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

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 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 or email for more information.

Seven Innovation Grants awarded by WALSAA

WALSAA awarded seven Innovation Grants during the 2014-2015 academic year. Pictured here are representatives from the Badger Turf and Grounds club who used their grant to attend the Gulf Industry Show in San Antonio, TX.

The Wisconsin Agricultural and Life Sciences Alumni Association (WALSAA) awarded Innovation Grants to student organizations in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) to fund new and innovative programs during the 2014-2015 academic year. The seven Innovation Grant recipients are registered student organizations in CALS on the UW-Madison campus. WALSAA Innovation Grants were matched by CALS this year to extend their reach and impact to more students. Here’s a list of this past academic year’s Innovation Grant recipients and their award amounts:

Agriculture Future of America (AFA). $500 was awarded to a group of students who travelled to the AFA Leaders conference in Kansas City, MO. This event provides support for college men and women who are preparing for careers in agriculture-related fields, while at the same time supporting the development of human capital for the agriculture and food industry.

Association of Women in Agriculture (AWA).  $850 was awarded to AWA to launch a new etiquette dinner focused on “Women in the Workplace.”  The new event focused on improving women’s confidence, honing professional skills, leadership development, teaching personal communication with emphasis on body language in the workplace.

Badger Turf and Grounds. $1,500 was awarded to assist members in participating in the Golf Industry Show in San Antonio, TX. At the event, student members study career-related material, explore new research from universities around the country, learn mechanical innovations and technical advances in the turf industry, then bring these new ideas back to the local chapter and their own studies.

CALS Ambassadors. $900 was awarded to the CALS Ambassador team to fund a new event for prospective CALS Students. In March, roughly 50 admitted CALS students came to campus to explore what the college has to offer with hopes of encouraging them to accept their admittance to CALS.

Collegiate Farm Bureau. $800 was awarded to expand a program piloted last year seeking to promote agriculture in Wisconsin and the Madison community by touring unique agriculture businesses. This year’s trip included Clock Shadow Creamery and Growing Power – both in Milwaukee. Ag tours allow students to become better educated on the diversity of the local agricultural industry.

Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS). $1,750 was awarded to fund student travel to the 2015 national MANRRS conference held in Houston, TX. At this event students expand their career skills, network with professionals from around the country and build camaraderie with students in agriculture and life science programs on a national level.

National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA). $2000 was awarded to allow students to develop a full marketing plan for an agricultural product and then present their plan at the national student marketing competition. Students also had the opportunity to participate in the professional NAMA conference to help prepare for their own careers while retooling their local student chapter with new ideas for next year’s club leaders. This year’s UW-Madison NAMA team won second place in the national student NAMA marketing competition with their product “CoTrio – Flavor-infused Cottonseed Baking Oil.”

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

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

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:

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