Leadership Staff

Gwat-Yong Liesm

Gwat –Yong Lie, PhD

Principal Investigator
(414) 229-4080

Gwat-Yong Lie (PhD University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1984) is Associate Professor of Social Work and Associate Dean for the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In addition to her administrative duties, she is working on a research and program evaluation project for chronically homeless adults. The project aims to increase placements in permanent housing, support recovery through comprehensive treatment and recovery services for behavioral health, and expand enrollment in Medicaid and other mainstream benefit programs. This three year project is managed by Outreach Community Health Centers, Inc. (formerly known as Health Care for the Homeless of Milwaukee) and is funded by a grant from SAMHSA/CSAT. Gwat has been Principal Investigator for MCWP since its inception in 2001.

Julie_BrownJulie R. Brown, MA

Director, MCWP
(414) 964-7412

Julie R. Brown became the Director of MCWP in 2005. She holds Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in Communication and has completed PhD coursework in Communication. Julie has over 25 years experience in adult instruction, curriculum design, organizational development and management in academic, private industry, and social service settings. She has designed, delivered and administered instructional programs covering a wide range of academic, skill-based and technical content using a variety of instructional modalities. Prior to assuming her current position, Julie held two director-level positions at Lutheran Social Services of WI and Upper MI, created a private consulting business specializing in organizational leadership development in private industry and taught courses in Communication at Hope College, the University of California-Davis; Sacramento State University, the University of Utah and the University of California-Santa Barbara.

Curriculum & Instruction Staff

johanna_smJohanna Barkei, MSW, APSW

Clinical Assistant Professor
(414) 964-1328

Johanna Barkei joined the Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Program as a faculty based field instructor in October 2014.  Johanna also fulfills the role of Clinical Supervision Manager for the Milwaukee Child Welfare Partnership, providing training and support in supervision for the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare.  Johanna’s previous experience includes direct practice and supervision in child welfare at the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare.  Johanna has a particular interest in trauma based assessment and interventions with children and families and has participated in training through Dr. Bruce Perry’s Child Trauma Academy.  Johanna has a bachelor’s degree in Social Work, Sociology, and a certificate in Criminal Justice.  She also participated in the UW-Madison IV-E Child Welfare Training Program for her MSW.

Kluesner_MikeMike Kluesner, MS, CSW

Curriculum and Instruction Manager
(414) 964-7410

Mike Kluesner joined the MCWP team 2009. Mike holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and a Master of Science in Education-School Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He is also a Certified Social Worker who began his professional career as a social worker at Wyalusing Academy Residential Treatment Center in Prarie du Chien, Wisconsin. Mike served in this capacity for ten years until he was promoted to Assistant Director of Clinical Services. He then moved to Milwaukee where he designed and opened the Milwaukee Academy Residential Treatment Center for Girls. Mike served as Executive Director of the Academy until 2005 when assumed a position as Ongoing Supervisor with Children’s Family and Community Partnerships. He has been a member of several statewide committees and has been a guest lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Richland Center and the Southwest Technical School.

martaMarta L. Magnuson, PhD

Senior Instructional Development Specialist
(414) 964-7318

Marta Magnuson joined the MCWP team in 2013. She is responsible for planning and overseeing the implementation of ongoing quality improvement plans in the key areas of instructional technology, curriculum development, and program planning. Marta received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and her Master of Library and Information Science and PhD in Urban Education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has over 10 years experience working in higher education as an instructor, librarian, researcher, and tutor.  Her areas of expertise include educational technology, information literacy and instructional design.

 Erin_NasgovitzErin Nasgovitz, MSW, CSW

Curriculum and Instruction Manager
(414) 964-7408

Erin Nasgovitz joined the MCWP team in 2011. She received her Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire and her Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was a graduate of the IV-E Child Welfare Training Program. Erin is a Certified Social Worker who began her career in child protective services as an Ongoing Case Manager for the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare. She has worked in the field for approximately 12 years and has experience working as a Family Advocate, Therapy Co-Facilitator, Ongoing Supervisor, and Training Team Supervisor.

Patricia_Parker_Patricia Parker, CSW

Curriculum and Instruction Manager
(414) 964-7407

Patricia Parker has been a part of the MCWP team since 2005. She is a Certified Social Worker who received her Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a graduate certificate in Community Mental Health from the Trinity College of Vermont. She has over thirty years of experience working in the field of human services. Pat has provided in-home family therapy in both North Carolina and Wisconsin. She has also worked in both public and private agencies and provided consultation, training assistance and training services in 30 states across the country. Pat has been conducting workshops and seminars since 1986 and is a popular keynote presenter. The topics she presents and consults on include: strengths-based culturally competent social work practice, reducing racial disproportionality; disparities in child welfare and juvenile justice; family-centered case management; supervision; family and community development; diversity and spirituality in family-centered practice; foster care recruitment and retention; foster and pre-adoption parent preparation; quality assurance in social work practice; and AODA issues in families. Pat also serves as volunteer Chaplin at the Robert E. Ellsworth Women’s Correctional Facility in Racine, Wisconsin.

dionsm2Dion Racks, MSW, CAPSW

Curriculum and Instruction Manager
(414) 964-7304

Dion Racks joined the MCWP team in 2013. She received her Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and her Master of Science in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago, with an area of interest in mental health. Dion is a Certified Advance Practice Social Worker who began her career in child protective services as an Ongoing Case Manager with the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare. She has over twelve years of experience working with the BMCW as a case manager, Training Team Supervisor and Initial Assessment Supervisor.  Dion has had the opportunity to work in the area of mental health as a Psychotherapy intern and an Intern AODA Counselor.

suzie_smSuzy Rodriguez, MSW, LCSW

Home Visiting National Model Coordinator
(414) 964-7320

Suzy Rodriguez joined the MCWP team in 2014. She received both her Bachelor of Science and Master of Social Work degrees from the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In 1993, she became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has worked as a therapist in both residential treatment and outpatient settings. She has been a project director for several federal grants, and has directed state level programming focusing on home visiting and family engagement. In 2006, she became Executive Director of Parents Plus, Wisconsin’s federally funded Parental Information and Resource Center. Since 2011, she has been the state leader for Parents as Teachers, an evidence-based home visiting model. Suzy is responsible for providing guidance to programs statewide in implementing national models with fidelity.


Marla Seay, MS, CSW

Foster, Adoptive and Relative Training Manager

Foster & Adoption Parent Program

(414) 964-7306

Marla Seay joined the MCWP team in 2014.  She is the Foster, Adoptive and Relative Training Manager for the Foster and Adoptive Parent training program.  In this role, she manages the development, delivery and quality assurance of training for relative, foster and adoptive parents.  Marla holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Science in Guidance and Counseling from Tennessee State University.  She is also a Certified Social Worker with the State of Wisconsin.  Marla began her professional career as a Wrap Around Case Manager then became a School Based Counselor and Family Services Case Manager in Nashville, TN.  In 1998, Marla moved back home to Milwaukee and continued her professional work through being a MPS Special Education teacher, then with Innovative Family Partnerships as an Ongoing Supervisor. In addition, Marla has been a Safety Services Supervisor with LaCausa and a Training Team Classroom Supervisor with Children's Hospital of WI Community Services.  Marla has facilitated groups for teens and adults on topics such as social skills, decision making, and independent living.  She is a certified Healthy Relationships instructor among various group facilitation curricula.  She has over 18 years of mental health related and family-centered practice experience. 


Staci Sontoski

Home Visiting Professional Development Manager

(414) 964-7399

Staci has been in the Child Abuse Prevention/ Family Support field for 20+ years. Her direct service work has included home visitation and case management on an intensive basis for families with young children screened out of Child Protective Services and development and facilitation of different parenting programs with families of diverse populations. She has many years of experience with the program development/management of prevention programs including home visiting programs, a family resource center, a children’s shelter/respite program, and other early childhood family support programs. She currently works to support programs through professional development and technical assistance as the Family Support Professional Development Manager for MIECHV and other home visiting programs statewide through the MCWP.

Administrative Staff

Joseph_FranklinJoseph Franklin

Foster Parent Registration Assistant
(414) 964-7397

Joe Franklin joined the MCWP team in January of 2011.  He is currently the Foster Parent Training Program Registrar, responsible for foster parent training coordination including registrations, materials, and trainer assistance.  Joe also oversees and provides childcare for foster parents attending training.  Joe received his Associate's degree from Marquette University and hopes to complete his Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education soon.   He has approximately 10 years experience working with children ages 6-18 in a variety of settings.

Danielle_HayesDanielle D. Hayes, MBA

Business Manager

Danielle Hayes joined the MCWP in 2012.  She received both her Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Master in Business Administration from Lakeland College.  Danielle has over 10 years financial management experience with companies such as Marquette University and The Medical College of Wisconsin before joining the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2009 in the Office of Sponsored Programs. She is responsible for budgeting, payment of trainers, invoices, calendar planning, PDS Online training and general office management.

 lynn7retiuch_cropLynn Matzke, BFA

Registration Coordinator


Lynn Matzke joined the MCWP team in February of 2014. As the registration coordinator, she is responsible for the registrations, materials, and trainer assistance in the New Staff Academy and Continuing Education programs. Lynn received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art Education from UW-Oshkosh. She spent two years with AmeriCorps in an at-risk high school recruiting students for community service and providing faculty support.

gloGloria E Rathkamp

Financial Specialist
(414) 964-7409

Gloria Rathkamp joined MCWP in 2013. She assists with payment of trainers, invoices, ordering, travel and other office support as needed. Gloria has over 20 years of experience in management and as a supervisor in the financial industry. Prior to joining us she worked as a license office manager for an insurance company for over 12 years. She also worked for a local bank as the teller supervisor for a over 9 years.

susie_smSusie Wirka

Home Visiting Registration Coordinator
(414) 964-7360

Susan Wirka (“Susie”) joined the MCWP in October 2014.  As the Home Visiting Registration Coordinator, she is responsible for registrations, materials and trainer support for all trainings in the Home Visiting program . She has over 10 years of experience teaching in Women’s Studies and History at both UWM and UW-Madison.  She has also worked for the State Historical Society where she facilitated a long-term research project on the architectural history of Wisconsin.  She holds advanced degrees in Urban Planning (UCLA) and Women’s History (UW-Madison) where she studied the role of public health nurses in early home visiting programs within the tenement districts of turn-of-the-century New York City.