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.

Thu
Dec
22
"Where would I be without the University of Wisconsin?" UW-Madison alumnus and NFL star Russell Wilson asks this question in a new TV spot. Wilson, noted not just for athletics but also his service work, gives a succinct answer designed to show the impact the university has on its students. In 2011, Wilson attended UW-Madison as a graduate student with the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis before leaving school to join the NFL.
Fri
Dec
16
Alumna Lou Ella Burmeister, a highly regarded professor emeritus of education at the University of Texas at El Paso, recently made a major commitment to UW-Madison’s School of Education in the form of a significant planned gift. This remarkable donation will create four new endowment funds backing initiatives that are both important to the School of Education and that support projects near and dear to Burmeister.
Thu
Dec
15
UW-Madison alumnus and Professor Emeritus Richard J. Smith is the author of a new book, "Once Upon A Christmas.” Smith spent nearly three decades working with the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, retiring in 1990. He also is an alumnus of the School of Education, having earned a master's in education speech in 1962 and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction in 1967. Smith’s book tells 11 stories drawn from his life; from his childhood in a small town in Wisconsin, to his career working as an educator, to his retirement.
Wed
Dec
14
The latest edition of Learning Connections, a news magazine from the UW-Madison School of Education, is now available online. The Fall 2016 issue is filled with exciting news about School of Education faculty, staff, students and alumni. This issue's cover story focuses on Literacy by the Lakes, a project that connects literacy faculty and graduate students from the School of Education with school districts across Wisconsin.
Fri
Dec
09
UW-Madison School of Education alumna Shelby Cosner received the University of Illinois at Chicago's (UIC) Award for Excellence in Teaching. She earned her Ph.D. from the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis in 2005. Cosner is now an associate professor of educational organization and leadership at UIC.
Thu
Dec
01
A documentary from UW-Madison alumnus Marc Kornblatt, "What I Did In Fifth Grade," will have a free public screening on the UW-Madison campus on Saturday, Dec. 3. The film will be shown from noon to 3 p.m. in the Marquee Cinema at Union South. Kornblatt received his undergraduate degree in elementary education from UW-Madison's School of Education in 2001. Kornblatt retired from the classroom following the 2014-15 academic year after a 16-year second career as a teacher. He now devotes more time to filmmaking.
Mon
Nov
28
School of Education alumna Tanya Keenan was featured in an article ​from Urban Milwaukee about being selected as the faculty commencement speaker for Mount Mary University's winter graduation. Keenan earned an undergraduate degree in secondary English education from UW-Madison’s School of Education in 1997. Keenan earlier in the semester was also awarded an Excellence in Teaching Award for 2016. She has worked as an instructor at Mount Mary since September 2011, teaching core English composition classes.
Mon
Nov
28
School of Education alumna Laura Hunt was recently featured in the Wisconsin State Journal's weekly "Know Your Madisonian" column. Hunt received her undergraduate degree in elementary education from the School of Education in 1988. The article focuses on Hunt's work as program coordinator at the Madison Senior Center. Although she never expected to work with seniors after graduating with a degree in elementary education, Hunt calls her work a good fit.
Fri
Nov
25
UW-Madison School of Education alumna Jen Scott Curwood earlier this year received the Australian Teacher Educator of the Year Award. The honor came from Teachers Mutual Bank (TMB), in partnership with the Australian Teacher Education Association (ATEA). She was recognized at the 2016 ATEA National Conference held in Ballarat this past summer. Curwood earned a Ph.D. from the School of Education's Department of Curriculum ​& Instruction in 2011.
Thu
Nov
17
UW-Madison alumna Paula Bonner ​is featured on the cover of the most recent issue of Our Lives magazine. Bonner, who is president of the Wisconsin Alumni Association, earned her master’s degree from the Department of Kinesiology in 1976. The article, written by Bonner herself, is headlined “Building on a Legacy.” In it, Bonner discusses growing up with strong female and male role models, coming out, her passion for fighting for equality for women’s sports and her career in Madison.
Mon
Nov
14
UW-Madison’s School of Education hosted more than 200 alumni and friends on Saturday, Nov. 12, for its annual Homecoming Tailgate Celebration at Union South. People connected with old friends, mingled on Union South’s third floor patio and enjoyed the Wisconsin-style tailgate, complete with brats and Babcock Ice Cream. Everyone also took in the UW Marching Band’s pre-game concert at Union South prior to heading over to Camp Randall Stadium for an afternoon of fall football fun as the Badgers beat Illinois. A photo album from the Homecoming Tailgate is posted on the School of Education’s Facebook page.
Fri
Nov
11
UW-Madison alumna Illana Nankin was recently featured in a report from Madison's local ABC affiliate, WKOW/Ch. 27, about Breathe for Change. This organization founded by Nankin trains teachers in yoga and mindfulness techniques. Nankin received her Ph.D. from the School of Education’s No. 1-ranked Department of Curriculum and Instruction in May 2016. Breathe for Change curriculum has been incorporated into 10 schools in the Madison Metropolitan School District. The organization has also grown nationally, with trainings in Madison, San Francisco and New York City. Next, Nankin is looking to expand the program outside of just the education field and into the corporate world.
Tue
Nov
08
UW-Madison alumnus Robert Frahm is the author of a new case study released by the Grantmakers for Education titled, “The Promise: A Case Study of Say Yes to Education in Buffalo.” Frahm is a member of the School of Education’s Board of Visitors and is a freelance journalist who has written about education for more than 40 years. He received his undergraduate degree in English education from UW-Madison in 1968.
Mon
Nov
07
The La Crosse Tribune recently profiled UW-Madison alumna Bethany Brent to talk about her efforts as the senior multicultural education advisor at UW-La Crosse's School of Education. Brent received her Ph.D. from the UW-Madison School of Education’s No. 1-ranked Department of Curriculum and Instruction in 2013. The La Crosse Tribune report explains how Brent has created a program called Grow Our Own Teacher Diversity, serving the needs of people that desire to become teachers but have lacked the financial and social support to do so.
Fri
Nov
04
UW-Madison School of Education alumna Molly Stewart co-authored a new publication titled "Follow the Money: A Comprehensive Review of the Funding Mechanisms of Voucher Programs in Six Case," which analyzes how school vouchers are funded. Stewart received a master's degree in 2010 from the School of Education's Department of Educational Policy Studies, and a Ph.D. from that same department in 2013. The publication explores the impact of policies on voucher funding, contrasts eligibility criteria and considers the impact of these criteria on state spending and district revenues.
Wed
Nov
02
UW-Madison alumnus and Louisiana State University President F. King Alexander gave a talk on campus about the dangers of declining levels of state funding for higher education. The talk was organized by WISCAPE. Alexander noted how ​state disinvestment in higher education poses a significant threat for public colleges and universities.
Tue
Nov
01
The Wisconsin Alumni Association (WAA) is honoring three alumni with Distinguished Alumni Awards this fall, including Milwaukee attorney John Daniels Jr., who earned a master’s degree in 1972 from the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. Daniels is the chair emeritus of Quarles & Brady, a national law firm, and serves as a strategic business adviser to many of the firm's largest clients. As chair, he grew the firm significantly during the worst downturn since the Great Depression, expanding its ranks of attorneys and adding new locations and national practice specialties.
Fri
Oct
28
UW-Madison's Diane McAfee Hopkins was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame on Oct. 27. Hopkins is an alumna of the School of Education, having earned her Ph.D. from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in 1981. She is a professor emerita of UW-Madison's School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS).
Wed
Oct
26
The BIG TEN(T) project started in June 2016 in Chicago with a small works show and art trade between its members, UW–Madison alumni artists. In September, 60 artists were hosted by alumnus Peter Hopkins at ArtHelix Gallery in New York. The show featured new work by alumni artists spanning the last three decades, including painters, sculptors, printmakers and photographers. A significant portion of the work from the ArtHelix Gallery show is now presented in the UW–Madison School of Education Gallery in the Education Building. The gallery is open to the public Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the exhibit will be on view until December 16.
Wed
Oct
19
A 1990 graduate of UW-Madison has won a prestigious fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation, commonly known as the MacArthur “Genius Grant.” Anne Basting, who received a master’s degree in theatre and drama at UW–Madison, is now a theatre professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She was recognized as an “artist and educator demonstrating the potential of storytelling and creative expression to improve the lives of elders experiencing cognitive impairment,” with the overall goal of changing the way we think about aging. UW-Madison’s Department of Theatre and Drama is now housed within the School of Education.