Alumni spotlight

Alumna’s career includes consulting, crime writing

Posted April 19, 2021

Thekla Fagerlie-Madsen graduated from UW-River Falls in 1987 with a double major in journalism and English.

Thekla Fagerlie-Madsen is a 1987 graduate of UW-River Falls.

Q: What is your current position or role?

TFM: Technical writer and author.

Q: What is the name of the company or organization you currently work for?

TFM: My own company, Madsen Communications Inc.

Q: How long have you worked at your current position or role?

TFM: Since 1997.

Q: What are your primary duties at your current position or role?

TFM: Depending on the type of contract or company I’m working for, I’ve provided business analysis, technical documentation, process documentation, front-end system user interface design, user testing, quality assurance, train-the-trainer and training guides, information architecture, web content, marketing collateral, magazine articles, grant writing, editing, and general corporate communications.

Q: How has your education from UWRF impacted where you are in your career today?

TFM: It provided the foundation to apply my journalism and English degree in a variety of situations: as a financial analyst for a public finance company, to rural utility loan officer for a cooperative bank, to starting my own business providing technical and marketing writing and consulting services to the medical manufacturing, financial services, and agricultural industries.

Q: Favorite memory you have of UWRF?

TFM: There are so many but I have great memories working late nights in South Hall on the Student Voice.

Q: How has COVID-19 impacted your work environment? What changes did you have to make or adjust to?

TFM: It hasn’t impacted my business. The last few years I’ve been fortunate to be able to work remotely from my home office.

Thekla Fagerlie-Madsen teamed up with a former police officer to co-author Bad JuJu in Cleveland.

Q: What is the most important lesson you have learned after college that helped you become successful?

TFM: The degree doesn’t define the boundaries of your career. You can use the degree to open doors to career avenues you never knew existed.

Q: What advice do you have for soon-to-be graduates entering the workplace?

TFM: Be open to new opportunities, even if you don’t think you have the skills. You’ll learn along the way.

Q: Quick bio about your family, things you like to do, or anything unique you would want to share with us.

TFM: I’m married and live outside of River Falls on my husband’s family farm where we raise corn and soybeans. For many years we raised paint horses and went trail riding in Wisconsin, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Tennessee and Missouri. I’m co-author with retired Cleveland cop Karl Bort of two crime thrillers featuring Detective Nicholas Silvano. Bad JuJu in Cleveland is fictionally based on a real “bad guy” and drug murder in Cleveland. Angry Nurse is set on the psych ward of a big-city hospital and locations in western Wisconsin. I just had my first short story, “It Never Ends Well,” published in an anthology produced by the Twin Cities chapter of Sisters in Crime, Minnesota Not So Nice: 18 Tales of Mayhem and Mischief.