L&S Honors Program

College of Letters & Science
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L&S Honors Program Staff Members

Sabine Gross, Director and Professor of German

Sabine Gross is a professor in the Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic, and a faculty affiliate in Theatre Studies and Visual Culture Studies. She was born in Germany, where she completed her M.A, followed by a Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Her Ph.D. work focused on the process of reading, which has remained an enduring interest. Accepting a position at the UW Madison has allowed her to combine her passion for teaching (she holds a Distinguished Teaching Award), including Honors courses, and for research. She has published numerous books and articles and is fascinated by the human capacity for learning and our experience of time. Her training in theater has allowed her to produce and direct numerous plays with UW-Madison students for acclaimed public performances: the "German Play" is a biennial tradition that draws audiences from across Wisconsin (and occasionally beyond). On campus and nationally, she has organized numerous research workshops and conferences.

Matt Kohlstedt, Associate Director of Administrative Services

Matt joined the Honors Program in 2013. He has a Ph.D. in American Studies from The George Washington University in Washington, DC, where he taught intermediate and advanced writing courses on Sports and Society, Knowledge and Power in American Empire, and Americans Abroad in Fiction and Film. Immediately prior to working at UW-Madison, he worked at Epic Systems in Verona, WI. He has also worked in university development and online advertising. He lives in Madison with his wife, son, and daughter.

Jacqui Guthrie, Associate Director of Academic Services

Jacqui joined the Honors Program in the summer of 2014. Prior to this position, she had worked in the College of Letters & Science Academic Advising Services office as an academic advisor and in the Office of Admissions and Recruitment as a transfer counselor. Jacqui brings with her a wealth of knowledge about UW-Madison policies, curricular requirements and extracurricular opportunities. Before embarking on her career in higher education administration and advising, Jacqui studied international relations, political science and African development as an undergraduate at UW. She enjoys travelling to far-off places, cooking, throwing pottery and a variety of water sports. She is passionate about access to higher education and helping students understand that college is about much more than just checking required classes off of a list.

Erin Warner, Program Administrator

Erin joined the Honors Program in 2015. Erin enjoys helping to run the day to day operations of the Honors Program and getting to interact with the students, faculty, and staff that are part of the Program. Prior to working in the Honors Program, Erin worked for the State of Wisconsin in a variety of administrative roles. Erin is a proud UW-Madison alum who also holds a Masters in Social Work from Indiana University. Outside of work Erin enjoys reading, traveling, spending time outdoors with her family and pets, and cheering for her daughter and son in their various sports. 

Maria Hartwig, Academic Advisor

Maria joined the Honors program in 2017. She has previous advising experience at Purdue University and Clemson University working with a wide range of students. As a UW-Madison alumna, Maria is excited to be back on campus working with UW students. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, the performing arts, travel, and exploring new parts of Madison.

Chris Spangler, Academic Advisor

Chris joined the Honors Program in the summer of 2018. Chris has worked in higher education capacities for the past eight years in roles ranging from coordinating service-learning at a large technical college to career development and academic advising at a smaller career-focused university. Chris completed his undergraduate degrees at UW-Madison in History and Political Science, and recently completed a Masters in Higher Education Administration at UW-Milwaukee. Chris pursues a holistic advising approach with his students through developing a rapport and providing customized information that caters to each individual student, ultimately aimed at guiding students to pursue degree paths that are most relevant to their interests. Chris enjoys running through scenic Madison, attending concerts, traveling to parts of the world that offer opportunities to experience vastly different cultures compared to his own, and spending time with his wife and two young children.

Ben Jedd, Forensics Team Coach

Ben has coached the University of Wisconsin Speech Team since 2003. Prior to his time at UW Ben coached the National Champion Bradley University Speech Team and the Ball State University speech team; he has been coaching competitive speech since 1997. Ben also competed for the Bradley University Speech Team; as a competitor the team won five national titles and Ben was a state champion and multiple national finalist. Ben received his Bachelors Degree in Speech Communication from Bradley University and his Masters Degree in Organizational and Professional Communication Development from Ball State University. Currently, Ben teaches an online Career Development Seminar and works for a local information technology consulting firm, TeamSoft, Inc., in the field of business development.

Natalie Galles, Peer Advisor

Natalie is a senior in the L&S Honors Program this year. She is a Biology major with certificates in Global Health and Environmental Studies pursuing a Comprehensive Honors degree. Among Natalie's favorite things to chat about are strategies for getting involved with undergraduate research, fun elective course options, and the best flavor of Babcock ice cream. Natalie is looking forward to working with you this year!  

Ben Kinzer, Peer Advisor

Ben feels uncomfortable talking about himself in the third person. This is his second year studying math and computer science at UW-Madison. Ben helps to answer any questions from students as well as thinking of lame jokes to put into speeches. When not working in the Washburn Observatory, Ben is an avid member of Dinosaur Club and The Dead Mathematicians Society. In his free time, he can usually be found above you on the various playgrounds and trees around campus.

Sarah Larson, Peer Advisor

Sarah began working with the Honors Program summer of 2017.  She is a junior studying Communication Arts (Radio-TV-Film), and is pursuing certificates in Scandinavian Studies, Digital Studies, and Educational Policy Studies.  Sarah enjoys interacting with students and providing one-on-one advising. Beyond work in the Honors Program Office, Sarah is an Evans Scholar and serves as Apparel Chair for the Wisconsin chapter, is the Headwaiter at Delta Gamma sorority, and is the Graphic Designer for Badger Catholic at UW-Madison. She enjoys spending her free time reading, watching films, and spending time with friends.

Melanie Tobiasz, Office Assistant

Melanie joined the Honors Program in 2015. She is a senior studying Strategic Communication within the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She is also pursuing a certificate in Digital Studies. Melanie assists in creating content for the Honors blog (wischonorsonline.blogspot.com), as well as the Honors On-Line newsletter. Melanie is also a copy editor for the Badger Herald and is an active member of Association for Women in Communications. When she's not studying for class or working, she likes to spend her time reading a good book on Bascom Hill, showing her Badger pride at football games, and trying new restaurants on State Street.

Cara Cicciarelli, Office Assistant

Cara joined the Honors Program in 2016. She is a senior studying Political Science and Strategic Communications and pursuing an Honors in the Liberal Arts Degree. Cara assists in creating content for the Honors blog (wischonorsonline.blogspot.com), as well as the Honors On-Line newsletter. Cara is also a campus tour guide and president of her sorority. When she's not in the library, Cara enjoys visiting Madison's many coffee shops, playing guitar, writing and practicing yoga.