Faculty & Staff
Since this program was established in 1968, its faculty have
consisted of student affairs administrators who hold high-level
positions across the UW-L campus and also teach in the program.
The knowledge and experiences they bring into the classroom has
always been a definite strength of this program. The hiring
of a permanent full-time director of the program represents the
first full-time position that the program has ever had in its
Below is a list of the current SAA faculty and staff. All of them have
been instrumental in making the program what it is today, both
On-Campus and Online.
Affirmative Action at UW–La Crosse. He
received his J.D. degree from the University of Michigan and his
B.A. in Political Science from the University of Illinois.
Before coming to UW–L, he practiced law in Chicago for many
years. In addition to the "Legal Issues in Higher Education"
course in the SAA Department, he has taught courses in American
Government and Constitutional Law for UW–L's Department of
Political Science and Public Administration, and has given
numerous guest lectures on issues of diversity, civil rights,
civil liberties, and the legal system. Nizam is an advisor for
Awareness Through Performance, UW-L's award-winning student
||Dr. Chris Bakkum earned her
Ph.D. in Educational
Administration Higher Education
with a distributed minor in
Teaching and Learning from the
University of Wisconsin-Madison.
She has taught in the Student
Affairs Administration graduate
program since 1999, holds full
graduate faculty status at UW-La
Crosse, and is a core faculty
member in the Department of
Student Affairs Administration.
Dr. Bakkum's areas of expertise
include academic advising,
enrollment management, higher
education policy and curriculum
development, and the history of
higher education. In addition to
her faculty work in the
Department of Student Affairs
Administration, Dr. Bakkum
serves as the University
||Sara Flack,B.S., is the SAA Program
Assistant. She earned a degree in Nuclear Medicine Technology from UW-La Crosse
and worked as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist for eleven years.
She has returned to the workforce after spending two years as a
Jon Hageseth serves as
an Affiliate Graduate Faculty
member in the Department of
Student Affairs and
Administration. He is also
an Emeritus at the University of
Wisconsin - La Crosse (UWL). Jon
worked in the field of college
mental health and served as the
Director of the Counseling and
Testing Center at UWL from 1989
until his retirement in 2009.
Dr. Hageseth received his M.A.
and Ph. D. in Counseling
Psychology from Ohio State
University and has held faculty
rank as a Professor of Education
and Psychology at Virginia
Commonwealth University and
Appalachian State University.
As a psychologist he has taught
courses in abnormal psychology,
research design, experiential
leadership and student
development theory. Dr.
Hageseth has had the opportunity
to consult and present
internationally in the Ukraine,
South Africa, Scotland, Russia,
and China and has been approved
as a Fulbright Senior Specialist
nominee. He holds a membership
in NASPA and serves as an editor
for the Journal of Counselling
and Development in Higher
Education Southern Africa.
Jon has been with the Student
Affairs and Administration
program since 1989 teaching
courses, chairing theses, and
Dr. Jeannie Hanley, LPC, NCC, is a core
faculty member in the Department of Student Affairs Administration who holds
full graduate faculty status. She has
been in Student Affairs at UW-L since 1987 and gained Emeritus status at UW-L
after serving as a Staff Counselor in the Counseling and Testing Center from
1994 through March 2012. Dr. Hanley
received her Master’s degree in Counselor Education from Winona State University
and earned her Doctorate in Education in Leadership in Higher Education from St.
Mary's University of Minnesota. Her
research interests include leadership, student development, and wellness issues.
Dr. Hanley serves on the La Crosse area
Suicide Prevention Board of Directors and advocates for mental health wellness.
She also is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and an Advanced Practice
Social Worker in Wisconsin, holds National Counselor Certification (NCC) through
the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC), and is a member of Chi Sigma
Iota Counseling, Academic, and Professional Honor Society.
||Dr. Robert Hetzel is the Vice-Chancellor for
Administration & Finance at UW-La Crosse. He graduated
from UW-Whitewater with a Bachelor of Science in Business
Administration and Finance in 1977. He went back to Whitewater
to get his Master of Science, Accounting and later his Master of
Business Administration, Management. Thirteen years ago, he
received the title of Doctor of Philosophy, Educational
Leadership: College Students Personnel Administration. His last
position included serving as Associate Vice President for
Planning and Chief of Staff at the University of Northern
Colorado. Dr. Hetzel will be teaching in the On-Campus program
in his area of expertise -- University Budget & Finance --
and the Legal course online.
Dr. Nick Nicklaus
is the Director of Residence Life. His degrees include a B.A. in
History and Sociology from Bowling Green State University, a
M.A. in College Student Personnel from Bowling Green State
University, and an Ed.D. in Adult and Community Education
(cognate in College Student Personnel) from Ball State
University. He has previous graduate teaching experience at Ball
State University. His research interests are in student
development theory, student learning, spiritual development in
college students, and student needs/issues. He is very active in
several housing professional organizations and has served as a
faculty member for the ACUHO-I National Housing Training
Institute and the ACUHO-I STARS College.
||Dr. Jodie Rindt is the
Chair of the SAA Department and is currently teaching in the Online program. Her
M.S. is in Counselor Education and her Ph.D. is in Counseling
Psychology from UW-Madison. Before being appointed as the
Chair, she was the
SAA Online Coordinator and taught in both the CSDA and
Psychology departments. Previously, she spent the past 20 years
as a Counselor/Psychologist in the Counseling & Testing Center.
Dr. Rindt's primary interests are in higher education,
international studies, and
online education. . Dr. Rindt
had the opportunity to live in
Frankfurt, Germany, in the
summer of 2012 to develop
partnerships with university
colleagues, expand her German
language skills, and enjoy the
Ringgenberg is the
Director of University Centers.
Dr. Ringgenberg holds a Master's
in College Student Development
from the University of Iowa and
a Ph.D. from the University of
Northern Colorado in College
Administration. His primary
research interests include
student development, student
management, empowering employees
and student learning outcomes .
Dr. Ringgenberg also travelled
to China to represent the SAA
program and conducted a student
development workshop in
Barbara Stewart is the Associate Dean for
Campus Climate and Diversity, in the Division of Student
Affairs, UW-La Crosse. Previous to this position she was
Director of the office of Multicultural Student Services.
Barbara achieved her Bachelors and Masters degrees at Iowa State
University. She has worked in the areas of housing,
orientation, multicultural affairs and diversity. Barbara
enjoys working with students, faculty and staff around issues of
diversity, inclusion and social justice.
||Dr. Mary Beth Vahala is the Associate Director
of Student Activities and Centers. She received a Bachelors of
Science degree in Business Administration from Ball State
University, a Masters degree in Counseling and Personnel
Administration from Western Michigan University, and a Ed.D. in
Counseling and Human Development from the University of Georgia.
Dr. Vahala has had a variety of experiences in CSDA: Hall
Director, Coordinator of Student Organizations, Leadership
Programming, Career Counseling, and Academic Advising. Research
interests include management, leadership, and environments. She
has served as past president of the Wisconsin College Personnel
Association and served on the American College Personnel
Association's Membership Core Council for six years.
SAA's first tenure-track faculty member. Jörg is originally from
Germany but has lived in the U.S. for nearly 20 years. As a
graduate of Luther College and the The University of Iowa, Jörg
is strongly rooted in the Upper Midwest. Prior to joining the
faculty at UW-L, Jörg worked in residence life for four
different research universities in four states. His Ed.D. is in
Higher Education/Student Affairs from Indiana University. His
research interests include student persistence and men and
masculinities in higher education. He is also increasingly
interested in the internationalization of higher education and
student affairs, and is looking forward to leading the SAA Study
Tour to Germany in the Spring of 2013. He has taught several
courses in the SAA curriculum including History, Applied
Research, Internship, Diversity, Administration, and Legal
Issues. He has been involved in national student affairs
organizations and serves on the editorial review board of
NASPA's Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice
The SAA program meets North Central Association (NCA)
accreditation standards and the Council for the Advancement of
Standards (CAS) requirements.