Summer 2021 Learning Connections alumni magazine available online


The latest edition of Learning Connections, a magazine for alumni and friends of the UW–Madison School of Education, is now posted online.

The ​Summer 2021 issue centers on the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and the many lessons learned.

The cover story, headlined “Within every challenge, an opportunity,” spotlights how COVID-19 presented an unexpected crisis. But faculty, staff, and students not only found ways to get by during the pandemic — they often thrived.

Print cover of Summer 2021 Learning Connections
View a pdf of the print edition of the Summer 2021 Learning Connections alumni magazine.

In addition, School of Education Dean Diana Hess authored a column headlined, “On It, Wisconsin!” In it, Hess looks back at the difficult past year-plus — and why she is optimistic about what our School can accomplish moving forward.

A pdf of the print edition is available here.

In addition, Learning Connections also continues to spotlight a range of important and innovative work being done across the School. Additional highlights include:

  • Check out what our School of Education alumni from across the globe have been up in Class Notes
  • The School of Education welcomed 16 new faculty members to campus during the 2020-21 academic year, which is one of the largest cohorts to sign on with the School since its founding in 1930. Here, we introduce Hailey Love, an assistant professor with the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education.
  • The Teacher Pledge launched in August 2020. The initiative “pledges” to provide financial support — including up to in-state tuition, fees, and testing certification costs — for students enrolled in any of the School’s teacher education programs. In return, the students “pledge” to teach for three or four years in a Wisconsin school. Hear what students are saying about the program.
  • On Saturday, May 8, UW–Madison celebrated its Spring 2021 Commencement. We reached out to a few of our graduating students — from bachelor’s to PhDs — to learn more about their favorite memories, advice for incoming students, and more. Check out what a few had to say.
  • According to the 2022 U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools rankings released in March, UW–Madison is home to the fourth-ranked school of education in the nation — marking the eighth straight year it has been rated among the top five. In addition, U.S. News ranks nine education graduate specialty programs — and all nine housed within our School of Education are ranked among the Top 10 nationally. Learn more.
  • UW–Madison School of Education alumnus Ian Chalgren designed the recently released book, “Let’s Talk About It,” which showcases the art painted on Madison’s State Street storefronts after the George Floyd protests during the summer of 2020.
  • School of Education bookshelf: Check out examples of a range of recent publications from faculty and staff across our School of Education.
  • Faisal Abdu’Allah, an internationally acclaimed artist and professor with the School of Education’s Art Department, was chosen earlier this year as UW–Madison’s next recipient of the Chazen Family Distinguished Chair in Art.
  • Faculty and staff from across the School of Education are routinely quoted or make their voices heard in newspapers, magazines, and online news media outlets. Similarly, these experts are often interviewed and showcased on a range of local, national, and international radio and television news reports. Learn about these media mentions.
  • The UW–Madison Community Arts Collaboratory received a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) award to support a new study examining the value of community arts education initiatives. The Arts Collab is housed in the School of Education’s office of Professional Learning and Community Education (PLACE).
  • Several faculty members with the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education (RPSE) are working on a new project to help people with disabilities find meaningful employment — and they have been awarded a $16.7 million grant from the federal Rehabilitation Services Administration to make it happen.
  • A research team from the Culturally Responsive Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (CRPBIS) initiative, housed in the School of Education’s Wisconsin Center for Education Research, was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Spencer Foundation for its Indigenous Learning Lab project. The design phase of the project was funded through the School of Education’s Grand Challenges initiative.
  • Edward Falstad received a scholarship for his first semester at UW–Madison in September 1939. He later established a scholarship for students from Ladysmith, Wisconsin — and then he and his wife, Joyce, left an estate gift to the UW–Madison School of Education.
  • Xueli Wang has dedicated much of her academic career to improving the higher education landscape to help students — especially those who begin their journey at two-year colleges — find their path to success. This past fall, she was awarded a prestigious endowed professorship as the inaugural Barbara and Glenn Thompson Professor in Educational Leadership.
  • Jill Underly — who received her master’s (2008) and PhD (2012) from the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis — won a state-wide election in April to become Wisconsin’s next state superintendent. Learn more in these alumni spotlights.