Our 2023 student ambassadors, jumping in the air in red, SoHE shirts with red and white poms in their hands.

Student Ambassadors

Ambassadors are current School of Human Ecology students that are eager to give you the inside scoop on what it’s like to be a part of our community. They’d love to share their personal story with you and talk about the transition to college, what a class in the major is like, how to get involved on campus and more!

Connect with a Student Ambassador!

Now Hiring for the Fall’24 – Spring ’25 Academic Year

Application Deadline: February 16 at 5pm (CST)

Student Ambassador Application

Current student ambassadors

Name: Aakriti Bagchi
Hometown: The Colony, Texas
Major: Textiles & Fashion Design
Favorite major course: My favorite major course so far is Apparel Design (DS 225). I enjoyed the feeling that came from putting all the processes together between pattern making and fashion illustration in the previous semester and seeing garments actually come to life in the matching fabrics.
Favorite place on campus: My favorite place on campus is the Chazen art museum. Whenever I feel unmotivated with sketchbook assignments or not creative enough, I love working on the benches in the galleries upstairs and then walking around. I also love that the Kohler Art Library and the Cafe downstairs are close by.
Fun fact: I have moved around 14 times, in 2 countries, and 7 cities.

Name: Makenna Cox
Hometown: Hortonville, Wisconsin
Major: Human Development & Family Studies
Favorite major course: So far my favorite class has been Child Development: Theory to Practice (HDFS 501)! This class, taught by Amy Wagner, has taught me so many things about reflective practice, and has also given me the skills to be able to problem solve in more positive ways. HDFS 501 also taught me how to look into child care from a different perspective, and it helped me immensely within my internship. This class was a great stress reliever during the busy week, and gave me an outlet to both express my concerns within my internship, while also helping peers with their concerns in their internships.
Favorite place on campus: My favorite place on campus would have to be Nancy Nicholas Hall (also known as SoHE). Although I am a little biased, I love the atmosphere within the 2nd floor, and the outside deck on the 3rd floor. I also love Memorial Union because there are so many different areas to either meet up with your friends, relax, or study and complete homework.
Fun fact: I was on the UW Women’s Rowing Team my freshman year of college!

Name: Lucy Cuff
Hometown: Poynette, Wisconsin
Major: Personal Finance
Favorite major course: Household Risk Management (CNSR SCI 665) was my favorite major course because I could apply the material directly to my financial planning internship. Additionally, the class sizes were small allowing for interactive lectures where I got to know the content and my classmates better.
Favorite place on campus: My favorite place on campus is Camp Randell Stadium because of the electric energy and the unity between badgers on game day.
Fun fact: I have been to three continents and I hope to make it to all seven!

Name: Alaina Gorman
Hometown: Kenosha, Wisconsin
Major: Interior Architecture
Favorite major course:My favorite Interior Architecture course I’ve taken so far is History of Architecture & Interiors: Antiquity Through the 18th Century (DS 421). This class explores history and how it impacted design throughout different parts of the world. History has always been my favorite subject in school, so seeing how that influenced design was really fascinating to me!
Favorite place on campus: There are many places I love being on campus, but it depends on the time of year! In the winter I like to study at Grainger School of Business or Peet’s coffee shop at Memorial Union. In the summer I love being anywhere outside- the third floor terrace at SoHE or the lakeshore path/memorial union terrace!
Fun fact: I love traveling and took a couple trips with friends over the past year! I went to Costa Rica and learned how to surf, and over spring break went to Montana and learned how to ski.

Name: Shani Hasson
Hometown: Calabasas, California
Major: Consumer Behavior & Marketplace Studies
Favorite major course: The course that has had the most lasting impact on me is Consumer Insights (CNSR SCI 201). Not only did it provide me with a solid foundation in Excel, but it also taught me the significance and distinctions between qualitative and quantitative research. One aspect that made this course truly remarkable was the flow of the assignments and lectures. Despite being a class taken during COVID, it managed to captivate my attention just as effectively as an in-person class, presenting a delicate balance that was hard to achieve at that time.
Favorite place on campus: Outside Memorial Union on a warm day.
Fun fact:  I can solve a Rubik’s cube in 3 minutes!

Name: Evelyn Kirner
Hometown: Prairie Du Sac, Wisconsin
Major: Community & Nonprofit Leadership
Favorite major course: Communicating With Key Audiences (CSCS335). This was the first community-based learning course I took on campus and I loved that it let me practically apply my learning. I had the opportunity to create a portfolio of work for a nonprofit in the Madison area and then see that work used by the organization. The course also prompted me to pursue a second major in Communication Arts. I learn by doing and this course, along with most CSCS courses, fits very well with my learning style.
Favorite place on campus: My favorite place on campus is the Field House during home volleyball games! The atmosphere is incredible and I love to watch the team play.
Fun fact: I lived in Denmark for six months while studying at Aarhus University!

Name: Emily Klein
Hometown: Janesville, Wisconsin
Major: Consumer Behavior & Marketplace Studies
Favorite major course: My favorite major course so far was Consuming Happiness (CNSR SCI 173)! I loved being able to document my thoughts and see my progression through the course in the book professor Whelan gave us, and I have used aspects of purposeful consumption learned in this class throughout many of my professional endeavors!
Favorite place on campus: My favorite place on campus is the tree right outside of SoHE. Whenever I see the bench empty and I have some extra time on a sunny day, I grab it so I can read, listen to music, or people watch! It’s such a great secluded spot in a busy area.
Fun fact: I can sing the alphabet backwards!

Name: Sydney Lewanovich
Hometown: Mukwonago, Wisconsin
Major: Personal Finance
Favorite major course: My favorite course so far has been Financial Coaching (CNSR SCI 355). My professor, Linda Lepe, is the best professor that I’ve had at the university. She promotes an amazing learning environment and acknowledges all of her students. The course was very hands-on with real world financial coaching situations and I really enjoyed the group work that we were able to complete with our peers.
Favorite place on campus: My favorite place on campus has to be Memorial Union. It’s a great place to study, grab food, spend time with family and friends, and hang out down by the lake. The Union offers so many different activities and locations for students to take time off from class and to simply relax.
Fun fact: A fun fact about me would be that my favorite food/snack is cottage cheese (weird I know).

Name: Natalie Mai
Hometown: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Major: Consumer Behavior & Marketplace Studies
Favorite major course: The course I’m excited for this upcoming semester is Consumer Insights (CNSR SCI 201). I’m interested in pursuing a career in Marketing, and I think this class will offer me valuable knowledge and allow me to advance my skills as a marketer and content creator.
Favorite place on campus: My favorite place in Madison has to be the Memorial Union Terrace. Sitting on the dock watching sunset, laughing at the ducks, chatting with friends while holding my Babcock Ice Cream, I’ll do it a hundred times over again.
Fun fact: I actually got lost in Japan before Shawn Mendes made it cool.

Name: Ava McKenzie
Hometown: Amherst, Wisconsin
Major: Interior Architecture
Favorite major course: I loved Visual Communication I (DS 241) with Professor Wei. The course teaches you drawing and other skills to help you visualize design ideas. Before the class I was nervous because I didn’t have much sketching experience, but the class is so engaging and hands-on! Plus, I still use the skills I learned on a daily basis, and they’ve been incredibly helpful in my other major courses.
Favorite place on campus: My favorite place on campus is the greenhouse in Horticulture Hall. I discovered it last year, and since then it’s been one of my favorite secret study spots! It’s only a few minutes away from SoHE, and during the winter months especially it’s nice to go there and be surrounded by the plants in a warm atmosphere.
Fun fact: I love frogs! Ever since I was little, I’ve been absolutely obsessed with them and growing up I had a ton of pet frogs and toads which drove my parents crazy. Even now one of my favorite weekend activities is going and seeing the amphibians at the Henry Vilas zoo – which I totally recommend to check out!

Name: Mariana Ray-Hernandez
Hometown: West Bend, Wisconsin
Major: Community and Nonprofit Leadership
Favorite major course: CNPL Symposium (CSCS 254) was such a nice class where I got to connect to the peers in the same major as well as network with guest speakers who are in our community. Michael is amazing, too! Evaluation and Planning for Community and Nonprofit Organizations (CSCS 345) was also an awesome class with such great material presented by Dr.Amy who is an incredible professor!
Favorite place on campus: I have a few favorite spots on campus. When the weather permits both the balcony at SoHE and the porch at Upper House provide gorgeous, sunny views which are a nice break from classrooms that can get a bit stuffy. Otherwise Steenbock library is a personal favorite when I need to really focus on my work.
Fun fact: I love anything Marvel!

Name: Lindsey Stugard
Hometown: Muskego, Wisconsin
Major: Human Development & Family Studies
Favorite major course:  My favorite class so far has been Couple Relationships (HDFS 517). I took this course online, and to my surprise, I got so much out of it. This course provides useful information and insight on dynamics that exist within relationships. There are so many perspectives, theories, and ideas of thought that you are introduced to in this class. You can take what you learn from HDFS 517 to help benefit your future career, and your daily life too!
Favorite place on campus: The SoHE Building because it feels like home! There are many uses for the building. You can eat lunch with a friend, or study quietly by yourself. There are indoor and outdoor spaces for students to enjoy, and the design of the building is, in my opinion, very aesthetically pleasing.
Fun fact: My favorite color is purple and my favorite movie is Finding Nemo.


Name: Fiona Widodo
Hometown: Salatiga, Central Java, Indonesia
Major: Interior Architecture
Favorite major course: I would say that Visual Communication II (DS 242) with Brooke has been my favorite major course so far! The projects were really fun because we were given so much freedom in our designs, and Brooke was very helpful in helping us get used to Revit.
Favorite place on campus:The gardens at the Arboretum. The flowers there smell absolutely amazing in spring, and it’s one of my favorite spots to bike, walk, or take pictures during the summer, especially when the golden hour hits.
Fun fact:I’ve watched so many K-dramas that I’ve become proficient in Korean. Some of my Korean high school friends and their parents still talk to me in Korean up to this day.


Name: Benjamin Wiest
Hometown: Madison, Wisconsin
Major: Human Development & Family Studies
Favorite major course: Stress and Resilience in Families Across the Lifespan (HDFS: 516) brought up many contemporary and thoughtful topics about the family system that I think are important to be aware of for further education and social oriented work.
Favorite place on campus: My favorite place on campus is in the woods on the shoreline. The wildlife and peace and is free to anyone and a great place to go.
Fun fact: I love biking around Madison and getting outside in the nice weather.

Name: Ellinora Wondra
Hometown: Saint Croix Falls, Wisconsin
Major: Textiles & Fashion Design
Favorite major course: Hmm, I think my favorite class within my major so far was Patternmaking for Apparel Design (DS 253). I love to figure out how to put things together and continually improve processes. In this class we learned the math and geometry behind making clothes based on specific body measurements. I really liked this class because instead of just working with model bodies, we learned how to make clothes for plus size or curvy bodies too. We were also introduced to making patterns with CLO-3d. This was a super fun new tool and it’s a huge trial and error time savor. I can totally see myself using this in the future! I guess overall, I liked this class because something clicked in my brain that told me I was in the right place!
Favorite place on campus: My favorite place on campus is probably the outdoor study area on the third floor of the SOHE building. It is right across from all of the design rooms I have classes in, and it is so nice to sit outside for a moment to catch a breath of fresh air. I also love to people watch and this is a great place to do it. For some reason, there is just something about being calm above all of the street hubbub and people that I find relaxing.
Fun fact: I can twirl the baton, and even twirl two at the same time!!