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Leadership Fellows

The Leadership Fellows cohort was designed and implemented in 2009 by Beth Hellwig, Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, to give staff members in Student and/or Academic Affairs the opportunity to:

  • Become part of a leadership cohort on campus
  • Help take the lead coordinating a campus wide project
  • Work with a mentor for the year
  • Participate in a leadership retreat
  • Learn about resources on campus
  • Build skills in a number of critical areas
  • Meet monthly for professional Development

Statement of Purpose
: The purpose of the Student Affairs Leadership Fellows Cohort is to make UWEC a stronger institution by providing opportunities for selected individuals to take part in a structured program of professional development. The program will include skill and leadership development, the opportunity to take part in a mentoring relationship, and the completion of an individual project that benefits the university as well as a select service-related group project.

Miranda Cross-Schindler 

Miranda Cross-Schindler 

(Military Education Benefits Coordinator)

I have served as the Military Education Benefits Coordinator since January 2011 and am responsible for the administration of federal and state benefits for nearly 350 students. I am also advisor to the veteran student organization and provide programming and outreach support for the Veterans Center. My project is to coordinate the Leadership Fellows program with support from my mentor, Staci Heidtke, Associate Director of Career Services.
Daria Hutchinson


Daria Hutchinson (Facilities Management)

I joined the UW-Eau Claire grounds crew in 2011. As the university gardener, I am responsible for the design, improvement and maintenance of ornamental plantings on campus. I am also involved in various landscape construction projects. My project will be to work with Christine Hupy and the Student Office of Sustainability on an interactive campus map that will highlight both current and future sustainable initiatives on the UW-Eau Claire Campus.
Christopher Jorgenson

Christopher Jorgenson

(Women's & LGBTQ Resource Center)

As the director of the Women's & LGBTQ Resource Center, social and gender-justice are the focus of my efforts when creating programming and events that challenge the oft-limited understanding of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and the myriad ways in which this limited understanding impacts our lives. Such programs/events include: Out With It! (National Coming Out Day), Break the Silence!: A Concert (National Day of Silence), Love Your Body Day, and The Fire Ball (an extravagant drag show, from which the proceeds fund the LGBTQA Student Support Fund). I also coordinate Peer Haven (UW-Eau Claire's premier LGBTQ peer mentoring program), and will roll out a sexual violence bystander intervention training program this fall. The ultimate goal of the Women's & LGBTQ Resource Center is to create a safe space for all members of the UW-Eau Claire campus community, regardless of sexuality, identity, or expression, and, in conjunction with UW-Eau Claire's Affirmative Action office, I hope to embark on a Leadership Fellows project with that goal in mind.
Heather Kretz


Heather Kretz (Admissions)

I am the Interim Director of Admissions. I am a 2001 UW-Eau Claire alum with a Mass Communications major, English minor. I earned my MA in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University. I began my career in higher education with an undergraduate internship at UWEC, where I found my passion for Admissions work. I joined the Recruitment and Outreach team at UW-Milwaukee, and then returned to UW-Eau Claire in 2004 where I held several roles within the Admissions office - entering as an Admissions Counselor and now serving as Interim Director. In my current role I facilitate the recruitment arm of the university, create dynamic recruitment collaborations across campus and empower a strong and experienced Admissions staff.
Catherine Lee


Catherine Lee (Center for International Education)

I started working at UWEC in 2009 as a volunteer in the Center for International Education. Since then I have had various roles in the office. I have been in my current position as the Intensive English Program Coordinator for three years. I work in all administrative aspects of the program - from recruitment and admissions to immigration advising and financials. When not immersed in international education I am an avid runner, biker, and Nordic skier. My Leadership Fellows Project will be to help promote fitness and healthy lifestyle in and out of the workplace.
Libby Thurston


Libby Thurston (Continuing Education)

I am very excited to join the Leadership Fellows team in 2013-14! For my project, I will coordinate the Future Student Affairs Professionals Program, an ongoing mentorship program for undergraduates interested in higher education careers. I look forward to working with students and staff on campus to continue and grow this valuable program. I have worked in Continuing Education for the past 10 years as Senior Outreach Specialist for Youth and Precollege Programs, providing enrichment opportunities for students from Kindergarten through 12th grade. Prior to coming to UW-Eau Claire, I served as Fundraising Program Manager and Grant Writer for Wisconsin Foundation for Independent Colleges (WFIC), procuring grant funds on behalf of the state's private colleges. While at WFIC, I also spearheaded the development of College Readiness 21, a precollege program for at-risk high school students in central city Milwaukee.
Odawa White


Odawa White (Office of Multicultural Affairs)

I currently work with the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) as a Retention Coordinator. My wife (Brandy Lonetree-White) and I are alumni. We have attained both our undergraduate and graduate degrees from UW-Eau Claire. I am passionate about serving all students but work with underrepresented Students of Color and American Indian students at UW-Eau Claire. I welcome the opportunity to serve as a Leadership Fellow and I also hope to gain life-long connections with professionals across student and academic affairs.
Tracy Yengo

Tracy Yengo (Kinesiology)

I have been working at UW-Eau Claire since 1996. From 1996-2006 I was the head women's cross country and track and field coach. From 2006-present I have been teaching in the Kinesiology Department. As a Senior Lecturer, I have taught numerous courses in the Physical Education Teaching Education and Human Performance programs. I also work with the Healthy Living Living Learning Community on campus. For my project as a Leadership Fellow, I want to increase personal safety awareness on our campus. I will be collaborating with the National Guard in Eau Claire, Campus Police, and Eau Claire Police department to provide training sessions for the entire campus community. The ultimate objective is to increase awareness of potential dangers that are often dismissed. In essence, I hope that this project will potentially save lives!
Members of the 2014-2015 Leadership Fellows Cohort
Leadership Fellows 2014
Front Row:
Back Row:
Members of the 2013-2014 Leadership Fellows Cohort
Beth Hellwig, Miranda Cross-Schindler, Libby Thurston, Odawa White, Heather Kretz, Daria Hutchinson, Tracy Yengo, Catherine Lee, Christopher Jorgenson
Members of the 2012-2013 Leadership Fellows Cohort
Beth Hellwig, Jodi Simek, Quincy Chapman, Danielle Widmer, Charles Vue, Kate Schmidt, Claire Couillard, Andy Jepsen, Bill Hoepner


Members of the 2010-2011 Leadership Fellows Cohort
Leadership Fellows
Front Row: Kirby Harless, Jen Brockpahler, Beth Hellwig, Maigan Wipfli, Lisa Schuetz
Back Row: Chris Buckley, Kerry Day, Steph Van Pay, Brian Carlisle

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.