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The Liberal Arts in Practice Center staff are well versed in putting the liberal arts into practice.  Each team member helps frame a number of projects and partnerships on campus.  Find out more about their areas of expertise, and how they can help you in the sections below. 

Vanessa Beckham

Assistant Director, Upward Bound Program

Vanessa Beckham grew up in both Beloit, WI and Tampa, FL. She received her B.S. in Music Management from Florida Southern College in Lakeland, FL. As Assistant Director of the Upward Bound program, Vanessa helps high school students get on the right path to continuing their education at a post-secondary institution.

Office:  The UB House (Orange colored house on the corner of Church and Chapin).


Phone: 608-363-2736

Jarett Fields

Director, Upward Bound Program

Jarett Fields was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI. He earned his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee where he was a Ronald McNair Scholar. After leaving UWM, he earned his first Master’s degree at UCLA. While there, he helped pilot a program designed to recruit high-performing minority and low-income students into UCLA and its Ronald McNair Program. Jarett returned to Wisconsin and earned his second Master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin. At UW, he worked for the PEOPLE Program and the Posse Foundation. His passion for underserved students led to positions at Marian University, UWM, and Marquette University before becoming the Director of Upward Bound at Beloit College.

Office: The UB House (Orange colored house on the corner of Church and Chapin).


Phone: 608-363-2725 

Jessica Fox-Wilson

Director of Career Development

Jessica Fox-Wilson ’98, Director of Career Development, began her career as a Beloit College student, as a Creative Writing and Education double major. Throughout her post-Beloit career, she cultivated her dual passions of education and creative writing by pursuing a professional career in higher education and an academic and avocational career as a poet. In higher education, she has worked in numerous roles, including residence life, enrollment, academic instruction, and academic program management. As a writer, she earned her MFA in Writing from Hamline University, self-published her poetry manuscript, Blameless Mouth, and participated as a writer and editor in several online writing communities.

Through Beloit College’s Liberal Arts in Practice Center, Jessica pursues four areas of work: student advising, employer relations, academic career development instruction, and contributing to the strategic goals of the college. As an advisor, she supports students as they identify their interests, practice the liberal arts both inside and outside of the classroom, connect with Beloit College alumni through the Beloit Career Network, and prepare for their post-Beloit paths. She also works with recruiters for nonprofit and for-profit employers, service opportunities, and graduate programs to promote their opportunities to students, faculty, and staff. She partners with faculty and staff to provide workshops on a variety of topics related to career searches, professional identities, workplace culture, and the Liberal Arts in Practice pedagogy for courses and departments. 

Finally, she contributes to many on-campus initiatives and off-campus partnerships, including: Advising Circle, The Beloit Project, the 1889 Council, Sustained Dialogue, the Greater Beloit Chamber of Commerce, and the Greater Beloit Economic Development Corporation’s Business/Education Alliance.  To make an appointment, please use her You Can Book Me site.

Office: Liberal Arts in Practice Center Central Office 703 Emerson Street, First Floor


Phone: 608-363-2647

Yaffa Grossman

Director of the Liberal Arts in Practice Center

Yaffa Grossman is the Associate Dean and Director of the Liberal Arts in Practice Center (LAPC). In the LAPC, she supports the center’s Community-Based Learning, Field Experience, and Campus and Community Outreach activities, all of which help students create connections among their academic and other experiences. She works with the Center’s staff, the Alumni Office, and others to enhance connections between students and alumni, faculty, and staff. She also supports the staff of the Upward Bound, Help Yourself, and Center for Entrepreneurship in Liberal Education at Beloit (CELEB) programs. She directs all of her activities towards helping students to reflect on, connect, and transfer their course and other experiences as they plan for their futures. Enhancing student-alumni connections is one particular focus of her work. 

Yaffa is also professor and former chair of the Beloit College Biology Department and a faculty member and former chair of the Environmental Studies program. She is a physiological plant ecologist with research interests in plant carbon allocation, growth analysis, modeling, and sustainability. She has strong interests in interdisciplinary education and has served as co-Principal Investigator of the Pathways to Sustainability Leadership Program and Director of the Sustainability Fellows Program. She teaches Botany, Biometrics, Environmental Biology, and Ecology, and topics courses in conservation biology, environmental sustainability, physiological plant ecology, and environment and society. She enjoys working with students in the classroom and on research and applied projects. In 2005, she received the Underkofler Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, awarded by Alliant Corporation.

For more information on Yaffa and her career, please visit: You may make an appointment to meet with her

Office: Liberal Arts in Practice Center main office, first floor (703 Emerson Street.) and Sanger Science Center, third floor (Room 332).


Phone: 608-363-2219


Regina Hendrix

Director, Help Yourself Program

Regina Hendrix joined the Help Yourself Family in 2012, but the programs were far from unfamiliar to her. She worked as an office assistant with Help Yourself immediately after graduating from high school, then as a TA during her summer vacations after her first two years of college. Regina attended Xavier University of Louisiana, where she majored in Biology and minored in Chemistry. Though she has a great interest and love for the sciences, she wanted to explore the array of opportunities offered to her. After pursuing her graduate education, she decided to return home to Beloit to make a greater impact on the community.

Regina comes to the Help Yourself Programs with a background in the sciences, public health, music and education. Her creativity is unparalleled and is truly an asset to the programs. Regina is excited to be back with the Help Yourself Programs and looks forward to pushing the programs to higher heights! In her "free time", Regina enjoys spending time with her daughter, Ryann, coaching cheer, dance and step, teaching Zumba, crafting, singing and volunteering. She recently made her debut into the world of politics, becoming the first African American female to hold the office of City Councilor in the history of the City of Beloit.

Office: Help Yourself Offices, South College


Phone: 608-363-2190 

Brian Morello

Director of CELEB

Brian Morello ‘85, has been the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship in Liberal Education at Beloit (CELEB) since July 2011. Formerly a beer wholesaler, founder and president of a proprietary beer branding and marketing company, and a founding director of the nation’s largest contract brewer, Brian is at home serving and supporting aspiring student entrepreneurs. He advises students who are developing projects within the Entrepreurship Lab, and teaches a number of entrepreneurship courses, including Introduction to Entrepreneurship, and Entrepreneurship Practicum.

He holds an undergraduate degree in Economics and Management from Beloit College and a M.B.A. from University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He regularly advises startups, speaks on entrepreneurship and brewing and has served as board director for a number of organizations including, most recently, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee, Beloit Snappers, a Class A minor league baseball club, and Janesville Innovation Center.

Raised in Milwaukee, he has been happily living in southeastern Wisconsin ever since. He and his wife Carol ’84, an educator focused on early childhood development, have two adult children. He enjoys cooking, baseball, and walking their dogs around campus.

Office: CELEB Offices, 437 East Grand Ave, Beloit, WI 53511


Phone: 608-361-6611

Ian Nie

Director, Maple Tree Studios

Born in China but trained in the USA, Ian Nie has diverse interest in music.  Trained as a classical pianist, Ian has performed in Europe, China and the USA.  Ian is also able to lead orchestras, choirs and has been a music director for operas and musicals.  Ian studied with Jack Roberts at University of North Texas, Leo Steffens at University of Wisconsin and studied for a short period in Italy with Ian Hobson during Ian’s New York University years—where he received his PhD in 2003.  Principle to his training comes from his studies with Orazio Frugoni in the late ‘70’s where Ian acquired the repertoire and the technical proficiencies needed for performing and teaching.

In his 34th year at Beloit College Ian began to institute an entrepreneurship component to his music technology class: Music 260 (Fundamentals of Recording and Editing).  In addition, Ian also teaches a course in film, a course in arranging and private teaching. He is also in charge of Maple Tree Studios located in CELEB.

Ian began The Turtle Creek Chamber Orchestra with the help of colleagues and friends.  In its 5th season, TCCO provides music during the summer months with a strings camp that help to educate young string players for 4 days in July.

Office: CELEB Offices, 437 East Grand Ave, Beloit, WI 53511


Cristina Parente

Field Experience Grant Program Coordinator

Cristina Parente is a Beloiter by birth and has spent the last 17 years working in a variety of formal and informal educational settings from museum and community education to K-12 and higher education. She earned her undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Latin American Studies at Macalester College and her MA in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. 

At Beloit College, she coordinates the Field Experience Grant Program and the First Year Exploratory Program, both of which were developed with the needs of first year students in mind to help them not only navigate their first year at college but to engage in a process of self-discovery and to set intentional goals for their time at Beloit and beyond.

Cristina returned to her hometown in 2003 after living for 8 years in Mexico where, as a liberal arts practitioner,  she conducted field work in the Lacandon rain forest of Chiapas for the Science Museum of Minnesota. 

Students wanting to book an appointment with Cristina can do so via her You Can Book Me Link.

Office: Liberal Arts in Practice Center Central Office 703 Emerson Street, Second Floor


Phone: 608-363-2673

Emily Sager

Office Coordinator, Liberal Arts in Practice Center

Emily Sager is the Office Coordinator in the Liberal Arts in Practice Center's central office. She received her Bachelor’s Degree at Northern Illinois University in Human Resource Management with focuses in Psychology and Business Law. She also holds a Master's of Arts in Psychology with a specialization in Career Management and Counseling. Her passion is helping students plan out of the classroom experiences and helping students succeed beyond Beloit, specifically assisting them with the graduate school application process. She is one of the main contacts for the Common Grant Summer Funding process through the LAPC and helps students navigate the application and budget process.

Outside of work, she is a wife and a mom to an amazing daughter. She is an avid reader of mysteries and serves on the Board of Trustees at the South Beloit Public Library.

Students interested in making an appointment with her can do so via her You Can Book Me link.

Office: Liberal Arts in Practice Center Central Office 703 Emerson Street, First Floor


Phone: 608-363-2675

Carol Wickersham

Director of Community Based Learning

Carol Wickersham serves the College half-time as an Instructor in Sociology and half-time as Director of Community-Based Learning in the Liberal Arts in Practice Center. Her work in both realms connects students and faculty with opportunities, skills and resources to extend their learning beyond the traditional classroom. In the Sociology Department, she directs the Duffy Community Partnerships, an academically rigorous, hands-on, field based seminar, as well as other courses.

Carol has published extensive research with students and colleagues on the "what", "how", and "why" of community-based learning. She enjoys catalyzing partnerships, equipping students to respectfully engage across cultures, helping to shape internships or research projects, working with others to solve social problems. Carol's commitment to community-based learning grows out of what she continues to learn from leadership in faith-based and secular social justice advocacy and community-organizing at the local, national, and grassroots level.

Office: Liberal Arts in Practice Center Central Office 703 Emerson Street, First Floor


Phone: (608) 363-2023