Undergraduate Research Scholars program seeks mentors

Dear faculty, research staff and dissertators,

The Undergraduate Research Scholars program invites you to become a
research mentor!

The Undergraduate Research Scholars program (URS) is currently
accepting project listings from faculty members, post-doctoral fellows,
research scientists, and dissertators who would like to involve a
first-year student or sophomore as a research or creative work
assistant during the 2015-16 academic year. The majority of
Undergraduate Research Scholars are members of historically under-
represented groups: students of color, women in science and
engineering, and/or first-generation college students. They earn course
credit for participating in a year-long course (two semesters) of study
that includes a seminar on issues in research and hands-on experience
with a mentor’s research project or creative endeavor. The URS program
promotes undergraduate research and intellectually creative engagement
in all academic disciplines.

The Benefits

For researchers, the benefits of working with a URS Scholar include the
satisfaction of fostering the development of the independent inquiry
skills with a bright and eager student, acquiring valuable research
assistance, supporting an undergraduate’s exploration of academic and
career interests, and connecting directly with the experiences of
undergraduates on campus. Many URS students stay with their original
mentors throughout their undergraduate careers. Our URS students have
established an impressive record of conference presentations and
academic publications that support their post-graduation endeavors.

How to Become a URS Research Mentor

Complete the on-line form at http://urs.ls.wisc.edu (click on “Submit a
research opportunity”) and your project will be listed in our 2015-16
offerings. Interested students will contact you through email early in
the fall semester 2015 (starting at the end of August.) After you
interview prospective students, you may elect to have one or more work
with you for the academic year. URS Scholars register for INTER L&S 250
and earn 2-3 credits per semester. At the end of each semester, we will
ask you to grade the student’s work on their project; then we will
assign the student a final grade reflecting your grade and his or her
work in the URS research seminar.

We urge you to submit your research opportunity as soon as possible.
URS students will start looking for research placement on Thursday,
August 27, 2015.

Where to Go for More Information

If you have questions about becoming a URS research mentor, please
contact Amy Sloane at alsloane@wisc.edu or 265-9726. More information
is available on our website: http://urs.ls.wisc.edu. Thank you for
supporting undergraduate research at UW- Madison!

New group for grad students involved in community-based work

The Morgridge Center for Public Service has created the Association of Graduate Engaged Scholars, a group for graduate students to share resources, network, and problem-solve around their community-engaged work. This group is for anyone who is interested in community-based work, and we are excited to bring graduate students together!

Our first meeting is on Thursday, September 17 from 2-3 in the Round Room of the Red Gym (Room 154).

Download this flyer for more information: Association of Graduate Engaged Scholars.

For questions, contact Haley Madden at hmadden@wisc.edu or (608) 770-1811.

Call for proposals: Kemper K. Knapp Bequest to support UW community, undergrad experiences

The Kemper K. Knapp Bequest Committee is soliciting proposals for special projects taking place in the 2016-2017 academic year.

Knapp grants are usually in the range of $500 to $5,000. According to the terms of the original bequest, the committee favors projects that cross departmental lines and have an impact on the educational and cultural life of the university community, particularly projects that benefit undergraduate students. Knapp funds are not often used for purposes that can and should be supported elsewhere, such as from regular grants or research funding, from fees charged for performances, or from the regular university budget. Nor is the committee inclined to support exhibitions or lectures because other campus committees (e.g., Anonymous Fund Committee, Lectures Committee) have them as a central funding target. The committee encourages registered student organizations to apply, but departmental/program co-sponsorship is required.

When considering requests for funds, the committee keeps in mind the spirit of the will of Kemper K. Knapp. Included is the following language:

In general it is my wish that such funds be used for purposes outside the regular curriculum of the university . . . to cultivate in the student body ideals of honesty, sincerity, earnestness, tolerance, and social and political obligations.

The deadline for applications is Monday, October 26, 2015. For application instructions and additional information on the Kemper K. Knapp Bequest, please visit the Secretary of the Faculty website at http://www.secfac.wisc.edu/awards-lectures.htm.

Opportunity for young farmers and ag students: Enter the Voices of the Soil contest for $1000 prize

In honor of the International Year of Soils in 2015, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Lexicon of Sustainability are celebrating one of the most important natural resources by hosting a contest for young farmers, agricultural students, or any young person who appreciates the value of healthy soil.

The Voices of the Soil Essay and Video Contest is open to any United States citizen between the age of 18 and 28 who loves soil and is pursuing an education or career in agriculture, environmental science, or other related fields.  We especially encourage submissions from young farmers. Contestants may submit a two-minute video essay less than 5 minutes in length and/or a written essay between 700 and 1000 words by September 8, 2015.

Write your essay or make your video by answering one of more of the following questions

1.       Why is soil health important to you and your community?

2.       What is the important relationship between soil carbon sequestration and a healthy climate?

3.       Why is the relationship between soil and water important?

Visit the webpage at Lexicon of Sustainability for complete instructions and to submit your work: http://lexiconofsustainability.com/voices-of-the-soilyoung-farmer-essay-and-video-contest/

We are excited to hear your stories and learn why soil is important to you, no matter what your background is or whether you live on a farm or in the city. Soil provides for us all in many ways.

We will select eight winners by mid-September; winning essays and videos will be publicized by NRDC and Lexicon of Sustainability. We are also inviting a special guest judging panel of leading voices in agriculture, and we will announce our judges at a later date.

We will award a  total of $5000 in prizes as follows:

  • One (1) grand prize winner will receive $1000 for best overall written essay.
  • One (1) grand prize winner will receive $1000 for best overall video essay.
  • $500 will be awarded each for best written and video essays addressing prompt 1.
  • $500 will be awarded each for best written and video essays addressing prompt 2.
  • $500 will be awarded each for best written and video essays addressing prompt 3.

Call for participation: 2015 CALS Fall Picnic

As fall semester is right around the corner, so is the CALS Fall Picnic. This is an event that allows registered student organizations and professors to inform incoming freshmen and transfer students about the opportunities that the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences has to offer. All CALS advisors, professors, and deans are invited to join. The picnic is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 3 from 4:00-6:30 p.m. in the Allen Centennial Gardens. Feel free to join us in educating new students on how to be involved in the college, how classes work, professional development, and how to make the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences their home!

The enjoyment of employment: Finding the right workplace culture

Graduate students are invited to the following professional development event:

The enjoyment of employment: Finding the right workplace culture
on Monday, August 24 from 4:00-5:30 p.m. in 3650 Humanities, with reception to follow at 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the Humanities Courtyard.

Register here.

Whether you are considering an academic or non-academic career after graduate school or your postdoc, you’ll want to find a place where you are happy. Are you aware of the different kinds of workplace cultures you’ll encounter? People look for different things in a job: one person might want to change the world, while another just wants a paycheck. Matching your work personality to the culture of the organization is one of the prime factors in workplace happiness. In this workshop you’ll assess your workplace personality which we will then match against different work environments to see what kinds of organizations are compatible with your work style. We’ll end with a checklist and timeline for starting your job search so that you’ll be fully prepared when the time comes.

Before the workshop, go to http://www.dougsguides.com/personality, take the personality assessment and bring the results with you.

Finalists named for CALS assistant dean for academic programs and policies

Three finalists have been named for the position of assistant dean for academic programs and policies in CALS Academic Affairs. This assistant dean serves as a member of the Academic Affairs leadership team, participates in Dean on Call and SOAR advising, and has day-to-day responsibility for academic policy administration, course proposal review, curriculum assessment, and the degree audit process.

Final interviews will take place in early August, and all are welcome to attend the candidates’ public presentations. Here’s the schedule:

Nikki Bollig, UW-Madison School of Business
Thursday, August 6, 10:45-11:30 a.m. in 354 Ag Hall

Tristin Marotz, UW-Madison Office of the Registrar
Monday, August 10, 2:45-3:30 p.m. in 301 Ag Hall

Kelley Harris-Johnson, UW-Madison Biology Major
Thursday, August 13, 10:15-11:00 a.m. in 354 Ag Hall

For more information, contact Sarah Pfatteicher at sarah.pfatteicher@wisc.edu.

Lauren Foley joins CALS’ Transitional Advising and Outreach Services team

Lauren Foley Career Services staff Fall 2014The CALS Office of Academic Affairs has hired Lauren Foley as an advisor in the Transitional Advising and Outreach Services unit. As a member of the TAOS team, Foley will help provide information and academic advising to students and other interested parties relating to programs administered by CALS, with the goal of helping students make successful transitions to or within the CALS community.

Foley completed her M.S. degree in education at UW-La Crosse this past May. Before that, she was a badger at UW-Madison, where she earned a B.A. degree in english as well as a certificate in integrated liberal studies. Over the course of her academic career, Foley has held a variety of career and academic advising positions, including with UW-River Falls’ career services office, UW-Madison College of Letters and Science’s career services office and UW-Madison SOAR. She spent this past summer at Pace University in New York, NY running the university’s student orientation program.

“I am thrilled to come back to UW-Madison, a place where I truly feel at home, and begin my next journey with CALS. This opportunity places me with a dynamic and caring team with students at the forefront of everything that we do,” says Foley.

Foley’s first day will be August 5.

Grad students, post docs: Apply to be a WARF Ambassador

WARF is seeking graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to serve as WARF Ambassadors for the 2015-16 academic year. WARF Ambassadors help enhance the vital connection between research and tech transfer by increasing WARF’s visibility on campus.

Why become a WARF Ambassador?

  • Deepen connections within your department and across campus
  • Network and collaborate with faculty, students and staff
  • Increase knowledge of WARF and the importance of intellectual property and tech transfer at a university
  • Gain experience in leading events on campus and speaking to diverse audiences
  • Discover alternative careers in science

What do Ambassadors do?

  • Increase understanding and awareness of WARF’s role across campus by creating opportunities for WARF staff to connect with researchers, including graduate students and postdocs
  • Help set up sessions across campus to discuss WARF’s technology commercialization process
  • Encourage students, staff and faculty to contact WARF with new inventions and questions
  • Present information about WARF at campus poster sessions
  • Participate in developing and planning the annual WARF Discovery Challenge Research Symposium

Who should apply?

Graduate students or postdocs in scientific or technical disciplines who have completed most of their coursework and are able to commit up to 10 hours per month to the program are encouraged to apply. Particularly strong applicants are energetic; effective at networking with students, faculty and staff on campus; and have an interest in the process of moving discoveries from early concept to the marketplace.

Apply at the WARF Career Portal by 5 p.m. on Monday, August 12, 2015

Once an online profile has been created, you will receive a survey application. This survey application must be completed no later than August 12, 2015 (5 p.m.). Interviews will be conducted August 31 – September 9. Ambassadors are required to participate in the training program on Monday, September 21, and Friday, September 25, at WARF.

Visit warf.org/ambassadors for more information.

Post-docs and grad students: WARF research competition offers $7,500 awards

The WARF Discovery Challenge Research Award Competition fosters cross-disciplinary research among graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. Pairs and small teams of young researchers compete for two $7,500 awards to carry out new, collaborative projects. Winning projects also have the opportunity to present their work at the 2016 Discovery Challenge Research Symposium.

To be eligible to compete, at least one team member must have attended one of the following:

  • The Discovery Challenge Research Symposium on April 9, 2015
  • The Discovery Challenge Networking Happy Hour on June 25, 2015
  • The Discovery Challenge Networking Happy Hour on July 23, 2015

To enter the competition, submit a brief proposal by midnight on September 25. Awards will be announced at a ceremony in October.

Visit warf.org/discoverychallenge or email DiscoveryChallenge@warf.org for more information.