Yaffa GrossmanDirector 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.
Liberal Arts in Practice Center, first floor, 703 Emerson Street
Sanger Science Center, Room 332
Jessica Fox-WilsonDirector 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.
Carol WickershamDirector 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.
Cristina ParenteField 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.
Emily SagerOffice Coordinator, Liberal Arts in Practice Center
Emily Sager 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.