Genetics’ Jean Petersen wins UW Academic Staff Excellence Award

Jean Petersen, student services coordinator in the genetics department, is among nine members of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s academic staff who were selected to receive 2014 Academic Staff Excellence Awards. The Academic Staff Assembly will honor Jean and the other recipients at its meeting on Monday, April 14. They will also be honored at a reception with the chancellor on Wednesday, April 23 at the Fluno Center.

Here’s Jean’s write-up from the original UW-Madison news release about the awards:

Jean Petersen, student services coordinator in the Department of Genetics

Martha Casey Award for Dedication to Excellence

Jean Petersen
Jean Petersen

Petersen considers herself “the bridge to the richness of the genetics department.” She advises both undergraduates and graduates in academics and, often, life. She spurs them to think about careers and sort out strategies and opportunities in the face of unexpected challenges.

At all levels, Petersen has encouraged a healthy environment for student-faculty interaction, building a community where everyone can thrive. Genetics majors want to be involved as leaders in CALS. Faculty want to be involved as mentors, not just teachers. Petersen also “keeps the family together,” maintaining close relationships with department alumni. This synergy makes the department successful.

On campus and at national events, Petersen’s dedication to recruiting has particularly encouraged underrepresented minorities to pursue opportunities in genetics and other areas of the sciences.

“Watching students grow as they pursue opportunities at UW-Madison is what I enjoy most,” says Petersen. “Through these experiences, students discover their passion: the most critical component of success.  I learn something new every day; typically, this learning comes from the students.”