Keri Schroeder understands how education can transform lives.
She was a first-generation college student when she earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts from Mount Mary College in Milwaukee. Her education introduced her to a world of possibilities and inspired her to be a lifelong learner.
Now she sees a world of possibilities at UW-Whitewater as she welcomes alumni who want to reconnect to campus - whether they're volunteering as classroom speakers, stepping up as mentors or offering generous support for scholarships.
Schroeder loves the youthful enthusiasm she finds on campus and enjoys building rewarding relationships with alumni.
She remembers how professional guests in her college classes opened her eyes to career options. She later taught art to children with disabilities and directed an after-school arts program for children in Chicago. As development and public relations director for COA Youth and Family Centers in Milwaukee, she was proud of the family-centered philosophy that created lasting change for children.
As the mother of three young children, she looks forward to the ways education will guide their lives and careers.
Scholarships helped Schroeder as a college student and reminds her today "why it's important to do the work that we do."
She's gratified to join UW-Whitewater's mission to welcome first-generation students, provide access to students with disabilities and encourage alumni to stay connected in ways that help today's students.
"Education is the key to making lasting change in people's lives," Schroeder said. "To be able to help provide that opportunity for students is huge."