Alumni News – April 2022

Photos of Shireen Ohadi-Hamadani (MPA ‘20), Stephanie Marburger (MPA ’18), and Ken Meyer (MA ’91)
From left to right: Shireen Ohadi-Hamadani (MPA ‘20), Stephanie Marburger (MPA ’18), and Ken Meyer (MA ’91)

Martin Preizler (MA ’86) was recently appointed to the UW–Madison College of Letters and Science Board of Visitors. In 2021, he published a book of fiction stories, Deception by Martin Andrew (Preizler’s pen name). Previously, Preizler served as dean of the School of Business at Edgewood College from 2010-2014, where he also worked as a program manager and senior adjunct faculty member.

Ken Meyer (MA ’91) recently started as commissioner of the City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP). In this role, Meyer is a cabinet member of Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot’s administration dedicated to facilitating an equitable and thriving Chicago marketplace. Prior to this appointment, Meyer served as BACP first deputy commissioner since 2016, where he directed day-to-day-operations, spearheaded cross-departmental projects, managed department budgeting and financial forecasting, and developed human resource operating procedures and policies.

Jonny Hunter (MPA ’11) was featured in a Badger Insider story about the popularity of charcuterie boards for his work with the Underground Food Collective, a food organization that has taken on everything from events and catering to brick-and-mortar businesses and Underground Meats, a small-batch charcuterie business that prides itself on locally sourced ingredients and labor-intensive processes that yield small quantities with big flavor.

Timothy Williams (MPA ’16) was recently hired as deputy director of the Brain Injury Association of Virginia, where he is applying the skills he developed at La Follette to support the traumatic brain injury community in Virginia through education, advocacy, and connecting people to resources. Previously, Williams worked as a manager at Grant Thornton, where he led a team in the assessment and redesign of program evaluation and performance management across eight grant programs on behalf of the Agricultural Marketing Service in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Richelle Andrae (MPA ‘17) was re-elected to the Dane County Board this spring. In 2020, Andrae was elected as supervisor for District 11 of the Dane County Board (on the near West side of Madison). Andrae is a government relations specialist at the Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association, the professional association of Wisconsin’s 17 federally qualified health centers. These clinics serve both rural and urban patients, primarily those on Medicaid, uninsured, or under-insured.

Elizabeth Doyle (MPA ‘17) was re-elected to the Dane County Board this spring. Since 2019, Doyle has been the Dane County District 1 county board supervisor (covering the area around the Madison Capitol). She is the long term care rate setting section manager at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Ken Smith (MPA ’18) presented his research on Cold War civil defense in the 1950s in Milwaukee at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum on April 4. The Wisconsin Historical Society published Smith’s research in the Spring 2021 issue of the Wisconsin Magazine of History. Smith is a research and policy analyst in Milwaukee County’s Office of the Comptroller. The video is available here.

Stephanie Marburger (MPA ’18) was promoted to manager of grassroots advocacy and operations at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. She previously served as public policy coordinator. During her graduate studies, Marburger volunteered with UW–Madison’s McBurney Disability Resource Center Speakers Bureau.

Hannah Stephens (MPA ’19) was promoted to fiscal management section manager at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). Previously, she worked as a benefits policy analyst and a budget and policy analyst for DHS. While pursuing her MPA, Stephens worked as a financial management intern for the City of Madison Parks Division.

Shireen Ohadi-Hamadani (MPA ‘20) was featured as the La Follette School’s April 15 Elevating Equity speaker. She discussed how culturally responsive policy and communications can be leveraged to create more equitable outcomes for populations that have been, and continue to be, marginalized by policies and governance. Ohadi-Hamadani is the communications strategist for the Office of Health Equity located within Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services (DHS) where she leads the development of the department’s strategic communications with the goal of advancing health equity, diversity and inclusion—for both the culture and practices within DHS and the externally-facing work of the agency.

Lauren Jorgensen (MPA ’20) was recently promoted to senior budget and policy analyst for the Colorado Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting, as recognition for the work she did coordinating two major initiatives in the Governor’s Budget – the $424 million Air Quality Transformation Package and the $113 million Public Safety Package. Jorgensen has worked in this office since May 2021, previously as a budget and policy analyst, and her primary responsibilities include liaising and analyzing the budgets for the Department of Public Safety and Department of Public Health and Environment, as well as the state’s larger emergency funding response.

Nathaniel Haack (MPA ’20) started a new position as a policy analyst at Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Previously, Haack worked as fellowship officer at the UW–Madison Graduate School that improved services and resources for students seeking off-campus fellowships.

Tolgonai Sopukeeva (MIPA ’21) started a new position as monitoring, evaluation, research and learning coordinator at Aga Khan Development Network. As a student, Sopukeeva was a diversity, equity, and inclusion coordinator for the La Follette School Student Association and co-hosted a TED circle to celebrate Black History Month.