Congratulations to the 2015-2016 CALS Senior Award recipients

CALS Senior Awards recognize students for their scholastic performance, leadership, and service. Students who have a cumulative grade point average of 3.75 or higher can apply. Applications are approved by faculty and staff on the CALS Prospective Students and Scholarships and Loans Committee.

CALS Prospective Students and Scholarships and Loans Committee members: Brian Asen, Jim Berkelman, Ann Haase-Kehl, Heidi Kaeppler, Paul Koch, Marisa Otegui, Shiela Reaves, Heather White, Tom Browne, Karen Martin, and Sue Ryan.

This year, each CALS Senior Award winner maintains at least a 3.8 grade point average. In addition to their outstanding academic performance, these students demonstrate remarkable records of both leadership and service.

2015 – 2016 Senior Award Winners

Kate Backhaus
Hometown — Manitowoc, WI
Major(s) / Certificate(s) — Biology and History

Kate made a large impact at UW-Madison by getting involved in student organizations, service, and undergraduate research. While earning Dean’s List recognition every semester, Kate served in leadership roles for Delta Theta Sigma, Associated Students of Madison, and two intramural athletic teams. She also volunteered for the UW Hospital and for the Dane county Humane Society. Kate completed an undergraduate research project in the Colley lab. Kate said her involvement has made her experience at college more meaningful, that she has had professors who inspired her to get involved in research and encouraged her to pursue a career in medicine. She added that a large part of her success was the result of the constructive environment that her advisors, professors, and peers created for her.

Erica Anderson
Hometown — Ames, IA
Major(s) / Certificate(s) — Community and Environmental Sociology, Concentration in Analysis and Research

Erica distinguished herself from other high ability students through a variety of co-curricular and leadership activities. Erica completed a community-based capstone project that resulted in a leadership program guide for Madison community organizations. She also completed an internship with UW-Extension analyzing migration patterns in Wisconsin for county agents. In addition, Erica served in leadership positions for significant community events such as Food Day 2015 and Global Citizen Year. In her four years at UW, Erica has cultivated her interests in food sovereignty, sustainability, sociological research, and social justice. While she does not yet have concrete future plans, she will use her education at UW to further the causes she believes are important.

Brad Jaeger
Hometown — Newton, WI
Major(s) / Certificate(s) — Agricultural & Applied Economics and Agronomy

Brad had a very impressive undergraduate career. He engaged in many agricultural related activities while preparing for his career. Brad was a leader in three CALS student organizations, including his service as President of Collegiate Farm Bureau. He also completed two internships. He was a Corporate Events Intern with Case IH and the a Grain Merchandising Intern with CHS Inc. In 2013 Brad became an entrepreneur by starting his own business, Brad’s Forage Bagging. After graduation Brad will start a job as a grain merchandiser with Country Visions Cooperative in Chilton, WI.

Josh Taylor
Hometown — Plain, WI
Major(s) / Certificate(s) — Biochemistry

Josh accomplished a great deal during his time at UW-Madison. He served as both Volunteer Chair and Vice President of the Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Medical Honor Society on campus. He also engaged in significant service work. He was in in-house volunteer for the Ronald McDonald House Charity, an organization providing temporary relief to families with children in the hospital. Josh also co-led an annual fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation that has raised over $60,000. Josh engaged in two research projects during his time on campus. Josh plans to apply to medical schools this June before taking an academic gap year while he continues his work with the Ronald McDonald House.

Makiko Thomas Omori
Hometown – Tokyo, Japan
Major(s) / Certificate(s) – Dietetics and the Global Health Certificate

Makiko started her career as a bakery chef in Tokyo, Japan. Her love of food evolved into a passion for helping people make positive change in their lives through good nutrition and she decided to enter the Dietetics program at UW-Madison. While at UW-Madison, Makiko has earned a 4.0 GPA, she has interned with Slow Food UW-Madison and the Green Lake County Department of Health and Human Services. Makiko also volunteered with UW Hospitals and Clinics in clinical nutrition support. Makiko has accomplished all of this in just two years on campus. She will be starting a Dietetics internship program in the fall to complete her licensure.

Elizabeth Endres
Hometown — Waunakee, WI
Major(s) / Certificate(s) – Dairy Science

Elizabeth made a large impact at UW-Madison by getting involved in student organizations, dairy competitions, and undergraduate research. She served as both yearbook officer and public relations officer for the Badger Dairy Club. Elizabeth was also a member of the Association of Women in Agriculture, the Dairy Judging Team, and the Dairy Challenge Team that recently took first place at the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge competition in Syracuse, NY. Elizabeth has worked on several research projects with Dr. Laura Hernandez, a lactation biologist in the Dairy Science Department. Elizabeth maintained a 4.0 GPA while engaging in all of these activities and she will be attending veterinary school in the fall.