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Leadership Fellows program seeking applications, nominations

Faculty and staff are invited to apply to be a part of the Leadership Fellows 2019-20 cohort. Benefits of the Leadership Fellows program include

  • Cross-collaborative institutional learning.
  • Networking with colleagues from different departments.
  • Cultivating a yearlong relationship with a senior-level university mentor.
  • Participating in personal, professional and leadership development.
  • A $1,000 stipend per fellow.

New this year, the 2019-20 cohort also will have the unique opportunity to shape the future of the program. Under the leadership of Quincy Chapman (Housing and Residence Life) and Andy Jepsen (Recreation and Sport Operations), fellows will work collaboratively to develop a fundamental leadership curriculum that will serve the future of Leadership Fellows. While creating a formal curriculum, the group also will work closely with Vice Chancellors John Haven and Albert Colom to position the Leadership Fellows program into the larger, comprehensive campuswide leadership development programming.

To apply for the program yourself, click here for the application.

To nominate someone and encourage them to apply, click here for the nomination.

Application deadline: Wednesday, May 1.

This year’s (2018-19) cohort has been busy with bimonthly meetings running from August through May. Meeting times focused on cross-departmental learning, planning a summer and winter retreat, networking across campus divisions, engaging with campus executives and leaders, professional and leadership development, and an individual project worked on with a professional mentor. The 2018-19 cohort also took on a group project with a goal of serving the larger campus community. The group is working with multiple offices to establish a Fostering Success program at UW-Eau Claire aimed at providing resources and support for students who are former foster youth. The fellows have started a conversation around how to best support foster youth, are establishing a network of campus contacts and friends to serve in a program advisory role, and are working with the Dean of Students office to expand efforts in the Campus Harvest and Campus Closet. Meet the 2018-19 fellows here:


Kristi Bergstrom

I have been an employee at UW-Eau Claire since 2016 and work on the Frontline in Blugold Central assisting students, parents, community members and peers with any questions they may have. As a UWEC Alumni I enjoy working towards creating a positive and lasting experience for all. When not at work I enjoy DIY projects and spending my time with my husband, Kristopher (yes we both go by Kris and family gatherings get confusing), our seven year old son and our three dogs. We love spending time outdoors, swimming, playing games and travelling to Minnesota to visit family.

Carley Kukuk

As an Eau Claire native and 1999 UW-Eau Claire graduate, I am very excited to have the opportunity to give back to the campus community. I began working in the Purchasing Department in December of 2016 and became the Purchasing Director in November of 2017. Prior to that I worked for 13 years for the Department of Workforce Development. I enjoy serving as a resource for faculty and staff, helping them navigate the complex processes involved in government procurement. Negotiating good deals for people is also a bonus of my job.  I love meeting people and being involved in projects from all areas of campus. In my personal life I enjoy spending time with my husband Jesse and our two young daughters, Josie and Violet. We love to go boating and out for ice cream in the summer. We also love to travel and explore other cultures and languages. My Bachelor’s degree is in French and I was fortunate to study abroad in La Rochelle, France, during my years as a student at UW-Eau Claire. I later lived in Cancun, Mexico for 2.5 years and learned to speak Spanish during that time. I look forward to sharing my love of travel with my children as they grow. When I have time to myself, I enjoy running, reading memoirs, and planning our next trip!

Melissa Moore 

Melissa is a Student Services Coordinator in the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Prior to joining OMA, Melissa served as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer at Cabrini University where she helped coordinate three K-12 after school mentoring programs for Latinx students. Melissa attended Michigan State University where she obtained a degree in Sociology and minored in Women’s Studies, Chicanx Latinx Studies, and Leadership in Integrated Learning. She has a passion for student success and extensive experience as an advocate for inclusion and awareness for students of color, cultural event/program planning, and volunteer coordination with various non-profit organizations. Melissa is excited to now serve the dynamic OMA community, supporting student leadership in advancement of the collective vision for empowerment and social justice. On her free time Melissa enjoys visiting her partner in Michigan and exploring new places, domestically and abroad; whether it be discovering a new coffee shop in town or running into a cobblestone path in the city. 

Neil Ostlund

I am in my third year on the campus of UW-Eau Claire in the role of Sport Facilities Operations Manager in the McPhee Physical Education Center.  In my role, I oversee facility scheduling, projects and maintenance, event set-up and take down, the open recreation program and the aquatic program.  Before arriving at UWEC, I worked 8 years at Winthrop University in South Carolina as the Assistant Director of Intramural and Club Sports while also overseeing all outdoor recreational facilities.  I also had a short stint in Birmingham, AL working as an intern at Samford University in their Campus Recreation Department.  I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Sport Management from Bemidji State University and a Master’s degree from North Dakota State University in Sport and Recreation Management.  When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my wife and our two dogs, fishing, watching football, and officiating high school basketball.

Angela Swenson-Holzinger

In May of 2018, I just finished my first year at UW-Eau Claire as the Associate Director for Advising.  Prior to starting at UW-Eau Claire, I worked at UW-Stout for just over six years in several roles including first-year/undeclared academic advisor, first-year learning community coordinator, and director of TRIO Student Support Services.  I was a first-generation, low-income student, so TRIO programs and TRIO eligible students hold a special place in my heart.  I received my undergraduate degree from UW-La Crosse in Business Administration with an emphasis in International Management and a minor in German.  I received my master’s degree from Western Illinois University in College Student Personnel.  I’ve held prior professional roles as a hall director, coordinator of an alcohol and other drug education grant program, online learning coordinator, and transfer coordinator.  Personally, my main hobby is travelling, reading about travel, and watching travel themed tv shows.  I am always planning that next trip and am often asked by family and friends for assistance and advice with their travel plans, which I love!  I have two states (Oklahoma & Delaware) left to visit to have visited all 50 and countless countries yet to explore.  My Leadership Fellows mentor is Kristin Schumacher, Director of University Centers.  I look forward to the year ahead with this program!

Ka Vang

I am currently working with the TRIO Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program where I provide support to disadvantaged undergraduate students with effective preparation for research based doctoral study.  Prior to joining the McNair Program, I have worked in multifaceted diverse positions within TRIO, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Affirmative Action Office, Admissions Office, and Lecturer in Languages, Honors, and Social Work Department.  The McNair Program is part of the new EDISA division; and I am super excited to start the year. I enjoy leading Domestic Intercultural Immersion to Fresno, CA to learn more about the Hmong diaspora and International Immersion to Thailand where U.S. born heritage Hmong students can explore their cultural roots as well as non-heritage students can learn more about the plight of the Hmong. In my spare time, I indulge in one of my favorite funtivity, C-- & K—drama.  I particularly like the historical dramas that has the ability to transport the audience back to the ancient times of kings, emperors, their citizens and the struggle for power. 

Diane Walkoff

It's been a pleasure serving as an editor and writer at UW-Eau Claire for the past 20 years. I truly love editing and the feeling of accomplishment that comes with fine-tuning all types of writing, from official documents to stories to brochures. Having moved to Eau Claire from the Boston area when my husband, Steve Drucker, was hired as a UW-Eau Claire chemistry professor, my News Bureau co-workers quickly became my first friends in the Midwest. Those original colleagues, a handful with whom I still work, have been outstanding leaders and mentors to me. I am grateful to them for showing me the ropes, encouraging me and sharing my personal and professional triumphs. My newer colleagues also inspire me and are always willing to share their knowledge, which is invaluable in our ever-changing communications environment. I look forward to collaborating with the 2018-19 Leadership Fellows cohort in supporting the university's progress toward creating a more welcoming and inclusive environment for all students, faculty and staff. In my free time, I enjoy challenging myself at the gym, concocting nutritious (and sometimes tasty) recipes, playing violin in the Chippewa Valley Symphony and sharing all of life's twists with my husband and our two incredible kids. As a proud Tufts University alumna, I'm convinced that Jumbo and Blu are long-lost cousins! 

Emily Wermund

I have worked at UW-Eau Claire since 2016, but have called this area “home” in one way or another since setting foot on campus in 2008. Currently, I work with Alumni and Development communications, campaigns, and projects through the UW-Eau Claire Foundation and my home base of Integrated Marketing and Communications. The best part of my job is being surrounded by some of the most creative and driven visionaries who tirelessly work to ensure the future of our campus and community. While my undergraduate degree in Music Education didn’t take me down a traditional teaching path when I left here in 2013, I landed in higher education and worked in the UW-Stout Foundation for three years before returning to Eau Claire; there truly is something magnetic about this campus that keeps Blugolds around. In 2017, I graduated with my master’s in Organizational Leadership and have utilized that degree in countless ways during my day-to-day, but also through engagement in new opportunities like the Leadership Fellows. This campus is special, and I’m proud to be an alum and staff member here. I have also been known to tell strangers how wonderful UW-Eau Claire is whether they like it or not. When I’m not working, I spend my time with my partner, Adam, and two dogs, Shania and Charley. They are very good girls and can’t hear that enough. I remind them daily. I moonlight as our office’s resident dog dealer, as we foster numerous dogs and volunteer through their rescue organization as much as possible. In the off-chance I am caught spending time with people over pets, it’s probably through my involvement with the Eau Claire Marathon race committee, teaching indoor cycling at the YMCA, or exploring the beautiful city of Eau Claire.