Vicky Selkowe’96 DSC
Awarded October 2, 2021
2021 Distinguished Service Citation
Vicky Selkowe has been a staunch advocate for those left out of the political system since she graduated from Beloit College in 1996. She’s given legal counsel, organized, lobbied, drafted policy, and fiercely defended the rights of low-income families, displaying leadership, compassion, and diligence at every turn. Now in the mayor’s office in Racine, Wisconsin, she’s promoting equity and repairing trust in social programs within the community.
Vicky’s activism began at Beloit, largely thanks to her small, upper-level sociology classes, where she learned about systems that she didn’t have the language to talk about before. Jerry Gustafson, Professor Emeritus of Economics and founder of the Center for Entrepreneurship in Liberal Education at Beloit (CELEB), guided her through using what she learned in the classroom to identify societal problems and craft solutions.
Gustafson, sociology professor Amber Ault, economics professor and assistant dean Emily Chamlee-Wright, and other faculty guided her through applying for and eventually receiving the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, a national fellowship that funds graduate school for burgeoning public servants. With the scholarship in her back pocket, Vicky was able to try out a few things before going to grad school, including an internship with the federal government that didn’t click and grassroots organizing in D.C. and Milwaukee that did.
In Milwaukee, while she was working to defend social programs in low-income neighborhoods, the idea to go to law school crystallized for Vicky. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s J.D. program in 2003 and has since worked for a slew of local nonprofits and government administrations in the state of Wisconsin. No matter the position, her capacity for empathy, problem-solving, and communicating her ideas with people from all walks of life is worthy of our gratitude.
The Beloit College Alumni Association is proud to recognize Vicky Selkowe with the 2021 Distinguished Service Citation.