Two with School of Education ties named in Madison365’s list of influential Native American leaders’s 2023 list of “Wisconsin’s 33 Most Influential Native American Leaders” highlights two alumni from the UW–Madison School of Education.

Those featured on the list are “elected leaders, business leaders, and community leaders, doing difficult, important work, often in the face of discrimination and literally generations of oppression,” according to Madison365’s CEO and publisher, Henry Sanders.

Twelve of the 33 Native American leaders named are Badgers, and the following two are members of the School of Education.


Nicole Soulier is the director of college access and experience programs at Madison College, where she combines relationship building and project management to improve and increase the college’s engagement with historically underserved communities. An enrolled member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa from the Bad River Indian Reservation, she attended the UW–Madison to earn her undergraduate degree in human development & family studies and American Indian studies. She later returned to the university to earn a masters and a doctorate from the UW–Madison School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, with an emphasis on higher education and leadership in two-year schools. Soulier has worked in higher education for almost 15 years in enrollment services, curriculum management, and community engagement.

Melissa Metoxen

Melissa Metoxen serves as assistant director of the Native American Center for Health Professions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has been working with NACHP since 2013. Though she has moved around due to her father’s 20 years of service in the United States Air Force, Metoxen calls the Oneida/Green Bay area home, and is a member of the Oneida Nation. Metoxen earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from UW–Madison. She also holds a master of science degree from the UW–Madison School of Education’ Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. She has worked on campus since 2010, supporting Native American students, providing pre-college outreach across the state in tribal communities, building partnerships with tribes, and ensuring students who are first-generation and Native American have access to higher education.

Learn more about “Wisconsin’s 33 Most Influential Native American Leaders” and other featured UW–Madison faculty, staff, and alumni.

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