Alex Hanna

Senior Research Scientist, Ethical AI Team at Google

Alex Hanna earned her PhD in Sociology in 2016. Her dissertation focused on the Machine-learning Protest Event Data System (MPEDS), which she developed to identify and code information about protests. Hanna is now a senior research scientist on Google’s Ethical AI Team, which focuses on responsible artificial intelligence (AI) and decision-making systems. She talked with us about her work, the skills from graduate school that are useful, and the transition from academia to industry.

Ángel Casanova-Torres

Sr. Regulatory Affairs Specialist, Exact Sciences

Ángel earned a PhD in Microbiology in 2016. Now, as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Specialist at Exact Sciences in Madison, Ángel is a liaison on regulatory affairs for his colleagues, providing strategic and technical advice for the development and commercialization of healthcare products.

Nora Smith

Assistant Director, Residential Education at Montana State University

Nora Smith earned her PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at UW–Madison in 2004. She has worked in a variety of administrative and instructional roles in academia and now serves as Assistant Director for Residential Education at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana.

Jonathan J. Hernández

Chief Scientific Officer, Riordan Technologies

Jonathan J. Hernández earned a PhD in Physiology from UW–Madison in 2016. Throughout his career he has worked in both industry and academia researching human umbilical-derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells to study the effect of those cells on treatment for autoimmune disorders.

Carrie Sedlak

Executive Director, FairShare CSA Coalition

Carrie Sedlak earned a Master of Public Health (MPH) and a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from UW–Madison in 2015. She earned bachelor’s degrees in geography and anthropology at the University of Denver. Following her undergraduate schooling, she went to work in Thailand as an environmental educator, where teaching a course on agroecology piqued her interest in food systems and community-supported agriculture (CSA).

Iva Ugrčić

Board Liaison and Strategic Initiatives at the Overture Center for the Arts; Founder and Executive Director of the LunART Festival

Iva Ugrčić moved to the U.S. in 2014 to pursue a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at UW–Madison, which she earned in 2017. While on campus, she also earned a minor in Business in the Arts from the Bolz Center for Arts Administration at the Wisconsin School of Business. She now serves in the Board Liaison and Strategic Initiatives role for the Overture Center for the Arts.

Jared Knowles

President, Civilytics Consulting LLC


Jared Knowles founded Civilytics Consulting, LLC, in 2016 to pursue his passion of providing high-quality public performance metrics for government services. Knowles completed his political science PhD in 2015 at UW–Madison, where he was also a fellow in the Interdisciplinary Training Program in Education Sciences.

Marcela Guerrero

Assistant Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art
Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Guerrero received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, and holds a PhD in Art History from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Kate Austin Stanford

Director of Operations, Public Health Madison & Dane County
Kate Austin Stanford earned her master of public affairs and master of public health degrees from UW–Madison in 2015. The dual degrees have made a perfect fit for Kate in her current role as Director of Operations at Public Health Madison & Dane County, a city-county agency that supports community health initiatives while also providing health services and environmental health information.

Yang Tao

City Traffic Engineer, City of Madison


Yang Tao has been with the City of Madison since 2006, and currently directs the staff and operations of the City’s Traffic Engineering Division. Yang obtained his PhD in Civil Engineering from UW–Madison with a minor in Business, and is a graduate of Madison’s Leadership Development Program.