Fourth Cohort of Morgridge Fellows Selected

Twelve faculty and campus members at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have been named Morgridge Fellows.

The fellows were selected through a juried process to participate in the year-long learning community designed to further institutionalize and support community-engaged scholarship.

Community-engaged scholarship is defined as: teaching, research, and scholarly activities that are performed in equitable, mutually beneficial collaboration with communities to fulfill campus and community objectives. The program is led by Morgridge Center academic staff and guest speakers from campus and community perspectives.

The upcoming year will include sessions focused on developing and sustaining mutually beneficial community-university partnerships for community-based learning courses and research. In addition to receiving support for their classrooms, research and other community-engaged projects, fellows will have the opportunity to build a unique interdisciplinary team of mentors and peers from the UW community.

The following instructors have been named Morgridge Fellows:

Rebecca Alcock, she/her/hers
PhD Student, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

2021-22 Morgridge Fellow Rachel Alcock

Rebecca Alcock is a PhD student in the College of Engineering, studying industrial and systems engineering in the Analytics for Human Development Lab. Last year, she also served as the international COVID-19 engagement coordinator for the UW–Madison International Projects Office, coordinating the partnership between UW–Madison, United Nations Development Programme and Engineers Without Borders on capacity building and livelihood initiatives for communities in low- and middle-income countries. Prior to this work, Alcock received both her BS and MS degrees from UW–Madison’s Department of Biomedical Engineering and obtained certificates in entrepreneurship and international engineering. Her mission is to combine her current training in optimization and machine learning with her background in product design to address pressing global health and planetary health challenges. Alcock has ongoing projects in the areas of health clinic electrification, democratization of clean energy, emergency food systems and disease prediction.


Kela Caldwell, she/her/hers
Graduate Student, Department of Geography

2021-22 Morgridge Fellow Kela Caldwell

Kela Caldwell is a graduate student in the Department of Geography. Her research focuses on African American vulnerabilities to displacement, contradictions of second-class citizenship, crisis and disaster justice. Caldwell is involved in ongoing collaborative projects with Mutual Aid Disaster Relief and Building Resilient Communities, mutual aid organizations committed to disaster justice. In addition to her research, she serves as a graduate intern for the Unit of Equity, Inclusion, and Employee Wellbeing at UW–Madison, actively involved in diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism work on campus.


Moisés Gabriel Contreras, he/him/él
PhD Student, Educational Policy Studies

2021-22 Morgridge Fellow Moises Contreras

Moisés Contreras is a PhD student in the educational policy studies department. He is interested in the promise and potential of liberatory and humanizing education occurring within community-based educational spaces and non-profit organizations. He particularly aims to examine the relationships between marginalized youth and youth workers and the window they provide to reimagining education and educational spaces. Contreras’ work is informed by diverse teaching experiences both locally and transnationally, having served as an English teaching assistant with the Fulbright Program in Italy and a tutor and mentor in a predominantly-Latinx Chicago public high school with City Year.


Edna Ledesma, she/her/hers
Assistant Professor, Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture

2021-22 Morgridge Fellow Edna Ledesma

Edna Ledesma is an assistant professor in the Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture at UW–Madison, and co-director of the Kaufman Lab for the study and design of food systems and marketplaces. The corpus of her research, teaching and mentoring focuses on understanding the development of the smart, green and 21st century city, in particular the cultural landscapes of immigrant populations, micro-economies, and their development of a new understanding of city place. Her work seeks to bridge the gap between communities and city governments to help define the planning and design agency of Latinos, a traditionally under-represented group. She is the former chair of the Latinos and Planning Division of the American Planning Association.


Morgan Mayer-Jochimsen, she/her/hers
PhD Student, Educational Policy Studies

2021-22 Morgridge Fellow Morgan Mayer-Jochimsen

Morgan Mayer-Jochimsen is a PhD student in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at UW–Madison. She holds a BA in mathematics from Scripps College and is a youth worker in community-based STEM programming. For her master’s thesis, Mayer-Jochimsen collaborated with Nehemiah, a community-based organization dedicated to addressing systemic racism in Madison, to investigate questions at the intersection of race, gender and anti-racism training for educators. Mayer-Jochimsen also supports the Indigenous Learning Lab project, co-led by Dr. Aydin Bal and Aaron Bird Bear, which facilitates community-school partnership to address systemic racism in a high school from the ground up. Ultimately, Morgan seeks to integrate understandings of interconnectedness into research and education.


Vignesh Ramachandran, he/him/his
Graduate Student, Department of Geography

2021-22 Morgridge Fellow Vignesh Ramachandran

Vignesh Ramachandran is a graduate student in the Department of Geography. His research focuses on the South Asian diaspora in the United States and the intersections of racial identity and working-class struggle. His current work specifically examines how working-class immigrant communities in New York City produce alternative social relations grounded in cooperation and solidarity in the aftermath of 9/11, building deep relationships across ethnic and racial lines in periods of crisis. Ramachandran aims to build connections between organizers in impacted communities and the resources and access of universities to build collaborative projects that bridge differences. 


Edmond Ramly, he/him/his
Assistant Professor, Family Medicine and Community Health
Affiliate Faculty, Industrial and Systems Engineering

2021-22 Morgridge Fellow Edmon Ramly

Edmond Ramly, PhD, is an assistant professor at the UW–Madison in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and affiliate faculty in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. His work draws on human factors engineering to advance implementation science and integration of evidence-based practices into routine workflows to improve population health in outpatient settings. His research program focuses on scalable approaches to adapting implementation to local context. His current research investigates the consequences of rapid telehealth expansion on how evidence-based practices are implemented and engages patient and healthcare stakeholders to co-design how primary care clinics can track local unintended consequences in real-time and adapt to them with the right strategies. His prior research has included the design, implementation and scale up of effective interventions including BP Connect and Quit Connect to prevent cardiovascular disease, as well as antibiotic stewardship and quality improvement interventions in long-term care settings.


Rachel Santiago, she/her/hers
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Wisconsin Center for Education Research

2021-22 Morgridge Fellow Rachel Santiago

Dr. Rachel Santiago is a postdoctoral research associate at the Rural Education Research and Implementation Center, housed in the Wisconsin Center for Education Research. She received her PhD in school psychology from the University of Oregon and worked as a licensed school psychologist before coming to UW–Madison. Dr. Santiago’s research explores interrelations among ecological systems that shape development and how those connections enhance service delivery to promote positive social-emotional and mental health outcomes for children, particularly through culturally responsive family engagement and interconnected trauma-informed supports. Through an early career research award funded by the Society for the Study of School Psychology, Dr. Santiago is the PI on a study developing, implementing, and evaluating a trauma-informed adaptation of the classroom check-up.


Stacey M. Schaefer, she/her/hers
Scientist III, UW Center for Healthy Minds

2021-22 Morgridge Fellow Stacey Schaefer

Stacey Schaefer is a cognitive-affective neuroscientist at the UW Center for Healthy Minds who received her BS at UW–Madison and PhD at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on identifying how different emotional styles influence health, wellbeing, and brain aging, as well as the factors that moderate those relationships. Schaefer leads the Neuroscience Project of the longitudinal Midlife in the United States National Study of Health and Wellbeing (MIDUS), is PI of a study examining how emotion may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s Disease in collaboration with the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer Prevention, and is co-PI of a large R01 study examining how individual differences in the time course of emotional responses are important for cognition, mental health, stress regulation, the immune system and coping with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Emily Skaletski, she/her/hers
PhD Student, Department of Kinesiology (Occupational Science track)

2021-22 Morgridge Fellow

Emily Skaletski is a PhD student in the Department of Kinesiology at UW–Madison, in the occupational science track. Skaletski is currently supported by the Caroline G. Thompson Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship from the UW–Madison Occupational Therapy program. She holds a BS in psychology from Carroll University and a master of occupational therapy from Chatham University. Prior to starting her PhD, Skaletski was a pediatric occupational therapist for several years. Skaletski is a member of Dr. Brittany Travers’ Motor and Brain Development Lab at the Waisman Center, where her research focuses on how motor and daily living skills contribute to the quality of life in autistic children.


Peter Wardrip, he/him/his
Assistant Professor of STEAM Education, Curriculum and Instruction

2021-22 Morgridge Fellow Peter Wardrip

Peter Wardrip is an assistant professor of STEAM Education in DICE (Design, Informal and Creative Education) Area of Curriculum and Instruction. His research focuses on the design of STEAM-based learning experiences, assessment for learning and research-practice partnerships; usually collaboration with teachers and museum and library professionals. Wardrip grew up in Racine, WI. He earned his PhD in learning sciences and policy from the University of Pittsburgh.


Lucas Wiscons, he/him/his
PhD Candidate & Lecturer, Sociology

2021-22 Morgridge Fellow Lucas Wiscons

Lucas Wiscons is a PhD student in the sociology program at UW–Madison. He is the facilitator of a group of UW–Madison faculty, students and Dane County community partners interested in questions of racial justice. His dissertation project, Doing Justice, is aimed at better understanding how criminal court proceedings are experienced and understood by the people involved in them. In addition to his research, Wiscons is a lecturer for the sociology program and teaches classes on social psychology and research methodology. He also leads a summer research internship for legal studies students on qualitative research methodology and criminal justice. Prior to graduate school, Wiscons worked with immigrant rights organizations in San Diego county on providing low and no-cost access to legal services.