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Nine CALS faculty receive college and department professorships

At CALS, we have the good fortune to be able to offer a number of college and departmental professorships and chairships. These titles, with accompanying funding, are a way to acknowledge and reward faculty members for doing outstanding work, while encouraging and inspiring excellence across the college.

This academic year, nine CALS faculty members were selected to receive CALS or department professorships/chairships. The recipients are listed below.

Caitilyn Allen, professor of plant pathology. Allen has been reappointed as the Oscar N. and Ethel K. Allen Memorial Chair in Phytobacteriology, an appointment that includes salary and research support for five years. This chair was established by the late Ethel Allen, a UW–Madison alumna and faculty member who co-authored the de-facto “encyclopedia” on the role of legumes in nitrogen fixation along with her husband Oscar Allen, an eminent UW bacteriologist. Caitilyn Allen studies the interactions between the plant pathogenic bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum and its many plant hosts.

Brad Bolling, assistant professor of food science. Bolling has been named Friday Chair for Vegetable Processing Research, an appointment that provides research support for five years. The chair was established by Fritz Friday, owner and CEO of the Friday Canning Corporation in New Richmond, Wisconsin, to support a CALS faculty member who demonstrates outstanding research and service in the area of vegetable processing. Bolling studies food chemistry and analysis, dietary phytochemicals, functional foods and prevention of chronic disease.

Sheldon Du, associate professor of agricultural and applied economics. Du has been named Renk Chair in Agribusiness, which provides support for research, teaching and outreach for three years. This chair was established by the Renk family of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, owners of the Renk Seed Company, an independent farm seed company. Du studies the economics of energy, commodity markets, economics of agriculture, and applied econometrics.

Guy Groblewski, professor of nutritional sciences. Growblewski has been appointed to the Elmer Martin Billings and Jean Hood Billings Professorship in Nutrition, which provides support for research, teaching and outreach for five years. The professorship was established by the Billings during their lifetime. Jean received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in home economics at UW–Madison in 1927 and 1939, and went on to be a nutritionist who was honored by the American Dietetics Association. Elmer worked for the Ansul Company and rose to be corporation secretary. Growlewski’s research program focuses on membrane biology and protein trafficking in digestive epithelia.

Alfred Hartemink, professor of soil science. Hartemink has been appointed to the Marvin T. Beatty Professorship in Soil Science, which provides salary and research support for five years. This professorship was established in 2018 by Marv Beatty, a UW–Madison professor emeritus of soil science who served the department and the Division of Extension for over 30 years. Hartemink’s research program focuses on digital soil morphometrics, digital soil mapping and soil carbon.

Named Bascom Professorships
The following individuals were selected to receive Named Bascom Professorships. These professorships are supported by donors as well as the UW Foundation through the Named Bascom Professorship program, administered by the Provost Office.

Jean-Paul Chavas, professor of agricultural and applied economics. Chavas has been reappointed to the Olav F. and Elsie de Noyer Anderson-Bascom Professorship, which provides research support for five years. The professorship was established by the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics through a gift from the estate of Olav F. Anderson. Olav received his bachelor’s in agricultural economics from UW–Madison in 1936, and Elsie her bachelor’s in mathematics from UW the same year. They lived in Washington DC and both eventually worked for the USDA. Chavas studies the economics of agriculture, price dynamics, technological change, applied econometrics, economics of trade, welfare and policy analysis.

Shawn Conley, professor and extension specialist in the Department of Agronomy. Conley has been appointed to the William A. Rothermel-Bascom Professorship in Agronomy, an appointment that provides research and salary support for five years. The professorship was established through an estate gift from William A. Rothermel, who received his BS and MS degrees in Agronomy and Soil Science in 1930 and 1932, respectively, and then went on to be an executive with the Merck Chemical Corporation. Conley’s research and extension programs are focused on solving real-world problems for soybean and small grain growers.

Randy Jackson, professor of agronomy. Jackson has been appointed to the William Campbell-Bascom Professorship. The professorship was established by the Campbell Soup Company and is awarded to faculty in CALS who have made outstanding contributions in the field of agriculture. Jackson’s research interests are in structure and function of managed, semi-natural, and natural grassland ecosystems

Doug Rouse, professor of plant pathology. Rouse has been appointed to the Vaughan-Bascom Professorship in Plant Pathology. The professorship was established by James S. Vaughan in honor of his father Richard Vaughan who was an extension professor of Plant Pathology from 1914-1950. Rouse studies potato early dying as well as the production of potatoes in mixed crop- livestock systems.