Research Team


The research team is made up of undergraduate students affiliated with the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater RAP program (Research Apprenticeship Program) and graduate students affiliated with the Higher Education Leadership Program.


Cherish Golden, MSE Professional Development

Cherish has recently graduated from the University of Whitewater’s Masters in Science Education, Higher Education Professional Development Program. Her interests include LGBT* affairs, multicultural affairs, admissions, and Trio programs. Cherish is committed to being a holistic scholar practitioner and assisting students from historically marginalized populations. Cherish plans to work in student affairs, with a long-term goal of receiving either her Ph.D. or Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration. Her research interests includes how socialization in societies and cultures affects students at post-secondary institutions. She is specifically interested in using Emile Durkheim’s concept of Mechanical and Organic Solidarity to research collegiate environments.




Nayeli Govantes Alcantar

Nayeli has just completed her first year at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and has worked on undergraduate research with the RAP program. Nayeli was the secretary for the DREAM Scholars program on campus.












Isabella Virrueta, MSE Higher Education Leadership

Isabella Virrueta (she/her) is an associate career counselor for the College of Arts & Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She recently received her Master’s degree in Higher Education Leadership, from the Professional Development Program at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Apart from working on research with Dr. Luedke, Isabella works as an educator, facilitator, and activist through her work with local non-profits like GSAFE. She is also an alumna of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and spent time working as a professional actor. Isabella is a life-long learner and life-long activist.






Troy Feeney, Undergraduate Student

Troy has just completed his first year at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and has worked on undergraduate research with the RAP program. Troy has recently been elected as the president of the Mixed-Race Student Union.












Tyler Henderson, MSE Professional Development

Tyler Henderson has recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Masters in Science Education, Higher Education Professional Development Program.














Marco D. Marquez, Graduate Student

Marco D. Marquez, is a recent Public Relations graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He is in pursuit of a Master’s degree in Higher Education Leadership from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He is the current Graduate Assistant for the Higher Eduaction Leadership program. During his undergraduate career, he worked with various student organizations that were representative of first-generation students, primarily of the Latinx community. 







Matt D. Headshot
  Matt Denney (he/him/his), Resident Learning Advisor, Graduate Student

Matt Denney (he/him/his) is the current Residential Learning Advisor for University Housing. He received his Bachelor’s in Secondary Education with an emphasis in Theatre and English at the University of Nevada, Reno. He is currently a graduate student in the UWW Higher Education Leadership Program. Apart from research with Dr. Luedke which explores the experiences of Undocumented Latina/o/x students in the Midwest, he enjoys presenting on supervision styles and is very active in the Educational Theatre Association and the Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival. His passions include activism, Zumba, educational research, public speaking, and student engagement







Gresham Collom, MSE Higher Education Leadership

Gresham Collom (he/him/his) is an alumni of the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater’s Masters in Science, Higher Education Leadership program. He is a third-year doctoral student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in the Educational Leadership and Policy Department. Gresham serves as a graduate researcher for the Postsecondary Education Research Center. His work is centered around inequity in higher education, higher education policy, and educational research methods. Following graduation, Gresham hopes to pursue a career as a faculty member and serve as a mentor to aspiring scholars.






Dr. Courtney Luedke
Dr. Courtney Luedke

Dr. Luedke began conducting research as a first-year student through the King-Chavez Scholars program at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She went on to become a McNair Scholar and completed two summer research internships at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the Summer Pre-Graduate Research Experience (SPGRE) and the Moore Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (MURAP). Through committed mentors who believed in her abilities, Courtney actively engaged in undergraduate research and pursued a career as a faculty member. Courtney is deeply committed to mentoring and supporting the next generation of Students of Color in preparing for, and pursuing, graduation education. Courtney leads a research team comprised of undergraduate and graduate students. Through the research team, Courtney seeks to de-mystify research, shedding light on all aspects of the process and breaking down each step along the way.

Photo Credit: Photography by Damon Jay