OCEM Staff


Leah Gutknecht

Leah Gutknecht 

Assistant to the President for Compliance and Equity Management & Title IX Officer

Phone: 319-273-2846

Email: leah.gutknecht@uni.edu

Leah initially joined the OCEM as an Associate Director and was later promoted to the position of Assistant to the President for Compliance and Equity Management and Title IX Officer. She oversees overall office operations, the functions of equal opportunity and affirmative action, and compliance with Title VII, Title IX, and ADA. Leah holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Design and the Human Environment and a Master of Business Administration Degree, both from the University of Northern Iowa. 

Previous roles she has held help bring valuable experience to OCEM in workplace management, human resources, and compliance. Her years of leadership in OCEM is evidenced by implementing best practices, facilitating prevention and education efforts, profoundly understanding the community the office serves, and exhibiting innovative and proactive strategies to continually improve services. Leah is strongly committed to maintaining equity across campus and is passionate about promoting a culture of respect within the University. To this end, Leah maintains numerous certifications as an Affirmative Action Professional, Civil Rights Investigator, Mediator, and Title IX Coordinator, Hearing Officer, and Investigator. Leah is engaged at the national level with her status as an Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA) Advisory Board Member, speaker, and trainer.


Kaylee MichelsonKaylee Michelson

Assistant Director

Phone: 319-273-2846

Email: kaylee.michelson@uni.edu

Kaylee serves as the OCEM's Assistant Director. Within her role she conducts intakes, investigates reports and formal complaints of discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct, informs parties of resources and options, constructs investigation reports, and assists in training and prevention programs. Kaylee obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Family Services, in addition to Business, Psychology, and Gerontology minors from the University of Northern Iowa. 

Prior to joining OCEM, Kaylee served as a Campus Coordinator/Sexual Assault Advocate with the Riverview Center. This position allowed her to become familiar with UNI’s complaint and investigation process, which motivated her to take on her current position that provides a more broad and neutral perspective on issues pertaining to discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct. Her previous experience included, helping individuals navigate criminal cases and Title IX complaints, assisting with evidence collection and preservation, working with diverse populations in the community, providing support and resources to individuals, and engaging in education and prevention efforts. These prior experiences help inform her efforts in investigations, triage, and training and prevention efforts. Kaylee maintains certifications as a Title IX Investigator and Title IX Decision Maker. She is committed to communicating effectively to ensure all individuals involved in investigations receive a fair process and are equally informed on the options, services, and support available.


Brenda HeadshotBrenda White

Equity Investigator

Phone: 319-273-2846

Email: brenda.white@uni.edu

Brenda serves as an Equity Investigator. She conducts intakes, investigates formal complaints of discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct, informs parties of resources and options, compiles investigation reports, and assists in prevention efforts. She received Bachelor's Degrees in Art Education and Art Therapy from the University of Wisconsin-Superior and a Master of Educational Leadership Degree from the University of North Dakota.

Before joining OCEM, Brenda served as the Director of Residence Life at another university where she also served as an investigator on their Title IX team. Brenda has held a variety of positions in higher education where she gained valuable experience in Title IX processes, Clery requirements, case management, intervention facilitation, program implementation, and conducting administrative hearings. Brenda is trained as a Title IX Investigator and Title IX Appeal Officer. She continues to participate in active, ongoing training pertaining to her role in order to ensure and elevate the quality of her work.


Madison Headshot Madison Kuester

 Equity Specialist

 Phone: 319-273-2846

 Email: madison.kuester@uni.edu

Madison is our Equity Specialist and serves as our case manager. She reviews incoming reports and informs parties about resources, resolution options, and supportive measures. Madison also oversees our affirmative action efforts and equal opportunity compliance at UNI, facilitates Title IX hearings and pre-hearing processes, general office operations, and assists with prevention efforts. 

Madison received her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with a minor in English from Iowa State University and is currently pursuing a Master of Jurisprudence in Compliance and Risk Management at Drake University Law School. Prior employment in a law firm allowed Madison to gain experience in case management, preparation of legal documents and correspondence, administrative organization, and customer relations. Madison is dedicated to ensuring equitable and fair processes for all, helping parties by providing information on options and resources, and maintaining effective and efficient case management in order to enhance the quality of services provided by OCEM. She holds certification as a Title IX Hearing Chair and participates in active, ongoing training through the University and other professional organizations in order to be continuously informed on ways to improve OCEM operations and services.