Thursday, April 26, 2012

Help Desk Helpers - Part Two

Ever wondered who is on the other end of the line when you contact the WIDA Help Desk?  In last week's post, you met Michelle.  This week, meet the rest of the WIDA Help Desk staff. You'll  learn about some of the common questions that the Help Desk receives and the WIDA states they would most like to visit.  Enjoy!


Hi everyone! Let me introduce myself: I am Sarah, a graduate student at UW-Madison, and a team member of the WIDA Help Desk.  Currently, I am working towards a Master’s degree in Educational Policy Studies.  I completed my undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and English Literature at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL. Throughout my undergraduate career, I worked in Miami-Dade public schools and other educational settings. Education is something I feel very passionately about. Particularly important to me is the cause of English Language Learners, and the educators who work with them. What is so special about my job and about WIDA in general is the way the Consortium works to empower both ELLs and their teachers. It really is a privilege to be a part of an organization that is committed to this cause.

Studies: Master’s in Educational Policy Studies
From: Flagler Beach, Florida

WIDA State Most Likely to Visit: New Mexico. One day I would like to visit the 19 Pueblos. The history and geography of New Mexico really fascinates me and I have always wanted to travel and learn about the Native American cultures there.

Likes: Yoga, surfing, reading, and wildflowers.
Dislikes: Olives and bugs.

Most Common Question: A question I often get has to do with students moving into or away from a school before, during, or after testing. This can be a complicated situation especially if the student is moving to or from a non-consortium member state, so I completely understand why it raises questions!

Before attending UW-Madison, I was sure of the fact that I wanted to pursue a Psychology degree, but was totally unsure of what I wanted to do with it.  After two years of classes, I think I've finally figured it out! Not only have I reaffirmed the fact that I love Psychology, but have also discovered an interest in Human Development/Family Studies, and therefore have chosen to make such studies the crux of my academic experience. Over my next two years here I plan to apply for an internship and travel abroad. While my plans for the future are still tentative, I would love to eventually attend graduate school in hopes of becoming a child behavioral/development therapist.

Studies: Undergraduate in Psychology and Human Development/Family Studies
Kenosha, WI

WIDA State Most Likely to Visit: Hawaii. I'm a sucker for warm, tropical places, and I've only heard great things.
Likes: Dancing, vacations, chocolate, friends, and family!
Dislikes: Spiders, boring professors, negativity, and seafood.

Most Common Question: "I need to create an account, can you help?" Good question, yes we can! And if we can't help you create the account immediately, we can certainly point you in the right direction!


I am currently about to be a Senior at UW-Madison and will be double majoring in psychology and legal studies with a certificate (minor) in criminal justice. My career aspirations are still a bit iffy, but I do know that I would like to work in the criminal justice system. I have always loved working with children, so I might pursue a career working with juveniles. Onto my life here at WIDA… I love it here. All of my co-workers are the nicest people you could ever meet and they each love to help others. We are sorry for the calls that we miss, most of the time when a call goes to voicemail it’s because we are on the other line. We hope to hear from you soon!

Studies: Double Major in Psychology and Legal Studies with a Criminal Justice Certificate
Chicago, IL

WIDA State Most Likely to Visit: Vermont because I really have no idea what is there, but I have heard it is beautiful. I also like the name.

Likes: Hanging out at the local cafe Steep & Brew, baking, writing short stories, kick boxing, and bettering our criminal justice system.
Dislikes: When people assume that I am dumb because I am a blonde, it's natural though!

Most Common Question: “Why can't I download the
W-APT materials?” Everyone is always confused by the fact that our website has multiple logins and we are happy to help explain because it is a little tricky.  And yes, we do sometimes get confused about which login people are referring to when they call in...oops!


My name is David and I am currently a senior here at UW-Madison intending  to graduate in May with a Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Studies. I am currently applying and searching for jobs within the realms of public relations, marketing, and sales, though I am still strongly considering applying to law schools, as well. I was born in Moscow, Russia and grew up in a multilingual home, learning at an early age how to read, write, and speak Russian. Today, I am also fluent in Spanish and just began learning French this semester. Overall, I'm just a great guy with a fantastic sense of humor and an outgoing personality. I like to say that I never leave my comfort zone, I just bring it with me.
Studies: Senior graduating with Legal Studies major
From: Mequon, WI
WIDA State Most Likely to Visit: Hawaii, simply for the landscape, weather, and cultural differences; wouldn't mind spending some time on their beaches, catching some rays; can't say that the abundance of Spam-based foods is calling my name though

Like: fine dining, Beat Generation novels, summertime, Wisconsin sports, traveling, spending time with close friends, deep tissue massages
Dislike: lack of sleep, people who aren't genuine

Most Common Question: "My administrator wants me to take ________
Quiz/Training, but I don't know where it is or how to do it." -- That’s what we’re here for!  We’ll gladly walk you through it.

Special thanks to the WIDA Help Desk staff for their willingness to be featured in our blog!

Written by: Tammy King


  1. What, no one is most likely to visit ND?

    1. Kerri, I think one of the best little known facts about your state is that you are home to the geographic center of North America.