WARF to host Discovery Challenge networking hour – June 25

WARF is hosting a summer networking happy hour on Thursday, June 25 for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. The event is part of a series focused on encouraging the development of new scientific collaborations across campus. Participants can network with other graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. They can also get advice on the upcoming fall Discovery Challenge Research Award Competition (where they can win up to $7,500) from past winners.

Event Details

What: Free summer networking happy hour for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. Refreshments will be provided. Space is limited to 30 participants.

When: Thursday, June 25, 4:30-6 p.m.

Where: Researchers’ Link, Discovery Building

Register at warf.org/discoverychallenge.

Plant pathology grad student honored by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine


Ana Fulladolsa Palma

Plant Pathology graduate student Ana Fulladolsa Palma is the recipient of a 100 Inspiring Women in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. The award is presented to 100 women each year whose work and achievements are helping to inspire a new generation of young women to consider careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Fulladolsa Palma, who works in the lab of plant pathology professor Amy Charkowski, was selected in part for her role in developing a bilingual science outreach program for grade school kids. These programs have reached hundreds of kids, notes Charkowski, “despite being developed without faculty assistance, with essentially no funding and with no expectation of reward.”

It’s an impressive achievement that’s helping to expand the reach of science outreach efforts in the Madison area, says Charkowski. “The best part is when [Fulladosa Palma] describes how Spanish-speaking parents, who normally have a difficult time participating in science outreach events, light up when they realize they can participate because the program is in Spanish,” she says.

Fulladolsa Palma also keeps busy in the lab. Her research focuses on the management of potato virus Y in seed potato production, including reducing the amount of virus in seed lots by using alternative production methods and using marker-assisted selection to develop resistant potato cultivars.

Ten outstanding sophomores recognized by WALSAA


WALSAA Outstanding Sophomore Award winners with WALSAA and CALS leaders. Back row (left to right): Robb Bender, Ryan Rebernick, Samantha Anne Miller, Siddak Kanwar, Sydney Endres, Courtney McCourt, Kate VandenBosch. Front row: Sara Schoenborn, Kelly Wilfert, Elizabeth Endres, McKenzie Rae Rowley, Alexa Roscizewski, Sara Harn.

The Wisconsin Agricultural and Life Sciences Alumni Association (WALSAA) recently continued its proud tradition of promoting student excellence at UW–Madison. After 75 submitted applications, the WALSAA scholarship committee narrowed down its search for the top 10 Outstanding Sophomores through a rigorous prescreening process that focused equally on academic achievement, campus involvement/leadership, community service, and relevant experience. From these 75 applicants, 20 were selected to interview in front of a panel of three WALSAA board members. Ten final awardees were selected based on interview performance.

“In just two years of college, these students are involved in so many things on and off campus,” said Robb Bender, cochairman of the scholarship committee. “It’s difficult to choose just 10 students, and we try to make the process a learning experience – for all applicants.”

Winners of the Outstanding Sophomore Award include: McKenzie Rowley, Loyal, Wis., Life Sciences Communications; Ryan Rebernick, Caledonia, Wis., Biochemistry; Kelly Wilfert, Two Rivers, Wis., Ag & Applied Economics; Sydney Endres, Lodi, Wis., Dairy Science/Life Sciences Communications; Elizabeth Endres, Waunakee, Wis., Dairy Science; Samantha Miller, Oconomowok, Wis., Neurobiology; Siddak Kanwar, Rochester, Minn., Life Sciences Communications; Alexa Roscizewski, Eagle, Wis., Animal Sciences; Sara Harn, Brooklyn, Wis., Dairy Science; and Courtney McCourt, St. Cloud, Wis., Dairy Science.

WALSAA (Wisconsin Agricultural and Life Sciences Alumni Association) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the connection of students, faculty and alumni to the University of Wisconsin’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, known as CALS. Established in 1972, WALSAA has embarked on a remarkable journey of service and fellowship with alumni and friends of CALS.  For more information on WALSAA visit www.walsaa.org.

Seven CALS students listed among “Top 15 of 2015″ UW spring graduates

Ahead of commencement last week, University Communications distributed a news release listing the “Top 15 of 2015″ UW spring graduates. We are happy to report that a full seven of the featured students were CALS students!

They are: Emily Baumann, biochemistry; Katelyn Budke, wildlife ecology and environmental studies; Alan Chen, biology; Rachel Dvorak, biochemistry; Lily Mank, landscape architecture; Kayla Sippl, biology; and Maya Warren, food science (PhD degree).

Learn what makes them stand out here: http://www.news.wisc.edu/23722.

New Monsanto scholarships promote diversity among STEM master’s students

Monsanto has launched a graduate scholarship program for minority students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. The Monsanto Graduate Scholarship program, which will award ten $25,000 scholarships to graduate students enrolled in master’s programs in STEM fields, is part the company’s broader focus on innovation and investment in agriculture. To meet the challenges the world faces in feeding nine billion people by 2050, investing in future leaders pursuing STEM careers in food and agriculture is key. The next generation of innovators will be the ones to ascend and meet the challenges of global food security.

The scholarship application is online now. Interested students may apply online. The link to the application is below.



· The deadline to apply is June 1st, 2015.
· Winners will be announced by July 1st, 2015.
· Payments made by August 1st, 2015.


· Must be a diverse student enrolled in a Master’s program in a STEM related field
· 3.0 GPA
· PhD candidates will not be considered


SciMed GRS graduate students receive NSF and Ford Foundation Fellowships

SciMed Graduate Research Scholars (SciMed GRS) is proud to announce that several students in their community are recipients of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and the Ford Foundation Fellowship. The SciMed GRS program currently has 16 NSF fellows and two Ford Fellows in their community. The 2015-16 fellowship recipients are recognized below.

NSF Graduate Reserarch Fellowship
Maria Chavez (Agrocecology – incoming Fall 2015), Jasenia Hartman  (Neuroscience – incoming Fall 2015), Michelle Pearson (Plant Pathology) and Nicholas Santistevan (Genetics).

Honorable Mention: Nadia Khan (Cellular & Molecular Biology), Kassi Crocker (Genetics)

Ford Foundation Fellowship
Tomás Rush (Plant Pathology)

Honorable Mention: Gianna Hernandez (Cellular & Molecular Pathology, Lorraine Rodriguez-Bonilla (Plant Breeding & Plant Genetics)

The SciMed GRS Program is a fellowship program for underrepresented graduate students in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the School of Medicine and Public Health, School of Veterinary Medicine, and School of Pharmacy. SciMed GRS coordinates professional development and networking events for fellowship recipients and provides opportunities for students to interact across disciplines in science and medicine.

Congratulations to the 2014-2015 CALS Senior Award recipients

CALS Senior Award winners and Dean Kate (Left to Right): Megan Theisen, Rachel Dvorak, Taylor Holterman, Taylor Kirby, Kelsey Corrigan, Dean Kate and Adam Bartling.

CALS Senior Awards recognize students for their scholastic performance, leadership, and service. Students who have a cumulative grade point average of 3.75 or higher can apply. Applications are approved by faculty and staff on the CALS Prospective Students and Scholarships and Loans Committee.

CALS Prospective Students and Scholarships and Loans Committee members are: Brian Asen, Amin Fadl, Ann Haase-Kehl, Heidi Kaeppler, Marisa Otegui, Jonathan Pauli, Shiela Reaves, Tom Browne, Karen Martin, and Sue Ryan.

This year, each CALS Senior Award winner maintains at least a 3.9 grade point average. In addition to their outstanding academic performance, these students demonstrate remarkable records of both leadership and service.

2014 – 2015 Senior Award Winners

Adam Bartling 
Hometown – Waterford, WI
Major(s) / Certificate(s) – Food Science, Certificate in Business

Adam distinguished himself from other high ability students through a variety of co-curricular and leadership activities. Adam completed two research and development internships, one with Newlywed Foods and the other with Pepsi Co. He also completed undergraduate research with the Food Research Institute and he participated in several product development competitions including the Institute of Food Technologists Product Development Competition. In addition, Adam served in leadership positions for the Food Science Club and welcomed new students to the college as a CALS Ambassador. Adam fully immersed himself in his academic discipline and his career preparation. Adam remembers his CALS Freshman Orientation, where a graduating senior told him to become comfortable being uncomfortable. He said that advice stuck with him, and allowed him to pursue goals both in and out of the classroom.

Rachel Dvorak 
Hometown – Rice Lake, WI
Major(s) / Certificate(s) – Biochemistry

Rachel had an extremely productive undergraduate career at UW-Madison. While earning Dean’s List recognition every semester on campus, Rachel was active in student organizations, tutoring, and undergraduate research. She held two important leadership positions for the UW-Madison Lions Club. In addition to her leadership in student organizations, Rachel served as a tutor for physiology and chemistry. Rachel was also highly engaged in mentored research. She completed independent projects in the Amasino and Cox laboratories. She also completed a summer research experience at Cambridge University. Rachel attributes much of her accomplishments to her mentors at UW-Madison who inspired her to set lofty goals and helped her to achieve her aspirations. Rachel will be starting the Medical Scientist Training Program this summer in her ultimate pursuit to become a physician scientist.

Taylor Kirby 
Hometown – Carlock, Illinois
Major(s) / Certificate(s) – Biology (Neurobiology Option), Life Sciences Communication

Taylor, a varsity pole-vaulter, made a large impact at UW-Madison by getting involved in student organizations, service, and undergraduate research. While earning Dean’s List recognition every semester, Taylor served as president of Students for Life of Madison. She also volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and Badgers for Special Olympics. Taylor completed undergraduate research projects with the Population Health Sciences Department; Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand; and the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Taylor will begin working in the Alzheimer’s Center full-time, as a Research Specialist, after graduation. She has plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Neuroscience.

Kelsey Corrigan 
Hometown – Whitefish Bay, WI
Major(s) / Certificate(s) – Biology, History of Science, Global Health Certificate

Kelsey had a very impressive undergraduate career. She engaged in many health related activities while preparing for medical school. Kelsey served in leadership roles for the CALS Health and Research Society, and the Health Occupations Student Association. She also volunteered in the Meriter Hospital Elder Life Program and at a Muscular Dystrophy camp. Kelsey completed a summer internship that focused on clinical care and worked in University Health Services. Kelsey participated in undergraduate research projects in two oncology laboratories where she co-authored four papers. Kelsey says she has thoroughly enjoyed her time in Madison the past four years. After graduation, she will be attending medical school.

Megan Theisen 
Hometown – Kewaskum, WI
Major(s) / Certificate(s) – Animal Science

Megan accomplished a great deal during her time at UW-Madison. She was actively involved in student organizations serving as a president of Sigma Alpha and social chair for the Pre-Veterinary Club. With a strong interest in animal health, Megan worked as a veterinary assistant for the Kewaskum Veterinary Clinic and as a livestock caretaker for the UW-Madison Livestock Laboratory. Megan also conducted an independent research project examining equine reproduction and how reproductive technologies can help maintain the wild horse population. In her free time, Megan is a pianist for her church and an entertainer for Top of the Ridge Restaurant. Megan says she has enjoyed her time in Madison with her classes, her student organizations, and the friends she has made. Megan has been accepted to a college of veterinary medicine and will begin classes this fall.

Taylor Holterman 
Hometown – Watertown, WI
Major(s) / Certificate(s) – Life Sciences Communication, Certificate in Entrepreneurship

Taylor has engaged in significant leadership activities on campus. She grew up on her family’s dairy farm, Rosy-Lane Holsteins LLC, and brought her passion for dairy and agriculture to campus. Taylor is currently president of Collegiate Farm Bureau and an active member of the Association of Women in Agriculture in which she was named Outstanding Freshman, Outstanding Junior, and Outstanding Senior. Taylor’s work experience includes internships with the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association, Agri-Nutrition Consulting LLC, Merial, and the UW-Madison Department of Dairy Science. Following graduation, she will move to Omaha, Nebraska to start her career with Union Pacific Railroad as an Account Representative in the Market Development and Sales Center.

Teaching Academy Summer Institute call for proposals due May 10

Interested in Teaching and Learning? Need time to reflect on your teaching? Need time to develop or restructure a course or program sequence? Want to interact with others passionate about higher education?

We have just the thing for you and your colleagues.

The Teaching Academy is pleased to announce the 15th Annual Summer Institute on Teaching and Learning, a four day boot-camp to improve your teaching. We will look at who our students are, what our teaching goals are, how to build a great course, and how to take it forward

The institute will be held June 1-4, 2015 at the peaceful UW-Madison Arboretum – a great place to reflect on teaching and rejuvenate your passion for education. The typical day runs from 8:30 AM to 4:15 PM.

If you are interested or know of someone who is, please visit our webpage for more information https://teachingacademy.wisc.edu/events/summer-institute/ and apply by May 10, 2015.

We are looking forward to your joining us for yet another great Teaching Academy Summer Institute!

-Tom DuBois & Sue Wenker
Co-Chairs of the 2015 Teaching Academy Summer Institute

BSE grad student among WARF Discovery Challenge winners

Jiehao Guan (right). Photo courtesy of WARF.

Jiehao Guan (right). Photo courtesy of WARF.

Jiehao Guan, a graduate student in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering, won a peer award for his proposal, titled “A Surfactant Mediate Gold Nanoparticles for Selective and Sensitive Silver Detection,” at the WARF Discovery Challenge Research Symposium on April 9.

There were more than 85 presenters at the symposium from biochemistry to economics, pathology and mechanical engineering. The symposium, which is considered “phase I” of the WARF Discovery Challenge, featured two poster sessions and cash prizes awarded to the most creative, impactful and collaborative proposals.

Discovery Challenge activities will wrap up this fall at the “phase II” research award competition, which is open to original research ideas proposed by interdisciplinary teams. All spring symposium presenters and participants — not just the prize winners — will be eligible to compete for awards of up to $7,500 at the fall event.

UW Arboretum seeks project assistant

The UW Arboretum has a project assistant position open for a UW-Madison graduate student.

The project assistant is needed to work on a variety of development tasks for the Arboretum, reporting to the director. The student should have experience in development and event planning, strong communication and organizational skills, and a general interest in the Arboretum’s mission though a background in environmental science is not necessary. The ideal candidate will be energetic, hard-working, and highly motivated. He or she should be prepared to perform the majority of work on-site at the Arboretum Visitor Center, and able to adjust his or her schedule to accommodate donor events, which may occur outside regular business hours. The position will be 50% time, and will include tuition remission and graduate student benefits.

Download the full position description for details.