This month we have the pleasure of learning more about the Learning and Talent Development (LTD) Team within the Office of Human Resources.
On July 1, 2015, the former Office of Human Resource Development (OHRD) became Learning and Talent Development (LTD) as part of the implementation of HR Design.
Many of you have attended the free programming that LTD provides to all employees at UW–Madison. Like many of us, members of the LTD Team have seen big changes in 2020. Early on, they converted all of their courses to virtual platforms in response to the COVID crisis.
What’s the mission of LTD?
LTD exists to support UW–Madison in its pursuit of excellence in teaching, research and service—by providing learning events and services to support the strategic priority of creating a high-performing organization.
Ongoing learning is expected of all staff and faculty, and is supported by LTD. The vision is for all faculty and staff to create workplace conditions that foster individual and organizational success. The LTD Team works with employees, campus partners, and leadership to create a healthy, inclusive, engaging work environment in support of career development and well-being.
Meet some of the LTD Team:
Julie Kovalaske, Manager and Supervisor Training
My background and passion have always been around learning and supporting others in learning and growth. This ranges from elementary education, to community education with the Peace Corps in Tanzania, and employee technical skill development in the private sector.
From 2009 to 2015, I’d been living and working away from family and friends and was looking to come back to Wisconsin. I saw the opportunity for my current role—and it’s been a great match!
As a facilitator of adult learning, I’ve had a few experiences where intuition or common sense made me believe that a certain approach was beneficial, but upon further research and understanding learned that—not only was it not beneficial—in some ways it could create the opposite effect I was going for. These experiences have made me much more aware of not following ‘trends’ and instead really understanding the research behind different learning practices. These experiences also prompted me to pursue a master’s in educational technology leadership, which I completed in 2018.
Being able to hear about all of the unique work that is going on in one place is what’s so exciting about working at UW–Madison.
For fun, I spend time with my dog Winston, hiking, and usually learning something new through books or documentaries.
Lindsay Falkowski, Thrive@UW
I’d been a K-12 teacher for eight years and in 2017, was looking for a new way to use my teaching background. LTD posted an opening for a trainer/facilitator to facilitate training on creating healthy, inclusive, and engaging work environments. I knew I’d be a good fit because I cared about fostering these qualities in K-12 classrooms. My role here has been a great opportunity to learn how to use my skillset in a new context.
Creating inclusive learning communities has always been my passion. As a school teacher, I was interested in instructional techniques that encouraged all of my students to engage in a way that worked best for them. I also have extensive experience creating relevant learning objectives, designing engaging experiences to target those objectives, and evaluating what an audience has learned.
Now, I’m using those same experiences and skills to create learning environments that work best for all UW–Madison employees. Our employees are an incredibly thoughtful and curious group of people. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow with inspiring colleagues every day.
One my favorite mentors continuously pushed me to think about my locus of control and improving future outcomes. For example, one day I was describing a rough teaching day. My mentor asked, “What will you do differently tomorrow?” This question goes through my mind wherever there are opportunities for improvement.
For fun, I love spending time outside with my dog, Lambeau. We like to hike on nature trails, go running through our neighborhood, and play with other dogs at the dog park.
Tamie Klumpyan, Inclusion@UW
Prior to coming to UW–Madison, I served in the HR unit of Learning and Development at UW-Health. I came to work at UW–Madison in December 2017 when I was hired for my current role as Program Manager for Inclusion@UW.
I’ve worked within higher education in some capacity for the duration of my career. My roots are in leadership development and social change within the sphere of student affairs. I transitioned into employee learning and development a little over a decade ago—developing and leading education initiatives within interpersonal, relational, and leadership development. Within my scope of responsibility across professional roles, I’ve worked to increase my understanding and application of social change theory and inclusion and diversity. I’m always seeing possibilities to infuse this lens into all learning and development opportunities.
In my current position, I’ve had the privilege of and am grateful for being able to engage in multiple learning experiences. These have helped me continue my own professional growth. Informally, I learn daily from my colleagues and regularly from participants in workshops which I facilitate—there is always wisdom in the room! Formally, the Social Justice Training Institute (SJTI) and Deep Diversity Institute training has had the greatest—and most recent—impact on my career, understanding, and continued growth.
What excites me most about working at UW–Madison is the energy. The ideas. The differences. The possibilities. When I see us leverage and elevate all of this, I feel we get the best of what UW can offer to our community and our larger community.
For fun? I enjoy doing anything outdoors—throughout all seasons—with family and friends, and fur friends. I also enjoy spending time creating in the kitchen, which is both fun and relaxing for me.
Tammy Starr, Registration & Learning Management System Coordinator, UW–Madison Professional Development
I’d been living in the Wausau area and moved to Madison in 2009 after finding love. My first job here was the worst year of my life—and affirmed for me what type of company I never wanted to work for again.
I worked for a short time at a temp agency in an HR capacity, and discovered that I liked working in HR so I started applying for permanent positions within HR. That led me to UW–Madison in 2011. I have loved my job ever since—and hopefully, I’ve treated others well after knowing what it is like to be on the other side of an experience in which I did not feel that.
Every position in my career has positioned me to do well in my role. I was a customer service manager in the manufacturing industry for 16 years and loved helping people. I also had my own business designing internet sites in HTML before web page builders were created that made this process easier. That experience prepared me for working with the UW–Madison registration system where I use HTML code in surveys and emails. My educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in business and achieving the Six Sigma Green Belt.
What motivates me is being able to make life easier for others in the registration system—well, helping people with anything, for that matter. I’ve always tried to provide care for others, even before attending to my own. I derive pleasure out of keeping others happy.
For fun, I love spending time with my dogs, Ruger (a 4-year old white Lab) and Ellie (an 11-week old chocolate Lab); outshooting my husband and father-in-law with pistols; hunting squirrel, duck, deer, and grouse; and fishing. I also have a boat that I use to enjoy time on the water. Really, anything outdoors! Just about every month of the year gets me out there enjoying what I love.
Theresa Kim, Fully Prepared to Lead
Prior to joining UW–Madison in 2018, I had my own coaching and consulting business. My family and I made the decision two years ago, however, that I’d return to a fulltime position to have consistent pay and benefits. I was super fortunate to be in the right place at the right time to apply and be hired for my current position at UW in OHR.
Everything I need to know I learned teaching 6th grade social studies in inner city Jacksonville, FL. That may not be true, but really, probably is. Finding empathy, releasing the need to be the one “in the know,” exploring curiosity, and truly listening are the lessons that led me from that teaching position to coaching.
In between teaching 6th graders and working with adult learners in my current position, I’ve done editing, public speaking, and corporate training. In the latter role, I developed a training program for a pharmaceutical company from the ground up. In a regulated industry like pharmaceuticals, the requirements can be yawn-inducing but are combed over by the FDA. I was able to infuse collaboration, true interest and occasionally fun into that work.
My current role as the lead facilitator of the Fully Prepared to Lead Program utilizes all of these experiences.
My biggest learning—and one that I’m still very much working on—relates back to my early teaching role, and all comes down to listening. People don’t want to hear what I say if they don’t know that I’m also going to listen to them at a very deep and authentic level.
What excites me most about working at UW–Madison is the people I meet. The ranges of experiences, attitudes, goals and dreams that people share make me want to have even the tiniest impact.
For fun, I paint, tap dance and hike.