Abbey Thompson receives Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Service

Abbey Thompson meets with a graduate student in her office. Photo by Jeff Miller/UW–Madison.

Abbey Thompson, associate director of the SciMed Graduate Research Scholars program and administrative program specialist in the Department of Horticulture, has been selected to receive the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Service to the University.

Thompson’s dedication and ingenuity infuse all aspects of the SciMed GRS program, a highly successful effort founded in 2008 to support underrepresented students in the biological sciences. With relentless commitment and unfailing enthusiasm, Thompson helps recruit top-notch prospects, then works to ensure their success on campus through innovative retention strategies. She coordinates an impressive number of seminars and special events while forging personal relationships with dozens of students. She’s an advisor, a mentor and a rock of stability – what one professor calls “the true heart” of the program. The numbers tell the story: The program has gone from supporting 18 students its first year to more than 150 across 39 graduate programs this year. Retention rates have climbed to 96 percent. “This is not simply a job for her,” says one colleague. “It’s a calling.”

For more about the university’s 2019 Academic Staff Excellence Awards, view the UW News post.