Alumni News – September 2021

Alumni Maria Milano (MA ’92) and Steve Johnson (MA ’91) have owned and operated Parallel 44 Vineyard & Winery in Kewaunee, Wis., since 2005. Eight years later, they added a winery in Sturgeon Bay, Door 44. Both locations are situated on 44⁰ North Latitude, which circles the globe and is renowned as the world’s finest grape-growing and winemaking regions.

Heidi Normandin (MA ’98) presented Beyond the Journal Article: Lessons Learned from Sharing Research with Policymakers for Prof2Prof, a free online platform for higher education professionals to share resources for teaching, research, administration, and student support services. Normandin, who most recently served as the La Follette School’s legislative outreach director, launched Above the Fray Consulting in June.

Tyrel Zich (MPA ’15) was promoted to manager, pricing and planning, at Xcel Energy, where he has worked for more than five years. In his new role, Zich manages electric and natural gas pricing and regulatory policy in Wisconsin and Michigan.

Alison (Muscato) Harrell (MIPA ’18) is a knowledge and insights advisor at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). She leads the Digital Financial Services (DFS) team’s monitoring and evaluation efforts including data collection and reporting as well as using data for decision-making. She also manages the team’s research portfolio related to smallholder farmers in Rwanda, Senegal, and Guatemala and for women entrepreneurs in Burkina Faso.

Emily Frank (MPA ’19) is a doctoral candidate studying public policy analysis at the Hertie School in Berlin, Germany. She also is a research coordinator at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research. Her research interests concern migration and the welfare state.

Hannah Stephens (MPA ’19) accepted a new position with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services in August. After two years as a budget and policy analyst-advanced, Stephens is now a benefits policy analyst-advanced.

Marisa Ross (MPA ’19) is a postdoctoral research fellow with the Northwestern Neighborhood Networks Initiative in Evanston, Ill. Ross completed UW–Madison’s Neuroscience and Public Policy program in August of 2021 after receiving her PhD in Neuroscience from the Neuroscience Training Program. During her doctorate, Ross’s research was supported by the National Institute for Mental Health and her postdoctoral research is supported by Everytown for Gun Safety.

Diana Pavon (MPA ’20) started a new position as program coordinator in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois–Chicago. She previously was an English teaching assistant with The Fulbright Program in Spain.

Natalie Weill, BSN-RN (MPA ’20) joined Vermont Department of Health as the public health policy advisor to the commission. Before attending the La Follette School, Weill was a registered nurse for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin for more than three years.

Anders Shropshire (MIPA ’20) accepted a position as a fiscal policy analyst with the Executive Office for Administration and Finance with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. His portfolio of work includes MassDOT as well as several independent and constitutional agencies. He previously was an evaluation specialist with the Environmental Research Center at UW–Madison’s Division of Extension.

Michael Caniglia (MPA ’20) is a doctoral candidate and graduate research assistant in sociology and demography at Penn State University. Caniglia’s research interests include poverty, families, social determinants of health, and public policy.

Morgan Galecki (MPA ’20) joined SCAN, Inc., in August as its donor relations and events coordinator. SCAN is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect children, prepare parents, strengthen families, and educate the Fort Wayne, Ind., community to stop child abuse and neglect. She previously was a development assistant at Brightpoint.

Kara Savitt (BA, public policy certificate ’20) is a scientific affairs officer at the Embassy of Israel in Washington, DC. She was one of the first students to receive an undergraduate certificate in public policy from the La Follette School.

Shireen Ohadi-hamadani (MPA ’20) was named the inaugural communications strategist for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ (DHS) new Office of Health Equity. “(I am) very grateful to have this opportunity to engage in work that will help advance racial health equity and target policies to improve health outcomes,” she said in a social media post. Ohadi-hamadani previously worked on the state’s COVID-19 response at DHS. While attending the La Follette School, she was a project assistant for Education Analytics, a program and policy analyst for the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, and a legislative fellow in the Office of Sen. Jennifer Shilling.

Christine Welcher (MIPA ’21) joined QuestionPro as an account director – academic and non-profit. QuestionPro is a leading provider of online survey software.