Congratulations to the 2019-2020 CALS Senior Award Recipients

The CALS Senior Awards recognize students for their scholastic performance, leadership, and service. 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 campus and community engagement.

2019 – 2020 Award Recipients

Kevin Crosby
Major: Nutritional Sciences
Certificate: Environmental Studies
Hometown: Prince Georges County, MD

My name is Kevin Crosby. I am from Prince Georges County, MD. I am pursuing a B.S. in Nutritional Sciences, and a certificate in environmental studies. I now know that nutritional practices and health outcomes are intimately related to the state of the environment. Through the exploration of topics ranging from infant mortality to environmental factors that impact the transmission of zoonosis, my academic programs have built a foundation for my professional interests in public health and equity. From conducting clinical research at UW health focused on limiting iatrogenesis to being an Emergency Department volunteer at the William S. Middleton VA Hospital to working on my Freshman dorm’s programming board as the Cultural Coalition Coordinator, I have been able to pursue a plethora of opportunities unique to Madison. Everything I have been a part of in Madison has prepared me to move forward in my journey. Since early childhood, I wanted to have a tangible effect on the wellbeing of others. I now look to satisfy that desire by becoming a physician. This will allow me to make a positive impact on the health of my community. In the fall, I will begin the Public Health Master’s program at Cambridge. This will add a global perspective to my interest in combatting health inequities. My time at Cambridge will prepare me for my career in medicine by improving my understanding of the implications of individual healthcare decisions on population health.

Hannah Fenelon
Majors: Entomology and Spanish
Certificate: Global Health
Hometown: Dousman, WI

I started as an anthropocentric undergraduate but left the university with a one health perspective that guided me future career aspirations. Joining the Paskewitz laboratory as a member of the tick team, I found comradery along with the opportunity to conduct medical entomologic research during my remaining three years. I was awarded a Hilldale Research Grant which allowed me to conduct a summer camp study to investigate the impact of resin blocks embedded with ticks as an educational tool. My interest in public health stemmed from my internship as a CDC Public Health Scholar at the University of Michigan and my time as a co-founder and co-director of the Grow Program. The Grow Program became a large part of my life as it developed from an aspiration into a reality that has provided hundreds of Madison households with free fruits and vegetables. After studying abroad in Spain, I ensured that the Grow Program was able to support the needs of the Spanish speaking community. I also spent my time as a “Big Sister” for an elementary student, a health coach volunteer at Wingra Family Clinic, and as the president of the Undergraduate Entomology Society. Next year, I will be pursuing a Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology at the University of Washington.

Emily Johnson
Majors: Biology and Spanish
Hometown: Gilman, WI

I used to be a recluse when given the choice, but fortunately the last four years at UW-Madison have neither given me the choice nor made it attractive any longer. I have discovered throughout my undergraduate studies that restricting my time and experience to studying in an undisturbed, dark corner—as I used to fantasize—misses the point of learning altogether. Maybe more important than what I forcibly committed to memory in the classroom are the lessons I learned outside of it about being a servant and belonging to a community. The support I received and reciprocated at my campus church, Pres House, has made me more justice minded and faithfully motivated. The individuals I befriended through Special Olympics have forced me to reevaluate my definition of success and purpose. And, the service and social experiences that branched from these organizations, together with the UW curriculum, have made it clear that I will never know it all, or even get close. My time is better spent contributing, in the small ways I can, to causes much bigger and more important than myself.

Nicole Lankey
Major: Biology
Hometown: Stoughton, WI

Throughout my time at UW-Madison I have been a part of many clubs and organizations. I want to become a Physician Assistant, so I was involved in the Wisconsin Premedical Society as well as the Academy of Aspiring Physician Assistants. I also played an important role in the Phi Kappa Phi Scholar Society, the Badger Hunting Club, and the Chi Alpha Christian Organization. During my time at Madison I displayed leadership characteristics by serving as a Welcome Team Leader for LakeView Church and by serving as a coach for a youth girls basketball team based out of my hometown. Finally, I participated in lots of volunteer opportunities through several organizations. Some of these organizations include: The Catholic Multicultural Center, Stoughton Hospital, Challah for Hunger, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. While participating in all of these activities during my four years at UW-Madison, I also maintained a near perfect GPA by excelling in all of the difficult courses that I was faced with on a day-to-day basis.

Isabelle Lombardi
Major: Microbiology
Certificate: Global Health
Hometown: Sudbury, Massachusetts

Graduating with a 3.95 grade point average, I have been awarded two academic merit scholarships while at the University of Wisconsin-Madison which hve driven me to succeed. I volunteered at the university hospital, as a GUTS tutor, and as a PLA facilitator throughout my four years. Additionally, I mentored for two years at the Neighborhood House. This gave me the opportunity to work with younger students in the Madison area from diverse backgrounds. I was also a member of a research lab at the Wisconsin Institute for Medical Research in the Department of Cell and Regenerative Biology for three years. My lab focused on heart regeneration after a myocardial infarction. Last summer I had the opportunity to travel to Morocco and Spain on a UW sponsored global health program to learn about human rights and combat sex trafficking. All of these opportunities have prepared me for my future career, education, and life after undergraduate study. I am very thankful for all of my mentors, professors, and advisors at UW-Madison.

Grace Padgett
Major: Biology
Certificate: Global Health
Hometown: Burtonsville, MD

I am a D.C. Posse Scholar from Burtonsville, Maryland. On campus, I am heavily involved in areas on campus surrounding science, medicine, and public health. I have conducted research and independent projects in the Department of Biochemistry, UW Population Health Institute, and the UW SMPH Health Innovation Program. I am passionate about increasing minority representation in science and medicine, social justice issues, and addressing health inequities. My passions have led me to be the past president of AHANA-MAPS Pre-Health Society, a multicultural pre-health society. I also served as a Resource Navigator for the Resource Navigator Program, connecting patients with community resources to meet their needs. I am also driven to help students, especially students of color, successfully transition and succeed in higher education, which led me to take active roles in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences as a Peer Advisor and Ambassador. After graduation I hope to continue to conduct medical research prior to applying to medical school. I aim to obtain a MD/MPH and address health inequity from both a clinical and research perspective.

Kehan (Sky) Sheng
Major: Animal Science
Certificate: Computer Science
Hometown: Yantai, Shandong, China

Majoring in Animal Science with a minor in Computer Science, I am a transfer student originally from Yantai, Shandong, China. My passion for improving the welfare of animals in China  drove me to UW-Madison. During my undergraduate period, I maintained an excellent academic record while being actively involved in research, volunteering, and leadership activities. I am an award recipient for various scholarships including: Farm Credit scholarship, Farrington Undergraduate Research award, Dorothy Strong Scholarship, and more. In my junior year, I completed an individual research project on evaluating the behavioral responses of dairy cows after subcutaneous insertion of real-time temperature detecting microchips. I used my summer vacation to teach kids English and help rescue wildlife as a volunteer in Costa Rica. As a person with diverse interests, I also worked as a finance analyst intern in a fortune 500 company – INTL FCStone – where I used my computer science skills to analyze the price changes of the future’s market in agriculture. In addition, I was the ambassador of Agriculture Future of America – a non-profit organization aimed at building bridges for college students and industry professionals. In the near future, I will be a graduate research assistant at the University of British Columbia focusing on Applied Animal Biology.