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The Academy for Leadership and Innovation is a model leadership program whose graduates emerge with a multidimensional perspective and competence needed to meet the challenges of a constantly changing environment, to think strategically, and to act collaboratively as they serve the educational needs of Wisconsin residents.

Academy for Leadership and Innovation

Biographies for the Academy for Leadership and Innovation
Class of 2015

Pamela Bowen

Pamela Bowen

Outreach Program Manager
UW-River Falls
UW-Extension - Continuing Education

Pamela Bowen has worked in the UW-River Falls Outreach and Continuing Education department since 2004. She has spent the majority of her time as a Program Manager focusing on programs for in-service educators and adults returning to campus to finish their degree. Since July of 2014 Pam has been serving in the role of Interim Director of Outreach. Pam received a Master of Arts Degree in Higher Education Leadership: Adult and Higher Education from the University of South Dakota and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing Communications from UW-River Falls. Pam currently resides in River Falls and enjoys golfing and kayaking during the warmer months.

Lori Brandt

Lori Brandt

Student Affairs/AODE Coordinator for UW-Marathon County & UW-Stevens Point UW Colleges

Lori enjoyed a wide variety of employment experiences before beginning her career with the University. She previously held positions as a Marketing Coordinator, Corrections Case Manager and High School Career Center Coordinator. Lori currently advises UWMC students and coordinates programs for UWSP Business Administration degree completion, UW- Platteveille Engineering CDP and UW-Madison CONNECTIONS students. Additionally, Lori is the UWMC campus coordinator for UWC Alcohol and Other Drug Education (AODE) programming. Lori and her husband Dan are the extremely proud parents of 2 children and their other 2 "girls" (a 7 year old Golden Retriever and an 8 month old Golden Doodle). Off-campus Lori serves on the Marathon County Alcohol and Other Drug Partnership Council, Marathon County Sexual Assault Intervention Team and as Past President of First English Lutheran Church.

Kevin Crow

Kevin Crow

Director of Instructional Design
UW Colleges Online

Kevin Crow is the Director of Instructional Design at The University of Wisconsin Colleges Online, in Madison, Wisconsin, where he manages the Instructional design team and oversees the design, development, and delivery of UW Colleges' online courses. Before coming to UW Colleges, Kevin served as a professor of Instructional Technology and Design, an Instructional Designer, and a professional educator. Kevin has a Doctorate Degree in Instructional Technology, an MBA in Management, and a BA in Education. When he is not working, chances are good that you will find him on a sailboat.

Jennifer Dargan

Jennifer Dargan

Ideas Network Assistant Director for Wisconsin Public Radio
UW-Extension, Broadcasting and Media Innovations

Jennifer Dargan has worked at Wisconsin Public Radio since 2004. Previously, she worked in information technology for the Wisconsin Legislature and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Currently as the Ideas Network Assistant Director at Wisconsin Public Radio, Jennifer is responsible for programming, scheduling, and for ensuring variety and quality on The Ideas Network. As a proud Canadian, Jennifer is required to love winter sports. She is also passionate about bicycling (sometimes in the winter), listening to public radio, and re-learning about the world through the eyes of her two children.

Theresa Islo

Theresa Islo

Program Manager of Health & Wellness Management
UW-Extension, Continuing Education, Outreach & E-Learning

Theresa Islo is the Program Manager for the online University of Wisconsin Bachelor of Science in Health & Wellness Management, which is a collaboration between UW-Extension, UW-La Crosse, UW-River Falls, UW-Stevens Point, and UW-Superior. She previously worked for the Wellness Council of Wisconsin, where she consulted with many employers throughout Wisconsin in achieving the WELCOA Well Workplace Award, and both facilitated and co-facilitated programs and presentations on best practices in worksite health promotion and wellness. She joined the Wellness Council after working in employee benefits consulting and administration for employers throughout Southeastern Wisconsin. She completed her bachelor's degree in Secondary Education and English at UW-Milwaukee and holds the CEBS designation from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans and the WELCOA Faculty designation.

Neil Klemme

Neil Klemme

4-H Youth Development Educator – Iron County
UW-Extension, Cooperative Extension

Neil has been in the 4-H Youth Development Educator position in Iron County for 2.5 years. He is responsible for the educational content of the 4-H program and other Youth Development initiatives in Iron County. One of the main themes of his work has been to engage young people in meaningful leadership and decision making roles, better preparing them for community leadership roles in the future. He also feels it is important to connect them to the communities they are growing up in through active participation in community development projects. He is the father of two children ages 5 and 6 and has been married for 11 years.

Aaron Knapp

Aaron Knapp

Student Service Coordinator/Financial Aid Coordinator
UW Colleges Online

Aaron has worked full time as a Financial Aid Counselor at UW-La Crosse from 2011 to 2014 and in his current role as the Financial Aid Coordinator of UW Colleges Online since April 2014, as well as part-time positions as a Graduate Assistant and Research Data Analyst at UW-Oshkosh. His present responsibilities include financial aid and academic advising and processing, enrollment management and curriculum planning, Satisfactory Academic Progress appeals, the textbook voucher program, and general assistance on admission, appeals, tutoring. He enjoys working out, hiking, movies, watching the Green Bay Packers, and playing guitar.

Alexia Kulwiec

Alexia Kulwiec

Assistant Professor of Labor Education for School for Workers
UW-Extension, Continuing Education, Outreach & E-Learning

Alexia Kulwiec recently joined the School for Workers after 18 years of practicing labor and employment law, primarily representing labor organizations. She is currently Assistant Professor at the Labor Education Department, School for Workers, teaching labor law and labor relations courses. Alexia is interested in promoting and protecting the rights of all workers, union and non-union, to work towards a fair workplace and system of labor relations.

Christy Marsden

Christy Marsden

Horticulture Educator – Rock County
UW-Extension, Cooperative Extension – Agriculture & Natural Resources

Christy Marsden is a Horticulture Educator with UW-Cooperative Extension for Rock County. She received her MS in Environmental Horticulture from UC-Davis and was previously a horticulture technician with Education and Outreach at Seed Savers Exchange. As a Horticulture Educator in Rock County, Christy educates home gardeners and curious members of the public on a variety of plant topics, in addition to training and overseeing the Rock County Master Gardener Volunteers, Christy is passionate about connecting people to plants, especially through what people eat. As such, Christy leads county-wide Farm to School efforts by facilitating procurement of local produce into school cafeterias and establishing school gardens in elementary schools. As a self-proclaimed plant nerd, she enjoys spending time hiking outdoors with her dog any season of the year, and is a botanical and culinary lover of most vegetables.

Dundee McNair

Dundee McNair

Assistant Campus Dean for Administrative & Financial Services
UW-Richland, UW Colleges

Dundee has served as the Assistant Campus Dean for Administrative and Financial Services at UW-Richland since 2012. In this role, he oversees campus budgets, payroll, human resources, accounts receivable and payable, bursar processes, maintenance, IT, safety and various other duties. Prior to UW-Richland, he served as the Director of Operations and Development Specialist at the American Players Theatre in Spring Green, taught English in the public schools of Minobu, Yamanashi, Japan, and instructed music in the Tomah Area School District. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Richland County, and serves on the boards of Schmitt Woodland Hills Retirement Community (Richland Center) and the Rural Musicians Forum (Spring Green). He enjoys traveling, has a private pilot's license, and loves to hike around Moab, Utah.

Angela Meidl

Angela Meidl

Sr. Web Developer
UW-Extension, Continuing Education, Outreach & E-Learning

Angela has been in IT applications and web development since the early 1990's, starting her career as a programming consultant for Andersen Consulting, and then on to Miller Brewing Company as a Systems Analyst/Programmer before taking time off to parent her three children. During that time, Angela operated her own web site development company where she discovered her passion for web development and design. In her role at CEOEL as a senior web developer, Angela is responsible for all web development activities for the online collaborative degree programs as well as UW Flexible Option. Away from work she enjoys spending time with her husband and three teen-aged children, hiking, gardening and taking her dog on long walks at the many local dog parks in Dane County.

William Minser

William Minser

Systems Software Developer/Project Manager
UW Colleges and UW-Extension, Central Information Technology Services

Bill is a Systems Software Developer and Project Manager with UW Colleges and UW-Extension's Central IT Services (CITS). He has worked in software development for higher education for 17 years, the last three for CITS. Bill's primary focus is on business systems and reporting, helping administrators and staff make better decisions by better understanding their data. Bill lives in Fitchburg with his wife and daughter. He plays competitive backgammon and directs tournaments for the local club. He also enjoys spending time with his family, gardening, working in the yard and otherwise spending time outdoors.

Jordon Ott

Jordon Ott

Director, Office of Extramural Support – Business Services
UW-Extension

Ms. Jordon Ott has devoted her professional career to non-profit research administration in public health and educational outreach. She began her career at Johns Hopkins University and has worked at nationally recognized research organizations including the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation and University of North Carolina and Chapel Hill. She transitioned to the University of Wisconsin-Extension in February 2014 as the Director of the Office of Extramural Support. In her role she is responsible for overseeing the administration of sponsored funds, grants and contracts, from the Federal government, state resources and private sponsors. Ms. Ott, a native of Madison, WI, holds a B.A. in English from the University of Maryland, College Park and has completed graduate course work for a degree in Applied Behavioral Science from Johns Hopkins University.

Jane Rotonda

Jane Rotonda

Pledge & Underwriting Assistant, Wisconsin Public Radio
UW-Extension, Broadcasting and Media Innovations

Jane's experience includes work in communications, marketing and development. She currently works in the Development Department at Wisconsin Public Radio as the Pledge and Underwriting Assistant. Her pledge duties include scripting the drives, wrangling all thank-you gifts and consulting on strategy. She also serves as a support to the Underwriting team in various capacities. In her free time, Jane enjoys running, reading, cooking, taking pictures, being outside, spending time with family and playing with her pup!

Alyssa Tsagong

Alyssa Tsagong

Audience Services Manager, Wisconsin Public Radio/Wisconsin Public Television
UW-Extension, Broadcasting and Media Innovations

Alyssa has been the Audience Services Manager at WPR and WPT since the summer of 2013. Her team manages over 40,000 interactions with Wisconsin residents each year – helping people act on the inspiration to learn more about the important topics presented through Wisconsin Public Broadcasting. She has also worked at Ten Chimneys Foundation and in arts education. With an academic background in art and anthropology, Alyssa enjoys the world with her family through the lens of her camera – from the high peaks of the Himalayas to the blossoms on her baby apple trees near the Kettle Moraine forest.

Idella Yamben

Idella Yamben

Program Manager for Center for Technology Commercialization
UW-Extension, Division of Entrepreneurship & Economic Development

Idella (PhD, Madison) has over 10 years of experience as a bench scientist leading life science research projects and training undergraduate scientists. More recently, Idella left the lab to work in sales and customer service assisting technology businesses to find skilled talent. In January, 2013, Idella joined the Center for Technology Commercialization hosted by UW-Extension and currently manages the Ideadvance Seed Fund. She combines her experience in customer service and academia with new understanding of technology commercialization to assist UW System entrepreneurs to prepare competitive Ideadvance proposals and provides support as they progress through commercialization milestones. Outside of work, Idella enjoys spending time with family and friends in almost any activity - especially those that involve food!


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