Meet Distance Education Alumni Board President Jill Bisco
The Distance Education Alumni Board is made up of a group of distance education alumni who volunteer their time to represent the Distance Education Alumni Chapter of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Alumni Association. Jill Bisco (BSAD, '05) joined the Distance Education Alumni Board in 2013 and was elected President in 2015. Since then, she has led the board into a new era of increased engagement and communication with distance education alumni and students. In just the past year, the board introduced the Distance Education Alumni Board Scholarship, partnered with the Distance Learning Center's Alumni Committee on virtual events—including the Virtual Homecoming Hustle—and social media activities, assisted in fundraising initiatives, and worked to increase Alumni Association membership.
After graduating from UW-Platteville, Bisco earned her master’s degree and PhD in Risk Management/Insurance at Florida State University. She is an Assistant Professor of Finance at the University of Akron (Ohio). Bisco has also worked in the industry as an independent agent, agency manager, senior product development specialist, market coordination specialist, and director of internal controls/audit.
Bisco received her Certified Insurance Counselor designation in 2005 and her Certified Risk Manager designation in 2008. In 2009, she served as the president of the Wisconsin Federation of Insurance Companies Board of Directors. Most recently, she was voted to the Board of Directors of the Southern Risk and Insurance Association in 2016.
Q: What made you want to join the Alumni Board?
A: Education has always been an important part of my life—originally as a student and now as faculty at a university. When I was invited to join the board of the UW-Platteville Distance Education Alumni Chapter, I was excited about the opportunity to give back to my alma mater. The board allows me to give back to those that helped me fulfill my dreams of becoming a college professor.
Q: What specific duties do you have as President?
A: As the President of the board, I work closely with the Distance Learning Center to ensure the board is up to date on the activities that impact the distance education students and alumni. I also organize the board meetings and work on projects that benefit both students and alumni and promote interaction with UW-Platteville. These activities include the scholarships for distance education students sponsored by the board and activities such as the Homecoming Hustle Virtual 5k, #GoUWPete, and #AlumniEats.
Q: What is your main goal for the coming year?
A: The goal for the coming year is to build on activities that we have already implemented by increasing participation. This includes the Homecoming Hustle, a virtual 5k that we sponsored and which provided funds for the distance education scholarships sponsored by the board. We will also continue to welcome new students through activities, including personal invitations to join the Alumni Association. This personal touch lets the distance education graduates know that giving back directly to distance education at UW-Platteville is an opportunity they have.
Q: Why do you feel it’s important to stay involved and connected as an alumna?
A: The relationship between a student and his/her alma mater has been an important part of the educational experience forever. This relationship benefits the university and the student through continued collaboration leading both to be more successful. This relationship also allows for an even greater experience for current students, as they benefit from the experiences of students that came before them and they benefit from a university that grows due to the interaction and support of its previous students. Another advantage of staying connected as an alumna is that it allows the opportunity to build lifelong friendships while giving back to one’s alma mater.
Q: How would you encourage distance students and alumni to get involved and stay connected to UW-Platteville?
A: First, join the Alumni Association. Many of the activities sponsored by the Alumni Association and the Distance Education Alumni Board are funded by the dues associated with the Alumni Association membership. Second, participate in the activities sponsored by the Alumni Association or the Distance Education Alumni Chapter. There is a wide range of activities that allow students to be involved as little or as much as one wants to. The point is—get involved! It helps spread the word about UW-Platteville and distance education. Finally, for those that want to participate in a more involved and direct manner, consider joining the Distance Education Alumni Board. The board is always looking for individuals who want to get more involved with UW-Platteville Distance Education by serving on the board.
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