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The Racquet Press

The student news source of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

The Racquet Press

The student news source of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

The Racquet Press

Humans of UWL: Jenasea Hameister

Trinity Rietmann
Jenasea Hameister. Photo taken by Trinity Rietmann.

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse held their Spring Commencement Ceremony on May 12, 2024. Of those who graduated was Jenasea Hameister (she/her), a former employee of The Racquet Press. Hameister began as a General Assignment Reporter and then became the Managing Editor this past year.

Her articles at The Racquet Press largely focused on local, state and national politics and policies. Hence, Hameister graduated from the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CASSH) with a degree in public administration and a minor in legal studies. 

Hameister has held a plethora of positions, both within and outside UWL, during her time in her undergraduate studies. 

In her first year at UWL, she ran for the President of Student Association in which she ultimately lost. But, became appointed as a CASSH Senator. This role solidified the feelings she always had, she said, “I feel like I’ve always kind of had a passion in advocating for people and representing people in a way that they want to be represented.”

During her second year, Hameister was invited to speak at a Clean Energy press conference by Governor Ever’s staff team. “I felt really honored to speak at that event; however, I felt a little bit of imposter syndrome.” 

At that event, Hameister was able to network with several local, state and national politicians that she would later work with and for. 

She served as a legislative intern in the United States House of Representatives under former Congressman Ron Kind. Hameister also served as a legal runner at Hale Skemp Law Firm in La Crosse and as an Environmental and Climate Justice Analyst Intern for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. 

Currently, Hameister serves as the District Five La Crosse City Council Member. She was originally appointed to this position in September of 2022 and was then re-elected in April 2023. As an Alderwoman for the City of La Crosse, Hameister serves on the Public Board of Works Committee and sits on a City Planning Commission.

At UWL, Hameister was a lead in the Fostering Success Program in which she collaborated with the directors of the UWL Financial Aid Office to formulate and build a program for foster care, orphanage and guardianship students to provide support and resources needed to successfully complete an undergraduate education. After getting Fostering Success for Independent Scholars fully funded, Hameister began a role as an Undergraduate Intern in Student Support Services to mentor first-generation students. 

After UWL, Hameister will be attending the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for a Master’s in environmental conservation. She will specialize in climate justice as well as equity and climate adaptation. 

As well as attending Graduate School, Hameister will continue her current role, which she began in January of 2024, as the Climate and Clean Energy Initiatives Coordinator with the Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy in the State of Wisconsin. 

During her time at UWL, Hameister was recognized by CASSH with a Recognition of Excellence in the UWL Political Science & Public Administration Department. But Hameister was not always certain of her path forward. When she started at UWL, she was majoring in Biology with a biomedical concentration. She then switched her major to English with a rhetoric and writing emphasis before switching to her current degree of public administration in her second year. 

She said, “I switched my major after Ruth Bader Ginsburg died because I had always been way more passionate in government and politics” 

When talking about her final switch in majors, Hameister said, “I recognized that there was change that needed to happen and still needs to happen within our political environment and government institutions”

Hameister’s passion for politics and public administration can be seen in not only her academics but in almost every position she has held in the last four years. Her passion for public administration and the environment will continue into Graduate School where she will further her knowledge, skills and experience. 

Although Hameister has found her passion and had many successes at UWL, she said, “My freshman and sophomore year it was difficult for me because I was still trying to figure out where I fit in the puzzle of college and UWL.” She continued, “College has just been a ride for me, a rollercoaster.”

College is a time to find yourself and figure out what you are truly passionate about; Hameister has certainly done that. 

Hameister offered a piece of advice to future and current students, in which she said, “If you come to college and you know that you don’t want to be a part of that stereotypical college culture, that’s totally fine and there are other ways to find your people”

Read all of Hameister’s work at The Racquet Press here. 

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About the Contributors
Sophie Miller
Sophie Miller, Social Justice Reporter
  • Year at UWL: Senior
  • PGPs: She/Her/Hers
  • Hometown: Prairie du Chien, WI
  • Major: Dual Major in Political Science & Communication Studies with a Public Communication and Advocacy Emphasis
  • Minor: Social Justice Minor
  • Other Campus Involvement: Intern in the Financial Aid Office
  • Future Plans after Graduation: Attend Graduate School
  • Favorite activity in La Crosse: Going to Pettibone Beach
Trinity Rietmann
Trinity Rietmann, Photojournalist
  • Year at UWL: Junior
  • PGPs: she/her/hers
  • Hometown: Baraboo
  • Major: Art Education
  • Minor: Photography and Recreation Management
  • Other Campus Involvement: Women's Rugby Team
  • Future Plans after Graduation: Become an art teacher
  • Favorite activity in La Crosse: Hiking at the Bluffs
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