Liz Stanislawski Joins DDEEA as the Inaugural Executive Director of Communications

Liz Stanislawski headshot
Liz Stanislawski

The Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement (DDEEA) is pleased to welcome Elizabeth “Liz” Stanislawski as its inaugural Executive Director of Communications. Her first day with the DDEEA will be September 20.

A seasoned communicator, Stanislawski brings with her more than 15 years of experience in communications, media relations, and journalism, including several years as an on-air reporter and anchor in numerous television media markets in the Midwest and Southeast. After leaving journalism, she served as the director of marketing and public relations for an addiction treatment and research center in Nashville, and most recently returned to Madison where she was the public information officer for the city’s Division of Planning, Community & Economic Development. She is no stranger to the University of Wisconsin system, having received her bachelor of arts degree in radio/TV/film from University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. She will report to Dr. Torsheika Maddox, the DDEEA’s senior operations officer and chief of staff.

“I am thrilled to be joining UW–Madison – and especially the DDEEA – to help further the university’s mission of ensuring inclusion and belonging for everyone, and communicating that message across the campus, the greater community, and beyond,” said Stanislawski. “I am so excited by the prospect of amplifying the equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging (EDIB) efforts throughout the university, and ensuring that EDIB is always front of mind and part and parcel of the campus’ climate.”

“We are extremely excited to welcome Executive Director Stanislawski to the DDEEA in this important leadership role,” said Dr. LaVar J. Charleston, who heads the division as UW–Madison’s deputy vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, vice provost, and chief diversity officer. “Stanislawski will play a key role in communicating our efforts around creating inclusive working and learning environments on campus and beyond. She has considerable skills that will help us illuminate how diversity serves as a source of strength and innovation at UW. Her experiences will certainly assist our mission to create a campus community characterized by a sense of belonging and successful engagement across differences.”

Stanislawski comes to UW–Madison with a long track record of success in effecting meaningful change on behalf of the communities she has served. In her role with the City of Madison, Stanislawski built a robust communications strategy from the ground up for the five divisions under her purview – a strategy that included a social media rebrand that generated increased engagement, and earned media growth that led to an exponential increase in local and national media coverage that highlighted the ways in which the city worked to be inclusive and innovative.

In her role with the addiction treatment and research center, Stanislawski produced and hosted an addiction recovery podcast that gained significant media coverage, putting the center’s work in the local and national spotlight. During her journalism career, she covered numerous stories within the higher education landscape, including those concerning funding, discrimination and enrollment barriers. She was nominated for several Emmy Awards and received an Edward R. Murrow Award for her coverage of wildfires in Tennessee.

The DDEEA leads UW-Madison’s efforts in fulfilling the university’s mission to foster a welcoming and inclusive campus environment for students, faculty and staff – regardless of identity, culture or background. Moreover, the DDEEA serves as a thought leader in bringing that message beyond the boundaries of the Madison campus to all of Wisconsin and the nation. This is accomplished through a variety of programs, events and strategic communications. This appointment enables the division to further cultivate a culture of belonging, instilling in its audiences a greater understanding of the positive impact of diversity efforts. Stanislawski will also serve as a valuable resource for communications efforts campuswide. She will provide support and strategic counsel concerning EDIB initiatives.

“This position pulled at my heartstrings from the moment I saw it,” said Stanislawski. “There is such a great need right now to build bridges and connections with one another. I am eager to contribute my expertise to bring the university’s mission to the forefront, and help ensure that everyone knows they have a seat at the table at UW–Madison. I look forward to showcasing the inspiring stories of the many unique contributions made by the university’s student, staff, and faculty communities.”