Meet Our Presenters

Billy Mitchell

Billy Mitchell is an actor, Director, Voice-over Artist, Mentor, Youth Group Sponsor, Producer and Lecturer. To tourists, Apollo Theater patrons, entertainers, celebrities and friends in the Harlem community, Billy Mitchell is Mr. Apollo. Spirited and charming, Mr. Mitchell knows the... Read More

Diana Ahmad Ph.D.

Dr. Ahmad is a Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor Emerita of American history at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. She specializes in history of the American West, including animals on the overland trails and the expansion of the U.S.... Read More

Joel Alter

Rabbi Joel Alter serves as the religious leader of Congregation Beth Israel Ner Tamid, a Jewish congregation in Glendale. Previously, Alter’s rabbinic career included teaching and institutional leadership in Jewish day schools, as well as recruiting rabbis and cantors at... Read More

Denita Ball

Sheriff Denita R. Ball was elected the 66th Sheriff of Milwaukee County on Nov. 8, 2022, making her the first female sheriff in the history of the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office, and the first African American female sheriff in Wisconsin.... Read More

Mollie Bartelt

Mollie Bartelt is an author, entrepreneur, photo estate planner and owner of Pixologie. She has organized millions of photos, both print and digital. She understands the challenges consumers face with managing their memories and has seen first hand the kind... Read More

Marcy Bidney

Marcy Bidney is the Associate Director for Distinctive Collections and Curator of the American Geographical Society at the UWM Golda Meir Library. Bidney holds a Master of Library and Information Science from Drexel University and a Master of Arts in... Read More

Doug Bradley

Doug Bradley has worked for the UW for three decades, is a veteran of the Vietnam war and has written three books, DEROS Vietnam: Dispatches from the Air-Conditioned Jungle and co-authored, with Professor Craig Werner, We Gotta Get Out of... Read More

Tom Broman

Tom Broman is emeritus professor of science and history of medicine at UW-Madison. For the past dozen years he has served as co-director of Wisconsin 101, a statewide, web-based public history project that uses objects as focal points for telling... Read More

Sandy Brusin

Sandy Brusin began teaching high school English for the Chicago Public Schools in 1968. Shortly after Brusin got married, she moved to Philadelphia, where she continued teaching in an affluent suburb. There Brusin led a team of teachers charged with... Read More

Bob Carly

For more than forty years, Bob Carty served in the behavioral health profession in various roles: counselor, supervisor, trainer, mentor and administrator. He is the recipient of the William White Lifetime Achievement award presented by the Illinois Association of Addictions... Read More

Mark Clements

Mark Clements is an award-winning international theater director whose work has appeared in over 100 major theaters throughout Europe and the United States. He began his tenure as artistic director with the 2010-2011 season by bringing musicals to the mainstage,... Read More

Janet de Vries

Janet de Vries is happily retired after 21 years providing career counseling to students at Casper College in Casper, Wyoming. A native of Akron, Ohio, she moved to Wyoming as quickly as she could after earning a BS in Geology.... Read More

Kurt Dietrich

Kurt Dietrich, author of “Never Givin’ Up: The Life and Music of Al Jarreau,” is Professor Emeritus of Music at Ripon College, where he held the Barbara Baldwin DeFrees Chair in the Performing Arts. He has written many articles and... Read More

Robert Grede

Robert Grede spent his career as a business consultant, best-selling author and instructor at the Marquette University School of Business. He majored in music at DePauw University and has an MBA from Emory University. Books he has authored include, “Naked... Read More

Brent Hazelton

A Whitewater native, Brent succeeded Michael Wright as the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s Artistic Director on July 1st, 2020. After graduating with a Bachelor of Special Studies Degree (Integrated Theater Studies) from Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, he returned to... Read More

Victor Jew

Victor Jew was born in California, grew up in Los Angeles, but has become a Midwesterner having gone to graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he received his Ph.D. in U.S. history. He researches, teaches and writes about... Read More

Jerry "River" Kaster

Jerry “River” Kaster, PhD, is a retired Aquatic Invertebrate Ecologist at the UWM School of Freshwater Sciences, and worked at UWM for 44 years.

Marcella Kearns

A Milwaukee-based multidisciplinary theater artist, Marcella Kearns serves as a director, actor, instructor and administrator. Artistic Associate of Forward Theater Company in Madison and a core faculty member of the Young Company at First Stage, she is also a member... Read More

Jaclyn Kelly

Jaclyn Kelly is the executive director of the Wisconsin Labor History Society, an affiliate of the Wisconsin Historical Society. She has brought history to the public at several Wisconsin institutions, including the Milwaukee Public Museum, Old World Wisconsin and the... Read More

Krystina Kohler

Krystina Kohler has a master’s degree in Political Economy of Violence, Conflict and Development from the University of London, SOAS, and has been with United Way since 2013. Krystina provides program analysis and support to over 60 United Way Community... Read More

Cyndi Kramer

Eighteen years ago Cyndi lost her job because, surprisingly, it turns out she had an “attitude.” Perusing the local classifieds, she stumbled on a gallery looking for a figure model. She thought “heck, I could do that,” showed up, dropped... Read More

Mordecai Lee Ph.D.

Mordecai Lee is professor emeritus at UWM and continues to be actively involved in public affairs and good government reform. He is a 3rd generation Milwaukeean. Mordecai graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UW-Madison and received a PhD in public administration... Read More

Lloyd Levin

Mr. Levin is the Wisconsin manager of American Fidelity Mortgage Services and a licensed real estate broker. He is the founder of Secure Futures, a not-for-profit that delivers financial literacy programs to high school aged students in Wisconsin and a... Read More

Kathy MacAvaney

Kathy has been married for 40 years and raised three wonderful children. She started her career in early childhood education, then took a library position in a parochial school and earned a master’s degree and a certification in technology education... Read More

Karolina May-Chu

Karolina May-Chu is assistant professor of German at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee (UWM). Her research focuses on German-Polish literary and cultural relations. In her teaching, she looks at German-language literature and culture of the 20th and 21st centuries, especially with regard... Read More

Ben Merens

Ben Merens is an Outreach Specialist with the Department of Ag, Trade and Consumer Protection. Ben joined DATCP after spending most of the pandemic working as a case manager for the Milwaukee Health Department. Ben spent 21 years as a... Read More

Matthew L. Mixon

Matthew L. Mixon has over 50 years of experience in television and media. His extensive background includes television production, sales and syndication, as well as television network and web affiliate development in major markets across the country. During his career,... Read More

Diane Munzenmaier

Diane Munzenmaier is a trained physiologist, researcher and educator. She spent her early career at the Medical College of Wisconsin, where her research focused on understanding the chemical and physical controllers of angiogenesis (new blood vessel growth) in health and... Read More

Aaron Peterer

Aaron Peterer has been working for the Anne Frank House since 2002. Being Austrian, he had the opportunity to do his civil service in the form of a memorial service for 14 months at the Anne Frank House. After completion... Read More

Rocky Pollack

Rocky Pollack is a Senior Provincial Court Judge in Winnipeg, Manitoba, having spent over thirty years as a criminal lawyer. A past Manitoba Bar Association president and Life Bencher of The Law Society of Manitoba, he was an elected Fellow... Read More

James Reed

James Reed is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he teaches courses on Film Studies and Professional and Technical Writing.

Derek Riley

Dr. Derek Riley joined the MSOE faculty in 2016 and is a professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department. He is also program director of MSOE’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program, which has a focus in... Read More

Pamela Ritger de la Rosa

Pam leads efforts to reduce energy use in City of Milwaukee-owned buildings, encourage energy efficiency and sustainability in private sector buildings and works to expand the electric vehicle charging network and transition the city’s fleet to electric and other low... Read More

Dr. Dennis Roscoe

Dr. Dennis Roscoe holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical engineering and a PhD in neurophysiology from the University of Arizona, School of Medicine. He has been a professor of biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve University and a... Read More

Judy Schmidt

A high school science teacher for 34 years, upon retirement, Judy Schmidt became a Master Gardener. She saw a presentation on bonsai and fell in love with these small trees in pots. As a past president of the Milwaukee Bonsai... Read More

Keith Schultz

Keith Schultz is a licensed architect who specializes in renovation, restoration and adaptive use of existing buildings with an emphasis on historic building restoration. Keith is the president of his own firm SchultzWerk Architecture, Inc.

Juliëtte Sterkens

Juliëtte Sterkens, AuD, is an audiologist and public speaker with over 40 years of experience in hearing rehabilitation. She’s now a consumer advocate with the Hearing Loss Association of America. She has published many articles and lectured internationally to consumers,... Read More

Jeffrey Taylor

Jeff Taylor has been an intermediate school and high school principal for 17 years.  He is involved in music, everything from singing in church, playing in the school band and then playing in bands for most of his life. Jeff... Read More

Jan Thornberg

Jan Thornberg has been a proud member of UWM’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute for about 13 years. Jan retired 14 years ago from S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc. after 25 years in information technology and 10 years of teaching... Read More

Ken and Barb Wardius

Barb and Ken Wardius are life-long Wisconsin residents. Lighthouse history and photography are their passion. Books they have authored include “Wisconsin Lighthouses,” “Cana Island Lighthouse,” “Wind Point Lighthouse,” and “North Point Milwaukee Lighthouse.” They are sought after lighthouse lecturers, lead... Read More

A. F. Addy Whitehouse

A. F. (Addy) Whitehouse is a writer and a former Sign Language interpreter who hails from Chicago. “Signs of Murder,” her first offering in the Dana Demeter Mysteries, was a finalist (Indie Fiction category) in the 2022 Chicago Writers Association... Read More

John Yingling

John Yingling has been the chairman of the board of directors for State Fair Park since 2011. In this appointed position, Yingling oversees the management, budget and visioning for the year-round activies at State Fair Park. Yingling has a master’s... Read More

Nate Tease

Nate Tease is a graduate student at UW-Milwaukee, studying in the coordinated Master of Library and Information Science/Master of Urban Studies program. His focus in the field of Library Sciences is archival preservation. Nate’s research focuses on local labor history.... Read More

Jonathon Wipplinger

Jonathan Wipplinger is associate Professor of German at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). In his scholarship, he explores intersections between music and (popular) culture in the German-speaking world from the nineteenth century through the present. He has taught courses on German... Read More

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