Meet the Staff

Tammy Tran

Meet Jessa Dukelow, associate director of Lawrence University’s Office of Alumni and Constituency Engagement. A native Wisconsinite, Dukelow started her career at Lawrence in 2007, having graduated from Lawrence in 2002.
A devout Lawrentian, Dukelow works to keep alumni engaged by planning campus reunions and organizing regional events.
“I met some of the best friends of my life in Lawrence,” stated Dukelow, “and that was definitely something that drew me back to wanting to work at Lawrence. For me, the relationships that I built at Lawrence were really huge and I want to do what I can to facilitate that for other people.”
As a member of Lawrence’s Alumni and Constituency Engagement team, Dukelow is also responsible for working with parents and other partners of the university. Her job at Lawrence also includes working closely with the Alumni Association Board of Directors, a group of active alumni volunteers spanning all generations.
Furthermore, Dukelow works to engage LU athletic alumni by organizing alumni games and contributing to the Fall Festival. Dueklow’s job at Lawrence also includes working with alumni from Milwaukee Downer College, the former all-women’s school that merged with Lawrence in 1964.
Before working at Lawrence in 2007, Dukelow had a job at an after-school program in Madison, Wis., where she worked with young children from diverse racial and socio-economic backgrounds.
“The most interesting thing I learned was how your experiences can shape how you grow up and see life,” Dukelow commented. “These kids had a really interesting opportunity to see that spectrum from kindergarten through fifth grade and have all different kinds of people as friends. It was interesting to learn how kids saw each other.”
In 2002, Dukelow graduated Lawrence with a degree in anthropology. “I had never really heard about anthropology until I got here,” stated Dukelow. “It was a Freshmen Studies professor that I had who did the anthro twist on everything. That’s how I knew it was something I was really interested in.”
Among her alumni friends, Dukelow claims that Freshmen Studies has remained the most commonly talked about Lawrence course. “It was definitely very transforming and is a common reference point for folks on the alumni board. It’s something we’ve all done,” said Dukelow. “We’ve all read Plato.”
While enrolled at Lawrence, Dukelow was also on the women’s basketball team and held a student worker job at Alexander Gym. Compared to peers of her graduating class, Dukelow believes the Lawrentians of today have a lot more on their plates.
“I’m always really impressed with how much Lawrence students are doing and also the depth with which they get involved,” she said.
“If I could say one thing to Lawrence students, it’s that if you have something you want to do or questions you have about a career field you’re interested in, the career center can set you up with alumni,” shared Dukelow. “There’s nothing alumni love more than helping current Lawrence students! The sooner that students can pursue leads like this, the more well-rounded they can become, and the earlier they can shape their education.”
Although Dukelow notices definite differences between Lawrence in 2002 and Lawrence today in 2011, she believes that some things have stayed the same. In addition to some professors who have remained at Lawrence throughout the years, Dukelow believes that the Lawrence difference has always been in existence.
“It’s really great to see that the core of what Lawrence is has really remained intact. You have discussions to reach the best conclusions, and there is no such thing as a dumb response,” said Dukelow. “You just talk it out to figure out what it is you’re really looking for. That’s one of the reasons I love working at Lawrence, as different as things have become, the core is really the same – and that feels good.”
Dukelow calls the opportunity she has had to work at Lawrence University a “happy accident” – a job she never initially intended on, but one she is thrilled to have.
“Lawrence is a huge part of me,” Dukelow commented. “Whether I’m working or relaxing with my Lawrence friends, I’m always talking about our current events and promoting what we’re doing here and what students are doing. I feel a lot like a Lawrence cheerleader. I think that’s a part of my job, but also a part of who I am. Lawrence played a big role in making me the adult I am today and I feel really honored to work hard and give back to the institution.