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.

Michelle Buchanan

Deputy Director for Science and Technology at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory

After earning her PhD in chemistry from UW–Madison in 1978, Buchanan went on to become the Deputy Director for Science and Technology at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

Rachel Mallinger

Research Entomologist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture

Earning her MS in Agroecology and Entomology (2009) and her PhD in Entomology (2015) from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Rachel Mallinger currently studies attraction—the kind that involves bees and flowers, and which is especially consequential for farmers in the state of Wisconsin and beyond.

Erin Probst

Fiscal Analyst for the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau

Working in public service was a lifelong interest for Erin Probst, and her master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs made it a reality.

Krista Willing

Director of Fiscal Management for the Medicaid Program, State of Wisconsin

Willing graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics and a certificate in business from UW–Madison. She now manages activities which include Iron Man and triathlon competitions and raising her two children, while also handling the eight billion dollar Medicaid budget for the state of Wisconsin.

Gordon Shaw

Research Chemist, Mass and Force Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology

Gordon Shaw pursued his PhD in chemistry at UW–Madison, now working as the Research Chemist, Mass and Force Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

James T. Minor

Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Postsecondary Education for the U.S. Department of Education

After earning his PhD in educational administration in 2001, James T. Minor worked as a researcher and professor and later at the Southern Education Foundation — but then the White House called. He now is the Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Postsecondary Education for the U.S. Department of Education.

Alison Patz

Associate Director for the Boren Program for the U.S. Federal Government

A passion for public service and foreign languages has taken Alison Patz around the world and back. She spent time in Morocco with the Peace Corps, attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison La Follette School of Public Affairs for a master’s degree in public administration, and traveled to Egypt on a Boren fellowship. She now works as the associate director for the Boren program in the Department of Defense.

Kwadwo Owusu-Ofori

Operations Manager of the Milwaukee Public Health Laboratory, Owner of Anokye Food Company

Kwadwo Owusu-Ofori took advantage of on-campus leadership opportunities during his PhD in pharmaceutical sciences to walk away from the University of Wisconsin–Madison with a unique blend of business acumen and scientific knowledge. He now is the owner of Anokye Food Company and the operations manager at the Milwaukee Public Health Laboratory.