Jaclyn Stoczanyn earned her master’s degree in administrative leadership from UWM in May and headed to Harvard University for four days in June.
Stoczanyn is one of ten Milwaukee leaders selected to take part in the Harvard Kennedy School of Business Young American Leaders Program (YALP) as part of the 2023-24 delegation. Leaders from Milwaukee nominated emerging leaders from across the city who are shaping their communities today and who collectively have a broad view of, and credibility with, the next generation. The Greater Milwaukee Committee selected the members of the local cohort and are co-sponsors for the YALP program. GRAEF, under the leadership of John Kissinger, CEO and president, is the other sponsor.
The Harvard program, which started in 2015, aims to develop leaders from various backgrounds who can develop cross-sector collaboration at the community level. This year’s session started June 20 and included delegates from 14 cities. The program originally focused on the economic competitiveness of cities but has expanded to look at issues of equitable prosperity. That includes expanding education, improving economic infrastructure, and encouraging skills in workforce development.
Stoczanyn found the opportunity a perfect fit for her passion for making Milwaukee a better place. She is honored, she said, to be selected to represent her alma mater and the City of Milwaukee.
“The goal of the program is to develop leaders who understand such cross-sector collaborations for shared prosperity and can implement them more effectively”, she said. “We will identify our platform and plan cross-collaborative ideas that we can bring back to our cities.”
Stoczanyn earned her undergraduate degree in community education and engagement and her master’s degree in administrative leadership with a concentration in adult education, both from UWM.
As a graduate project assistant and student, she helped design leadership, career discernment, and internship preparation workshops as a student and corporate recruiter for the UWM Student Success and Talent Pipeline Initiative.
In the process of working with students from diverse backgrounds, she explored student identities and experiences with navigating system barriers, racism and inequities, in addition, to their limited access to paid internship and experiential learning opportunities.
“As a student success coach, I kept student success at the forefront through mentorship, empathy, encouragement, and motivation, but most importantly, with authenticity,” she wrote in her YALP biography.
She said that her experience as a first-generation college student of Ukrainian and Guatemalan background inspired her to help others and provide them with the encouragement and support, she received in her own academic journey. At one point of her undergraduate journey, she had a 1.2 GPA and never thought she would be obtaining her master’s degree. With hard work, she finished her master’s degree with a 4.0. “I never dreamed when I started that I would be able to do that.”
At the Harvard Kennedy School of Business, she will engage with Harvard Faculty and work with fellow Milwaukeeans from varied backgrounds to develop tangible solutions for issues facing the city. Participants include a diverse group of educators, businesspeople, community and government leaders, sustainability experts, and others. Over four days, the delegates will discuss case studies, listen and engage with prominent speakers for fireside chats, and collaborate on developing equitable solutions to Milwaukee’s problems that encourage prosperity.
Stoczanyn has worked at UWM for more than 20 years as a staff member in several departments and started the master’s program to explore and expand on her passion of leadership and organizational change. “I’m closing one chapter of my life at UWM and grateful for the opportunities I have experienced. I am ready to transition into my new chapter in adult education.” The Young American Leaders Program at Harvard, she said, “lets me hit the ground running” on the next phase of her career and as a Milwaukee leader.
“The Harvard faculty were phenomenal, and this was a very prestigious program to be selected to be a part of.”
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