Russell Coff is the Thomas J. Falk Distinguished Chair in Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, serving as the Department Chair for Management and Human Resources and the Academic Director of the Bolz Center for Arts Administration. His research explores the role of human assets in innovation, creativity, and, ultimately in competitive advantage. For example, in one study, he explored the role of team-level emotion in generating and selecting creative solutions to challenging problems. Here, he found that, while positive emotions help teams generate more alternatives, these same emotions may actually hurt their ability to select the most creative solution to the problem at hand.
Normally, his creativity is channeled through his research but he also recharges regularly by playing his guitar. He may be the least artistic member of his family but his wife (a writer, artist, and acupuncturist) and daughter (2020 graduate of the UW Theatre & Drama and Physics programs) help him paint with broader strokes.
Rebecca Buckman has served as the Assistant Director for the Bolz Center for Arts Administration since 2005. For over 15 years, Rebecca has provided the administrative and operational support for the center, and in recent years managed all facets of student services and alumni engagement, MBA admissions, budget and financial management, applied learning and conference administration, and advisory board management. In 2018, Rebecca produced the Bolz Center Collegium, which celebrated 50 years of the graduate program in Arts Administration, and 25 years of the endowment of the center.
Alongside the Bolz Center faculty and center directors, Rebecca helped to bring the vision of a new one-year Master of Arts-Business: Arts and Creative Enterprise Leadership program for launch in December 2019. A lifelong participant in and supporter of the arts, Rebecca combines this love with her passion for working in higher education.
In 2020, Rebecca was recognized by the Wisconsin School of Business for her dedication and superior service to the school through the Wisconsin Naming Gift Distinguished Service Award. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2000, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work, and minor in Psychology.
Sarah Marty brings extensive experience in artistic collaboration and administrative leadership, a passion for sharing the arts with broader audiences, 15+ years as an educator in the UW System, and a strong background in working collaboratively with stakeholders at multiple organizations on a wide variety of projects to the Bolz Center team.
Producing Artistic Director of Four Seasons Theatre, she helps bring musical theatre to venues across Madison and mentors students through their Backstage Arts program. Additional credits range from showcasing Professor Mike Leckrone and the Badger Band at the UW Varsity Band Show and welcoming His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Overture Center to serving on board for the Overture Center.
A member of UW Teaching Academy, Marty is a recipient of the First Wave Faculty Mentor Award and Bartell Award for Excellence in the Arts. She’s a lifelong Badger with a Bachelor of Music Education, an MS in Curriculum & Instruction, and MA in Arts Administration.
John Surdyk is the Director of the Initiative for Studies in Transformational Entrepreneurship that encourages entrepreneurship research, curriculum development, and programming at UW-Madison. He leads the StartUp Learning Community, and he supports several competitions that foster creativity, social innovation, and entrepreneurial action, including the Arts Business Competition, the 100 Hour Challenge, and the Clinton Foundation Global Initiative.
Prior to INSITE, Surdyk co-founded Re-Envision Consulting, a firm working with arts and environmental organizations pursuing innovative earned-income strategies. Earlier in his career, Surdyk worked with the consulting arm of the Stanford Research Institute as well as Navigant Consulting.
Surdyk received the Mabel W. Chipman Award for Teaching Excellence in 2017, and he was selected as a Schmidt Futures entrepreneurial fellow in 2019. He currently serves as the Treasurer of the board of the Overture Center, Wisconsin’s largest nonprofit arts organization. He did his undergraduate work at Stanford and earned an M.B.A. at the Wisconsin School of Business.
Angela Richardson, MFA, is a performer, visual artist, and educator. In addition to maintaining her own interdisciplinary studio practice, she works for the Wisconsin School of Business to help students and faculty understand the relationship of creative thinking to innovation in business. Richardson coordinates arts-based learning activities for the School as part of the Arts Business Initiative—providing curricular consult, hands-on instructional delivery, and student advising. For the WSB Learning Commons renovation project, she led ‘artful engagement’ design efforts to curate the space.
As a teaching artist, she’s led classes at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, Center for Healthy Minds, Madison Children’s Museum, Madison Public Library, and many other community organizations. Richardson holds a split appointment on campus and also works as a program manager at the Division of the Arts. She was selected as a ’20-’21 Morgridge Fellow to take part in a community-engaged scholarship (CES) cohort with UW’s Morgridge Center for Public Service.
Mary Beth Collins
Mary Beth Collins, JD, has experience as a teacher, attorney, and nonprofit professional. She has always been passionate about the strength and well-being of communities, families, and mission-based enterprises. Collins is the Executive Director for the Center for Community and Nonprofit Studies – The CommNS – in the School of Human Ecology. She is also a member of the advisory team that facilitates the Applied Master’s program at SoHE and is the instructor of record for a series of one-credit courses that meet the degree’s Professional Skills requirement. These courses deliver community wisdom and student opportunities to apply skills to their area of substantive study and interest.
Amy Hilgendorf, PhD, is a community-based researcher and evaluator who works with community partners to answer research questions important to them and that will help create positive social change. She leads the “Co- Create” initiative at the CommNS, which uses various social science methods and best practices to engage partners in addressing their organizational and mission-based needs, often making research meaningful and actionable to our community partners. Through her work at the CommNS she also helps to support other scholars at UW-Madison and beyond who care about community-based and action research. Amy also completed a PhD in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011.
Larry Jolón is the Leadership Development Specialist at the Center for Leadership & Involvement at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He graduated from Dickinson College with a BA in American Studies with a focus in Gender Studies (2015), then received an MS in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis (2021) with an emphasis on Higher Education, Student Affairs Administration. Over the last 10+ years, Larry has worked in the corporate, higher education, and non-profit realms in Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin as a primary and secondary education program coordinator for gifted students, a civic engagement higher education program coordinator, a departmental manager and senior project manager for behavioral health IT applications, and project manager for enrollment management. His focus is currently on student leadership development learning, programming, and research, meshing leadership theory with social justice concepts, and guiding process improvement processes with his project management background.
David ‘dstew’ Stewart
David ‘dstew’ Stewart is a nationally renowned arts leader, theatre professional, and educator. Owner of Production on Deck, he leads a production search and consulting firm that strives to increase diversity and inclusion by expanding the talent pipeline and increasing pathways for marginalized communities to access jobs in theatrical production. A Board Member for USITT, United States Institute for Theater Technology, dstew is Chair of the EDI committee and co-founder of the Gateway Program, a mentorship opportunity for students from underrepresented populations within the industry.
For the Bolz Center, dstew will facilitate the BIPOC Brave Space for Arts Leaders of Color, lead sessions on Inclusive Leadership, and work with the Bolz Center team to manifest IDEA principles in all aspects of the graduate program experience.
Select credits – Production Manager, Disney Parks Live Entertainment: Magic Kingdom’s 50th Anniversary spectacular Disney Enchantment, Beacons of Magic (Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom), and NBA and MLS sports ‘bubbles’ (ESPN). Guthrie Theater, Director of Production. University of Texas at Austin and University of Wisconsin–Madison, Production Manager. Stage Manager for His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. AEA stage manager.