School of Education announces 2023-24 Distinguished Alumni Award winners

To celebrate our alumni excellence across the arts, health, and education, the School of Education has selected three trailblazing UW–Madison alumni to honor with a Distinguished Alumni Award.

The awards will recognize these talented alumni who have made outstanding contributions to their field.

The School of Education will be honoring the three recipients with an awards ceremony on Thursday, Nov.16.

View the livestream:

The 2023-24 Distinguished Alumni Award honorees are as follows:

Julie Côté

Julie Côté (BS 1995, MS 1997, Kinesiology/Biomechanics)

Distinguished Alumna in Kinesiology

Julie Côté is a professor with the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education at McGill University and in September 2023 was named the director of the Sylvan Adams Sports Science Institute at McGill, where she previously served as interim director. She teaches biomechanics and ergonomics at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and directs two research laboratories: the McGill Biomechanics of Occupations and Sport Lab and the Occupational Biomechanics and Ergonomics Laboratory of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation of Greater Montreal.

Côté’s research focuses on sex- and gender-specific effects of fatigue on biomechanics and control of repetitive tasks, in both the workplace and exercise and sports settings. She was part of the inaugural cohort of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research’s Gender, Work and Health Research Chairs program from 2013 to 2018. Her work advancing the understanding, measurement, hardware and software development, and knowledge transfer on how we repetitively move has led to numerous awards, international keynote presentations, and publications. She has supervised and graduated over 100 research trainees from her lab at all levels from undergraduate to postdoctoral.

Côté earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in kinesiology/biomechanics from UW–Madison, and completed her PhD and postdoctoral training at the Université de Montréal.

Tony Evers

Tony Evers (BS 1973, MS 1976, PhD 1986 Educational Administration)

Distinguished Alumnus in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis

Tony Evers is the 46th governor of Wisconsin. Prior to his election in 2018, Evers served as the Wisconsin State Superintendent of Public Instruction, winning statewide elections in 2009, 2013, and 2017.

With over three decades of public education experience, Evers has spent most of his life fighting for Wisconsin’s kids. He began his career in education first as a science teacher in Baraboo before going on to serve families in communities across the state, including in Tomah, Oakfield, Verona, and Oshkosh. As governor, Evers has continued his work championing public education at every level and advocating for investing in the state’s public education system, believing, as he often says, that doing “what’s best for our kids is what’s best for our state.”

Since taking office in 2019, Evers and the Evers administration have accomplished a great deal, from historic investments in education to supporting farmers and small businesses, advocating for access to clean and safe drinking water, reducing stigma for mental and behavioral health, expanding access to affordable healthcare, housing, and child care, and preparing our state for the 21st Century by expanding high-speed, affordable internet and fixing our roads and infrastructure.

Evers earned three degrees from UW–Madison: a BS in biology, a master’s from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and a PhD in educational administration from the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis.

Tania Isaac (Photo: Jonas Gustavsson)

Tania Isaac (BS 1997, Dance)

Distinguished Alumna in Dance

Tania Isaac works to create innovative practices in civic, social, and cultural impact through program analysis, thoughtful collaboration, narrative development, policy research, and strategic planning. First presented during a 2006 residency at the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, her open(living)notebook, developed from years of workshops, lectures, conversations, and performances, takes a systems approach to using theories of creative process as a tool for building healthy organizational culture and maximizing organizational impact. The open(living)notebook additionally serves as an interface between disciplines, bringing research topics of public interest to broader audiences.

Also a scholar, Isaac has penned several articles for publications, and is a former member of David Dorfman Dance, Urban Bush Women, and Rennie Harris Puremovement. She has received numerous grants and is the recipient of a 2011 Pew Fellowship and a 2012 MacDowell Fellowship. Isaac has been a faculty member at the Bates Dance Festival, a resident artist at Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia, and a US/JAPAN exchange artist through Philadelphia Dance Projects, Dance Theater Workshop, and the Japan Foundation. She has also taught, performed and conducted workshops across the U.S.

Isaac earned her BS in dance with honors from UW–Madison, an MFA in performance and choreography from Temple University, and a master of public administration from the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania.

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