Continuing Education

UW-WILL Virtual Forum

UW-Whitewater - Working for Inclusion, Leadership and Learning Forum

In support of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, UW-Whitewater Working for Inclusion, Leadership and Learning (WILL) is pleased to announce a three-day forum, held virtually from Wednesday, October 14 through Friday, October 16, 2020. A panel of experts will facilitate discussions and interactive sessions that wil empower those with disabilities, both visible and hidden, to thrive in the workplace. This virtual event is offered for free. 

Employers will gain insight into developing and implementing best practices around the recruitment and training of employees with disabilities to fulfill compliance regulations and provide supportive and inclusive work environments. Attendees will earn a certificate of completion of disability inclusion training and also receive access to an employment risk assessment tool and outcomes for complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 

Working for Inclusion, Leadership, and Learning (WILL)

UW-Whitewater WILL provides valuable resources for employers to develop strategies and tools to create more disability-friendly work environments, including self-assessments, training, and certifications. For more information, visit

Event Schedule

Wednesday, October 14 Schedule
9:30 a.m. Welcome, Goals and Outlines, Keynote Speakers
10:30 a.m. UW-WILL Initiative and Panel
1:00 p.m. Keynote Speaker, Minnie Bredouw: "Designing for Inclusion"
2:30 p.m. Keynote Speaker, W. Tipper Thomas III: "How to ACE Your Interview"
2:30 p.m. Keynote Speaker, Minnie Bredouw: "Inclusive Capacity Building"
4:00 p.m. Closing Session

Click here to view and download our full detailed agenda.   

Please complete this survey to share how the UW-WILL team can support inclusivity with your business.

Thursday, October 15 Schedule
9:30 a.m. Welcome, Goals and Outlines
10:30 a.m. "Disability Culture in the Workplace" 
10:30 a.m. "ABC Employer Assessment Tool"
1:00 p.m. Keynote Speaker, W. Tipper Thomas III: "Live in Your Vision, Not in Your Situation"
2:30 p.m. Keynote Speaker, Minnie Bredouw: "Co-Designing with Student Innovators"
2:30 p.m. Keynote Speaker, W. Tipper Thomas III: "Disability Workforce Engagement"
4:00 p.m. Closing Session

Click here to view and download our full detailed agenda.   

Please complete this survey to share how the UW-WILL team can support inclusivity with your business.

Friday, October 16 Schedule
9:30 a.m. Welcome, Goals and Outlines
10:00 a.m. Social Hour with Minnie Bredouw
11:30 a.m. "Hack-a-thon: Working Through Difficult Accommodations"
11:30 a.m. Social Hour with W. Tipper Thomas III
1:30 p.m. "How to be an Innovator"
1:30 p.m. "Cultivating your Talent Pipeline"
2:45 p.m. Closing and Awards Ceremony

Click here to view and download our full detailed agenda.   

Please complete this survey to share how the UW-WILL team can support inclusivity with your business.

On Demand Sessions

Keynote Speakers


Minnie Bredouw

Director, IDEO
Educator and advisor on designing for inclusion, equity, and social impact.
Studio Bredouw:

Minnie is the Executive Director of Purpose Project, a non profit founded at IDEO—a global innovation firm. She also runs her own business, Studio Bredouw, focused solely on designing for equity and inclusion. She has spent most of her career designing programs focused on inclusion, equity, and education reform, such as a multi-national reproductive health program for teens, a digital coaching platform to help first-generation college students succeed in higher education, and a program to help transitional-aged youth involved in the justice system learn about their rights to help prevent recidivism.

She has been featured as a keynote speaker at the World Bank, SXSW, United Nations, TEDx and the World Design Summit, and her work has been featured in Bloomberg, Fast Company and the World Economic Forum. She is also an educator, teaching classes on inclusion and design for social Impact at the graduate level. She writes and watercolors in her spare time. 

William Tipper

Mr. William "Tipper" Thomas, III

William "Tipper" Thomas Foundation, Inc. Founder
Senior Principal Systems Engineer, Northtop Gruman
"New Frontiers in Disability Workforce Engagement"
The William "Tipper" Thomas Foundation:

Meet the WILL Team

Dr. Choton Basu is a professor in the Department of Information Technology and Supply Chain Management (ITSCM) at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He is the Sam Walton Fellow, the faculty advisor to the UWW Enactus team, and has also served as the Irvin L. Young Chair of Entrepreneurship.

His areas of specialization include business model innovation, information technology, entrepreneurship, process re-engineering, data analytics, social impact and global business strategy. He has successfully received several million dollars in grant funding, and is the founder and chief executive officer of Slipstream, LLC.

Dr. Basu has played key roles in numerous startups and IT-driven projects over the past 20 years, leveraging his unique background to help companies generate new business models, innovate and go global. He has worked closely with a range of startups focused on technology, water filtration, health, education and community.

Choton's interests and passions center around disruptive innovation, social entrepreneurship, international projects, travel, history and archaeology.

Dr. James Collins is a school psychologist, board certified behavior analyst, associate professor of special education, and the director of the UW-Whitewater LIFE Program (Learning Is For Everyone).

In addition to helping prepare preservice teachers to become outstanding future educators, he's also passionate about improving outcomes for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Dr. Collins began the development of the UW-Whitewater LIFE Program in 2015 and is excited about the opportunities that it provides for students, as well as for the campus community.

His professional and research interests include post-secondary programming for students with intellectual disabilities, special education law, assessment, and behavior modification.

When not at work, Dr. Collins enjoys spending time with his wife and dogs, reading, and keeping up with financial news and the stock market.

Janelle Crowley is currently the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) for the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, with more than 12,000 students, where she is responsible for the leadership and management of the Office of Human Resources and Diversity, with more than 3,400 employees. As a human resources professional she previously served as the CHRO of a community college and the Director of Human Resources, Ethics and Emergency Preparedness for a northwest suburb in Illinois.

Janelle’s professionalism is evident through her community involvement as the previous president of the McHenry County [IL] Sheriff’s Merit Commission; previous police commissioner and chair for two communities in Illinois; past president of the Illinois Fire and Police Commissioner’s Association [IFPCA], and continues as an instructor for the Commissioner’s Training Institute for the IFPCA. Janelle has also served as past president of the Stateline Society of Human Resource Management and was the Diversity Chair for many years that bridged involvement throughout the state. Janelle’s commitment to compliance, policy and procedure was instrumental as a certified Assessor and Team Leader for the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., [CALEA] for twelve years. In addition, Janelle was nominated and awarded the “Breaking the Glass Ceiling Award” by the National Center for Women and Policing in Los Angeles, CA; was the recipient of the prestigious “Doc Wilson” award for her vision of training through the University of Illinois, where she also served on the advisory board for the Police Training Institute.

Janelle honed her craft as a human resources professional at Northwestern University, originally the School of Police Staff and Command, now recognized as the Center for Public Safety, where she served as an adjunct faculty member for fifteen years. Recognized by the Woodstock Women’s Business and Professional Association as Woman of the Year, McHenry County College as a Distinguished Alumni, and served as an Ambassador for the eradication of Polio throughout India with Rotary International, rounds out her dedication to community involvement locally as well as internationally.

Janelle holds a bachelor’s degree in business and public administration, two graduate degrees – human resources development and business administration in finance, plus a Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in applied management and decision sciences. She has completed all four Labor Relations Academies with the National Public Employers Labor Relations Association [IPELRA], is a certified senior professional with the International Public Management Association [IPMA] and holds numerous certifications through FEMA and Homeland Security, coupled with her certification of Conflict Resolution and Mediation through DePaul University.

John is a certified professional innovator. Over the last 14 years, he has led innovation, entrepreneurship, and growth education and consulting programs for both non-profit organizations and companies.

Non-profit organizations include the Innovation Disability and Employment Institute, Disability:IN Wisconsin, Air Force, Combat Blindness, Excellent Schools Detroit, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Detroit PBS, Janesville Business Challenge, Kellogg Foundation,  Mary Ann Remick Catholic Education program, Tomorrow's Hope Men's Health Initiative, Travers City Chamber of Commerce, and the Office of Urban and Metropolitan Initiatives-Michigan (OUMI).

Companies include Bosch, Boehringer Ingelheim , Ceridian, CMS, DMGI, DSM, Eaton, Florida Power and Light, GE, Hagerty Insurance, Haworth, Honeywell, Ingersoll Rand, Johnson & Johnson, McDonald's, NBC, Pfizer, Prudential, ProQuest, Syngenta, and Zoetis.

Before joining the Innovatrium, John successfully launched over 150 new products, including two product lines with a billion dollars in sales (Gerber Graduates and Pop Weaver).

John is presently an adjunct professor in marketing at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, an I-Mentor at the Innovation Center, and a partner at the Innovatrium Innovation Institution in Ann Arbor. He has taught in executive education programs at the University of Michigan, University of Dayton and Notre Dame.

Dr. Carl Fox is the director of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) at UW-Whitewater. Carl has over 25 years of experience in university administration, having served previously as a research center director, chief research officer, associate graduate dean, vice provost for research, and graduate dean. Carl has been a full tenured professor in life sciences at four universities.

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs oversees all university contract- and grant-funded programs, including related research compliance activities. At UW-Whitewater, Carl also serves as an advisor to the Native American Cultural Awareness Association, Undergraduate Research Program, and the University of Wisconsin System's Water Research Initiative. He has served on numerous state and national boards, including the Governor's Council on Innovation and Technology, Arizona Technology Council, and Council on Research Policy and Graduate Education. He currently serves as vice chair of Pathways Into Health, a national consortium of universities, tribes, tribal health organizations, and the Indian Health Service. Carl frequently serves as a research reviewer and advisor to the National Science Foundation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Department of the Interior.

Carl received his Ph.D. (Botany), M.S. (Plant Physiology) and B.S. (Biology) from Arizona State University, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Wisconsin, River Falls, respectively. He has over 70 research publications and has secured more than $17 million in research funding through competitive contracts and grants from governmental, corporate, and private organizations.

Robin K. Fox is currently the interim dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies at UW-Whitewater. Her areas of research include teacher preparation and how teachers can meet the needs of children who were adopted, young children who are gender fluid, and working with schools to increase the inclusion of members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Dr. Fox holds an undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Child and Family Studies from UW-Stevens Point, a master's degree from UW-Whitewater in Early Childhood Exceptional Education, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a minor in Educational Administration from UW-Madison. She is a former Head Start teacher and director.

Over the past 30 years at UW-Whitewater, she has served as a university childcare teacher and director, a professor in curriculum and instruction, and the associate dean for the College of Education and Professional Studies.

Jessica Smith, MSW, CAPSW is the Project Director of the Center for Inclusive Transition, Education and Employment and the WI-WIOA Career Interview Project at UW-Whitewater.

Jess has worked with and on behalf of people with disabilities for over 10 years. She oversees team projects including the WI-WIOA Career Interview Project, which is a partnership with the state's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to educate subminimum wage earners about community employment opportunities and the Disability:IN Wisconsin state affiliate. Previously, she worked with children and adult long-term support Medicaid Waiver programs in quality assurance and improvement roles, as well as at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services on innovative youth transition and inclusive employment projects.

Jess' vast experience and interest in field work has given her the opportunity to be a field supervisor for UW-Whitewater  and UW-Madison MSW candidates. In addition, she is a supervisor of seven professional academic staff members, student workers, and DVR interns. As a frequent presenter at conferences and a highly involved individual within the community and various commitees, Jess' expertise continues to help CITEE grow.

She was awarded her Bachelors in Human Development and Family Studies and Masters of Social Work from UW-Madison. During her graduate studies, Jess also completed her MCH Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and other Disabilities at the Waisman Center, University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.

If she's not at work, Jess is probably with her husband, daughter, cat, and dog in Sun Prairie...or if she's really lucky, she's at the beach.

As a scholar-practitioner, Dr. Watson currently serves as in a senior leadership position as the Interim Assistant Vice Chancellor for the Division of Student Affairs, the Interim Dean of Students at UW-Whitewater, and principal  investigator for the Center for Inclusive Transition Education and Employment Projects (CITEE). She currently supervises six student affairs departments and provides senior leadership campus wide.  She has worked with and been an advocate for individuals with disabilities for over 30 years.

Elizabeth was awarded her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Steven F. Austin University, and her Ph.D. in rehabilitation psychology from UW-Madison. She has worked as a counselor and advocate in vocational rehabilitation, independent living, community based living, and as an interpreter for the Deaf. For the past 20 years she has served as a higher education administrator, lecturer, consultant, and researcher.

Dr. Watson presents and publishes nationally and internationally regarding universal building design, post-secondary transition, the use of universal design to create curricular access, adaptive technologies for accessing curriculum, and best practices for the employment and talent acquisition of individuals with disabilities. She has collaborated on over 20 unique building projects (from city planning, remodeling, and new construction of $30+ million) and had the opportunity to be an innovator in universal design. She is involved in governance and institutional committees within UW-Whitewater and the University of Wisconsin System and has served on the boards of multiple state and national organizations.  She currently serves as the Chair of the University of Wisconsin System (UWSA) President’s Advisory Committee for Disability Issues, and as the UWSA liaison to the Wisconsin Governor’s Committee for Persons with Physical Disabilities.

In addition to her work in higher education, Elizabeth is a Licensed Practicing Counselor and a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. Over the past five years, as the principal investigator and established a new research service center, the Center for Inclusive Transition Education and Employment (CITEE) and serves as principal investigator for over 7 million dollars in grants and contracts related to disability equity and inclusion focusing on employment, education, and community.

Dr. Watson has a focus on equity, inclusion, social justice, and diversity as a best practice for business and industry to enhance the bottom line, improve talent acquisition, and retention of employees.

Dr. Kenny Emmanuel Yarbrough joined the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater as its inaugural Chief Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Officer in May of 2018. He brings over a decade of experience of knowledge and subject matter expertise in the areas of equity, diversity and inclusion to his current institution. Since joining UW-Whitewater,  Dr. Yarbrough has selected as a CDO Fellow for the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) for the 2020-2021 academic year.Prior to joining UW-Whitewater, Yarbrough served as the diversity officer of Volunteer State Community College, where he served for six years holding progressive roles within the organization. While employed at Volunteer State Community College, Dr. Yarbrough was nominated and completed the coveted Maxine Smith Fellows Program, instituted and managed by the Tennessee Board of Regents. Dr. Yarbrough has also received his credentials as a Certified Diversity Professional.

His professional career outside of academia includes but not limited to non-profit consulting, a research-based religion clinician and collaborating with various authors on works of fiction, non-fiction and self-help books. He presents at numerous state and national conferences and enjoys being a conduit for learning and enlightenment.  He is pursuing a second doctorate degree in higher education and leadership from East Tennessee State University focusing his research on black males and intersectionality.

He is active in a variety of civic, cultural and religious organizations including his beloved fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., where he is a officer with Delta Chi Lambda Chapter.  He enjoys travel, theatrical productions, music and collecting DVDs of multiple genres.

Event Information

Confirmation Emails

Once you register a confirmation email will be sent to your email account. Contact if you do not receive this confirmation email. Historically email accounts used from and are blocked from receiving notifications from us or may end up in your spam folder. You are able to register using these accounts; however, you will not receive emails from us. Please make sure you have a working email address on file with us to be able to receive important announcements and updates about this event.

Meeting Invites

Meeting invites to attend this event will be sent to the email used in registration.  Registrants will receive an invite one day prior to event.  Contact if you do not receive a meeting invite.  

What You Will Need to Attend

  • A computer, tablet, or smartphone
  • A reliable internet connection 
  • Speakers or headphones
  • If you have an external microphone or external webcam, plan to use them, but these are not required.

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is committed to equal opportunity in its educational programs, activities and employment policies, for all persons, regardless of race, color, gender, creed, religion, age, ancestry, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation, marital status, Vietnam-era veteran status, parental status and pregnancy.

If you have any disabling condition that requires special accommodations or attention, please advise us well in advance. We will make every effort to accommodate your special needs.

By registering for this event you understand that the University may take photographs and or videos of event participants and activities. You will be required to agree at the time of registration that the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater shall be the owner of and may use such photographs and or videos relating to the promotion of future events.  You will relinquish all rights that you may claim in relation to use of said photographs and/or videos.  Any media shared with the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on social media or use of its hashtags grants the University use to media for any purpose.

For additional questions, please contact Nadine Hill, Office of the Vice Chancellor of Administrative Affairs at or call 262-472-5950.