Fourteen Badgers recognized in list of Wisconsin’s most influential Black leaders for 2021

Fourteen members of the greater UW–Madison community were honored by Madison365 in its annual list of most influential Black leaders for 2021.

A nonprofit online news publication, Madison365 has published annual power lists recognizing Wisconsin leaders from different racial and ethnic groups since 2015. The purpose of the lists is to “highlight the beauty of the diversity across our state” and lift up role models for Wisconsin’s young people, according to Henry Sanders, Jr., co-founder, publisher and chief executive officer of Madison365.

“This list is no longer just a list. It is also an invitation — an invitation to engage, to create, to make Wisconsin a better place to attract and retain leaders of color,” Sanders said.

Congratulations to the current and former UW–Madison students, faculty, and staff who received this well-deserved recognition. You can read the full post on Madison365’s website at Wisconsin’s 48 Most Influential Black Leaders 2021.

  • Kalvin Barrett (’04) was appointed Dane County Sheriff by Gov. Tony Evers in May 2021, becoming the first African American to hold the position. He has previously served in law enforcement positions with the Sun Prairie Police Department and Wisconsin State Fair Park. Barrett earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology from UW–Madison in 2004 where he also played football. He also has a master’s degree in criminal justice from American Public University and has taught law enforcement and criminal justice at Madison College, where he is the faculty director of the criminal justice studies program.
  • Dr. Jacquelyn Boggess (J.D. ’82) is executive director of the Center for Family Policy and Practice, where she has worked since its inception in 1995. She is also a member of the Nina Collective Consulting Cooperative, which offers racial equity consulting to businesses and organizations. Her work as a policy analyst involves the investigation of the welfare system, the family law courts, and the child support system. Boggess has concentrated on the question of the impact of government initiated “family formation” and father involvement policy on the safety and well-being of women and children. Boggess has a particular interest in the impact of non-resident father involvement on mothers and children. Her work in this regard has resulted in connections and collaborations with domestic violence organizations and progressive advocacy groups working on poverty reduction, violence prevention, and economic justice for parents and children. She earned her law degree from the UW–Madison Law School in 1982.
  • Theola Carter (M.P.A. ’91) is Dane County’s manager of policy and program improvement and an adjunct professor of intercultural communications and principles of management at Concordia University. She previously worked for the state of Wisconsin as a housing bureau director and unemployment division program manager. Since 2007, Carter has served on the board of directors at Dane County Credit Union. She is also an actor, performing in numerous community theater productions. She has a degree in history and English from Fisk University and a master’s degree in public administration from UW–Madison.
  • Dr. Elton J. Crim Jr. is a clinical professor in the Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis Department in the UW–Madison School of Education. He is a member of the Madison College District Board and has served on many university committees and is an advisor for the Black Graduate and Professional Student Association, the Returning Adult Student Award Committee, and the Department of Education Leadership and Policy Analysis Program Review Committee. Crim earned his doctorate in higher education and policy from Pennsylvania State University, a master’s of science in public service management from DePaul University, and a bachelor’s in biology from DePaul University.
  • Chayla Edwards (x’23) is a UW–Madison junior and a student athlete with the Wisconsin Badgers women’s hockey team, where she played in all 21 games during the 2021 championship campaign. She tallied six assists on the season, including an assist on the game-winning goal against Minnesota in the WCHA Final Faceoff. She recorded 47 blocks including seven in the shutout against Minnesota on Jan. 15, four against Ohio State in the Frozen Four and four against Northeastern in the National Championship game. She also earned WCHA All-Academic honors. She has been a member of the Diversity Leadership Club, Gender Sexuality Alliance, and Wisconsin Black Student Union, and intends to earn her bachelor’s degree in psychology.
  • Bobbie Kelsey is Commissioner of Academics and Athletics at Milwaukee Public Schools, a role she has held for two years. She was previously an assistant coach with the LA Sparks in the WNBA and head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers women’s basketball team. During her basketball playing career, Kelsey’s Stanford Cardinal squad captured the 1992 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship. A two-time co-captain at Stanford, she played in 105 games – earning 15 starts – despite bookending her college career with devastating ACL injuries. Kelsey was named the team’s Most Inspirational Player in 1992 and 1996, and captured the Most Improved Player award in 1993. Following her playing days, Kelsey immediately launched her coaching career, and worked as an assistant coach from 1996-2011 for Boise State, Vanderbilt, Florida, Evansville, Western Carolina, Virginia Tech, and her alma mater Stanford before taking the helm at Wisconsin, where she spent five seasons.
  • Marisa Moseley is in her first season as the Wisconsin Badgers’ head women’s basketball coach. She came to Madison from Boston University, where she was head coach for two seasons and led the Terriers to their first winning season in five years and was named Patriot League Coach of the Year. Moseley was an assistant coach for nine years under Coach Gino Auriemma at the University of Connecticut, a national women’s basketball powerhouse, following assistant coaching stints at Denver and Minnesota. Moseley is a leader in diversity and inclusion-related initiatives. She was a founding member of the Patriot League’s Anti-Racism Commission, a key member in the formation of BU’s Social Justice & Inclusion Committee, which is comprised of 13 coaches and staff members within the department, a member of the University of Connecticut’s Diversity Council, and a member of the University of Denver’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.
  • Dr. David Pate Jr. (Ph.D. ’03) is an associate professor at the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare at UW–Milwaukee and an affiliate of the Institute for Research on Poverty and Collaborative Center of Health Equity at UW–Madison. His research focuses on low-income African American men, fatherhood, and child support. In particular, Pate studies how Black men are affected by the social welfare system and the challenges that impede their ability to attain economic security. His research projects involve the use of qualitative research methods to examine life course events of non-custodial African American men. This includes their ability to be gainfully employed, engage with their children, and sustain a good quality of life. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Detroit in 1980, his master’s degree from the University of Chicago in 1982, and his doctoral degree in social welfare from UW–Madison in 2003.
  • Michael Precia (’90) is president and CEO of Fleetworthy Solutions, a Madison-based company providing fleet safety, compliance and risk data consultation services. He has more than 25 years of experience selling and managing sales and account management teams, delivering software-as-a-service solutions to global organizations. Precia has held management positions at Purchasepro, Perfect Commerce, Capgemini and Sciquest. He earned his bachelor’s degree from UW–Madison in 1990.
  • Andre Sayles (C.P.M. ’19) was sworn in as Beloit’s 19th Police Chief on April 19, 2021. Sayles began his career with the Beloit Police Department in 2005. During Sayles’ tenure in Beloit, he led the Drug and Gang Investigative Unit, Community Outreach Unit, Defensive and Arrest Tactics Instructors, Training Cadre, Mobile Field Force Unit, Tactical Operations Unit, Assessment and Recruitment Team, and revitalized the Explorers program. Sayles is a graduate of Wisconsin Law Enforcement Command College Class #6, Leadership in Police Organizations, and is the second vice president of the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Executive Development Association. Sayles is also an instructor at Madison College, where he teaches Police and Community Relations, Report Writing, and Interview Techniques. Sayles earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Iowa Wesleyan University. While serving as sergeant of patrol, Sayles was awarded the City of Beloit Hometown Hero award for his efforts in community collaboration.
  • Renae Sigall is a branch manager at UW Credit Union, where she serves the community through outreach and financial education. In her current role, she oversees the operations of the corporate branch location located on University Ave. in Madison. Sigall grew up in Wisconsin Rapids and earned her associate’s degree in supervisory management from Mid-State Technical College, her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Cardinal Stritch University, and her master’s in organizational development from Edgewood College. Sigall has been working in the financial services industry since 1999.
  • Lamont Smith (’02, M.P.A. ’07) serves as the Milwaukee Program Manager for The Nature Conservancy, a global environmental nonprofit working to create a world where people and nature can thrive. In the new role, Smith guides the organization’s conservation work with communities and partners in the Milwaukee area. He previously served at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, where his work centered on developing approaches to equity-focused organizational capacity building, public policy advocacy, and cross-sector planning. Smith’s early professional path included nonprofit sector and project-based consulting experiences. He is an alumnus of UW–Madison and the La Follette School of Public Affairs.
  • Donnel Thompson (B.B.A. ’00) is director of national accounts at Direct Supply’s Skilled Nursing Corporate Division. Based in Milwaukee, Thompson leads the company’s efforts to maintain and expand relationships with large, multi-location customers in the senior living industry. He recruits, develops and leads a team of top National Account Managers and Corporate Account Managers. He got into the sales business after three seasons in the NFL — one with the Indianapolis Colts and two with the Pittsburgh Steelers — and four years as a student athlete with the Wisconsin Badgers football team.
  • Dr. O’Rell “Ron” Williams (M.D. ’01) works as a physician and serves as vice president of medical affairs at Ascension St. Joseph on Milwaukee’s north side. As a former Milwaukee firefighter and physician, he uses his skills, courage and compassion to improve the health of the community. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Williams became increasingly concerned about the disproportionate number of minority patients battling the virus. He quickly jumped in – using his voice and his role in the community to dispel disinformation and educate the community that COVID-19 was real and serious. Williams earned his medical degree from UW–Madison in 2001.