Rising Star

Emelee Volden, UWL director of International Education & Engagement, is one of the Rising Stars of the 7 Rivers Region.

UWL director of International Education & Engagement named one of 24 making a positive difference in the 7 Rivers Region

UWL’s director of International Education & Engagement (IEE) was named one of 24 people under age 40 honored for making a positive difference in the 7 Rivers Region.

Emelee Volden, who started at UWL in fall 2016, was listed among the River Valley Media Group and the 7 Rivers Alliance 2019 Rising Stars.

Volden came to UWL with diverse experiences from working in study abroad advising and program management at the University of Minnesota to international recruitment, admissions and retention at a rural community college in Wyoming.

Serving as a leader of IEE at UWL, Volden has been able to combine her past career experiences. She likes that her position allows her to work with students who want to explore the world, faculty who are passionate about supporting students, and international friends and colleagues.

She has enjoyed seeing how her initiative can positively effect students’ experiences whether through study abroad advising or working on policy change.

At UWL, Volden has taken a lead role in developing a framework for comprehensive internationalization efforts on campus so all students have the opportunity for global learning. She co-chaired the ACE Internationalization Laboratory where six different teams conducted a review of international commitment, curriculum, partnerships, education abroad, faculty development and international student recruitment and retention. As a result of this work, UWL will be launching its new internationalization strategic plan this fall.

“We brought stakeholders together to see what future opportunities are and to identify how strong we already are,” says Volden. “We have a very solid and strong foundation and history of internationalization at UWL. I’m excited that we get to elevate and expand it further across campus and into our local communities.”

When Volden is not leading UWL’s IEE, she is a member of the La Crosse Sister City Committee and serves as a resource to the Sister City Committees on international matters. She is also involved at Emerson Elementary School where her daughter attends.   

Her proudest professional accomplishment has been finding confidence in herself in navigate diverse communities and learn that she has a lot to contribute through her experiences and the relationships she has built.