José J. Madera
Position title: Assistant Dean & Assistant Director for STEM Initiatives
For more than twenty years, José has served in different capacities as an Assistant Dean with the Student Academic Affairs division of the College of Letters and Science. He is currently serving as the CAE Assistant Director for L&S STEM Initiatives – including L&S STEM Scholars and LASER-, an initiative that aims to expand historically underrepresented student participation and graduation in the STEM majors within the College of Letters & Science. Prior to that, he served as the Assistant Director of the Academic Advancement Program, a campus-wide academic support program deeply committed to the retention of all students and enrichment of their academic experience at UW-Madison. José continues to provide direct services to students as an academic advisor while also making discretionary decisions regarding the interpretation and implementation of L&S academic and curriculum policies. Previously, he held leadership positions with the Dean of Students Office and the Graduate School. José holds a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico-Cayey, an M.S. in Water Resources Management (Water Chemistry) from UW-Madison, where he also pursued doctoral studies (ABD) in Soil Science. He continues carrying out his commitment to provide a safe, healthy, and amiable environment to all students while professionally addressing their concerns and needs.
Born and raised in Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico, José developed his musical abilities while performing with groups specializing in Afro-Caribbean rhythms in a variety of cultural and classical events throughout the island. José’s preferred hobby is listening to salsa, Latin jazz and world music, playing percussion, and collaborating with local and international musicians. Most notably, José’s a founding member of BENTETÚ, Trova Viva, El Maderazo, and MadiSalsa, a Madison Favorites Latin Band for many years since 1992.