Erin Kennon, MPA

Portrait of Erin Kennon.Contact Erin


Oconomowoc, Wisconsin

Undergraduate education

Bachelor of arts in Spanish and legal studies, certificates in public policy and gender and women’s studies, UW–Madison

Expected graduation date

May 2025

Why an MPA?

In a previous position I held, several heads of different departments and several colleagues had received an MPA from the La Follette School, and they really encouraged me to research the program. My work experience both in the office of an elected official and now at a state agency also opened my eyes to the need for evidence-based policymakers in the workforce, and I wanted to be able to make a meaningful contribution to this world by being one of them.

Why the La Follette School?

I received my undergraduate degree from UW–Madison and pursued the undergraduate certificate in public policy offered by the La Follette School. I only had incredibly positive experiences within those classes, and I wasn’t quite ready to leave Madison yet, so continuing to learn at La Follette was a goal for me.

Career goals

I would love to be an activist or lobbyist for an organization that I truly believe in. I’ve previously worked for elected officials, so I would also be interested in continuing that work and making a difference for constituents!

How has the La Follette School set you on the path to meeting your goals?

The La Follette staff provides you with every opportunity to explore where your true interests lie and ensures that you have all the tools you need to find success in whatever career path you choose.


I currently hold a graduate fellowship position at the Universities of Wisconsin Administration within the Office of Finance and Administration as a policy fellow. My main duties involve assisting the University of Wisconsin Administration policy analyst with managing the policy process.


When I was an undergraduate student, I was a constituent services intern for the Office of Governor Tony Evers. The internship later provided me with the opportunity to pursue two different part time positions while I worked in the office. The first was a correspondence assistant, and the second was a scheduling assistant.

As a correspondence assistant, I did lots of research and gathering documentation, clerical duties such as answering phones, photocopying, maintaining files, and drafting correspondence to be sent out to constituents. I received, processed, sorted, and sent out all the physical mail communications.

As a scheduling assistant, I managed all the incoming scheduling requests from constituents and organizations. I also prepared the event and meeting briefings for Governor Evers, along with his daily, weekly, and weekend schedules.

La Follette mentors

Corissa Uselmann (MPA ’20) was the director of constituent services, and I worked under her both as an intern and as a correspondence assistant. She took the time to get to know each person who worked for her, and when she heard I was considering an MPA, she took the time to meet with me, talk through all my options, and encouraged me to apply to the La Follette School. She was the kind of boss that makes you say, “I want to be her when I grow up.”

Advice for prospective La Follette students

Say yes to as much as you can! Whether they are social or professional experiences, you open so many doors and expose yourself to so many different experiences by just saying yes. La Follette will give you the chance to say yes to a million different things, and that will really help shape who you will be after graduation.

The Wisconsin Idea

I think the La Follette school is the embodiment of the Wisconsin Idea. We are encouraged to take everything that we’ve learned in our classes, use it in our professional lives, and spread that knowledge throughout the communities we engage in.

Before La Follette

I was an undergraduate student at UW–Madison. I also worked (and still do) as a research analyst at the Department of Safety and Professional Services where I work directly with the assistant deputy secretary to stabilize and strengthen our relationship with stakeholders.


In this year’s election, I decided to run for the La Follette School Student Association (LSSA) graduation coordinator position. I think that planning a graduation ceremony, especially one that aligns with the spirit and personality of the graduating class, offers a unique opportunity to shape such an important milestone. LSSA also offers an important opportunity to be involved in student life at La Follette and shape the entire experience for all La Follette students.

Anything else?

I love traveling and spending time with friends and family. This past year I have been to Spain, Ireland, and Scotland, and I am hoping to get some more passport stamps soon! I also enjoy all the different restaurants and activities Madison has to offer and attending the Badger sporting events.

People would be surprised if they knew…

I am a non-denominational minister! I got ordained to officiate the marriage of my mom and stepdad in July 2021.

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