UWL staff, recent graduate honored for community impact
Three women from UW-La Crosse will be honored for their contributions to the community at this year’s YWCA Tribute to Outstanding Women.
- Jamie Capetillo, 2017 graduate — Young Women of Tomorrow
- Colleen Dixon, office/testing coordinator, Access Center, UWL — Volunteer
- Marcie Wycoff-Horn, dean, UWL School of Education, Professional and Continuing Education — Education
The annual ceremony recognizes women in the greater La Crosse area for their community impact, leadership and dedication to the core values of the YWCA. Recipients will be honored during a dinner and award ceremony Thursday, Nov. 9, at the La Crosse Center. Learn more.
Jamie Capetillo, Young Women of Tomorrow
Capetillo laid the foundation for her educational and personal achievements during her undergraduate years at UWL. She co-chaired and rejuvenated the campus organization ALANA (Asian Latina African Native American women), and collaboratively created Mujeres Orgullosas, a Latina empowerment and mentoring group. She was actively involved in Awareness Through Performance (ATP), helped produce the documentary, “Inclusive Negligence,” and worked with UWL’s Campus Climate office to facilitate social justice workshops. She was also a tutor and mentor for various pre-college programs.
Now a graduate assistant within the University of San Francisco’s Higher Education & Student Affairs Master’s Program, Capetillo supervises a tutoring program that helps elementary school children develop literacy skills. One nominator said of this generous student leader and peer mentor, “She is inspirational in helping create a more inclusive community where underrepresented students can find a sense of belonging and earn their degrees.” Capetillo is passionate about challenging destructive “isms” and removing systematic barriers faced by marginalized communities.
Colleen Dixon, Volunteer
Community service and leadership started early for Dixon who was involved in 4-H growing up. She also had great parental role models who encouraged community involvement.
Dixon has continued to value community service throughout her life. When her children started school, she became a volunteer in classrooms, and also helped with Hearing Screening, Tasty Tuesdays, Field Day, as well as many other school-related activities from yearbook editor to Festival of Nations coordinator.
As her children have grown, her volunteering has followed them. She has become a band and show choir chaperone, show choir costume mom, and coordinated the Spirit Wear sales and the Big Band Ball that benefit the school’s band program. For a decade, she co-chaired the Minds in Motion Bike Tour, which raised over $100,000 for the Onalaska School District to purchase equipment and program materials for the Fit Kids Living Healthy Program.
In the community, Dixon has coached T-ball and softball; lead a Girl Scout troop; and worked shifts at Onalaska Community Days, St. Patrick’s Church Rummage Sale and Fish Fry, Steppin’ Out in Pink, and more. She has even rediscovered 4-H, becoming a project leader and is now the general leader of the Lucky Lakers 4-H Club and provides guidance to the club’s 50 youth members with monthly meetings, events and community service projects. She is also a 12-year parent volunteer with the La Crosse County 4-H Dog Project and coached three Quiz Bowl teams at this year’s state competition.
After earning a master’s degree, Dixon worked as a consultant and teacher for the deaf and hard of hearing and later became a substitute teacher in the local schools and deaf and hard of hearing programs. Dixon now works in the ACCESS Center at UWL, which serves students with disabilities.
Dixon’s greatest supporters are her husband, Rob, and her two daughters, Tiana and Sierra, who also enjoy getting involved. Dixon says her motivation for volunteering is spending time with her daughters and getting involved in what they love.
Marcie Wycoff-Horn, Education
Wycoff-Horn earned her doctoral degree in Health Education/Health Promotion from the University of Southern Illinois-Carbondale and joined UWL as an assistant professor in 2002. She was named director of the School of Education in 2009, promoted to full professor in 2011, and appointed dean of the School of Education in 2015.
Over the course of her tenure, she has been responsible for a number of initiatives. In particular, she has invested substantial effort developing teacher education programs through partnerships to increase cultural competencies, particularly in areas of urban education, and promoted global learning and education through international collaborations. This variety of experiences for teacher candidates “…allows them to bring another lens to the classroom. They look at the world differently and approach teaching differently — with not just the academic learning goal in mind, but the whole child,” explains Wycoff-Horn.
Acutely aware that most education majors are women, Wycoff-Horn is known on and off-campus for providing and promoting leadership opportunities for students, and in particular female students, considering K-12 careers. Furthermore, she is a mentor for many female faculty and staff members on campus as they navigate their professional goals.
In addition to her professional accomplishments, Wycoff-Horn is proud of her family, including her husband, Scott, and her daughter, Riley.