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Giving Everyone a Chance to Thrive

Alexa Posny’s UW degree helps her focus on special education issues.

May 15, 2021
Alexa Posny

When Alexa Posny MS’76, PhD’88 started elementary school, her childhood friend did not. It was that experience of leaving her friend behind that led Posny to pursue a master’s degree in special education at UW–Madison. Until the 1970s, people with developmental disabilities, like Posny’s friend, were not allowed in school. “I think about all the people who never had a chance to thrive,” says Posny.

During her career as a special education teacher, Posny returned to UW– Madison to earn her PhD in educational leadership and policy analysis. After receiving her PhD, Posny worked for the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C. Because of her experience, Posny recently created a scholarship for students who are studying to become administrators. Two students each year spend a summer in Washington, D.C., working in policy and networking. 

As part of the School of Education’s Impact 2030 initiative, Posny’s gift to the School was matched by another generous donor, allowing her to have an even greater impact. Posny says it was important for her to provide support to UW– Madison students, much in the same way that the School of Education helped her grow as an educator.

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