Alumni News

We like to share what our alumni have been up to. Please use our online form to send in your news for posting here and on the front page of News Connections.

Fri
May
04
UW-Madison alumna Margery Amdur will serve as a visiting resident artist at the University of Latvia and lead a student workshop titled "Making Meaning." Amdur earned her master of fine arts degree from the School of Education’s Art Department in 1982. She is currently a professor of art at Rutgers University–Camden. Over the course of the non-media specific workshop, students will challenge their sense of how and why they make art in the way they do, be encouraged to work beyond the scope of the workshop, and emphasize creative risk-taking.
Wed
May
02
UW-Madison alumna Melanie Gehrke's craft kit business, The Mad Makery, was featured by Madison Magazine. Gehrke earned her bachelor's degree in Art Education from the UW-Madison School of Education in 2008. The Mad Makery helps give other people a sense of accomplishment through do-it-yourself craft kits that Gehrke makes herself. “I think especially in today’s age, everything is so digital and online,” she says. “I think for a lot of people (working with your hands) takes you kind of outside of yourself for a moment,” Gehrke told Madison Magazine. “You’re not worried about everything else that’s going on in your life.”
Mon
Apr
23
UW-Madison alumna Muriel Simms was featured by The Capital Times in an article headlined: "The Simms principle: Muriel Simms worked to make Lincoln Elementary a better place for kids of color." Simms earned her master’s degree in 1975 from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and a Ph.D. from the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis in 2002. Simms worked as the principal of Lincoln Elementary School from 1988 through 1994. As a principal, Simms worked to empower disadvantaged students, engage parents and had a philosophy of multicultural teaching and project-based learning.
Fri
Apr
20
Jerry Apps​, a UW-Madison professor emeritus of agriculture and an alumnus of the School of Education, is publishing his autobiography, "Once a Professor: A Memoir of Teaching in Turbulent Times." Apps received his Ph.D. from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in 1967. In the book, Apps tells his stories from his years teaching at UW, from 1957 through 1995, including his experiences during the 1960's protests, struggles of tenure, faculty governance and trying to secure funding for research and academic programming.
Thu
Apr
19
Earlise C. Ward, an alumna of the School of Education and a leader with years of experience in both healthcare and helping the community, will become the next director of UW-Madison's Morgridge Center for Public Service. Ward, an associate professor at the School of Nursing, will begin her new role in January 2019. Ward has been with the School of Nursing since 2007. She received her Ph.D. from the School of Education's Department of Counseling Psychology in 2002. Ward will replace Kathy Cramer, who stepped down as the faculty director and returned to a full-time position as a professor in the Political Science department. Lisa Chambers, associate director, is serving as interim director.
Mon
Apr
16
UW-Madison alumnus Mike Kruse was named a 2018 Principal of the Year by State Superintendent Tony Evers and Association of Wisconsin School Administrators Executive Director Jim Lynch. Kruse earned an education specialist certification from the School of Education's Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis in 2004 and ​has ​worked as the principal at Stoughton High School since 2008.
Thu
Apr
12
UW-Madison alumna Julie Posselt, who earned her master’s degree in educational policy studies from the School of Education in 2002, is receiving the American Educational Research Association’s Early Career Award. Posselt’s research program, rooted in sociological and organizational theory, examines institutionalized inequalities in higher education and organizational efforts aimed at reducing inequities and encouraging diversity. Posselt is an assistant professor in the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education.
Thu
Apr
12
UW-Madison alumna Mary Jane Curry recently published a book titled "Global Academic Publishing: Policies, Perspectives and Pedagogies." Curry earned a Ph.D. from the School of Education's Department of Curriculum and Instruction in 2000. Today she is an associate professor in the Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development, at the University of Rochester. Curry edited the book with Theresa Lillis from Open University.
Wed
Apr
11
UW-Madison alumna Min Yu is receiving the American Educational Research Association’s Division B Outstanding Book Recognition Award for her work, “The Politics, Practices, and Possibilities of Migrant Children Schools in Contemporary China.” Min Yu earned her Ph.D. from the School of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction in 2013. Today she is assistant professor in the Teacher Education Division in the College of Education at Wayne State University.
Mon
Apr
09
UW-Madison alumnus William C. McCoy was named director of Clemson University’s Rutland Institute for Ethics. McCoy earned a master’s degree from the School of Education in continuing and vocational education. In his new position, McCoy will oversee the institute’s operations and collaborate with partners in academia and the private sector, encouraging ethics discussion on campus, in business and in the community.
Fri
Apr
06
UW-Madison alumna Erin Quast is receiving recognition for her dissertation work from the American Educational Research Association’s (AERA) Literature Special Interest Group (SIG). Quast, who received her Ph.D. from the School of Education’s No. 1-ranked Department of Curriculum and Instruction, is being honored for her dissertation titled, “Racial Meaning Making in 4K: An Ethnographic Collective Case Study.” She is the second place winner of the Shelby Wolf AERA Literature SIG Award for Outstanding Dissertation. Quast today is an assistant professor of elementary literacy at Illinois State University.
Thu
Mar
15
UW-Madison alumnus Christopher Kirchgasler published a new article in the American Educational Research Journal titled, "True Grit? Making a Scientific Object and Pedagogical Tool." Kirchgasler received ​his Ph.D. from the School of Education's Department of Curriculum and Instruction in 2017. The article explores how grit has become a way of thinking about differences among students, with Kirchgasler discussing grit as a cultural thesis that links individualism to narratives of American exceptionalism and historical progress.
Fri
Mar
09
It’s not easy to narrow down the number of Badger alumni making a significant mark in the world, but the Wisconsin Alumni Association has selected eight for the 2018 Forward under 40 Award — all of them under the age of 40 and “outstanding examples of living the Wisconsin Idea — the idea that this public university exists to serve the public good." One of those being honored is Raul Leon, an alumnus of the School of Education. Leon, who received his Ph.D. from the School of Education's Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis in 2010, studies student success, the role of chief diversity officers, and the impact of international and study-abroad experiences. He infuses this expertise throughout his work as a researcher, teacher, mentor, and world traveler.
Wed
Mar
07
UW-Madison alumna Alexandra Pavlakis has published a new article in the journal Educational Researcher titled, "Spaces, Places, and Policies: Contextualizing Student Homelessness." Pavlakis received her Ph.D. in 2015 from the School of Education's Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. The article explores the diversity of the ways students and families experience homelessness and high mobility. Pavlakis discusses the ways residential space and geographic space shape students' educational opportunities and experiences.
Thu
Mar
01
UW-Madison alumna Jo Ann Heckroth Jansen continues to play basketball with the San Diego Splash at age 82, and was recently featured by On Wisconsin magazine. Jansen received her bachelor's degree in physical education from the UW-Madison School of Education in 1957. Jansen had a lifelong career of teaching physical education and special education before retiring at age 77. San Diego Splash, a basketball team for women over 80 years old, has gotten considerable attention after being covered by ESPN. However, Jansen is more focused on the positive impressions she and her team are leaving for young girls, saying, “They bring signs, and they cheer, and they stay for the whole game. I think they look up to us.”
Wed
Feb
28
UW-Madison alumna Jennifer Seelig’s dissertation research examining educational policy in rural Wisconsin is receiving recognition from two different groups associated with the American Educational Research Association -- Division L (educational policy and politics) and the rural education special interest group. Seelig received her Ph.D. from the School of Education’s Department of Educational Policy Studies in 2017. Her ethnographic study examines a small town in Northern Wisconsin. "I am very pleased that my colleagues acknowledge the importance of considering the effects of educational policies in rural contexts," says Seelig.
Tue
Feb
27
UW–Madison alumnus Takeo Fujikura is founder of Kanjiyama Mime, a leading professional mime company in Japan. He has developed his own performance style by discarding what some might deem essential to miming — the silence. Fujikura received his Ph.D. in educational drama from UW–Madison in 2006. He is also currently a faculty member at Sophia University and Waseda University in Tokyo.
Sun
Feb
25
Adam Nelson, an alumnus of UW-Madison, was selected to receive the 2018 Dissertation of the Year Award from the Association for Student Conduct Administration (ASCA). Nelson earned his Ph.D. from the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis in 2017. Nelson’s dissertation is titled, "Learning and Development as a Result of Student Conduct Administration." Reviewers noted how Nelson’s dissertation is contributing to the field’s knowledge base and professional practice, adding that his research methodology was sound and thorough.
Wed
Feb
21
UW-Madison alumnus David Schuler was named the 2018 National Superintendent of the Year by AASA, the School Superintendents Association. He received a master’s degree in 1998 and a Ph.D. in 2004, both from the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. Schuler was first a social studies teacher in Wisconsin, then served as a superintendent in two different Wisconsin districts, Marshall and Stevens Points. In 2005, he became the superintendent of Township High School District 214 in Illinois.
Mon
Feb
19
UW-Madison alumna Hyejung Kim will be receiving the 2018 Outstanding Student Research Award from the American Educational Research Association's special education special interest group (SIG). Kim earned her Ph.D. in special education from the School of Education’s Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education in 2017. She is currently working as an adjunct faculty member at New York University in the Embedded Master of Arts in Teaching program. This award is for Kim’s in-preparation paper titled, “Intersectionality of Ableism, Racism, and Linguicism: College Enrollment Process among Korean American Students with Autism.”