Core Team

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Charles Konsitzke
Team Lead

Mr. Charles Konsitzke is the Associate Director of the UW Biotechnology Center and the Team Lead for the UW MIA RIP. Charles has been employed at the University of Wisconsin – Madison for 18 years. He has facilitated over $100M in research and administrative operation costs over his career at UW-Madison, and is exceptional at strategizing and developing all levels of research and non-research activities.
His family and extended family have served over 300 years within the military and participated in over a dozen conflicts from the Korean War through current conflicts.
He founded the UW Missing in Action Recovery and Identification Project in 2015 after assisting with the identification efforts for Private First Class Lawrence S. Gordon in 2014. Mr. Konsitzke led the team in the successful recovery efforts of 1st Lieutenant Frank Fazekas near Buysscheure, France in summers 2016 and 2017, 2nd Lieutenant Walter B. Stone near Quercamps, France in summer 2018, as well as the team’s most recent American MIA service member attempted remains recovery mission in Western Europe in summer 2019, the efforts of which are ongoing.

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Christopher A. Bradfield, PhD
Biological Principal Investigator

Dr. Chris Bradfield is a Professor in the Department of Oncology,  and Director of the UW Biotechnology Center.  Dr. Bradfield’s involvement with the UW MIA project is focused on the development of field identification analysis to improve accuracy and reliability, as well as to reduce site effort so that an increased number of projects can be completed.  In his other research, Bradfield leads a transdisciplinary team of population health scientists, geneticists, molecular biologists, and clinician scientists to study the role of Per-Arnt-Sim (PAS) sensors in environmentally-influenced diseases such as cancer and obesity.  Their overarching goals are to increase understanding of PAS family signaling pathways and to develop interventions and therapeutic strategies to improve human and environmental health.
Dr. Bradfield traveled with the team in summer 2019 to assist with an attempted remains recovery mission in Western Europe, the efforts of which are ongoing.

Gregg Jamison

Gregg Jamison, PhD
Field Principal Investigator

Dr. Gregg Jamison is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Waukesha.  He received his PhD from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Dr. Jamison is an archaeologist with broad interests including the origins of cities and states, prehistoric technology and craft production, and experimental and ethnoarchaeology.  His primary research focuses on the Indus or Harappan Civilization (2600-1900 BCE) of ancient Pakistan an India, one of the world’s earliest and most unique urban societies.  Dr. Jamison is the author of multiple peer-reviewed research articles and co-editor of two recently published edited volumes on ancient administrative technologies and current south Asian archaeological research.  He has conducted fieldwork in India, Pakistan, Oman, France, and throughout the midwestern United States, especially Wisconsin.
Dr. Jamison joined the team in summer 2018 and traveled to the vicinity of Quercamps and La Wattine, France to assist with the successful recovery of the remains of 2nd Lieutenant Walter B. Stone, and again in summer 2019 to another location in Western Europe on an attempted remains recovery mission, the efforts of which are ongoing.

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Vaneesa Cook, PhD
MIA Historian

Dr. Vaneesa Cook received her PhD in US history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2015, and has taught a variety of history courses at UW-Whitewater, Queen’s University (Ontario), and UW-Madison.  In Spring 2020, she taught HIS 428, the Military Experience, at UW-Madison. She is teaching Missing in Action Historical Research in Spring 2022.  Her research and writing interests include political history, religious history, diplomatic history, foreign policy, and military history.  She is involved in public relations and helps oversee the historical and archival research volunteer staff for the UW MIA-RIP. During the pandemic, Vaneesa also conceptualized and implemented the team’s “Soldiers on Screen” film webinar series.

Mae Hurtado-Thiele
Student Lead Researcher

Ms. Mae Hurtado-Thiele is the Historical Student Lead Researcher for the Project. Working closely with Dr. Cook, she primarily assists with the student volunteers as they research their cases. Ms. Hurtado-Thiele is currently a senior in studying Genetics and Genomics, with certificates in French and Leadership. Additionally, she conducts biochemistry research in the Simcox Lab in the Biochemistry Department; her project focuses on acylcarnitines and their role in insulin signaling and thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue. She joined UW MIA RIP in Fall of 2020 as a volunteer, inspired by the Project’s mission and interdisciplinary approach to repatriate our missing soldiers. Ms. Hurtado-Thiele joined the team in hopes of sharing her background in foreign languages along with her family’s extensive military service, both in the United States Navy and the Spanish Armada.

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Jeff Leibow
Development Program Manager

Jeff Leibow has spent the last ten years in the world of nonprofit fundraising. Originally inspired by his daughter, who was born with the neurological disorder, Neurofibromatosis (NF), he founded a series of live concerts aimed at raising awareness for NF and monetary support for NF Network and their national programs dedicated to helping the NF community. As Director of Development for NF Network, he has now raised more than $1.2 million for the organization and is focusing his sights on doing even more. In 2020, determined to help nonprofits fundraise during the pandemic, he launched Leibow Entertainment and produced numerous virtual events that reached audiences of thousands in three dozen countries. Prior to his career as a fundraising professional, he earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of California, Davis focussing his studies on molecular biology before discovering a love of theater, which has led to a professional acting career that has lasted more than two decades. His film credits include Sebastion Lelio’s GLORIA BELL and THE OTHER GUYS. His numerous stage credits include the Tony Award-winning musical, JERSEY BOYS, THE LAST 5 YEARS (Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle nomination), MISS SAIGON, AIDA, SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE, the world premieres of the Tony Award-winning MEMPHIS and Tony-award nominated BANDSTAND and more. This experience has helped him forge connections across the entertainment industry, enabling him to recruit headliners to participate in his events. Since joining the UW MIA Project, Leibow has been cultivating corporate and private donors for the cause as well as developing a concert series to benefit the MIA Project.

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Ryan Wubben, MD
Field Physician

Dr. Ryan Wubben serves as the team physician for the MIA program. Dr. Wubben is a Clinical Associate Professor with the UW School of Medicine and Public Health; and is an Emergency Physician in the BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine. As a board-certified emergency physician, he works full time with the UW Med Flight program and has also been the medical director of Med Flight since 2008. Dr. Wubben received a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana with an emphasis on archaeology, before moving on to medical school here at UW-Madison. As an undergraduate, he did a field school with the SMU-in-Taos program at Pot Creek Pueblo outside of Taos, New Mexico where he learned the essentials of archaeological excavation. He then went on to spend two summers at Grand Canyon National Park working in Resources Management doing archaeological survey work in preparation for prescribed burns.
Dr. Wubben traveled with the team in both the summers of 2016 and 2017 to Northern France to assist with the successful recovery of the remains of 1LT Frank Fazekas, in summer 2018 to France again, this time to assist with the successful recovery of remains of 2LT Walter B. Stone, and in the summer of 2019, he traveled to Western Europe to assist with the team’s most recent MIA service member remains recovery attempt mission, the efforts of which are ongoing.

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Megan Stanton, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow (DPAA)

Dr. Megan Stanton is the UW-Madison Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency Research Partner Fellow, working as a full-time historian through the “Hub and Spoke” research program. In cooperation with the UW MIA RIP, her work supports the mission of the DPAA. She received her PhD in US history from UW-Madison in 2018. She has taught courses in US and North American history at UW-Madison, for which she has received two student-nominated teaching awards, a predoctoral teaching fellowship, and an Exceptional Service Award from the UW-Madison History Department. Her research interests include the histories of US families, genealogy, religion, and the North American West. She is at work on a book manuscript on the role of dynasticism in the leadership traditions of two Mormon sects. The Mormon History Association awarded her a Best Dissertation Award in 2019. As a historical research fellow, Dr. Stanton responds to research requests placed through the DPAA.