University of Wisconsin–Madison

DreamUp Wisconsin Leadership Team

The DreamUp WI Leadership Team is charged with reviewing & selecting the top 5 proposals that could help 10,000 Dane County families increase their net income by 10% by 2020.

Lawrence Berger

School of Social Work and Institute for Research on Poverty
University of Wisconsin–Madison

Lonnie Berger is Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor at the School of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is engaged in studies in three primary areas: (1) examining the determinants of substandard parenting, child maltreatment, and out-of-home placement for children; (2) exploring associations among socioeconomic factors, parenting behaviors, and children’s care, development, and wellbeing; and (3) assessing the influence of public policies on parental behaviors and child and family well-being.

Rebecca Schwei

Institute for Research on Poverty
University of Wisconsin–Madison

Schwei, Research and Policy Coordinator at IRP, is responsible for publications and coordinates much of IRP’s work as the National Poverty Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to joining IRP, Schwei worked for over 25 years in social services through various positions in direct service, government, and research organizations at the local, state, and national levels.

J. Michael Collins

Department of Consumer Science and La Follette School of Public Affairs
University of Wisconsin–Madison

J. Michael Collins is an Associate Professor of Public Affairs and Human Ecology, as well as the Faculty Director of the Center for Financial Security at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Collins studies consumer decision-making in the financial marketplace, including the role of public policy in influencing credit, savings and investment choices. His work includes the study of financial capability with a focus on low-income families. He directed the Social Security Administration Financial Literacy Research Consortium site at Wisconsin (2009–2012) and is involved in studies of mortgage foreclosure and family well-being supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, financial counseling supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and emergency savings policies for the C.S. Mott Foundation.

Laura Dresser

Department of Sociology, COWS
University of Wisconsin–Madison

Laura Dresser is Associate Director of COWS (Center on Wisconsin Strategy) and is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Macropractice at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Social Work. Dresser is a labor economist and expert on low-wage work and workforce development systems, and has written about ways to build stronger labor market systems and worked extensively with labor, business, and community leaders in building them. Laura has also written about low-wage jobs, care work,  inequality, and labor market reform. A co-editor of The Gloves-Off Economy: Workplace Standards at the Bottom of America’s Labor Market, she is currently working issues on the connections between quality care, quality jobs, and minimum wages.

Peng Her

Institute for Research on Poverty
University of Wisconsin–Madison

Her, an IRP Community Relations Coordinator, has worked with officials, residents, and service providers to remove barriers to success for 15 years. He helped establish Hmong American studies at UW–Madison and Edgewood College and was associate director of the Center for Resilient Cities. He is on the Morgridge Center Advisory board, Badger Rock Middle School board, and several other boards in the community.

Bridgit Van Belleghem

Institute for Research on Poverty
University of Wisconsin–Madison

Van Belleghem brings more than 10 years of experience in public service and outreach to her role as Community Relations Coordinator. She won several awards as a land use planner for Marin County, CA, and a senior planner at the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission in Dane County. Her background includes collaborative land use planning, public participation, communications, and events.