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2019 Badger of the Year WAA HOI Chapter

Dr. Dianne Gardner Renn

Dr. Dianne Gardner Renn was born and raised in the Chicago area, but came to Wisconsin in 1970 to get a degree in Communicative Disorders from Marquette University. Following this, she was hired by the West Allis-West Milwaukee Schools as a speech clinician and worked with early childhood special education students aged 3-7. In 1981, she completed a master’s degree in speech pathology and audiology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and continued working with early childhood special education students. In 1985, she began teaching education courses at Alverno College in Milwaukee. In 1995, she enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis in 2002.

Since then, Dianne has been at Illinois State University as Associate Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Educational Administration and Foundations and has served on multiple committees and task forces, particularly those involving assessment of learning and program evaluation. She has served as an evaluator of state and federal grants, including the Illinois Improving Teacher Quality State Personnel Development and Grow Your Own Illinois Grants for the Illinois Board of Higher Education and the Response to Intervention/Multi-Tiered Systems of Support federal grant. She is the co-author of two books on research methods and is a senior faculty associate of the Center for the Study of Education Policy. She is the mother of two grown daughters, Meredith and Lauren Gletty.

In addition, Dianne has been a very active leader and board member of the WAA Heart of Illinois Chapter for many years. Most notably, she has been a strong advocate for our newest Badgers. She has been the co-chairperson of the Scholarship Committee for 8 years and coordinates the annual Student Send-off Picnic each August.