Call for proposals: new CALS undergrad courses in food systems

The CALS Strategic Plan identified Food Systems as a priority theme for the college, and listening sessions have identified the need for course options that introduce students to the basics of food systems and the important roles that agriculture plays in such systems.

The CALS Dean’s office is soliciting proposals from CALS faculty and instructional academic staff to develop individual courses or a series of courses within this broad topic to begin in Spring 2016. Collaborative proposals are highly encouraged.

This link will take you to the RFP with details of how to submit a proposal.

The deadline for submission is April 3, 2015.

Submit your course to fulfill the CALS International Studies requirement

Due to the recent revision of course criteria by the CALS International Committee, CALS Academic Affairs requests proposals for courses to be considered eligible to fulfill the college’s three-credit International Studies (IS) requirement. The deadline is February 20.

PLEASE NOTE: All courses currently listed in DARS as fulfilling the requirement MUST BE RESUBMITTED for approval under these new criteria.

For information, visit:

Courses will be reviewed by the CALS Curriculum Committee in late March with the aim of publishing an updated list of eligible courses in time for fall course registration.

Please contact Masarah Van Eyck,, with questions. If your course is currently listed as eligible in DARS and you would like assistance submitting, please contact Masarah Van Eyck,

BioCommons space launches new e-newsletter

Organizers of the new BioCommons space in Steenbock Library recently launched an e-newsletter and are encouraging students in the biological sciences—and their advisors—to sign up. The newsletter will share info about biology-related events and opportunities on campus.

Click here to subscribe.

If you have any ideas or feedback, you can contact the BioCommons staff at

Scholarship available for student with chronic health problems, physical disabilities or disease

Bella Soul, a non-profit founded to address, support, and provide financial aid in the form of scholarships to college students who have chronic health problems, physical disabilities, and disease, is now accepting applications for its second scholarship in memory of Dr. Neal First and Joey Stowell. Application materials are available online here.

Requirements for scholarship: The recipient must be a college student living with a physical ailment, physical disease, and/or physical disability. He or she must be enrolled as full-time student and must not be on academic probation. The recipient can live in any state and attend any university.

Applications are due by 11:59 pm on March 2nd, 2015. Please send finished applications to

Encourage students to participate in CALS Undergrad Research Symposium

The CALS Undergraduate Research Symposium will take place on April 21st this year. Please encourage the students who are conducting research in your lab to participate. They will need to fill out this application by March 12th:

Please forward along this eCALS post and/or print and share this flyer: CALS Undergraduate Research Symposium.


Supporting students in distress: The role of faculty and staff at UW-Madison

Suicide is a known health concern for college students on all campuses nationwide. As members of our campus community, you have regular interaction with students and your actions contribute to their academic and personal success. Statistically speaking, it is highly likely that you will work with a student at some point that is at risk for psychological distress. Knowing what to do in these situations is an important part of suicide prevention on campus.

We would like to remind you of At-Risk for University Faculty & Staff. At-Risk is a UHS sponsored online, interactive program that builds skills in interacting effectively with students in distress. We encourage all faculty and staff to complete this 40-minute training designed to help you:

1. Recognize students experiencing high levels of distress
2. Respond to students and determine the need for referral
3. Refer the student to campus or local resources and services available

At-Risk will remain available online and can be revisited any number of times. The program is applicable to all UW-Madison faculty, staff, instructors, teaching assistants, and student leaders. Building capacity to respond to students in a helpful way is an evidence-based strategy that is an important part of a multi-faceted suicide prevention approach.

To access the At-Risk training program, please follow these instructions:
* Click Link:
* Click “Access Training”
* Fill out form using enrollment key: wisc608
* Note: No identifying information is linked with responses in the program.

Please share this information with colleagues. Completing this training and acting with the resulting knowledge will improve our campus climate around mental health and contribute to the success of your students. If you have questions, please contact Valerie Kowis at You can also visit the Umatter Suicide Prevention website at for more information.


Steven M. Cramer, PhD, PE
Vice-Provost for Teaching and Learning and Professor

Danielle R. Oakley, PhD
Director, Mental Health Services and Clinical Professor

Call for nominations: UW Teaching Academy seeks Fellows and Future Faculty Partners

The UW-Madison Teaching Academy has just issued its 2015 Call for Nominations and the CALS Office of Academic Affairs encourages you to consider submitting your name (if you are not already a member) or consider nominating a colleague if you already belong. If you’d like to be nominated but need to identify someone to do the nominating, please contact Sarah Pfatteicher, Teaching Academy Fellow and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

More details: The Teaching Academy is looking for new faculty/staff Fellows or graduate/professional student or postdoctoral Future Faculty Partners. Nominees should have (1) demonstrated teaching excellence and (2) a willingness to be active participants in Academy events and governance. Fellows require a minimum of three years of teaching service at UW-Madison, whereas FFPs require three semesters of teaching experience (broadly construed) at UW-Madison.

Nominees should be committed to promoting excellence in teaching and to participating in the Teaching Academy. For more details and nomination packages, please visit here (for Fellows) or here  (for FFPs). The Induction Ceremony for new Fellows and Future Faculty Partners takes place in April 2015. Complete applications are due on Friday, March 27, 2015.

BioCommons hub open for UW biosciences undergrads

CALS-Freshman-studygroupBioCommons, a new hub for undergraduates majoring in biological sciences, has officially opened. Located on the lower level of Steenbock Library, the newly-remodeled space provides areas to study, relax, meet, hold an event, advise, tutor, collaborate and find information. More elements will appear over the spring semester, and student organizations are helping install living walls filled with plants, as well as a planted aquarium.

“We’re starting to call the lower level of Steenbock the Garden Level,” says Jessica Newman, Steenbock Library’s Undergraduate Services Librarian, who participated in the planning process for the space.

The BioCommons is an ongoing collaboration designed to support undergraduates in the biological sciences. Led by three cross-campus partners—WISCIENCE, Steenbock Library, and the Office of Undergraduate Advising—the initiative is also being shaped by units and student groups across campus as they bring events, services, and other projects to the spaces. In addition, a virtual BioCommons with resources for beyond-the-classroom learning is being developed at Read the full press release here, or visit to reserve a space for your biology-related event.


Encourage students to participate in UW’s Undergraduate Symposium

The Annual Undergraduate Symposium is a forum designed to showcase undergraduate students’ creativity, achievement and talent across all disciplines through oral presentations, poster sessions, exhibitions, film shorts (new this year), and performances. The Undergraduate Symposium is open to all University of Wisconsin-Madison students enrolled during the 2014-2015 academic year, including those who graduated in December.

Please encourage your undergraduate students–who are engaged in research, service learning, fine art and performance–to take advantage of this opportunity to present their work to the campus community and public-at-large. I hope you will also consider encouraging students in your classes to attend the Symposium even if they are not presenting.

This year’s Undergraduate Symposium will be held Thursday, April 16, 2015, in Union South. The schedule includes a film shorts session, a performance workshop where students can perform and discuss their creative process, and a reception at 5:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, click here. Questions can be directed to Laurie Mayberry, Assistant Vice Provost, at 262-5246 or

Three Minute Thesis competition – Feb. 16

Grad students: Can you explain your thesis research in JUST 3 MINUTES? There’s only one way to find out…

Three Minute Thesis® (3MT®) is an international competition in which Ph.D. students explain their thesis research to a general audience. The competition is open to any UW-Madison graduate student in a STEM field (science, technology, engineering, and math). Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three contestants.

Everyone is welcome to attend the competition on February 16, 1:00-3:00, at H.F. DeLuca Forum, Discovery Building. A reception, sponsored by Sigma Aldrich, will follow. Please RSVP here.

This event was organized by Graduate Women in Science, WARF and the Graduate School.