Heidi Normandin works on the La Follette School’s outreach and public service activities to give life to the Wisconsin Idea – the century-long tradition that inspires us to share the university’s knowledge with citizens and policymakers across the state. She spends most of her time on two efforts. The first, the Wisconsin Family Impact Seminars, has been sharing high-quality, objective research with state legislators since 1993. The seminars respond to legislators’ information needs by bringing in state and national experts on a wide range of interesting topics such as youth workforce development, early brain development, prisoner reentry, and prescription drug costs. The second is Committee Connect, a new outreach effort that connects legislative committee chairs and vice chairs with UW-Madison researchers. Committee Connect aims to provide an easy, single point of contact for legislators and their staff to access the vast expertise on our campus and inform their decision-making. Both efforts use a nonpartisan approach, which legislators tell us is a “breath of fresh air” in the advocacy-oriented environment at the state capitol.
Prior to this position, Normandin worked for the UW-Madison School of Human Ecology as an outreach specialist working on the Family Impact Seminars and Committee Connect. Earlier she worked on state relations, communications, and governance with the Denver-based Education Commission of the States. She also has worked at the FAST National Training and Evaluation Center, UW-Madison Center for Health Policy and Program Evaluation, and Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau. She is a proud 1998 La Follette School alumna with a Master’s degree in Public Affairs and Public Policy Analysis. Normandin spends her free time in nature as much as possible. She also leads a book club, figure skates, and gives belly rubs to her Boston Terrier.