Dr. Kelly Wonder has been named director of the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
The McNair program seeks to increase attainment of doctoral degrees by students from underrepresented segments of society, including first-generation low-income individuals and members from racial and ethnic groups historically underrepresented in graduate programs. The McNair program is a federally funded TRiO program.
"I am excited to work with students on their research and as they prepare for graduate school," Wonder said. "During my time at UW-Eau Claire, I have had the rewarding opportunity to work with several students through the Student-Faculty Research Program. Going to graduate school was such a meaningful experience for me although often difficult to negotiate as first-generation college student from a low-income family. I look forward to sharing my experience with students as they embark on this journey."
Wonder is well qualified to lead the work of UW-Eau Claire's McNair program, said Dr. Tamara Johnson, vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion and student affairs.
"I was impressed with Dr. Wonder’s ability to critically assess the needs of the McNair program and present a clear and structured plan for its future direction," Johnson said.
Wonder joined the staff at UW-Eau Claire in 2001 and has taught English, English as a second language, and teacher preparation courses in teaching English as second language. She has an extensive background in creating access to higher education, most recently as UW-Eau Claire's Student Success Program coordinator and previously as the Commanding English Program coordinator. Her research agenda focuses on high-impact practices, student engagement and alternative assessment, and she as presented her work at the local, national, and international level. She has mentored 11 UW-Eau Claire undergraduate researchers.
During the 2013-14 academic year, Wonder served as a Senior English Language Fellow with the U.S. Department of State at Philippine Normal University in Manila, Philippines. In that role, she developed the research capacity of undergraduate and graduate students and faculty and provided training seminars for teaching institutions, professional organizations, non-governmental organizations and the U.S. Embassy.
Wonder holds a bachelor's degree in international business from Buena Vista University, a master's degree in TESOL/applied linguistics from Iowa State University and a doctor of education degree in leadership, policy and administration from the University of St. Thomas.