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The Whitburn Center for Governance and Policy Research at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh commemorates Women’s History Month on Wednesday, March 9 with a conversation among women who are leading the way in government across Wisconsin.

The virtual panel discussion, Women in Government: A Next Generation Initiative, seeks to introduce and demystify public service careers for the next generation of leaders from 5 to 7 p.m. on Zoom. RSVP by March 8.

Panelists will discuss their unique journeys into public administration; barriers they experienced along the way; strategies for navigating government careers; the importance of equity, inclusion and diversity; and the need to empower more women and people of color in the workplace.

Time also will be provided for breakout groups. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and network with panelists and members of the Wisconsin City/County Management Association’s (WCMA) Women’s Leadership Committee, an initiative aimed at the development and support of emerging and existing women professionals in local government.

Jennifer Gauthier

UW Oshkosh alumna Jennifer Gauthier ’18 MPA, a senior outreach specialist with the UW-Madison Division of Extension (Menominee County/Nation) and a Whitburn Center MPA Alumni Board member, will be among the panelists.

She works with Tribal and county government, the local school district and the College of Menominee Nation in planning, program development, grant writing and community engagement.

“My Extension work in Menominee County/Nation is unique and requires the integration of Menominee cultural values and an understanding of both Tribal and county government,” Gauthier said.

She said UWO’s MPA program helped her become a better community partner.

“It is always my goal to share different methods of program planning, decision-making and policy development in a way that aligns with local values. The MPA program gave me a solid foundation of both research and practical applications to share. The program’s coursework and projects are relevant in every way to local government work and community building,” Gauthier said.

She appreciates that the MPA program considers nontraditional students in its learning model.

“My time at UW was such a rewarding experience, and it is important to give back and promote this amazing program,” she added.

The panel discussion also will include Malika Evanco, senior human resources executive for the Wisconsin Department of Administration; Lori Curtis Luther, the city manager of Beloit; and Kathryn Schauf, Eau Claire county administrator.

Whitburn Wednesdays is a monthly event series during the academic year that features discussions on a variety of pressing issues from a wide range of viewpoints.

Upcoming Whitburn Wednesdays include:

April 13: Reimagining Social Welfare: Past, Present and Future

May 11: COVID-19: Lessons Learned for Leading Communities Forward

 Learn more: