Center Leadership

Russell Coff

Faculty Director

Russ Coff

Russell Coff is the Thomas J. Falk Distinguished Chair in Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, serving as the Department Chair for Management and Human Resources and the Academic Director of the Bolz Center for Arts Administration.  His research explores the role of human assets in innovation, creativity, and, ultimately in competitive advantage. For example, in one study, he explored the role of team-level emotion in generating and selecting creative solutions to challenging problems. Here, he found that, while positive emotions help teams generate more alternatives, these same emotions may actually hurt their ability to select the most creative solution to the problem at hand.

Normally, his creativity is channeled through his research but he also recharges regularly by playing his guitar. He may be the least artistic member of his family but his wife (a writer, artist, and acupuncturist) and daughter (2020 graduate of the UW Theatre & Drama and Physics programs) help him paint with broader strokes.


Rebecca Buckman

Interim Co-Director

Rebecca Buckman

Rebecca Buckman has served as the Assistant Director for the Bolz Center for Arts Administration since 2005. For over 15 years, Rebecca has provided the administrative and operational support for the center, and in recent years managed all facets of student services and alumni engagement, MBA admissions, budget and financial management, applied learning and conference administration, and advisory board management. In 2018, Rebecca produced the Bolz Center Collegium, which celebrated 50 years of the graduate program in Arts Administration, and 25 years of the endowment of the center.

Alongside the Bolz Center faculty and center directors, Rebecca helped to bring the vision of a new one-year Master of Arts-Business: Arts and Creative Enterprise Leadership program for launch in December 2019. A lifelong participant in and supporter of the arts, Rebecca combines this love with her passion for working in higher education.

In 2020, Rebecca was recognized by the Wisconsin School of Business for her dedication and superior service to the school through the Wisconsin Naming Gift Distinguished Service Award. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2000, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work, and minor in Psychology. 


Sarah Marty

Interim Co-Director | Introduction to Arts Entrepreneurship Class Instructor | Arts Administration Seminar Class Instructor

Sarah Marty

Sarah Marty brings extensive experience in artistic collaboration and administrative leadership, a passion for sharing the arts with broader audiences, 15+ years as an educator in the UW System, and a strong background in working collaboratively with stakeholders at multiple organizations on a wide variety of projects to the Bolz Center team.

Producing Artistic Director of Four Seasons Theatre, she helps bring musical theatre to venues across Madison and mentors students through their Backstage Arts program. Additional credits range from showcasing Professor Mike Leckrone and the Badger Band at the UW Varsity Band Show and welcoming His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Overture Center to serving on board for the Overture Center.

A member of UW Teaching Academy, Marty is a recipient of the First Wave Faculty Mentor Award and Bartell Award for Excellence in the Arts. She’s a lifelong Badger with a Bachelor of Music Education, an MS in Curriculum & Instruction, and MA in Arts Administration.


John Surdyk

Interim Co-Director | Entrepreneurship in Arts & Cultural Organizations Class Instructor | Impact Consulting Class Co-Instructor

John Surdyk

John Surdyk is the Director of the Initiative for Studies in Transformational Entrepreneurship that encourages entrepreneurship research, curriculum development, and programming at UW-Madison. He leads the StartUp Learning Community, and he supports several competitions that foster creativity, social innovation, and entrepreneurial action, including the Arts Business Competition, the 100 Hour Challenge, and the Clinton Foundation Global Initiative.

Prior to INSITE, Surdyk co-founded Re-Envision Consulting, a firm working with arts and environmental organizations pursuing innovative earned-income strategies. Earlier in his career, Surdyk worked with the consulting arm of the Stanford Research Institute as well as Navigant Consulting.

Surdyk received the Mabel W. Chipman Award for Teaching Excellence in 2017, and he was selected as a Schmidt Futures entrepreneurial fellow in 2019. He currently serves as the Treasurer of the board of the Overture Center, Wisconsin’s largest nonprofit arts organization. He did his undergraduate work at Stanford and earned an M.B.A. at the Wisconsin School of Business.

Affiliated Faculty/Staff

The Bolz Center partners with professionals and practitioners to teach and provide curricula in the MBA program and newly launched MA Program.

Angela Richardson

Wisconsin School of Business Artist in Residence | Impact Consulting Class Co-Instructor

Angela Richardson

Angela Richardson, MFA, is a performer, visual artist, and educator. In addition to maintaining her own interdisciplinary studio practice, she works for the Wisconsin School of Business to help students and faculty understand the relationship of creative thinking to innovation in business. Richardson coordinates arts-based learning activities for the School as part of the Arts Business Initiative—providing curricular consult, hands-on instructional delivery, and student advising. For the WSB Learning Commons renovation project, she led ‘artful engagement’ design efforts to curate the space.

As a teaching artist, she’s led classes at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, Center for Healthy Minds, Madison Children’s Museum, Madison Public Library, and many other community organizations. Richardson holds a split appointment on campus and also works as a program manager at the Division of the Arts. She was selected as a ’20-’21 Morgridge Fellow to take part in a community-engaged scholarship (CES) cohort with UW’s Morgridge Center for Public Service.


Mary Beth Collins

Nonprofit Board Leadership Class Instructor

Mary Beth Collins

Mary Beth Collins, JD, has experience as a teacher, attorney, and nonprofit professional. She has always been passionate about the strength and well-being of communities, families, and mission-based enterprises. Collins is the Executive Director for the Center for Community and Nonprofit Studies – The CommNS – in the School of Human Ecology. She is also a member of the advisory team that facilitates the Applied Master's program at SoHE and is the instructor of record for a series of one-credit courses that meet the degree’s Professional Skills requirement. These courses deliver community wisdom and student opportunities to apply skills to their area of substantive study and interest.


Amy Hilgendorf

Nonprofit Board Leadership Class Instructor

Amy Hilgendorf

Amy Hilgendorf, PhD, is a community-based researcher and evaluator who works with community partners to answer research questions important to them and that will help create positive social change. She leads the “Co- Create” initiative at the CommNS, which uses various social science methods and best practices to engage partners in addressing their organizational and mission-based needs, often making research meaningful and actionable to our community partners. Through her work at the CommNS she also helps to support other scholars at UW-Madison and beyond who care about community-based and action research. Amy also completed a PhD in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011.


A Tribute to Sherry Wagner-Henry

Sherry Wagner-Henry | Director, Bolz Center for Arts Administration and Campus Arts and Business Initiatives at University of Wisconsin-Madison from 2012-2020

Sherry Henry-Wagner

On May 30, the Bolz Center lost its fiercest champion and forever greatest ally in director Sherry Wagner-Henry. Sherry joined the Center in 2012, and quickly built on the work of previous directors Andrew Taylor, and Al Prieve. Always one to innovate, she loved to try new ways to engage the students so that they would become successful and impactful leaders, whether directly in, or aside of the arts. She developed and delivered a nonprofit board leadership class, incorporated a yearlong impact consulting course, opened the board to professionals who did not graduate from the Bolz program to enhance the learning and include perspectives on a wider scale, and established a Wisconsin School of Business Artist-in-Residency program. The list could go on and on.

Most recently, Sherry spearheaded and launched a new one year Master of Arts-Business: Arts and Creative Enterprise Leadership degree to provide arts-based business curriculum access to creative professionals to fuse their arts training with business and social enterprise curriculum, and to provide access to business professionals who seek arts-based coursework and social sector leadership perspectives on business development. Her spirit will shine on as the inaugural class begins this fall 2020.

From a research perspective, Sherry was passionate about the topic of community and creative placemaking, and infused its concepts into her classes and applied learning delivery, including the Arts Business Research Symposium which she launched in 2014. Her attention also extended beyond the borders of the Bolz Center, and she worked tirelessly with the UW Division of the Arts, Association of Arts Administration Educators (AAAE), Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru), and United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT). It is through this work that she was able to create connections and collaborate with - and for - those in her fields. Named the 2020 Joyce J. and Gerald A. Bartell Award in the Arts recipient by the UW Division of the Arts, this was just one of the many recognitions and accolades that grace her CV.

Applied Learning Partners

Directed arts management practice sets the Bolz Center program apart from the rest of the field. Students are matched with a local arts and cultural organization to gain professional work and networking experience, which further serves as a competitive advantage when seeking a full-time position upon graduation. These organizations and host staff are vital and engaged partners with the Bolz Center. They help us to inform the work that we do in the classroom and applied learning activities.

Current and recent Applied Learning Partners include:

Academic Policy Committee

The following faculty members provide academic and curricular oversight for the Bolz Center.

  • Prof. Charlie Trevor, Department Chair, Management and Human Resources
    Pyle - Bascom Professor in Business Leadership
  • Prof. Russell Coff, Management and Human Resources
    Thomas J. Falk Distinguished Chair in Business
  • Associate Prof. Joann Peck, Marketing
    Irwin Maier Professor of Busines
  • Prof. Page Moreau, John R. Nevin Chair in Marketing