The University of Wisconsin–Madison recognizes that you are a very important partner in your studentʼs success. The Parent and Family Program helps you stay connected to campus and serves as your ongoing resource throughout your studentʼs college career.

The Parent and Family Program launched in 2007 as part of an institutional priority to improve and centralize communications with parents and families of UW–Madison students. The program — which started with an informational website, hotline for phone calls, and dedicated email address — has now expanded to include the Badger Family e-newsletter, printed publications, organized campus events, virtual Q&As with campus experts, Chinese (中文) and Spanish (español) websites, and many other resources.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Parent and Family Program is to connect parents and families of UW–Madison students to the university so that they may support their studentʼs success.

Contact Us

Toll-free: 877-262-3977
Local: 608-262-3977
Email: parent@uwmad.wisc.edu
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Parent and Family Program Staff

Stephanie Benson-Gonzales


Stephanie leads the Parent and Family Program, serving as a bridge between family members and the university. She has a passion for connecting people to UW–Madison so that they feel informed, valued, and able to support their student’s success. Stephanie has worked in parent and family programs for ten years. She previously worked in marketing at the UW’s Center for Healthy Minds and taught in Seoul, South Korea.

Stephanie Benson-Gonzales (left), assistant director for Parent Relations and Communications and Monica Ruppert (right), parent and campus communications manager, are pictured at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Jan. 26, 2017. (Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)

Monica Ruppert

Events and Outreach Manager

Monica works in the Parent and Family Program, supporting family members as they help their students to become independent, well-rounded, and successful global citizens. As a 2015 graduate of UW–Madison who is incredibly grateful for her own family’s support, she loves giving back to current students and their families so that they can have a rewarding college experience and bright Badger future.

Goals for parents and families

Defining “Parent and Family”

For the purposes of this program, “parent and family” includes, but is not limited to, parents, stepparents, extended family members, chosen family members, foster parents, and legal guardians.

  • Parents and family members recognize their important role as mentors and coaches. They help their student progressively take on more responsibility for academics, out-of-classroom experiences, and all other aspects of their lives.
  • Parents and family members have an open dialogue with their student about ways to promote personal health and balance, including coping with stress, alcohol/drugs, nutrition, sleep, exercise, and relationships. They empower their student to identify problems, develop a plan, and work toward solutions independently.
  • Parents and family members understand that there are limitations regarding access to student information as outlined in the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
  • Parents and family members know about and take advantage of opportunities to engage with the campus and surrounding community.
  • Parents and family members generate goodwill for the university by helping spread the word about the resources and discoveries at UW–Madison, impacting both their student and society at large. They advocate for personal, state, and federal investments in higher education.

Reaching Out

The UW–Madison Parent and Family Program serves as your central contact for important and timely information. Just by your student deciding to attend UW–Madison, you are automatically a member of our program. Additional support members may contact us to check to see if they are a member or join the program. As a member of our program, you will be invited to participate in a number of campus events, as well as stay informed through the following communications and services: