Two CALS alumni among Forward Under 40 award winners

Two CALS alumni were among the seven recognized with Wisconsin Alumni Association’s Forward under 40 Awards. These awards honor UW alumni under the age of 40 who are already making a significant impact on the world by upholding the Wisconsin Idea, the principle that the university community should improve people’s lives beyond the borders of campus.

The honorees from CALS include Luxme Hariharan ’04, MD’09, of Miami, and Tom Koch PhD’05, of Westfield. Both are featured in the sixth edition of Forward under 40, a publication distributed this month to UW-Madison alumni and WAA members.

As a pediatric ophthalmology fellow at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Luxme Hariharan is helping children around the world experience the wonders of sight by treating – and preventing – vision problems that can lead to blindness. Hariharan majored in Latin American, Caribbean & Iberian Studies in L&S and biology in CALS.

As vice president of research at AgReliant Genetics, Tom Koch is developing plant hybrids that are raising crop yields for rural farmers and making agricultural jobs possible in some of the poorest regions of the world. Koch’s degree is in plant breeding and plant genetics.

Honorees receive a commemorative silver medallion designed by artist Jason Noble ’07 and often engage with alumni, students and the campus community throughout the year. More than 85 alumni have been honored with a Forward under 40 Award since its creation in 2007.

More details and insights from this year’s honorees are at