Fall 2021 Leadership Certificate Recipients

College of Agricultural & Life Sciences

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Jamila Hamdan

College of Engineering

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Kyle Fossum

Hometown: La Crosse, WI, USA

Year: Senior

Major/Program: Mechanical Engineering

In my development within the Leadership Certificate program, I have learned how to view the world in much larger ways. I have refined my ability to consider as many perspectives as possible and worked on understanding that almost everything in my life is (and will continue to be in my future endeavors) much bigger than just me. A focus on the connection and community value of the UW-Madison Leadership Framework helped me accomplish these skills.

What was your Leadership for Change Capstone?

I propose that the UW Marching Band should create a more diverse environment that is reflective of the communities it represents. A focus on inclusive engagement, self-awareness, supporting the learning and development of others, honoring context and culture, and fostering bridge-building and collaboration can make progress towards mitigating this issue.

What is one thing you accomplished that you are proud of during your time at UW-Madison?

While the organization has flaws (as I point out in my Leadership for Change Capstone), I am enormously proud of my efforts in the UW Marching Band. Earning admittance to the ensemble and thereafter supporting the needs of the University and the state of Wisconsin has been a rewarding experience.

Jenna Hemenway

Hometown: Sheboygan, WI, USA

Year: Senior

Major/Program: Materials Science and Engineering

Completing the Leadership Certificate has taught me a lot about myself as a leader, but specifically helped me reflect on how my strengths and weaknesses regarding leadership have fluctuated even within the last four and a half years of undergrad. After graduation, I’ll be moving to Minneapolis to begin a new job as a materials science engineer at Boston Scientific.

What was your Leadership for Change Capstone?

I noticed an unintentional exclusion of newer members in Material Advantage, an on-campus organization. My capstone involved promoting the inclusion and engagement of new members, specifically first and second-year students, through a behavioral-based change in the organization.

What is one thing you accomplished that you are proud of during your time at UW-Madison?

The thing I’m most proud of is simply finishing my degree in engineering. I’m also proud of all the steps along the way including a co-op, internship, many many hard classes, and having some fun too.

Kacee Hostetler

Hometown: Kiowa, KS, USA

Year: Senior

Major/Program: Industrial Engineering

My leadership experiences at UW-Madison helped me develop confidence in myself and learn I can add great value to the work I do. However, I learned this value can only reach its full potential through inclusion and collaboration. It is when working with others that I am truly energized and doing my best work. Because of this, I am pursuing a career in consulting following graduation where I will frequently work in diverse, collaborative settings.

What was your Leadership for Change Capstone?

My capstone focuses on my plans to improve the representation of minority populations in academic and professional settings through involvement in my community, including volunteering at schools, donating to scholarship funds and after-school programs, mentoring students, and raising awareness of the need for and state of diversity in these settings.

What is one thing you accomplished that you are proud of during your time at UW-Madison?

After taking my first ever computer science class at UW-Madison, I pushed myself to pursue a CS certificate, despite this adding extra challenging courses to my schedule. I am proud to say I will soon be graduating with an engineering degree and three certificates, including CS and leadership.

Diren Kalwani

Hometown: Dubai, UAE

Year: Junior

Major/Program: Industrial Engineering

I have a much better understanding now of what skills I excel at and which I still need to work on. This has allowed me to better understand myself and better align how I plan to improve in specific areas to achieve my goals.

What was your Leadership for Change Capstone?

My leadership capstone was about changing the culture of philanthropy in my fraternity to doing it for the benefit of the community to then hence increase participation and motivation of individuals towards helping our community.

What is one thing you accomplished that you are proud of during your time at UW-Madison?

I am proud of having accomplished my leadership project as it gave me my first real-world engineering experience which in turn paved the way to my current and future internships and job opportunities. With that and everything I learned doing the certificate, I am proud of growing to become a director in the largest student lead philanthropy in Wisconsin as well as achieving my personal side goals like getting a personal trainer certified.

Anthony Krotiak

Hometown: Orland Hills, IL, USA

Year: Senior

Major/Program: Mechanical Engineering

In the time I have spent at UW Madison I have been able to take part in multiple student organizations: Theta Tau Professional Engineering Fraternity, Adventure Learning Programs, and the SAE Clean Snowmobile Team. I have been able to grow within these clubs and become a leader in each by utilizing the different points of the UW-Madison Leadership Framework.

What was your Leadership for Change Capstone?

As a part of a co-ed engineering fraternity, I have been able to see the positive impact of including members regardless of their identity. While it is a nationally co-ed organization, there are certain male-only chapters remaining. My Leadership for Change Capstone was to standardize the inclusion of all identities across all chapters.

What is one thing you accomplished that you are proud of during your time at UW-Madison?

I am proud to have been a part of Adventure Learning Programs. Having been able to help facilitate leadership, communication, and collaboration with others through a variety of free program options.

School of Education

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Alexa Schnittka

Hometown: Muskego, WI, USA

Year: Senior

Major/Program: Kinesiology, Exercise and Movement Science

Through the Leadership Certificate, I have realized how much I have grown in the past few years of college through my and I can’t wait to keep learning and growing in my future endeavors. My ultimate goal leaving college was to become the role model I wish I had growing up and I’m happy to say I accomplished that.

What was your Leadership for Change Capstone?

My leadership for change capstone focuses on inventing a new virtual reality job shadowing program that would be implemented into UW Madison’s Advising Program. This stemmed from my own struggle to find a career path I was passionate about.

What is one thing you accomplished that you are proud of during your time at UW-Madison?

I’m proud of how I began delving into mindfulness and meditation. It quickly began an integral part of my life so much so that I now serve as the President of the Tergar Meditation Practice Group campus.

Mary Shampo

Hometown: Madison, WI, USA

Year: Senior

Major/Program: Elementary Education

I learned that I love organizing and planning professional conferences that inspire and educate future and current educators of Wisconsin. By planning the Aspiring Educators Annual Social Justice Conference, I learned the necessity of having a classroom centered around equity.

What was your Leadership for Change Capstone?

I wanted to put my leadership skills to the test by leading the planning for the Aspiring Educators Annual Social Justice Conference to be held on April 9th, 2022. Future educators from all over Wisconsin will gather in Madison to explore equitable instructional and administrative practices in the classroom. The conference will include six breakout speakers who will speak on topics such as integrating social justice into math and English curricula and incorporating social-emotional learning in the classroom. The two keynote speakers will discuss the book Teaching for Black Lives and Wisconsin Act 31 American Indian Studies in Wisconsin.

What is one thing you accomplished that you are proud of during your time at UW-Madison?

I am most proud of completing my minor in specialized mathematics to become a certified math teacher. As an educator, I will develop more engaging math classes for middle schoolers by incorporating real-life math correlations into the curriculum. I am proud of my perseverance and resilience when completing challenging math classes to obtain this certification.

College of Letters and Science

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Anastasie Mugisha Ndahayo

Hometown: Madison, WI, USA

Year: Senior

Major/Program: Political Science and Legal Studies

One takeaway from this experience is that leadership is an ongoing process that will always be beneficial to my future. I’m so happy I took this route in my collegiate experience.

What was your Leadership for Change Capstone?

I want to change how we look at grammar throughout college, and the resources they give to college students to improve their grammar and punctuation.

What is one thing you accomplished that you are proud of during your time at UW-Madison?

I am happy I’m graduating with the GPA I want.

Kaitryn Olson

Hometown: McFarland, WI, USA

Year: Senior

Major/Program: Economics and Environmental Studies

Throughout the Leadership Certificate and my involvement on campus I have been able to evolve my leadership skills. I have learned how to reflect and grow as a person. I will take these skills with me on my journey to get a master’s in Applied Economics and into the workforce where I plan on working in policy focusing on climate change.

What was your Leadership for Change Capstone?

My capstone Leadership for Change project was to create a more inclusive team by setting up more team bonding events.

What is one thing you accomplished that you are proud of during your time at UW-Madison?

I am proud that I was able to overcome all of the obstacles I faced throughout my undergraduate career. I am elated that the learning and personal growth that I have done during my undergraduate career have led to me becoming a better leader.