About Us

The University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Badger Talks reflects our tradition of the Wisconsin Idea — to extend the resources of the university to citizens of the state.

We are privileged to work with communities throughout Wisconsin, bringing faculty and staff with expertise in a variety of disciplines.

Professional, community, and civic organizations, as well as schools, are invited to request a UW–Madison speaker.

For more information about Badger Talks or help with submitting a request, please contact us at 608-262-3880 or badgertalks@uwmad.wisc.edu. Be sure to find us on Facebook.

Badger Talks is privately funded and is part of the Office of University Relations.

Badger Talks Hub Staff

Fran Puleo

Assistant Director of Outreach Programs

Fran is overseeing the development of UW Connects, a statewide outreach initiative for University Relations. UW Connects includes Badger Talks, Bucky's Classroom, and Wisconsin Ambassadors. She has 15+ years of experience in program development, event management, community and public relations, marketing, and communications. Formerly the Community Relations Manager at Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center, she served as a spokesperson for the facility, managed events, and developed robust partnerships within the Madison business community. In addition, she previously served as an Outreach Program Manager at UW–Stevens Point. Fran has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois and an MBA in marketing from DePaul University.

Joe Bedermann

Operations Manager - UW Connects

Joe joined the UW Connects team in December 2018 and supports the Badger Talks program in various ways including travel accommodations, expense reimbursements, and new speaker on-boarding.  Joe is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Wisconsin School of Business where he majored in Marketing.

Student Interns

Ashleigh Kent

Badger Talks Coordinator

Ashleigh is a senior from Oshkosh, Wisconsin studying Marketing and Vocal Performance. Upon graduation, she hopes to work in the business side of the music industry where she can share her passion for art. She has worked as a Badger Talks intern for almost three years & loves taking part in the Wisconsin Idea.

Brianna Van Matre

UW Connects Intern

Brianna is from Blanchardville, Wisconsin. She is a senior studying Life Sciences Communication and Conservation Biology, with an emphasis on social media marketing. After graduation Brianna plans to work for a NGO that promotes conservation and environmental wellness.

Clare Zakowski

Marketing/Social Media Intern

Clare is from Green Bay, Wisconsin and is currently a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is studying journalism with an emphasis on strategic communication. After she graduates she plans to work at an advertising agency where she can use her creativity to influence others.