Get to know Gretchen Ludwig, our new Associate Director

We’re thrilled to welcome Gretchen Ludwig to the Communication Leadership community as our new Associate Director!

In her role as Associate Director, Gretchen will be overseeing our teaching and learning experiences in the program. She will lead faculty development by supporting our 40-plus active instructors to create optimal learning environments. In addition, Gretchen will engage with Comm Lead students around their classroom experiences, and act as our point of contact for new class ideas, as well as feedback about experiences in the classrooms. Gretchen will set the vision for our curriculum and will engage with students, faculty, and alumni by way of our community events, social activities, and meetings.

We invite you to get to know Gretchen via the “Ask Me Anything” session recorded above. Or you can jump right into the middle with these clips:

What excites Gretchen about joining the Comm Lead community

On personal storytelling to get through this tough moment of human history

On education in a post-COVID world and her 2021 goals

A hello from Gretchen:

I’m THRILLED to be joining the Communication Leadership community. I have been bowled over by the positive energy and warm welcome I’ve received so far, and I look forward to meeting you in the weeks to come.

A little bit about me…

I began my work in curriculum design and advocacy in the non-profit media sector, back in the waning days of analog when miniDVs were all the rage and folks were beginning to gain access to their own editing technology. (I realize that dates me, but surely I have company. Beta decks? Anyone?) As the Education Director, I oversaw the shift in focus from access to equipment to access to media education, storytelling, and professional mentoring. There I cultivated a passion for creating learner-focused experiences, collaboration with working professionals, and developing community partnerships.

I continued designing experiential learning programs at UW, starting in 2007 for the Department of Sociology, and since 2013 for C21 (Center for 21st Century Liberal Learning.) As Manager of Learning Initiatives, I designed and led experiential training programs, intensives, and courses incorporating team projects, real-work simulation, and storytelling tools to help navigate the transition between student and professional practices. I’ve found that, whether in person or online, learning needs remain the same: students need opportunities to grow by engaging with relevant content, building positive relationships, and practicing emergent skills in context. These are the very things that have led me here, to Communication Leadership.

Of course, “here” is also my home, where I’m grateful to be able to live work and learn alongside three musicians, my partner Kirk (banjo) my 13 year-old Schuyler (fiddle and tenor sax) and my 12 year-old Theo (guitar and trombone.) Me, I love to listen. Most of all to podcasts! In my “off” hours you’ll usually find me with headphones on, deep into a story while working on a sourdough or digging around my vegetable garden.

Feel free to reach out at to schedule a virtual coffee, or connect with me on LinkedIn with a short message about yourself so we can start a conversation!