Congratulate these 2012 CALS Outstanding Senior Award recipients

CALS Outstanding Senior Awards recognize students for their scholastic performance, leadership, and service. Students who are nominated by their department or have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher can apply. Applications are reviewed faculty and staff on the CALS Recruitment and Scholarships Committee.

  • CALS Recruitment and Scholarship Committee Members: Tom Browne, Ted Halbach, Janine Jensen, Allen Laughon, Karen Martin, Bernie O’Rourke, Jessie Potterton, Dave Stoltenberg, LeAnn Tigges, Monica Theis, and Anita Thompson
  • This year, each CALS Outstanding Senior Award winner maintains at least a 3.8 grade point average.
  • In addition to their outstanding academic performance, these students demonstrate remarkable records in both leadership and service.

2012 Outstanding Senior Award Winners

Andrew Lang (Biochemistry and Spanish) — Andrew had a very impressive undergraduate career. While maintaining a 4.0 grade point average, he participated in two mentored research opportunities. In his current lab Andrew developed HIV-1 RNA mutant constructs to investigate frameshifting and hopes to publish the work. Andrew also participated in a study abroad experience and regularly volunteered as a middle school tutor and for an English as a Second Language class. Andrew’s outstanding academic performance and engagement in professional pursuits provides an excellent model for future students.

Zeeshan Haq (Biochemistry and Middle Eastern Studies) — Zeeshan will complete an Honors Degree while pursuing majors in the life sciences and social sciences. During his time at UW-Madison, Zeeshan participated in many research and volunteer activities. He not only participated in mentored research on campus, but also completed a clinical research internship with the Minneapolis Heart Institutes and co-chaired the American Medical Student Association’s research committee. Zeeshan’s scholarly pursuits also included participating in the Lubar Institute’s Undergraduate Forum. Zeeshan regularly volunteered in medical settings and tutored fellow students in organic chemistry and biochemistry. Zeeshan’s high level of achievement is deserving of Outstanding Senior Award recognition.

Kasandra Brown (Community and Environmental Sociology and Gender and Women’s Studies) — Kasandra made a tremendous contribution to UW-Madison through leadership on social issues. In FH King Students for Sustainable Agriculture, Kasandra organized events for other students to learn about sustainable agriculture. She was also a leader on LGBT issues on campus organizing a Day of Silence and the LGBT Leadership Institute. Kasandra also worked hard to promote student academic success. She served as a Study Skills Outreach Coordinator and volunteered as a Conversational English Partner for Greater University Tutoring Service. Kasandra’s academic performance and record of service are remarkable.

Kristi Freitag (Biological Systems Engineering and Technical Japanese) — Kristi’s academic performance and commitment to service are inspiring. In addition to completing a rigorous academic program in Biological Systems Engineering, Kristi completed a certificate in Technical Japanese. Kristi enhanced her classroom experience with three research experiences. In the Madison community Kristi volunteered her time with the Schools of Hope program where she tutored middle school youth. She also volunteered with the Nehemiah Foundation LIGHT Program where she tutored and mentored high school students. Kristi’s academic achievement and contribution to the community are deserving of Outstanding Senior Award recognition.

Amelia Van Handel (Biology) — Amelia’s scholastic accomplishments and participation in professional development activities are admirable. She has maintained a 4.0 grade point average, while being extremely active on campus and in the community. Her interest in becoming a surgeon led her to shadow general, internal, and cardiovascular surgeons; volunteer with the Red Cross, UW-Hospital Wig Salon, and VA Hospital Emergency Department; and be an active member in the Health Professionals Society. As a House Fellow, Amelia helped shape the UW-Madison experience for the men and women in her residence hall. Somehow she found time to be an officer in the UW-Madison Ballroom Dance Association, coach and judge the Madison West High School forensics team, and tutor other students in chemistry, physics, and writing. Her broad interests and abilities make her an outstanding CALS student.

Miki Hirano (Biology) — Miki Hirano distinguished herself from other high ability students through her academic achievements and by immersing herself in professional pursuits. Miki has earned several academic awards for her performance in the classroom. She has also completed undergraduate research projects with The Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention and with the Radiology Department. Her work in Radiology on spinal canal dimensions will be published in the American Journal of Neuroradiology. To enhance her education and pursue a career in medicine, Miki completed three surgical externships and regularly volunteered her time with the Red Cross and a free women’s clinic. Miki was also a strong student leader. She worked as a House Fellow in University Housing and helped organize the AHANA Pre-Health Society’s Minority Health Conference, a full-day health conference focused on health disparities in the U.S. Miki’s excellence is truly deserving of recognition.