As we prepare for students to return to campus for another academic year, the Morgridge Center for Public Service welcomes new staff members, CC Vang, Lara Miller and Shelby Fosco.
Each of these individuals have contributed to UW–Madison or the community with some form of public service in their previous roles. The Morgridge Center is excited about the positive energy and fresh perspectives they will bring to their roles to help advance its mission.
Welcome CC Vang, voter engagement and civic learning coordinator
A UW alumni, CC Vang is no stranger to the work of the Morgridge Center. For the past four years, Vang served as the center’s Achievement Connections campus coordinator and a graduate project assistant.
As a graduate project assistant, Vang worked on a research project to support underrepresented students’ participation in civic engagement. Combing this experience with his previous role with Achievement Connections, Vang is ready to connect students through civic learning opportunities.
“Serving in AmeriCorps helped me to realize the importance of public service and the impact our work has on community engagement and development,” Vang says.
Vang will help facilitate nonpartisan voter engagement outreach and civic learning opportunities throughout campus. He’ll also help co-chair the BadgersVote Coalition alongside Professor of Political Science Barry Burden.
In the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) report, 72.8% of eligible UW–Madison students voted in the 2020 Presidential Election, a 7.4% difference from the 2016 Presidential Election.
The BadgersVote Coalition will have the opportunity to reach thousands of first-time voters this upcoming fall in the 2022 Midterm Election and Vang will be looking to increase and sustain the momentum of student participation through voter mobilization and civic education.
“What brings me to the Morgridge Center is the opportunity to impact change through civic engagement,” Vang says.
Welcome Lara Miller, Badger Volunteers assistant manager
Rooted in community and service, Lara Miller always believed that she is better when the entire community is better.
For over a decade, Miller has engaged in a multitude of volunteer management and teaching experiences that have set her on a new course in life, recently as the volunteer and community engagement manager at JustDane.
“Besides recruiting, training and managing volunteers for the agency, one of my main responsibilities was coordinating JustDane’s prisoner reentry simulation, a simulated experience that gives the wider community an up-close view of the barriers our neighbors face when they reenter the community from incarceration,” Miller says.
Coordinating and running the prisoner reentry simulations for the community and UW–Madison students was one of her most rewarding professional experiences. To see students who were willing to raise awareness and enact change around topics that were important to them inspired Miller.
As the Badger Volunteers assistant manager, Miller will have the opportunity to bring her insights and experience from the non-profit sector to students in Badger Volunteers.
“Most exciting is the opportunity to use my lens of experience as a community partner to ensure that the connection between student volunteers and local community organizations is a mutually beneficial, educational and enjoyable process for all,” Miller says.
Not only is Miller excited to start her new role, but the location and collaborative environment that she’s encountered so far have made her love being at the Morgridge Center.
“I am quite excited to be entering the Red Gym for work every day and sitting at the terrace for the occasional working lunch,” Miller says. “I am super excited to dig into the nuts and bolts of Badger Volunteers and be a helpful, collaborative partner in making it the best it can be.”
Welcome Shelby Fosco, co-curricular programs specialist
Shelby Fosco, a first-generation college student, graduated from UW-Whitewater with a BA in public relations and women’s and gender studies in 2017. Two years later, she would complete her MS in higher education and student affairs administration from Texas A&M University.
Fosco’s previous work experience include working for UW Hillel Foundation as its Jewish student life coordinator. She also served as Hillel’s representative to the BadgersVote Coalition. As the Morgridge Center’s first ever co-curricular program specialist, Fosco will have the opportunity to create opportunities to eliminate barriers to participation in service-based experiences.
“What brings me to the Morgridge Center is a passion for student involvement and community-engaged work,” Fosco says. “What excites me most is that I have the opportunity to continue working with UW students.”
Fosco will oversee and coordinate one-time service projects, supervise student leaders and support the development of theme and affinity-based academic year programming.
Throughout Fosco’s life, she’s been able to engage in community, volunteer and participate in mutual aid that has impacted her life and knows the importance of bringing communities closer to one another.
“UW–Madison students are eager to give back to their community and the world around them,” Fosco says. “I am really excited about developing more opportunities for students to be involved in the Madison community and communities that matter to who they are as individuals.”