University of Wisconsin–Madison

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Leslie Orrantia

Leslie Orrantia

Director of Community Relations
92 Bascom Hall

Leslie Orrantia has served as director of Community Relations since August 2016. Previously, Orrantia was an assistant director for the Wisconsin Collaborative Education Research Network within the UW School of Education. Prior to her work at the university, she served as a caseworker in Madison for nearly five years. Orrantia earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and psychology from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. She serves on behalf of Chancellor Blank as the primary point-of-contact with county, city, and community entities and facilitates meaningful collaborations between campus and community, with a focus on growing institutional access and community-engaged scholarship.

Merry Farrier-Babanovski

Coordinator, UW South Madison Partnership
2312 S. Park St.

Merry Farrier-Babanovski is a graduate student in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at UW–Madison. She completed her bachelor’s degree in justice studies at Arizona State University. Her background in youth education programs and community engagement continue to inform both her studies and work as the UW South Madison Partnership Coordinator. 

Cassie Pearson

Office Assistant, Office of Community Relations
96 Bascom Hall

Cassie Pearson is an undergraduate student at UW-Madison’s School of Business currently pursuing a double major in Marketing and International Business.  Her interests in promoting diversity and fostering engagement between UW and the community air her in her role as Leslie’s office assistant.  She is the point of contact for any scheduling, administrative, or logistical support.

Emmett Sexton

Assistant Coordinator, UW South Madison Partnership
2312 S. Park St.

Emmett Sexton originally comes from St. Paul, Minnesota but holds his Wisconsin family ties close.  He is currently studying Sociology and Economics in hope of getting involved in public policy.  A passion for civic engagement and equal educational opportunity drives his work at the UW South Madison Partnership.