Marian University Professor Leslie Jaber Wilson

What better time than the present to illuminate the beautiful Fond du Lac community.

We're sharing our Illuminating Women Project online so you can feel inspired.

This week we're highlighting the Director of the Social Work Program and Professor at Marian University, Leslie Jaber-Wilson.


Leslie Jaber-Wilson

Growing up in a big Fond du Lac family, Leslie Jaber-Wilson was ready for an adventure.  A Bachelor’s degree of Social Work in hand, she moved to Washington state all by herself.  She created her own path.  Empowered and inspired, Leslie devoted herself to her work in child welfare and mental health.  She discovered foster care as an area where she could have great impact. It all started with one 13-year-old boy she decided to foster.  One thing led to another and Leslie found herself with six adolescent foster kids. Leslie is immensely grateful to her husband for taking care of all children full-time so that she could answer her calling in social work and complete her Ph.D.  A passionate advocate for children’s welfare, Leslie has opened her home to about 80 children over the years. 

Inspired by strong women like her mother, Leslie works tirelessly to create a safe and loving world for all children.  Leslie sees herself as the container for other people’s trauma.  She leads with a big heart and courage.  Leslie believes that every person deserves their dream, to have their needs met.  Deeply aware of the flaws and challenges of the welfare system, she tries her best to do her part.  Now the Director of the Social Work Program and Professor at Marian University, Leslie hopes to inspire new generations of social workers to join her in this effort.  She enjoys knowing and mentoring her students every semester. 

In addition to her many foster children, Leslie is grateful for her two biological children.  She wishes to teach all her children to be responsible and to care for others.  Overall, Leslie feels fulfilled in her life and treasures time with her family.  Every day, she strives to remain true to her purpose.  At the same time, Leslie tries not to carry the weight of the world on her shoulders.  According to Leslie, the greatest gift is to be fully present with another person.  She hopes that people will make a commitment to creating a better world for everyone. 


      - Written by Juliane Troicki of Illuminating Project

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  1. Valerie on April 6, 2020 at 6:45 pm

    Thank you for posting each of the Illuminating women on your website. We were unable to view each one opening night and had planned to revisit the Thelma center again to finish the exhibit.

    • laura on April 8, 2020 at 5:09 pm

      You’re very welcome! I heard many people planned to revisit because the galleries were packed on opening night. A wonderful problem to have:) Both the Illuminating Women Book and blog posts are the next best thing.