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The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh recently received funding for two speaker grants and one research grant totaling more than $85,000 from the Tommy Thompson Center for Public Leadership at UW-Madison.

For 2021-22, the center sought to address three topics with its funding: preparing for public emergencies, reforming the administrative state and privacy in the digital world.

Speaker grants were awarded to Alicia Johnson, UWO Women’s Center director, for a women in cybersecurity speaker series; and James Krueger, associate professor and chair of the political science department, for an American Democracy Project spring policy lecture about criminal justice reform in the United States.

The cybersecurity series on Zoom launches in October to celebrate Cybersecurity Awareness Month. On Oct. 4, Theresa Payton, a former White House chief information officer, will speak from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on “From the Firing Lines to a Fireside Chat: Combatting Fraud and Cybercrime.”

On Oct. 25 from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m., Rachel Tobac, CEO of social/proof security for White Hat Hacker, will talk about “Exploiting Trust-The Human Element of Security.” Check out details about all Women’s Center events.

Economics faculty members Chad Cotti, Oshkosh Corp. endowed professor; and David Fuller, associate professor, were awarded the research grant to evaluate recent unemployment insurance reforms made in Wisconsin. The researchers will analyze the effects of these recent changes that may help lawmakers develop future policies.

“Unemployment benefits provide valuable insurance against the risk of job loss. As with any insurance scheme, however, these benefits create potential incentive problems that can lead to longer unemployment durations, fraud and abuse,” Fuller said.

In 2011 and 2013 Wisconsin passed laws aimed at reducing the unemployment duration of claimants, as well as reducing fraud and general abuse of the unemployment insurance system.

“Our project seeks to evaluate the impact of these changes on fraud and overpayments in the Wisconsin unemployment insurance system, as well as the changes to labor market outcomes, such as the unemployment duration,” Fuller explained.

The Thompson Center’s mission is to study, discuss and improve public leadership; generate well-research policy; strive to ensure a balance of political and ideological perspectives, address leadership and policy needs in Wisconsin; and enhance collegiality and bipartisanship in government.

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