University of Wisconsin–Madison

Past Symposiums

2023 Symposium

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.


We Are the Women Who Defied the Odds

Women have always been a force to be reckoned with throughout history, and yet their stories are often left untold or forgotten. From warriors and revolutionaries, to inventors and scientists, women have defied societal conventions and made invaluable contributions in every field imaginable. This session will explore the amazing achievements of women throughout the ages and how their courage, creativity, and resilience can still teach us lessons today.

But to be clear, this talk is not about Cleopatra or Coretta Scott King, or Marie Curie. Rather, it’s about all the ordinary women whose remarkable stories and achievements are often overlooked: the seamstresses and farmers, inventors and scientists. It’s about how these women defied convention and battled prejudice to achieve incredible things. I want to invite you to explore our own family histories to discover stories of strength that have been passed down for generations. Stories of mothers who sacrificed everything for their children’s future; grandmothers whose hard work kept families afloat during difficult times; great-grandmothers whose wisdom taught us valuable lessons about life.

As women, there is an innate connection between us and those who came before us that stretches beyond years – you exist infinitely in both directions through time! Let’s take a few moments to explore this lineage stretching back generations – because understanding where we come from gives us strength as individuals and empowers us collectively.

Learning Outcomes

  • Be able to speak to the achievements and contributions made by women throughout history.
  • Learn strategies for connecting with our own histories and exploring our family.
  • Walk away with techniques to help you use family history as a source of strength, wisdom, and empowerment.


Dominique Luster, Archivist, Researcher, Storyteller

Dominique is one part archivist -one part researcher, with a dash of genealogy for taste. After working at universities, libraries, and museums across the United States for nearly a decade, she understood that history is not merely a listing of events in chronological order, but, rather a meticulously curated phenomenon of power. All too often, the stories of marginalized communities are suppressed, oppressed, erased, or forgotten. Dominique’s research seeks to support those communities by helping individuals and organizations uplift, honor, and tell stories that represent the lived experiences of diverse voices and the Black diaspora.

Concurrent Sessions

2022 Symposium

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.


Brand Like Beyoncé – Building an Authentic and Strong Personal Brand

She will go down as one of the world’s greatest entertainers, fashion icons, and entrepreneurs of our time. It cannot be denied that she is one of the hardest working women in show business. Her brand? It is simply unmatched. To the world, she is known as Beyoncé, a former teen star turned music mogul.

But, just as Beyoncé has created a worldwide brand, you, too, have your own personal brand. Your brand is a story that people tell about you when you are not in the room.

Whether you’re headed off to the next phase of your life, you’re looking for a dream career, or are looking for ways to be fulfilled, this interactive workshop is for you. With the lead of the infamous Queen Bey, Joseline will guide you in building a personal brand that truly reflects who you are, what you stand for, and where you are going.

Why build a personal brand? Building a personal brand helps you stand out in a competitive work environment, enables you to find and support your life’s purpose, and the self-awareness you gain from the personal branding process allows you to take control of your career, achieve your goals, and gain confidence.

Learning Outcomes

  • Gain tangible insight on setting and achieving professional and personal goals that align with your values.
  • Using Beyoncé and her brand as a proxy, attendees will determine or solidify their personal and professional goals, determine their values, and write out what makes them different/their unique selling proposition and methods to ensure that their brand sticks.


Joseline Nyinawabera

Joseline Nyinawabera, MBA ’22, world traveler, humble servant, and catalyst for change!

Born in Rwanda, Joseline and her family relocated to Madison, Wisconsin where she would later attend the University of Wisconsin–Madison (twice as a BBA and an MBA) to accomplish her lifelong dreams of becoming a successful businesswoman. With diverse experiences across marketing and sales in the corporate, higher education, and startup industries, Joseline combined her love for marketing and serving others to launch BlkBld & Co., a boutique marketing firm that seeks to help black-owned businesses grow and scale.

Within just a few years, Joseline has worked with more than twenty businesses in various industries. A lover of life and all things marketing, when Joseline isn’t black building or working in Marketing, she is enjoying brunch and serving her community through her beloved organizations Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and Urban League Young Professionals.

Concurrent Sessions

Endnote Panel

Panel Discussion: Real Experiences Taking Family and Medical Leaves

Colleagues share their personal stories and experiences taking leave from their university roles. They’ll discuss preparing and planning for their leaves, being out of the workplace for an extended period of time, and their thoughts and feelings returning back to campus. They’ll also provide insight on campus resources and support they found beneficial along with things they wish they would have known or done differently. Their stories will highlight the importance of campus support for employee leaves and how it benefits the employees, their families, and the campus community.

Adena RissmanAdena Rissman is a professor leading the PIE lab—People Institutions & Ecosystems—in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology at UW–Madison. Her research examines the intertwining of people, policy, and ecology in the stewardship and use of nature.

She currently serves as cochair of the ad hoc committee Family Leave Working Group. She is a bridger, affiliated with the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, LaFollette School of Public Affairs, Community and Environmental Sociology, Agroecology, and Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies.

Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, US Department of Agriculture, UW Sea Grant, and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. She received her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management.


Fred SchulzeFred Schulze is an HR Manager at the University of Wisconsin–Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS).

He has 10 years of HR experience with the State of Wisconsin and the University. Fred prides himself on providing stellar customer service.

In his free time he likes to go to concerts, plan road trips and have fun with his two daughters.





Lauren BowersLauren Bowers (she, her, hers) serves as the Director of the Talent Acquisition team within the Office of Human Resources at UW–Madison. In partnership with her team, Lauren supports the campus in attracting, recruiting, engaging, and retaining a high-quality and diverse workforce through equitable and inclusive practices.

Lauren has worked at UW–Madison for 15 years and has held previous human resources roles with the School of Medicine and Public Health and the School of Pharmacy. She is a proud alumna of the UW–Madison Wisconsin School of Business.



Leanne MorrisLeanne Morris works with the HR Communities of Practice (HR CoP) team within the Office of Human Resources (OHR) as a Strategic and Organizational Development Partner. Leanne is responsible for working in consultative partnership with HR across campus, assessing needs and providing appropriate support for different HR initiatives.

Prior to working in OHR she spent seven year as an HR professional in both the public sector and here at UW—Madison, and before that she worked in marketing and advertising as an account executive.




Pa Nhia Lee ChentnikPa Nhia Lee Chentnik is the Employee Relations Coordinator for the School of Medicine and Public Health – Human Resources. In her current role, she serves as a subject matter expert on W/FMLA, manages the SMPH W/FMLA Leave Program and assists in the coordination of employment relations processes, programs and initiatives for SMPH.

She has over 7 years of experience in human resources at SMPH and has over 12 years of experience working in higher education. Pa Nhia holds a BA in International Studies from UW-Oshkosh and a MA in Sociology from UW-Milwaukee.

She enjoys creating training materials and resources for HR staff (and dreams of someday being paid to create training binders). She is passionate about qualitative research, specifically narrative inquiry and storytelling, and values learning about others’ lived experiences.

2019 Symposium

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.


“Her Story:  The Power of Unleashing our Inner Beginning”

Gloria Reyes has committed her career to public service, recently serving as Deputy Mayor to Public Safety, Civil Rights, Community Services, Public Health, and City Attorneys Office.  Gloria was responsible for policy development, management and community outreach.  Gloria advised the Mayor on political and policy implications.  As Deputy Mayor to Public Safety she was responsible for administrative priorities in public safety disciplines.

In 2015, the Mayor appointed Gloria as Interim Director for the Department of Civil Rights where she lead and managed the Affirmative Action Division, Equal Opportunities Division and Racial Equity Social Justice Initiative and lead the successful transition to a new Civil Rights Director.

Gloria has also served as Detective for the City of Madison Police Department, serving the City of Madison residents for 12.5 years in this capacity.  Prior to her promotion to Detective, Gloria worked as a neighborhood officer for the South Madison community where she worked with residents, neighborhood associations, businesses, service agencies and community police teams to find innovative strategies to keep community safe.  Gloria is founder of Amigos en Azul (Friends in Blue) comprised of officers dedicated to dissolving cultural barriers and building trust between the City of Madison Police Department and the Latino Community.  Gloria served as Peer Support Officer, offering assistance to officers who have been exposed to critical incidents and is a member of the Child Abduction Response Team.  She served as a member of the Unconscious Bias group, a group of officers who train Law Enforcement on Cultural Identity and Bias.  Gloria began and lead the Diversity/Inclusion team comprised of a diverse group of employees to review the Madison Police Departments current diversity efforts and to address real or perceived barriers in employment, development or promotional opportunities.

Gloria also served as Detective in the Special Investigations Unit.  The unit utilizes the focused deterrence model aimed at reducing violent crime.  This model identifies and targets offenders based on past history, while working with the Community Against Violence Team, offering resources to help offenders turn their lives around.

Gloria Reyes

Gloria’s passion for serving her community goes well beyond her normal work duties.  She has served as President of Centro Hispano of Dane County Board of Directors where she was committed to working with the Executive Director, Board and Staff to ensure the mission and vision of Centro Hispano is aligned with the needs of the community.  When she was not acting in her official capacity as President, you will find her teaching a class on Identity to youth who participate in the COMVIDA youth program at Centro Hispano or in a Juventud classroom in one of Madison School District Middle Schools.

Prior to her Law Enforcement career she worked as an Investigator for the Wisconsin State Public Defenders Office and also worked for the Wisconsin Department of Justice as the Director for the Statewide Prosecutor Education & Training program.

Gloria is a long time resident of Madison attending Madison East High School and the University of Wisconsin Madison where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Science & Law and Criminal Justice.  She completed the National Association of Chiefs of Police Association Leadership in Police Organization training. She has completed her Masters in Public Administration with a focus in Security Management and certification in Organizational Management.

In April of 2018, Gloria pursued her political aspirations and was elected to the Madison School Board as the first Latina to serve in this role and is now currently serving as President of the Madison School Board. Gloria is co-founder and president of Adelante, a political action group aimed to prepare and support candidates of color to run for office while also building the capacity of communities of color to learn about the political process.

Concurrent Sessions

Endnote Panel

Leadership Journeys:  How campus women leaders paved their paths

Please join four campus leaders as they share insights, experiences, and reflections regarding their career and leadership journey at the symposium.

Possible questions may be:

  • If you could go back to who you were 10 years ago, what advice would give your present self?
  • Tell us about influential women who have helped you along the way (ie: who were they, what did they do)?
  • What struggles are you facing in your career as a woman?
  • What have you found to be best skill or attribute in your career?
  • What do you think are the most significant barriers to women workforce?
  • Imposter syndrome is a real issue with women. Tell us about a time that you experienced imposter syndrome and how you dealt with it.

Audience members will be able to ask questions during the Q&A portion of the panel.

Lois BrooksLois Brooks
Vice Provost for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer

Lois Brooks joined UW–Madison in August 2018 as vice provost for Information technology and chief information officer. The vice provost for information technology and chief information officer (CIO) has direct and indirect responsibility for the entire sphere of information technology (IT) related activities on campus. In conjunction with advisory groups, this role oversees the development and delivery of IT services, IT security policies and best practices. The CIO also directly manages the IT Center of Excellence, Chief Information Security Officer team and the Division of Information Technology (DoIT).

Prior to joining UW-Madison, Lois served as Oregon State University’s vice provost for information services and chief information officer. She also served for twenty-five years at Stanford University, most recently as Director of Academic Computing. During her tenures at Stanford and Oregon State she co-founded the Sakai Foundation (now Apareo) and UNIZIN Consortium, serving on the Board of Directors for each. She also served as Executive Director of the Sakai Foundation.

She is active nationally in the higher education community, having served in leadership and governance roles with the Northwest Academic Computing Consortium, Educause and Internet2. She holds a BS in Applied Economics from the University of San Francisco, an MBA from the University of California Berkeley and an MBA from Columbia University.

Lisa CarterLisa Carter
Vice Provost for Libraries and University Librarian

Lisa R. Carter is the Vice Provost for Libraries and University Librarian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In her role, she oversees campus libraries and provides leadership for strategic planning, fundraising, ensuring coordination of campus library collections, services and personnel and advancing campus partnerships, collaborations and initiatives. She also directs efforts to develop and enhance access to relevant, distinct and compelling content and collections, and cultivates campus, regional, national and international partnerships that facilitate scholarship and support the mission of the university and the library.

Prior to joining UW-Madison, Carter served as the associate director of special collections and area studies from 2011-2018 at The Ohio State University Libraries. At Ohio State, she helped to advance campus-wide discussions that positioned the Libraries as a valued partner and leader, such as exploring digital arts and humanities practice on campus and cultural heritage collection stewardship. Carter also established and provided leadership for a museum-quality exhibition program that offers library experiences that inspire discovery and opportunistic engagement with Libraries’ expertise and collections.

Previously, she was the head of the Special Collections Research Center at North Carolina State University Libraries and the director of archives at the University of Kentucky Libraries. In her professional service, Carter has advanced conversations about integrating distinctive collections widely throughout the academic enterprise.
Carter received a master’s degree in information and library studies from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary humanities from Michigan State University.

Gloria HawkinsGloria Hawkins
Assistant Vice Provost and Director of Chancellor’s and Powers-Knapp Scholars

Gloria Hawkins is an Assistant Vice Provost in the Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Leadership (DDEEA) and Director of the Mercile J. Lee Scholars Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Lee Scholars Program is the umbrella for the Chancellor’s and Powers-Knapp Scholarships for talented and outstanding students from under-represented backgrounds. Gloria has a love for UW-Madison and a commitment to the education and career development of women and under-represented minorities. She has spent 41 years on campus and 34 of those years of continuous service in various capacities. These have included Student Services Coordinator in the School of Human Ecology for almost 2 years; Assistant Dean in the College of Letters & Science for 6 years; Assistant Dean in the School of Medicine & Public Health for 19 years and in her current position for 5 ½ years. She has particularly enjoyed working with under-represented groups and providing opportunities for them to realize their potential. Gloria’s work has given her opportunities to serve on regional and national committees and boards that examine minority representation in higher education and the workforce.
Gloria has a bachelor’s degree in music therapy from Michigan State University, a master’s in guidance and counseling from Clark Atlanta University, and a Ph.D. in educational administration and educational policy from UW-Madison.

Eden Inoway-RonnieEden Inoway-Ronnie
Chief of Staff, Provost Office

Eden Inoway-Ronnie was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, and she is a graduate of Carleton College in Northfield, MN. After college, she began working as a paralegal with Community Legal Services, in Philadelphia. Through volunteer work with immigrant communities in Philly, she became interested in education, and pursued graduate studies in the Educational Policy Studies department in the School of Education here at UW-Madison. After earning an MA and PhD, she worked for a year as a lecturer in the department.

In 1997, she was hired in the Office of the Provost here at UW-Madison as a postdoctoral fellow, after which she moved into a position as an academic planner. Since 2001, Eden has served as Chief of Staff /Special Assistant to the Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at UW-Madison. She has served 7 permanent and interim provosts during this period of time.

Eden’s current responsibilities include serving as a senior advisor to members of the Provost’s office, managing the flow of issues and projects, serving as a liaison between the Provost’s office and other campus offices, managing major aspects of faculty and staff appeals procedures that come before the Provost, coordinating several grant programs, supervising staff, and coordinating the agenda for several key leadership meetings.

From 1990–1994, Eden served on the Board of Trustees of Carleton College as a young alumni trustee. She has served on the Carleton Multicultural Alumni Network Executive Board, as well as the Carleton Alumni Council. She has served as a mentor to several Chancellor’s Scholars at UW-Madison over the years. In her spare time, Eden volunteers at MOMs food pantry and is working diligently to help ensure the successful advancement of her two sons from their teenage years to adulthood.

Jessica SwensonModerator
Jessica Swenson
Learning and Talent Development Programs Manager

Jessica Swenson is the Employee Learning Programs Manager in Learning and Talent Development at UW–Madison. She’s been teaching leadership and professional development courses for 17 years while consulting with and coaching employees, supervisors, and managers on a variety of topics. A graduate of UW–Madison, she has facilitated many conference workshops for UW–Madison professional development conferences as well as Leadership Sun Prairie. Additionally, she serves as co-chair for the Leadership @ UW–Madison initiative to bring a common language and understanding of leadership to campus.

Did you find what you need?