Joanna (Jo) Niswonger

University of Wisconsin Colleges

Joanna (Jo) Niswonger, a second year student at the University of Wisconsin-Marinette campus, which is a campus of the University of Wisconsin Colleges, is the president of the UW-Marinette LGBT student organization and the student worker at the recently founded LGBT Center. Over the past year, Jo has worked to establish a new organization which serves the campus, and connects to community agencies and providers. Jo has emerged as a public voice and presence, about a still divisive topic, in a small and close knit community. During this semester, Jo will be presenting her own research on non-binary gender identities and pronoun usage at the UW System Women's Studies Conference in Madison, Wisconsin in April. Jo chose this research topic in response to a specific community need, and she plans to use it to help conduct "pronoun training" with local social service agencies in the Marinette, Wisconsin region. Jo has been a remarkable student civic leader on the UW-Marinette campus.

Cathy Sandeen Ph.D, MBA
University of Wisconsin Colleges

Personal Statement

I became involved in the LGBTQIA community when I joined my campus' LGBT student organization. This group helped me expand my comfort zone and gain connections within the community. I have grown more confident in my identity and want to help others do the same, even non-LGBTQIA people can discover their identity. But how were they supposed to gain that knowledge and confidence? There was nothing in our area, or the areas surrounding us, that gave support and a safe space to people like me. When the LGBT Center was opening, I knew I had to apply to be the student worker. This was how I wanted to help people. In society, it can be difficult for LGBTQIA+ people to feel safe, especially in a smaller community. It made it even harder because there were no resources to turn to. With the new center, I've worked to get people in our community the resources they've craved access to, while building connections with community agencies, providers, and working with the public. One need I've been working on addressing is non-binary gender identities and pronoun usage, creating a "pronoun training". People need to be aware of pronouns and how to use them.

Joanna (Jo) Niswonger
Physical Therapy, Spanish Minor, Emphasis in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies: Class of May 2017
written 2017

2017 Fellows Alphabetical by Institution

  • a
  • b
  • c
  • d
  • e
  • f
  • g
  • h
  • i
  • j
  • k
  • l
  • m
  • n
  • o
  • p
  • q
  • r
  • s
  • t
  • u
  • v
  • w
  • x
  • y
  • z
Erica Cherian, UNC Charlotte Morgan Sweere, University of Central Arkansas Andrew Aboujaoude, University of Central Florida Jaylon Thomas, University of Central Oklahoma Akshayaa Chittibabu, University of Connecticut Marie Spence, University of Denver Nicolette Duong, University of Florida Bobbie Alcanzo, University of Great Falls Eisha Khan, University of Houston-Downtown Alexis Smyser, University of Illinois at Chicago Rudy Amaya, University of La Verne Duane Belanger, University of Maine at Fort Kent Karla Casique, University of Maryland Axel Bayingana, University of Maryland Eastern Shore Sophia Lopresti, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Andrew King, University of Massachusetts Boston Callie Nunez, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Luiza Kinzerska-Martinez, University of Miami Nadine Jawad, University of Michigan Zachary Hayes, University of Michigan - Flint Gemechu Mekonnen, University of Minnesota Madison Bick, University of Missouri - St. Louis Isabel Langlois, University of Montana Shayla McGregor, University of Montana Western Sophie Ramsey, University of Mount Union Jimmy Nguyen, University of Nebraska at Omaha Shannon Bodeau, University of North Carolina Asheville Cristian Ramos, University of North Georgia Karina Judith Ortega, University of North Texas at Dallas Melanie Majeed, University of Northern Iowa Sarah Tomas Morgan, University of Notre Dame Anea Moore, University of Pennsylvania Hashaam Jamil, University of Pittsburgh Wila Matos, University of Rhode Island Edgar Chavarria, University of San Diego Emery Smith, University of South Carolina Isaac Miles, University of South Carolina Beaufort (USCB) Corinne Tucker, University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee Richard Lee, University of Utah Rena Newman, University of Wisconsin - Madison Bianca Ruffolo, University of Wisconsin - Parkside Joanna (Jo) Niswonger, University of Wisconsin Colleges Yessenia Santamaria, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
  • update-img-new

    Get updates on what's new in the Campus Compact Network