The WCPA Board is busy planning the Fall 2021 Conference – stay turned for morning information.  Below you’ll find information regarding the 2020 conference.

Conference Registration

Fall Conference and Student Affairs 101 Registration:

Deadline to register: September 25th

Registration Rates

All of our virtual sessions will be available at no cost!

Program Proposals

Fall Conference and SA 101 Program Program Proposal form:

Deadline to submit proposals: September 25th

Program Topic Ideas

Awards and Scholarship Opportunities

WCPA offers a variety of different scholarships and awards to recognize outstanding students and professionals and to provide opportunities for its members throughout the state of Wisconsin.

Nominations for award will open mid summer for the the Fall 2020 Annual WCPA Conference. Award and Scholarship Form.

Keynote Speakers

Keynote speaker(s) for the Fall 2020 WCPA Conference will be announced Spring 2020. Check back for updates.

Dr. Howard Schweber

Howard Schweber joined the department in Fall 1999. He received his PhD in Government from Cornell University and an MA in History from the University of Chicago after spending five years practicing law in Seattle and San Francisco. Schweber teaches courses focusing on constitutional law and legal and political theory. He is the author of “Democracy and Authenticity” (Cambridge, 2012), “The Language of Liberal Constitutionalism” (Cambridge, 2007), “The Creation of American Common Law”(Cambridge, 2004), and “Speech, Conduct, and the First Amendment” (Peter Lang, 2003) as well as articles, essays and book chapters on a variety of related topics. His current areas of research include comparative constitutional law and democratic theories of representation. In addition to his position in the Political Science Department Schweber is a core faculty member of the Legal Studies program. From 2011 to 2013 he was Visiting Professor and the first Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan, and in 2012 he was the Australian Fulbright Distinguished Chair in American Politics.

Schweber is a regular guest on Wisconsin radio and gives frequent newspaper, radio, and television interviews in the local, national, and international press. He is also a contributing blogger at and an occasional guest blogger on other sites, and a frequent public speaker both on and off campus. Schweber was previously the faculty advisor and coach for the UW College Mock Trial Team and is currently the advisor for “Sifting and Winnowing,” Wisconsin’s undergraduate politics and law journal. In 2004 he was the recipient of the William H. Kiekhoffer Award for Distinguished Teaching. He has also twice been selected as the Pi Sigma Alpha Professor of the year, and has received numerous other teaching awards while at Wisconsin. Earlier, while a graduate student at Cornell University, Schweber received the Stephen and Marjorie Russell Award for Outstanding Teaching, the highest award for teaching at any level awarded by the College of Arts and Sciences.


Conference attendees see your email for session links and passwords.

Time Event
9AM – 9:15AM Welcome to WCPA 2020!
Tonya Schmidt, WCPA President
9:15AM – 10:30AM Keynote: Free Speech on Campus
Dr. Howard Schweber, Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin – Madison 
10:30AM Graduate Student Case Study Begins
Please contact Danielle Jennings @ if you’d like to participate and have not been assigned a time slot.
11:00AM – 11:45AM Program Session #1: Stress Management and Resilience Training for Students
Beckie Kruse, Director of Residence Life @ Concordia University Wisconsin
When anxiety and stress levels threaten to derail students from a successful college experience, we have an opportunity to equip them with life-long skills and resources.  Learn about the SMART Lab (Stress Management and Resilience Training) CUW has brought to campus.  If your student health and counseling services are feeling the pinch, this may be one way to help alleviate that.
12:00PM – 12:50PM WCPA Business Meeting & Awards
WCPA Executive Board
A – 1:00PM – 1:45PM A – Program Session #2A: Facilitating Virtual Meetings
Adam Ludwig, Interim Director of University Housing @ UW-Stout & Sarah Snyder, Residence Life Coordinator @ UW-Stout
Stop wondering why you are so exhausted after spending an entire day…weeks…or past six months staring at a computer screen for everything from social events to your work meetings! We’ll talk through the science behind “Zoom Fatigue” and how to avoid it, including tips for how to run effective virtual meetings and how to leverage software features.
B – 1:00PM – 1:45PM B – Program Session #2B: “Staffing” Protests – How to Plan For and Respond to Campus Activism
Kipp Cox, Director of Academic Services @ UW-Madison
Protests can be exciting and invigorating to some, to others they are discomforting and intimidating.  Staff may find themselves somewhere in between when attempting to respond to and manage campus protests. This session will briefly cover types of protests, what protests might allow and not allow, 1st Amendment considerations, and how to plan for, and respond to, actual or potential protests.
A – 2:00PM – 2:45PM A – Program Session #3A: The Middle Minority: Supporting Asian American Students during COVID
Matt Denney, Residential Learning Advisor @ UW-Whitewater
During COVID-19, students who identify as Asian American often do not get a voice or space amidst BIPOC conversations about identity. However with the rise of COVID-19, there has also been a rise of implicit biases toward students who are Asian American. In this session, we ask ourselves, “How can we best support students who are Asian American?” which will further lead into discussions about supporting minoritized populations that do not always have a voice in diversity conversations.
B – 2:00PM – 2:45PM B – Program Session #3B: Our Community Gathers: Supporting One Another Through Unprecedented Times
Brenda Rust O’Beirne, Associate Professor of Counseling Education @ UW-Whitewater
Our community gathers … virtually. And in that process, we offer a look at our current reality, what we know, and what we need. In this facilitated discussion, participants will have an opportunity to check in with themselves and one another, provide much-needed support, and consider actions that will serve during the pandemic. This program is designed for all student affairs professionals who have struggled with our “unprecedented” times.
A – 3:00PM – 3:45PM A – WCPA Past President’s Meeting
Jacqueline Bonneville, WCPA Immediate Past-President & Tonya Schmidt, WCPA President
An opportunity for Past President’s of WCPA to connect and discuss the future of WCPA as an organization.
B – 3:00PM – 3:45PM B – WCPA Executive Board Information Session
Ben Bechle, WCPA Communication Coordinator
Are you looking for ways to get more involved with WCPA? If so, attend this session to learn more about the WCPA Exec Board and option positions for 2021-2022.
4:00PM – 5:15PM Program Session #4: Support the Peeps: Making Action-Oriented Diversity Goals
Matt Denney, Residential Learning Advisor @ UW-Whitewater
We want to support students, we want to do better, and we want to create change that is inclusive to our environment. In this session, we will learn how to best broaden our perspective, increase our cultural competency, and create actionable steps toward an ideally equitable future. You will hear some assessments from BIPOC students and what the understanding of your own cultural competency can do for you.
7:00PM – 9:00PM WCPA Trivia!
Hosted by Adam Ludwig, Interim Director of University Housing @ UW-Stout
All are welcome to join in this traditional conference trivia game, hosted for the 1st time via Zoom!
Time Event
A – 9:00AM – 10:15AM A – Program Session #5A: Leading the PACK: Fearless Salary Negotiation and Self-Advocacy
Masaya Xiong  & Sarita Field, Career & Employment Advisors @ Madison College
Learn how to fearlessly articulate your worth and value through salary negotiating. No matter where you are in your professional trajectory, salary negotiation requires research, preparation, and practice to maximize your value, skills, and talents. In addition, learn why the pay gap exists and how you can support gender equity.
B – 9:00AM – 10:15AM B – Program Session #5B: Gender, Communication, and Leadership Workshop
Chelsey Tennis & Anna Denucci, Graduate Assistants @ Marquette University, Office of Engagement & Inclusion
How do we determine who are leaders are in our day to day life? Do we know how our ideas around gender and race impact how we perceive our peers? This workshop will allow participants to learn how communication and perception impact our interpersonal relationships, how to combat our implicit biases around leadership, and how to implement inclusive leadership practices.
10:30AM – 11:45AM Program Session #6: Dismantling White Supremacy in the Workplace
Lee Stovall (they/them/theirs), Program Advisor for Diversity & Inclusion Programs @ University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Workplace culture is powerful because it is so present and at the same time so very difficult to name or identify. One of the purposes of listing characteristics of white supremacy culture is to point out how organizations which unconsciously use these characteristics as their norms and standards make it difficult, if not impossible, to open the door to people of color. Being able to identify and name the norms and standards that uphold white supremacist thinking is a first step to making room for an equitable and inclusive work space.
12:00PM – 12:45PM Program Session #7: Implementing New Title IX Regulations in 100 Days
Tonya Schmidt, Assistant Dean of Students @ UW-Madison & Lauren Hasselbacher, Title IX Coordinator @ UW-Madison
Three years ago, the Department of Education began the process of making sweeping changes to the 1972 federal civil rights law, Title IX.  On May 6, 2020, in the middle of a pandemic, the Department of Education released its final Title IX Regulations with a deadline for implementation on August 14, 2020.  Educational institutions had just 100 days to meet the new regulatory requirements and plan for a historic Fall semester due to the pandemic.  Now, almost two months past the August 14th deadline, join a Title IX Coordinator and a Title IX Deputy to hear how the process played out and how it’s going so far.
1:00PM – 2:15PM Program Session #8: Striving for Financial Peace
Jodi Thesing-Ritter, Executive Director for Diversity & Inclusion @ UW-Eau Claire, Staci Heidtke, Associate Director of Advising, Retention and Career Center  & Jacqueline Bonneville, interim Associate Dean of Students @ UW-Stout
Do you want to retire early? Not stress about money? Pay off your student loans? Come learn how three seasoned professionals are working toward financial peace and early retirement through budgeting and planning.
2:30PM – 3:15PM Program Session #9: The Fund for Wisconsin Scholars: An Overview
Angie Swenson-Holzinger, Mentor Coordinator @ Fund for Wisconsin Scholars
Attend this session for an overview of the Fund for Wisconsin Scholars (FFWS) program that partners with UW-System campuses to provide need-based grants and peer mentoring to students meeting the FFWS eligibility requirements.  This session will cover a brief history of the FFWS program and key information to be aware of when working with students receiving the FFWS grant.  This session is designed for anyone who supports students on a UW campus to help increase awareness about FFWS and the impact student decisions can have on their FFWS aid.

Student Affairs 101

Student Affairs 101 is a program for undergraduate students and professionals interested in pursuing a career in Student Affairs. Seasoned professionals in the Student Affairs field lead the entire conference and help guide conversations based on where each person is at in their Student Affairs journey.

Click the link for more information regarding Student Affairs 101.

Conference Contact

For questions about the conference, please contact our conference co-chairs at

Conference Sponsorship

Interested in being a conference sponsor? Please contact Tonya Schmidt at

Thank you to our conference sponsor Concordia University Wisconsin.

Past WCPA Conferences

The 2019 Fall Conference “Moving Forward” was held October 3-4 at Kalahari Resort.

The 2018 Fall Conference “Celebrating Wisconsin Success” was held October 4-5 at the Kalahari Resort.

The 2017 Fall Conference was held October 12-13 at the Wilderness Hotel & Resort in Wisconsin Dells.

The 2016 Fall Conference “Make Every Connection Count” was held October 6-7 at the Wilderness Hotel & Resort in Wisconsin Dells.

The 2015 Fall Conference “Change. Challenge. Opportunity.” was held October 8-9 at the Wilderness Hotel & Resort in Wisconsin Dells.

The 2013 Fall Conference “Community” was held October 17-18 at the Wilderness Hotel & Resort in Wisconsin Dells.

The 2012 Fall Conference “Staying Connected” was held on October 11th & 12th at the Wilderness Hotel & Resort in Wisconsin Dells.

The 2011 Fall Conference “Celebrating the past, Living in the present, Creating the future” was held on October 19th & 21st at the Wilderness Hotel & Resort in Wisconsin Dells.

The 2010 Fall Conference “Being your Best: Navigating from Challenge to Opportunity” was held on October 21st & 22nd at the Wilderness Hotel & Resort in Wisconsin Dells.

The 2009 Fall Conference “Improving our Practice, Renewing Our Passion” was held on October 22nd & 23rd at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells.

The 2008 Fall Conference “Campus Safety: Everyone’s Responsibility” was held on October 25th & 26th at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells.

The 2007 Fall Conference “Sustaining our Campus’s Future” was held on October 18th & 19th 2007 at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells.

The 2006 Fall Conference “Framing our Lens, Finding Our Focus” was held on October 19th & 20th at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells.

The 2005 Fall Conference “Zing! Bang! Boom!” was held on October 20th & 21st at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells.

The 2004 Fall Conference “Blueprints for Building Success in Student Affairs” was held on October 13th & 15th at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells.