Important staffing changes

from left to right: dina zavala, kara ostlund, charissa jakusz

From left to right: Dr. Dina Zavala, Kara Ostlund and Charissa Jakusz.

UW-La Crosse leadership shared the following message with the campus community on Friday, June 26, 2020:

Dear students and colleagues:

We are pleased to announce several important staffing changes taking place here at UWL. First, we would like to let you know that Dr. Dina Zavala will become our next Affirmative Action Officer. Dina joined us in the fall of 2019, and she brings a wealth of experience in working with Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Dina received her bachelor’s degree in Modern Languages from UW River Falls, her Master of Arts in Instruction from St. Mary’s University-Minneapolis and her Ph. D. from North Dakota State University. She will blend the responsibilities of Affirmative Action Officer into her current role as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion and continue to report to our Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion. Dina will assume her new Affirmative Action responsibilities on July 1st.

In response to our need to provide a more concentrated focus on Title IX issues, Ms. Kara Ostlund will become our Director of Title IX and Compliance on a 2 year interim basis. Kara joined the Student Life team in the summer of 2018. She earned two degrees from Appalachian State University: a bachelor’s degree in family and consumer sciences (secondary education) and a master’s degree in college student development, with a focus on student affairs. Kara is currently pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. She will provide oversight of Title IX investigations for faculty, staff and students. Areas of responsibilities include but are not limited to prevention and mediation of gender discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking and intimate partner violence. In addition, Kara will provide leadership and direction to UWL’s compliance with applicable regulatory requirements. She will report to our Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion, beginning on July 1st.

Finally, the Division of Student Affairs is pleased to announce that Charissa Jakusz will be joining UWL on July 1st as Interim Assistant Dean of Students. Most recently, Charissa served Saint Mary’s University as its Dean of Students and Chief Judicial Officer. This role included responsibility for Title IX investigation and adjudication, managing the Behavior Intervention Team, and bridging student conduct response with restorative justice practice. She completed coursework toward her Doctorate in Education degree in Educational Leadership in August 2019 at St. Mary’s University and is currently working on her dissertation. In her role at UWL, Charissa will be managing the day-to-day operation of our student conduct program and serve as our primary Title IX investigator, among other critical duties.

We hope you’ll agree that these personnel changes will significantly enhance UWL’s essential Title IX, Affirmative Action, and judicial processes. And we encourage you to join us in thanking Dina Zavala, Kara Ostlund, and Charissa Jakusz for taking on their key new responsibilities!

Best wishes,

Barbara Stewart, Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion

Vitaliano Figueroa, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Joe Gow, Chancellor