisconsin Geological Survey for three years. Her recent experience prior to joining Extension was with an environmental non-profit, 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, and a small GIS consulting firm. Barb has her MBA from the University of Texas at Austin and a PhD in Environmental Studies from UW-Madison. Barb enjoys being involved in community and has served on several boards including the Willy Street Coop and the Goodman Community Center. She stays active by hiking and riding her bike for recreation and my daily 12-mile commute (until the snow flies — you can take the girl out of Texas…).
Tae Keun (John) Jeon
Tae Keun Jeon has worked as an instructional designer for last 17 years in higher education. As an instructional designer, John has accumulated knowledge of instructional and learning theories, web application design/development, multimedia design/development and project management. John has lived half of his life in South Korea and the other half in the U.S., which he considers himself neutral in culture. He has enjoyed being in two distinctively different cultures.
Wisconsin Public Television
Erika Kachama-Nkoy has been a web developer/designer for Wisconsin Public Television since 2000. She loves creating sites that enhance WPT's broadcasting and community projects because she is always learning something new. Her web team has earned recognition from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, NETA and the Webby Awards. Erika was born in Zaire, grew up in Maine and studied in Chicago before pixels became part of her daily life. She and husband relocated to Madison where they now live with their eight-year-old son. During the warm season, look for her in the garden.
Wisconsin Public Radio
Michael has been the news director at Wisconsin Public Radio since 2006. He leads a staff of a dozen reporters in Madison and six other cities in Wisconsin. Prior to joining WPR, Michael was the news director at Michigan Radio (NPR) in Ann Arbor. For most of the 1990's, he was a reporter and news anchor for Voice of America in Washington and Chicago. He has also worked at NPR in Washington and at stations in: Chicago, southwest Illinois, and Cincinnati. Michael has a BA from Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts. He also earned his MS in journalism and mass communication degrees from Kansas State University.
Brittany Lueth started working at UW-Marshfield/Wood County as the Admissions Coordinator and focused on traditional student recruiting. She has worked a great deal with traditional students and families in the admissions process. She also works closely with local high schools and school counselors. As the Student Services Coordinator, she has added the responsibilities of new student orientation, student activities, and academic advising. Brittany is also the Head Women's Volleyball Coach. In her spare time she loves to fly and am currently working on my private pilot's license. She also teaches communication courses at our local technical college.
Ryan Matara has been with UW-Superior since June of 2012. Before joining UW-Superior, he managed the training program at the America's Byways Resource Center which provided training and technical assistance for the 150 member organizations of the Federal Highway Administration's National Scenic Byways Program. Ten years prior to that, he spent in the gaming industry managing leadership development and human resources training for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe in their Grand Casino Hinckley operation. Ryan has a Master's degree in Management with a concentration on Organization Development and a Bachelor's degree in Organizational Behavior, both from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN.
University of Wisconsin-Marathon County
Kristine McCaslin has a BS in Psychology and Spanish from UW-Stevens Point and an MA in Student Affairs Administration from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. She is currently researching doctoral schools and hopes to start a doctoral program in the next two years. Kristine is the Director of Auxiliary Service at the University of Wisconsin-Marathon County. Kristine thoroughly enjoys the work she does at UWMC. She is looking forward to further developing her leadership skills, knowledge of the UW Colleges and Extension and engaging with new colleagues. When she is not working, Kristine enjoys spending time with her 13 year old daughter, watching the Packers, and being with friends and family.
UW-Extension Waushara County
Patrick Nehring is the Community, Natural Resource, and Economic Development Agent for UW-Extension Waushara County. For 12 years he has been providing instruction and information about issues related to organization development, leadership, local government operations, community planning, economic development, poverty, demographics, lakes, groundwater, and natural resources to local governments, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individuals. He has a bachelor of science in architectural studies, a master of urban planning degree, and a graduate certificate in geographic information systems from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and is a member of the American Planning Association's American Institute of Certified Planners. Prior to working for UW-Extension he was a main street manager and interned in a city planning department and a business improvement district. He lives in Poy Sippi with wife and young son.
UW-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education
Pamela Nellen currently serves as the Program Manager for Information Technology and Computer Applications programs for the UW-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education. She has an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Bachelors in Business Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi. Pam has served in many different capacities throughout her career including: Director of Communications for and IT consulting firm and a business Instructor in post-secondary education for a local career college. Pam's experience also includes work in the non-profit sector where she coordinated the summer reading programs for the Milwaukee Public Library.
Broadcasting & Media Innovations Division (BAMI)
Heather Reese joined the Broadcasting & Media Innovations Division (BAMI) of UW-Extension in 2010 as the Manager of Contract Services. In this position, she has the pleasure of working with the staff from Wisconsin Public Television and Wisconsin Public Radio. Heather's role is to consult with leadership teams and staff on legal related issues ranging from contracts to compliance. A life-long Wisconsin resident she is a graduate of UW-Stout and the University of Wisconsin Law School. Prior to joining BAMI she worked eight years in private practice in the Madison area. When Heather has free time she enjoys: being outdoors, cooking, reading, wine and watching Badger hockey.
The Lowell Center
Christopher Scholke is currently the Front Desk Supervisor at The Lowell Center, a conference and lodging facility at UW-Extension. Previously, Christopher spent five years in conference planning at The Pyle Center and worked in event planning in the private sector. He is originally from Sheboygan. He now lives in Middleton with his girlfriend, Kelly and tortoise, Dover.
Department of Life Sciences Communication
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Bret Shaw is Environmental Communication Specialist for University of Wisconsin-Extension and an assistant professor in the Department of Life Sciences Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He focuses on planning and evaluating social marketing campaigns dealing with natural resource management issues such as water quality, land use and environmental conservation. He has published broadly in the areas of environmental and health communication, and has worked in marketing, advertising, technology and journalism.
UW-Extension Center for Community Technology Solutions
Jennifer Smith's professional career has spanned diverse roles including professional lobbyist, mainframe and later web programmer, managing editor and professional writer, strategic communications, PR and marketing. For the past six years or so Jennifer has been integrating social media integration and trainings into the communications mix. The last 10 years she has been working primarily in communications and technology with an emphasis in some way on business and economic development. Currently Jennifer is the Communications Director for the stimulus-funded UW-Extension broadband grants, which will become the UW-Extension Center for Community Technology Solutions end 2012-2013.
Beth Vander Meulen
Department of Engineering
Beth Vander Meulen has been with UW-Madison Department of Engineering for nearly two years. Her main responsibilities include: working with program directors to develop marketing messages to promote EPD and its programs, social media, and project management. Beth is married and lives in Madison. Beth enjoys spending time with new son and husband.
Wisconsin Campus Connect
Jacob Vennie-Vollrath's sense of service has been a consistent theme throughout his life. From his work with the Peace Corps to his current position with Wisconsin Campus Connect at UW-Extension. Each day provides a new and unique opportunity for him to assist faculty, staff, and students in engaging and learning from their communities to meet community needs resulting in improved educational outcomes and stronger, lasting partnerships. He sees: service, volunteerism, collaboration, civil discourse, diversity and civil engagement as the bedrock of a healthy and functioning community, state, country and world.
Karen Lee Vermillion
Karen Lee Vermillion's professional history spans positions within several organizations. Early on, she work for the DNR and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, where she was responsible for investigating and addressing environmental issues of concern to thirteen bands of Lake Superior Ojibwe in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan. In New York, Karen taught Secondary Earth and Environmental Sciences, and hands-on aquatic ecosystems classes to Upward Bound Program youth, primarily Mohawk Tribal members. Back in Wisconsin, she taught At-Risk youth grades 9-12 in the Bayfield Alternative Program, primarily Red Cliff Tribal members. After earning her MS in Mediation and Applied Conflict Studies, Karen accepted her current position as Community Development and Youth Resource Educator for the Menominee County/Nation.
Ann Vogl has been working at UW-Baraboo/Sauk County library for 7.5 years. As one of only two librarians on campus, she has many responsibilities, but the most fun is customer service. Ann provides interlibrary loan help, research assistance, technology training, troubleshooting and class research sessions. Library work can be a lot of problem solving and detective work. Karen likes to stay active. She has almost finished hiking the whole Ice Age Trail and she is an amateur photographer.
Contact Sue Buck, Leadership Academy Program Coordinator, email@example.com.