University of Wisconsin–Madison

Meet New EAO Counselor Jamesetta Fousek

Jamesetta Fousek At the end of January 2022, the Employee Assistance Office welcomed an additional EAO consultant and counselor, Jamesetta Fousek, to the team. We’ve had an opportunity to begin getting to know Jamesetta, and are excited to offer space here for her to connect to the wider HR Community at UW–Madison.

How did you come to work at UW–Madison?

I was working at another institution and a friend alerted me about the EAO job opening.  I’ve wanted to work in Human Resources for a while and decided to take a chance by applying. I am SO GLAD I applied for the position.  I cannot express enough how grateful I am to be part of UW–Madison.

What excites you most about working at the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus?

I received my undergraduate degree from UW–Madison and am VERY excited to connect with the University again! The University of Wisconsin is an innovating institution that is often on the forefront of developing new and interesting opportunities that have an immense impact on many communities.  Being part of the energy of and pride in the university’s accomplishments is exciting! Providing confidential support to UW’s faculty and staff (both Academic and University) is something that I greatly value.  The EAO is well-respected and I am beyond thrilled to be part of this outstanding team of experts.

What are some of your experiences that have prepared you to work as an EAO Consultant/Counselor?

I have been in higher education for the past 25 years—supporting and guiding students with a variety of barriers to resource access; discussing/confronting concerns; and answering questions on how to overcome identified barriers. In looking at the whole person and being genuine in my approach, I am able to work with clients to get to the root cause(s) of their issues and offer support (e.g., connecting them with institutional and community resources). As an EAO Consultant/Counselor, I will be able to support the development of and guide faculty and staff by using the skills I’ve fine-tuned over the years. 

What prior exposure do you have to the HR and counseling worlds?

My educational training includes a Master of Arts in Counseling/Psychology.  I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) within the state of Wisconsin as well. My prior involvement in developing and facilitating/co-facilitating professional development opportunities for colleagues has strengthened my interpersonal skills, and my experience in meeting with individuals and groups has really helped me keep the “whole person” in the foreground and continues to sharpen my attending skills. I value empowering employees and giving them the tools to be successful within their professional lives.  Developing curriculum and trainings that allow faculty and staff to grow—in a non-judgmental and non-biased environment—is fulfilling. A lot of great work is accomplished in a trusting atmosphere.

What have you loved most about your work in the past? What motivates you?

I love seeing personal and professional growth in people. It’s very gratifying to see the progress in people—because they put in the work and are reaping the benefits! Professionally, I am motivated by the courage it takes for people to take the first step in connecting.  Sometimes it takes a while for people to muster up the energy to ask for help.  Supportive colleagues, family, and friends help me to strive to be the best version of myself.  In recognizing that each day is unique, I am able to reach my personal goals without being too critical of myself.

What do you do for fun?

My idea of fun varies, but I really like to hang out with my spouse and explore the different parts of Madison and surrounding areas on the weekends.  We try to go to a coffee shop we haven’t been to before and explore the local neighborhood while sipping coffee and chatting about our teenagers, retirement goals and vacation dreams.  When the weather permits, we might bike to listen to live outdoor music.  I must say, though, I LOVE teaching group fitness classes – everyone is at a different fitness level and brings 100%!!! I like to “challenge myself” (yes, let’s go with that – I nearly wrote “torture myself”) by going to bootcamps. Hey, I still like to set the occasional goal of being in my pjs before 6pm!  I also enjoy the company of my teenagers.  They are witty and so interesting! They have such a deep understanding of social/racial justice that it blows my mind.  We all agree that our cats are so cute – and point out just how cute they are on a regular basis!

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