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 faculty members for doing outstanding work, while encouraging and inspiring excellence across the college.
This academic year, seven CALS faculty members were selected to receive CALS or department professorships/chairships. The recipients are listed below.
Anna Pidgeon, professor of forest and wildlife ecology. Pidgeon has been appointed to the Beers-Bascom Professor in Conservation, which provides research and scholarly activity support for five years. The professorship was established in the early 1980s by the Kraft Company in honor of William O. Beers for his lifetime career of dedicated service to the company and volunteer leadership roles at UW–Madison. Pidgeon’s areas of expertise include bird-habitat relationships, human impacts on wildlife, Wisconsin terrestrial vertebrates, and conservation biology and planning.
Amaya Atucha, professor of horticulture and extension fruit crop specialist. Atucha has been reappointed as the Gottschalk Chair for Cranberry Research, an appointment that includes research and scholarly activity support for five years. The chair award, established by the Gottschalk family, supports cranberry research in the Department of Horticulture. Atucha focuses on fruit crop physiology and production of deciduous fruit crops, including cranberries, apples, and grapes.
Tim Donohue, professor of bacteriology. Donohue has been appointed to the Ira L. Baldwin Professorship in Bacteriology, which provides research and scholarly activity support for five years. The family members of Ira Baldwin and the Reilly Company established the Ira L. Baldwin Professorship Fund in Bacteriology to honor Baldwin’s connections to CALS/UW, where he served in various leadership roles including Chair of the Department of Bacteriology, CALS Dean, and Dean of the Graduate School. Donohue’s research program focuses on analyzing pathways and networks that microbes use to grow, generate biomass, or produce alternative fuels from sunlight or other renewable sources of energy.
Nan Enstad, professor of community and environmental sociology. Enstad has been appointed to the Buttel-Sewell Professorship, which provides research and scholarly activity support for three years. Established in January 2005, the professorship supports the recruitment and retention of outstanding scholars. Enstad’s research and teaching examine the history of global capitalism and how people have lived and struggled within and against it. Current projects include a study of rural environmental activism in Wisconsin; a discursive comparative analysis of farmers and campesinos in the U.S. and Mexico; and a methods piece on global capitalism, commodities, and foreign policy.
Katrina Forest, professor of bacteriology. Forest has been appointed to the E.B. Fred Professorship in Bacteriology, which provides research and scholarly activity support for five years. The professorship was established through the estate of E.B. Fred, a leading bacteriologist who went on to serve various UW campus leadership roles including Graduate School Dean, CALS Dean and UW President. Forest’s research program focuses on the structural biology of pathogenesis, with a special focus on the proteins bacteria use to attach to and move across solid surfaces, and proteins they use to sense light.
Troy Runge, professor and chair of the Department of Biological Systems Engineering. Runge has been appointed to the Patrick Walsh and Noreen Warren Endowed Professorship, an appointment that includes three years of support for departmental mission and chair activities. The professorship was established in 2015 by Patrick Walsh and Noreen Warren. Walsh is the former chair of the department, and he also held an Extension appointment. Runge, the first appointee to this professorship, researches several aspects of bioenergy and bio-based materials with an emphasis on biomass composition and separation technologies.
Jill Wildonger, professor of biochemistry. Wildonger has been appointed to the Jean V. Thomas Professorship in Biochemistry, an appointment that includes salary and research support for five years. This professorship was established through the estate of Jean V. Thomas, a UW–Madison alumna who enjoyed a 40-year career, becoming a successful leader in science and business. Wildonger’s research leverages cell biology, genetics and biochemistry to study neurons, with the goal of elucidating the mechanisms that govern neuronal polarity and structure, which are at the heart of neuronal function.