Coming to UWCC at a Fulbright visiting researcher was one of the best experiences of my life. Being there helped me finish my PhD, get a deep understanding of the cooperative sector and meet great people along the way.
This truly is a special place, where good people do amazing work.
Jernej Stromajer, Ljubljana, Slovenia
What UWCC brings that no one else has is its focus on agriculture and consumer cooperatives. UWCC is the only university-based center in the U.S. that studies and supports all forms of cooperative business and it has developed a strong reputation for its programming amongst state, national, and international stakeholders that is worth preserving. The competitive funding that it receives is a testament of the UWCC embodying an entrepreneurial spirit that a modern university is encouraging and nurturing.
Dr. Michael Boland, Professor, Applied Economics, University of Minnesota
I was director of University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives from June 1990 to January 2003. It truly was an enjoyable and rewarding experience. During my first five years the Center offered international cooperative education, a thirteen week program for international students supported by USAID. This was a valuable experience for me getting to know these students and sharing with them how the cooperatives could best address their economic needs. I also was involved in director training, employee education, board evaluations, assisting cooperatives in strategic planning, revising bylaws, considering mergers and offering workshops and conferences. Through these activities I got to know cooperative leaders, gain a further understanding of the potential of cooperatives in addressing economic needs but also the challenges facing cooperatives.
Dr. Bob Cropp, former Executive Director, UW Center for Cooperatives
My first involvement with UWCC was in the early 1970s when I was a graduate student in sociology. I had just come back from the Peace Corps in Senegal and was intent on learning as much about cooperatives as I could. Mary Jean McGrath took me under her wing and helped me find readings, courses and faculty to help me on my way. With the help of Mary Jean and others affiliated with the Center, I completed my dissertation on farming cooperatives in Zambia in 1977.
My close working relationship with UWCC did not end there. Rod Nilsestuen, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Federation Cooperatives, I, as WFC’s Director of Cooperative Development, UWCC staff and affiliates, and others organized Cooperative Development Services in 1985. In the 28 years I worked for CDS as an employee and consultants, the Center was a close partner. I continue to value UWCC staff as a friends and collaborators.
E.G. Nadeau, Co-Director, The Cooperative Society