Alumni recognized on Madison365’s list of ‘Most Influential Native American Leaders’

Four graduates of the School of Education were among the UW–Madison alumni recognized in Madison365’s “Most Influential Native American Leaders” in Wisconsin list for 2021.

Across its schools and colleges, UW–Madison alumni made up nearly one third of all of the leaders recognized on the list.

A nonprofit online news publication, Madison365 has published annual power lists recognizing Wisconsin leaders from different racial and ethnic groups since 2015. The purpose of the lists is to “highlight the beauty of the diversity across our state” and lift up role models for Wisconsin’s young people, according to Henry Sanders Jr., co-founder, publisher and chief executive officer of Madison365. This is the second year the publication has recognized Wisconsin’s Indigenous leaders.

The School of Education alumni included on the list are as follows:


Gary Besaw (MS ’95), a member of the Menominee Nation Bear Clan and former tribal chair, is director of the Menominee Tribal Department of Agriculture and Food Systems and the Menominee Tribal Food Distribution Department. Besaw earned his master’s degree in education administration from UW–Madison and his bachelor’s from UW–Stout.


Sasānēhsaeh Jennings (’07, MS ’09), a member of the Menominee Nation, serves as the Native American student success coordinator for the University of Wisconsin System. She earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology and American Indian studies and master’s in educational leadership and policy analysis from UW–Madison.

Ron Jetty

Ron Jetty (PhD ’98), a member of the Spirit Lake Dakota and Turtle Mountain Chippewa, is executive director of the Information Technology Academy in the UW–Madison Division of Information Technology and assistant director of DoIT Academic Technology. He also serves on the Native Nations_UW Strategic Working Group, where he works to help increase the number of Native students prepared for and interested in attending UW campuses. He earned his PhD in curriculum and instruction from UW–Madison.


Angela Miller (MS ’10), is the chief of staff for internal operations; assistant chancellor of diversity, equity, and inclusion; and chief diversity officer at UW–Platteville, where she has helped create and grow programs that foster inclusivity and provide access and support for underserved populations. She earned her master’s degree in education leadership and policy analysis from UW–Madison.

Congratulations to these alumni, and all of the Native American leaders who earned this well-deserved recognition! View the full list at

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