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Leadership Fellows

The Leadership Fellows are a group of eight individuals who make up a leadership cohort. Designed and implemented in 2009 by Beth Hellwig, Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, the Leadership Fellows was initiated to give staff members in Student and/or Academic Affairs the opportunity to:

  • Become part of a leadership cohort on campus
  • Participate in a campus-wide project
  • Create and implement a personal campus project
  • Learn from a mentor
  • Attend leadership retreats
  • Learn about resources and opportunities on campus
  • Network with staff and faculty from different departments
  • Build skills through experiences and professional development
  • Become a recognized leader at UW-Eau Claire
  • Make a difference!

Nominate a potential Leadership Fellow!

Apply to be a Leadership Fellow! (due by March 30 - nomination not required)


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.

2017-2018 Leadership Fellows Group

Leadership Fellow Jillian Anderson


Jillian Anderson (ASK Center)

I've been enthusiastically contributing at UW –Eau Claire since 2012. Currently in my third position on campus, I'm a supervisor in the ASK Center, which means I am a resource for staff, faculty, and student employees on many topics. I'm passionate about continuous improvement, outstanding customer service, and helping people find solutions to their problems. My work in higher education has included Alumni and Foundation, Student Life, Residence Life, Business Services, and Academics. Being a part of our campus community is a delight and a privilege! A native of Wyoming, I completed my Bachelor's degree in Communication at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs but my heart is pure Midwestern. I am the mother of three amazing children who are my biggest joys.My project this year involves enhancing social connections among faculty and staff around shared interests. Dean Carmen Manning is my leadership mentor. I'm thrilled to be having adventures with this year's leadership cohort!
Leadership Fellow Adam Coolidge


Adam Coolidge (Continuing Education)

I was born and raised in Eau Claire, and am a 2004 graduate of UW-Eau Claire with a degree in mathematics. After serving a two-year mission for my church in Atlanta, Georgia, I returned to UWEC to earn my teaching certification in 2007. I began teaching math at Chippewa Falls High School in 2009. During my time as a teacher, I spent each summer working for the Continuing Education office on our campus, serving as an on-site coordinator for their Summer Institute youth camp. In February of 2016, I made the decision to leave the classroom and I began working full-time for Continuing Education. I currently serve as an Outreach Program Manager, which gives me the opportunity to create and oversee youth and community programs, as well as professional development workshops. I love that my job allows me to be creative, work collaboratively with my team, and make a difference in our community by providing meaningful programs. My wife Sandy and I have been married for 10 years. We have three children (Emma, Hannah, and Joshua). I love spending time with my family. I also enjoy running, and have competed in several local races, including the Eau Claire Half Marathon this past May. I am grateful to serve as a Leadership Fellow and to contribute to our campus! My mentor is Heather Kretz, Director of Admissions. My individual project will focus on employee recognition and increasing the number of ways we can express appreciation for our coworkers.
Leadership Fellow Kelly Holzer


Kelly Holzer (Records & Registration / Continuing Education)

I have been with the UW-Eau Claire Continuing Education office for almost 5 years now as a University Services Program Associate. I support program managers and serve contemporary learners in our credit programs, such as American Sign Language, Director of Special Education and Pupil Services, and Communication Sciences and Disorders. Over the past year, we have transitioned from Water Street onto main campus as part of the new Blugold Central unit in Old Library, and it is exciting to have a more direct connection to campus. I am passionate about service to others and I am committed to getting more women involved in leadership positions, so I am thrilled to have the opportunity to engage in both of those activities as a member of the Leadership Fellows Cohort, while honing my own leadership skills, as well. I currently serve on the University Staff Council as Chair-Elect and on the Personnel and Professional Development Committees. True to my chosen career in continuing education, I am a staunch supporter of lifelong learning, and in December 2017, I will graduate with a B.S. in Applied Social Science, which is a fancy title for compiling, analyzing and interpreting data in order to solve social problems. My mentor is Teresa O'Halloran, and my personal project is to bring a Domestic Violence Awareness training program to campus, to help faculty, staff, and students recognize the signs of abuse in our campus community and effectively connect victims with resources and assistance.I live in Elk Mound with my 15-year old daughter Amanda and our 15-year old German shorthaired pointer Tonic (who thinks she is a 5-year old human). I spend most of my free time supporting my daughter's many extracurricular activities during the week and playing host to a house full of teenagers on the weekends, but I also enjoy reading, watching movies, scrapbooking, knitting, camping, writing, playing board games and volunteering for several local civic organizations.
Leadership Fellow Brad Patton


Brad Patton (Learning and Technology Services)

I've called Eau Claire home for over 10 years;seven years as an indecisive, but determined, undergraduate and as a staff member since 2014. While my history education degree didn't land me a high school teaching job right out of college, I was able to later incorporate my education background when I was hired by LTS as the training coordinator. My role has since shifted from training to process improvement facilitation. In this position, I have the opportunity to work with different departments on campus that wish to seek ways to save time or money in their day-to-day operations. I love being a Blugold and am excited to be part of a team that seeks to give back to the university as a Leadership Fellow.When I'm not working, I'm spending time with my wife, two daughters, and our cat. We're a family that loves music, movies, going on hikes, parades, and festival food. I play a little piano, love taking naps, have a weird obsession with film scores, and, to my family's chagrin, want to learn the bagpipes.  
Leadership Fellow April Pierson 

April Pierson (LTS / CETL)

I've worked at UWEC since 2011, helping instructors develop effective online courses and instructional videos. I also provide support and training for D2L;act as the primary administrator for UWEC's video system, Kaltura;and coordinate video captioning for students who are deaf and hard of hearing. In my free time, I teach an online Honors class on multimedia creation. Previously, I worked at UW-Stout as an instructional designer for the Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute and I was a vocational counselor for people with disabilities. I've been a student for an overwhelming majority of my life and recently finished my PhD in online education. I enjoy traveling, live music, walking my dogs, binge watching shows on Netflix, good food, and heated blankets.
Veronica Pettigrew Image


Veronica Pettigrew (Housing)

I began working at UW-Eau Claire in August of 2016 as a Hall Director with The Department of Housing and Residence Life. It's been a great experience getting to know the campus as well as the Eau Claire Community. I am very excited for this opportunity to serve as a Leadership Fellow for the 2017-2018 school year.
Leadership Fellow Jenni Sterling


Jenni Sterling (University Centers)

As Assistant to the Director of University Centers, I have been excited to be offered a number of leadership opportunities, including chairing one of the rapid-redesign teams tasked with the reorganization and consolidation of several departments, and serving as a certified FranklinCovey facilitator. 

A proponent of life-long learning, I am currently in graduate school honing my instructional design, training and development skills.

MJ Brukhardt serves as my treasured mentor, and has provided excellent guidance to me - especially related to my personal Leadership Fellows project (Blugold Campus Facilitators training) that aims to provide a growing cadre of facilitators available to provide on-demand customer service training sessions across campus.

My husband Patrick and I love spending time with our parents, 6 children, 12 grandchildren, and three Mitten Kittens. When we're not gardening or riding our Harley Davidson on the beautiful winding roads of Wisconsin, we spend time camping, especially near waterfalls!
Leadership Fellow Ganga Vadhavkar


Ganga Vadhavkar (Communication & Journalism)

I am a faculty member in the Communication &Journalism program at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and have a diverse educational background in media studies, sociology and psychology. My interdisciplinary research agenda incorporates my unique professional and personal experiences as a journalist and academician in India and the USA. As a leadership fellow, I hope to learn how to lead by example and realize my vision of global collaboration in education that enhances our students' learning experiences and diverse outlook. During my free time, I enjoy writing poetry, singing, skiing, landscaping, cooking, traveling and playing the harmonium (an Indian wind instrument).
Beth Hellwig


Beth Hellwig, Ph.D. (Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs)

Dr. Beth Hellwig is the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of Wisconsin -Eau Claire and has worked in many different positions in higher education for the past 43 years. She worked at New Mexico State University, Montana State University, Colorado State University, the University of Northern Colorado & Gonzaga University prior to her tenure at UW-Eau Claire.

Some of the titles she has held include:
  • Residence Life Leadership Development Specialist
  • Family Housing Children's Coordinator and Programming Coordinator for Residence Life. In addition, she served as a Director of Student Activities
  • Hall Director in an Engineering Hall of 400 students
  • Assistant Director of Residence Life and Apartment Life for Student Development and Programming
  • Director of Student Life, Chair of the Student Media Corporation, Study Abroad
  • Coordinator, National Student Exchange Coordinator, Student Government Advisor
  • Dean of Students
  • Executive Dean of Students Semester at Sea
  • Founder, UW-Eau Claire Leadership Fellows

Dr. Hellwig has many passions, especially working with college students, internationaleducation, leadership development and Social Justice initiatives.

Members of the 2017-2018 Leadership Fellows Cohort
Leadership Fellows 2017-2018 Cohort
April Pierson, Brad Patton, Jillian Anderson, Jenni Sterling, Beth Hellwig, Veronica Pettigrew, Adam Coolidge, Ganga Vadhavkar, Kelly Holzer
Members of the 2016-2017 Leadership Fellows Cohort
2016-2017 Leadership Fellows
Kelsey Kopp, Brittany Wold, Shana German, Alison Millis, Jessica Barnier, Jamie Tester,
Tim Fader, Beth Hellwig
Members of the 2015-2016 Leadership Fellows Cohort
Leadership Fellows 2015
Kristin Schumacher, Bonnie Krahn, Mallory Gohl, Kent Gerberich, Sheryl Poirier, Jenna Krosch, Beth Hellwig, Phil Huelsbeck, Nicole Schultz, Andy Jepsen
Members of the 2014-2015 Leadership Fellows Cohort
2014-2015 Leadership Fellows
Maria Carvalho, Rachel Woodward, Dennis Beale, Nicole Rindone, Beth Hellwig, aBa Mbirika, Charissa Jakusz, John Bachmeier
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 2011-2012 Leadership Fellows Cohort
2011-2012 Cohort
Kim Wellnitz, Marissa Wolfe, Katie Wilson, Samantha Potempa, Jerron Parker, Beth Hellwig, Jacqueline Bonneville, Troy Terhark


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

Members of the 2009-2010 Leadership Fellows Cohort
Leadership Fellows 2009-2010
Front Row: Julia Diggins, Jason Jon Anderson, Stacy Heidtke
Back Row: Beth Hellwig, Jenny Hlava, Melinda Hebert, Paula Stuettgen