Joelle Browne, Kinesiology

To celebrate Black History Month, we asked some of our students in the School of Education to share about their UW–Madison experiences, their Black role models, and what Black History Month means to them. 

Photo of Joelle Browne
Joelle Browne

Where are you from, and what brought you to UW–Madison?

I have lived in Madison my entire life — I have grown up being a Badger fan. I heard that UW–Madison has a great kinesiology program, so I did not hesitate to apply. It has been my dream school since I was little, and I was excited to get the acceptance letter.

What is your major?

My current major is Kinesiology. I chose this major because I want to become an athletic trainer, so this is the path to take. I love learning how physical activity and exercise can help reduce the risk of injury and illness.

What has been your favorite class or professor?

My favorite class so far is Kinesiology 300. In this class, we were given a client with a disability and worked with them to achieve a certain goal they want. It was so much fun working with my client — she was so hardworking and exciting to be around. Dr. Kecia Doyle was a fabulous teacher. She always made everyone laugh and checked in on all the clients to make sure that everything was going well.

"My Black role model is Mary Lou Williams. She was a jazz pianist and composer in the 1930s and 1940s. She went through so many hardships for being an African American woman. Despite that, she continued to compose and play fantastic jazz music."

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Black History Month, to me, is an important month to acknowledge all the accomplishments and contributions of Black/African Americans. I want to remember everyone who fought for a better life. Because of those people, I am inspired to do my best to contribute to the Black/African American community.

Photo of Mary Lou Williams at the piano
Mary Lou Williams

Tell us about a Black role model you look up to and admire. Why?

My Black role model is Mary Lou Williams. She was a jazz pianist and composer in the 1930s and 1940s. She went through so many hardships for being an African American woman. Despite that, she continued to compose and play fantastic jazz music. As a pianist, I have played many songs by her, like “Roll ‘Em” and “Scratchin in the Gravel.” I admire her perseverance and love for jazz. Not a lot of people know her, so I want to share the legacy of Mary Lou Williams with others.

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