The President of Botswana Visits the Washington Mandela Fellows on Campus and Sparks Conservation Discussion

This story was originally posted by UW-Madison International Division 

For six weeks, UW–Madison has been home to 25 young Africans taking part in the Mandela Washington Fellowship—an academic and experiential learning program designed to prepare them to be future leaders in their countries. July 25, the final day of the program, was made especially significant through a visit to campus by Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, president of Botswana.

Since assuming the presidency in 2008, Khama has worked to build Botswana into one of the continent’s most stable nations. Understanding the larger role Botswana’s national resources will play in the future, Khama has continually championed sustainable growth and responsible conservation.

President Ian Khama

President Ian Khama at Botswana spoke at a faculty round table discussion at issues surrounding conservation.

Khama met with the Mandela Washington fellows during a luncheon to conclude their program. He spoke on the importance of conservation to the future of Africa and gave the young leaders the opportunity to ask him about the challenges faced by his nation as well as their own countries.

President Ian Khama and Mandela Washington Fellows

Members of the Mandela-Washington Fellows are pictured with Ian Khama, president of the Republic of Botswana during a luncheon ceremony hosted by the International Division, where Khama was presented with a Global Citizen Award. The event was hosted in the Alumni Lounge of the Pyle Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on July 28, 2017. (Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)

“When we talk about conservation, there are three entities responsible for driving it if you are to have any success,” Khama said. “Those areas are the conservation NGOs, the private sector, and government. I have learned in government that if you have committed leadership, you can achieve more than the other two sectors combined. That is something we have been trying to set an example for by doing what we are doing in Botswana when it comes to sustainability and conservation and protecting the flora and fauna.”

Protecting resources

The protection of fauna is an ongoing battle given the prominence of poachers on the African continent. However, policies established in Botswana have greatly reduced the number of animals killed each year from poaching.

Khama stated around 160,000 of the estimated 415,000 elephants living in Africa can be found in Botswana. Thanks to strict measures against poaching, including a ban on all hunting other than on private ranches, Botswana only lost 44 elephants in 2016 to poaching. Yet on the continent, almost 100 elephants can be lost every day.

“We are not very kind to poachers, and they know it,” Khama said. “We use all of our security services. We use police, army, intelligence and correctional services.”

Khama has also led Botswana in responsible development across the nation and with neighboring countries. Mandela Washington Fellow Diénéba Deme-Diallo, a radio journalist from Mali, asked Khama about key policies Botswana has implemented to support environmental issues. Khama cited several examples, including the requirement that before any infrastructure projects begin, an environmental impact assessment must be completed. A team of dedicated experts then assess how the project might negatively impact the environment, archaeological sites, water resources, vegetation and the well-being of people.

“As we develop our countries we should do it with the natural resources in mind and ensure it is done in a sustainable way,” Khama said.

Khama also discussed efforts to roll out a sustainability agenda to the rest of the African continent at a 2012 summit in partnership with Washington, D.C. based Conservation International. The summit was attended by heads of state from 10 countries and focused on the importance of the environment and discussed the introduction of natural capital accounting into national programs and policies. According to Khama, such collaboration is crucial to ensuring a sustainable future for Africa.

Global Citizen Award

During his visit, Khama’s conservation efforts were recognized with the International Division’s Global Citizen Award. In giving the award, Guido Podestá, vice provost and dean of UW–Madison’s International Division, recognized many of Khama’s roles in promoting conservation, noting Khama’s service as a board member for Conservation International and his pivotal role in establishing the Khama Rhino Sanctuary and Kalahari Conservation Society.

Guido Podesta and Ian Khama

Guido Podesta (left), dean of International Division, presents a Global Citizen Award to Ian Khama (right), president of the Republic of Botswana during a lunch ceremony attended by members of the UW community, including the Mandela-Washington Fellows, held in the Alumni Lounge of the Pyle Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on July 28, 2017. (Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)

“President Khama’s work continues to inspire in a world where we see more and more how critical it is to preserve the natural resources all around us,” Podestá said. “The policies and actions he has taken to introduce sustainable practices to Botswana and neighboring nations will have a significant impact on the future of Africa.”

While accepting the honor, Khama reaffirmed his commitment to safeguarding the natural treasures of Botswana and working to create a culture of sustainability throughout Africa.

“I feel very honored to be presented with this distinguished award,” Khama said. “This recognition is certainly a source of encouragement and motivation.”

The Wisconsin-Botswana connection

While more than 8,400 miles separate UW–Madison from Botswana, many individuals associated with Wisconsin and the university have created significant ties with the African nation.

During a roundtable discussion between Khama, faculty and university partners, UW–Madison alumnus and International Advisory board member John Lange, who previously served as U.S. ambassador to Botswana, recalled a notable Wisconsin connection.

Ian Khama and University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty

Ian Khama, president of the Republic of Botswana, answers questions from members of a round-table discussion session hosted by the International Division at the Pyle Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on July 28, 2017. Earlier in the day, President Khama was presented with a Global Citizen Award. (Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)

“I still remember the visit of the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson, the former governor of Wisconsin, to Gaborone in 2002,” Lange said. “That visit proved to be a pivotal moment that helped spur the creation of President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).”

Khama’s visit holds additional significance in that he is not the first head of state from Botswana to visit the university. International Division Advisory Board Member and alumnus Tony Carroll, a key figure in arranging Khama’s visit in partnership with members of the Botswana government, also arranged a visit to campus from Botswana President Quett Masire in 1996.

“The fact that two presidents of a nation would choose to visit the university in a relatively short period signifies an unusually deep relationship—one that could blossom to mutual benefit from Wisconsin and Botswana,” said Carroll. “The relationship between the university and Botswana is a robust articulation of the Wisconsin idea.”

Ambassador John Lange, Ambassador David Newman, President Ian Khama, Dean Guido Podestá, and Tony Carroll.

From left to right:
Ambassador John Lange, Ambassador David Newman, President Ian Khama,
Dean Guido Podestá,
and Tony Carroll.
(Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)

UW–Madison’s student activities and programs often engage Botswana as well.

The African Studies Program also sees students, faculty and alumni involved with Botswana and the rest of Africa. Wisconsin has awarded 750 Ph.D. degrees to Africa specialists since 1961. Two students served as interns in Botswana last year, with one continuing to work with David Newman, ambassador of the Republic of Botswana to the U.S.

Several alumni from Botswana have also assumed leadership roles. Two of the vice chancellors of the University of Botswana have received degrees from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and several top leaders in government attended the university.

Given so many ties between the university and Botswana, leaders at UW–Madison are optimistic that the university and Botswana could collaborate in more ways in the future.

“I am proud that UW–Madison is serving as a stage for talks on important topics such as conservation, leadership, and the future of Africa,” said Podestá. “It also strikes me that this occasion could mark a new point in the relationship between the university and Botswana. I look forward to exploring ways the university and Botswana can connect so that we can continue to learn through each of our nations.”

– By Steven Barcus

DOE selects Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center for next-phase funding

Original post by UW-Madison news, July 17

Photo: Switchgrass growing in a field

A plot of switchgrass grows in the Great Lake Bioenergy Research Center’s fields at the Arlington Agricultural Research Station in Arlington, Wisconsin. MATTHEW WISNIEWSKI, GLBRC

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) for an additional five years of funding to develop sustainable alternatives to transportation fuels and products currently derived from petroleum. Already the recipient of roughly $267 million in DOE funding, GLBRC represents the largest federal grant ever awarded to UW–Madison.

In this next phase of funding, GLBRC scientists and recently recruited experts will conduct research that enables the sustainable production of specialty biofuels and bio-products using dedicated bioenergy crops such as switchgrass, poplar trees and sorghum. These bioenergy crops will be grown on marginal — or non-agricultural — land, a shift from GLBRC’s previous mission of producing biofuels from crops grown on agricultural land.

Established by the Biological and Environmental Research program in DOE’s Office of Science in 2007, GLBRC is based at the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Wisconsin Energy Institute and includes a major partnership with Michigan State University (MSU). The cross-disciplinary center draws on the expertise of biologists, chemists, engineers and economists, and employs over 400 researchers, students and staff conducting foundational bioenergy research.

Photo: Tim Donohue

Tim Donohue, GLBRC director and UW–Madison professor of bacteriology. MATTHEW WISNIEWSKI, GLBRC

“Collaboration has been at the core of GLBRC’s efforts from day one, and it will continue to drive the goals of this new center and help us realize our vision of developing bio-based sources of fuels and chemicals,” says Tim Donohue, GLBRC director and UW–Madison professor of bacteriology. “We are in a unique position to not only address a major societal challenge, but to create new revenue sources and economic opportunities for farmers, rural communities and a new generation of bio-refineries, as well as to create new, locally produced and cost-effective products for consumers.”

Today, DOE announced four Bioenergy Research Center selections for fiscal year 2018, with plans to provide five years of funding. Specific funding amounts for 2018 and beyond will be finalized as part of future federal budget processes.

The center will conduct research that enables the sustainable production of specialty biofuels and bio-products using dedicated bioenergy crops such as switchgrass, poplar trees and sorghum.

Over GLBRC’s 10-year history, it has built academic and industrial partnerships that have yielded more than 1,000 scientific publications, 160 patent applications, 80 licenses or options, and five start-up companies.

“Transforming the results of scientific research into new commercial products is a complex process,” says Marsha Mailick, UW–Madison vice chancellor for research and graduate education. “But when universities and companies work in tandem to push the frontiers of knowledge, they become a powerful engine for innovation and economic growth. GLBRC is an excellent example of university researchers and industry working closely together to generate new knowledge and maximize the social and economic benefits of these new ideas.”

Photo: Scientist extracting bacteria sample

GLBRC assistant scientist Kim Lemmer extracts a bacteria sample in the center’s labs at the Wisconsin Energy Institute. JAMES RUNDE, WISCONSIN ENERGY INSTITUTE

“The GLBRC is prolific in its partnership, disclosing dozens of new technologies to the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) over the last few years,” says Erik Iverson, managing director of WARF. “These inventions have resulted in several licensing agreements. We are delighted this federal grant will continue this cycle of innovation.”

Building on past accomplishments, GLBRC’s next phase will focus on producing dedicated bioenergy crops on non-agricultural lands, maximizing the production of specialty fuels and bio-products from those crops, and building a comprehensive understanding of the field-to-product pipeline to maximize the sustainability and economic benefits offered by a future cellulosic bio-industry. Together, these efforts have the potential to spur a new bio-refinery industry equipped to create valuable products from as much of a crop’s biomass as possible.

As a university-based DOE Bioenergy Research Center, GLBRC will continue to benefit from the resources, strategic partnerships and world-class research programs at UW–Madison and MSU.

“We are in a unique position to … create new revenue sources and economic opportunities for farmers, rural communities and a new generation of bio-refineries, as well as to create new, locally produced and cost-effective products for consumers.”

Tim Donohue

“GLBRC’s selection demonstrates UW–Madison’s continued excellence in clean energy research,” says UW–Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank. “Our broad expertise in areas such as plant sciences, microbiology, economics and engineering is enabling the development of new and innovative technologies that can bring about American energy sustainability while also strengthening the economy right here at home.”

“MSU has driven much of the sustainability focus of the GLBRC, and we are proud of the many areas of expertise we contribute,” says MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon. “The research center provides exciting opportunities for us to collaborate across campuses and disciplines, tackling the challenge of bio-based energy solutions with an integrated approach.”

Additional university collaborators include the University of British Columbia, Texas A&M University and Michigan Technological University.


-By Krista Eastman

Grant Awarded to the School of Nursing to Expand Native American Enrollment

MADISON, Wisconsin - Two faculty members at the UW-Madison School of Nursing have received a $1.3 million federal grant to develop a comprehensive system of support services that will help admit, retain and graduate 30 Native American nursing students over the next four years.

Audrey Tluczek, an associate professor of nursing, and Mel Freitag, the school’s director of diversity initiatives, will lead the project, called “Success Through Recruitment/Retention, Engagement, and Mentorship (STREAM) for American Indian Students Pursuing Nursing Careers.” The project aligns with a Wisconsin Center for Nursing goal of expanding the diversity of the nursing workforce to mirror the diversity of the population it serves.

The goal is based on evidence showing that increasing diversity in the nursing workforce improves access to health care and leads to better health outcomes for underrepresented groups, including Native Americans. Currently, the Wisconsin nursing workforce is 94 percent white, while the Wisconsin population is only 79 percent white. About 90 percent of nurses who provide services in Wisconsin tribal health facilities are white; the vast majority of patients are American Indian.

“This project is vital for the state, as we believe it can make a real difference in improving health outcomes within American Indian populations by increasing the number of Native nurses in these communities,” says School of Nursing Dean Linda D. Scott. “This grant validates the important relationships already forged by Dr. Tluczek and Dr. Freitag with Wisconsin American Indian communities. It reflects the UW-Madison School of Nursing’s commitment to admitting, educating and graduating students from diverse backgrounds in an effort to better serve all Wisconsin residents and eliminate the health disparities that many populations experience.”

 All 12 Wisconsin tribes (11 federally recognized and one state-recognized) are federally-designated Health Professional Shortage Areas.

The grant, awarded by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, builds on a previous community-academic partnership project among the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, the UW-Madison School of Nursing, and UW Population Health Institute, which was funded by the Wisconsin Partnership Program. One of the objectives of that project, “Increasing Cultural Congruence Among Nurses in Wisconsin,” was to increase the number of American Indian nurses in the state. “This new grant will help us do just that,” Tluczek says.

“It’s been a privilege to be able to collaborate with and learn from tribal communities,” she says. “Working closely with our American Indian partners provided us valuable insights about the need for more Native nurses who can help develop models of health care that combine traditional American Indian healing with western medicine. Doing so holds great potential for improving the health and well-being of tribal communities. That experience also taught us much about the challenges that American Indian students and communities face and the role the University of Wisconsin-Madison can play in supporting these students interested in nursing careers.”

“We have visited tribal communities throughout the state to develop relationships and identify ways the School of Nursing can help expand the Native nursing workforce and access to culturally congruent health care for Native populations,” Freitag says. “We designed this program with our Wisconsin tribal partners to educate Wisconsin students to serve Wisconsin populations. We’ve been saying all along that this is the Wisconsin Idea in action, and it is. It really is.”

The STREAM grant specifically calls for recruiting more students with the help of a nursing-specific online recruitment tool, and yet recruitment is only part of the challenge, Freitag says. The STREAM program will also focus on retention and graduation. This involves providing structured support designed to address the specific challenges and barriers Native students encounter when attending UW-Madison.

Freitag says Native Americans, like many students from underrepresented populations, are more likely to face barriers and challenges on a large, predominantly white campus. Geographic factors also come into play for Native students, as Madison can seem like a very isolating place to them.

“The desire for a sense of belonging, or the lack of a sense of belonging, comes up with our Native students as it does for other underrepresented groups,” Freitag says. “Underrepresented groups are small groups in Madison, and Native Americans are the smallest of the small. It can be difficult for them to find and forge peer groups on campus and certainly within the school.”

To foster community within the school and on campus, STREAM will use traditional American Indian talking circles to provide student peer support. The program will also work to foster confidence by connecting American Indian students with mentors who are Native nurses currently practicing in Wisconsin. The grant proposal also calls for continued efforts to strengthen relationships with tribal communities through yearly Native Nations Nursing Summits, which Tluczek and Freitag have organized since 2015.

Global health students among 2017 Wisconsin Without Borders award winners

These seven students and faculty, including global health certificate earners, are proof that that the Wisconsin Idea is a living, serving idea.

This year’s Wisconsin Without Borders awards honor seven students and faculty for their community-engaged work at home and across the world. The 2017 awards honor work that demonstrates excellence in collaboration between the university and local and global communities, with this year’s work representing efforts spanning six countries. Each award carries a prize of up to $1,000.

Wisconsin Without Borders, a campus-wide alliance, will honor all winners at a ceremony on Monday, May 8 from 4 – 5:30 p.m. at the Education Building (room 159). The ceremony is open to the entire campus community.

Wisconsin Without Borders (WWB) is a UW-Madison alliance and award program that recognizes globally-engaged interdisciplinary scholarship and fosters excellence by networking through joint learning activities. WWB draws on the history and values of the Wisconsin Idea and the many remarkable partnerships that UW-Madison faculty members and students have initiated, both in Wisconsin and around the world.

WWB is a partnership between the Morgridge Center for Public Service, the Global Health Institute and the International Division.

Service Learning Award – Faculty

Joel Hill
Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, School of Medicine and Public Health

For the last six years, the UW-Madison Physician Assistant (PA) program has traveled to the rural and impoverished areas around Independence, Belize, to provide medical care at temporary clinics. The work in Belize is in close partnership with local providers and with a non-governmental organization, the Belize Family Life Association. Students and faculty travel there to address acute minor complaints, chronic illnesses, as well as teach preventive health strategies and provide cervical cancer screening exams.

Community-Based Research Award – Graduate Student

John Uelmen
Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and Department of Population Health Sciences, Global Health Institute

John Uelemen worked with the citizens of Ban Koke Wat Moo, Thailand, to better understand the status of Dengue virus in the country. His short-term goal was to establish a level of trust and mutual respect with the local citizens and to better understand daily activities, food preparation, religion, social interaction and more. All of these factors play critical roles in the transmission of Dengue. Uelemen found it crucial to understand how the local culture deals with larger issues to be respectful in battling the epidemic. He will build off this cultural understanding in order to conduct a year of research on Dengue virus in Thailand.

Service-Learning Award – Graduate Student

Erica Hess
Design Studies, School of Human Ecology

The now ubiquitous nature of smartphones and internet access opens new opportunities to collaborate around the world. During the Fall 2016 semester, students enrolled in a textile design class taught by graduate student Erica Hess were paired with artisans in the Kutch district of Gujarat, India. With no opportunity to meet in person, 13 design teams used the popular communication app WhatsApp to each develop a collection of scarves. The project goals were to collaborate on a unified collection of scarves, to effectively communicate design ideas using only the smart phone app and to create an intercultural exchange through design.

Peter Bosscher Award – Undergraduate Student

Maria Castillo
Environmental Studies, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies

The goal of UpTica is to address inequality and waste management in San Isidro, Costa Rica, and to empower women by providing access to opportunities through upcycling. Upcylcing implies that the new product has more value than it previously had. The project centers on the production of new reusable bags because leftover fabric was being trashed locally and there was a high rate of plastic bag usage in the area. Production work is open to all genders, but specifically increases opportunities to women.

4W Award – Undergraduate Student

Sydney Olson
Department of Biology, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Global Health Institute

The primary goal for the ‘AFRIpads for All’ project is to increase access to menstrual health supplies for school-aged girls by partnering with AFRIpads to provide reusable menstrual pads to girls in Nkokonjeru, Uganda. By providing sanitary supplies to school-aged girls, the larger-scale goal is that girls will be able to effectively managed monthly menstruation, resulting in a lower incidence of girls skipping school, thus lessening the disparity in class attendance and performance between boys and girls in the community.

4W Award – Undergraduate Student

Jennifer Wagman
School of Business

Wisconsin Without Borders Marketplace is a non-profit student organization committed to maintaining fair trade practices with global artisans who sell their work through the organization. As the student director of Wisconsin Without Borders Marketplace, Jennifer Wagman works to create sustainable economic development and empowerment for partners in developing countries. For Jennifer, the work also means creating meaningful student experiences. Her goal is to empower students to use their many talents, while also teaching confidence, self-motivation empowerment, respect, tolerance, acceptance and understanding.

Service-Learning Award – Undergraduate Student

Michelle Tong
Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering, Asian American Studies Program, College of Letters and Sciences

The goal of our College/Career Advancement Mentorship Program (CAMP) at the Bayview Foundation in Madison was to provide high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds with a foundation to pursue higher education. With funding from the Wisconsin Idea Undergraduate Fellowships, CAMP has been piloted as a blueprint for Bayview to reduce an income disparity in student success. CAMP consists of weekly academic workshops, weekly group ACT tutoring from Galin Education and monthly motivational workshops.

This story was originally posted by the Morgridge Center for Public Service. 

2017-18 Wisconsin Idea Fellowships awarded to seven projects






The 2017-18 Wisconsin Idea Fellowships have been awarded to seven outstanding undergraduate projects at home and across the globe, many with a global health emphasis. Brooke Nelson, Global Health Certificate earner, is among the recipients.

The projects, which are all rooted in the concept of addressing needs identified by community partners, range in topic from mass incarceration, to household energy solutions, to fresh produce access to sexual assault and more. A total of 15 UW-Madison undergraduate students are part of this year’s projects, sponsored by the Morgridge Center for Public Service.

Now in its 19th year, Wisconsin Idea Fellowships (WIF) are awarded annually to UW-Madison undergraduate projects working to solve issues identified by local or global communities. Fellowships are awarded to semester-long or year-long projects designed by an undergraduate student or group of students in collaboration with a community organization and a UW faculty or staff member.

Projects receive both logistical support as well as financial support—up to $7,000 in total depending on project scope and duration. A portion of each project’s funding is awarded to students as a personal stipend, allowing them to pursue a WIF project using time they might have otherwise worked a job. Some projects will begin this summer, and some will last through next May.

Included in this year’s program are three special awards: The Michael Thornton and Nora Medina Social Innovation Award and two American Family Insurance Social Entrepreneurship Awards.

2017-18 Wisconsin Idea Fellowships:

Collaborating with Communities in Perez Zeledon, Costa Rica, to Create a Wasteless System & Socioeconomic Development

Students: Kyle Powers, Anna Ostermeier, Brooke Nelson
Faculty Advisor: Cathy Middlecamp
Community Partner: UpTica

This project addresses the intersection of gender inequality and environmental sustainability in Perez Zeledon, Costa Rica. The community partner, UpTica, introduces upcycling to rural communities as an approach to sustainable waste management, female empowerment, and economic opportunity. The team will catalyze the collaborative development of a waste framework to procure upcycling resources, engage local young people around sustainability leadership opportunities, and create local wealth using discarded materials.

Addressing Incarceration and Its Effects on Community Health Through the Arts (Madison, WI)

Student: Mackenzie Berry
Faculty Advisor: Rain Wilson
Community Partner: Madison Organizing in Strength, Equality, and Solidarity (MOSES)

This project has been awarded an American Family Insurance Social Entrepreneurship Award made possible by a generous donation from American Family Insurance.

This project uses artists as creative agents of change to promote health equity in marginalized communities disproportionately affected by mass incarcerated. In effort to address the relationship between poverty, incarceration, and health disparities, this project connects artists with community members to diminish inequities perpetuated by racialized incarceration. Partnering with Madison Organizing in Strength, Equality, and Solidarity (MOSES), project participants will work with community members around the topic of decreasing and recovering from incarceration to produce lasting performance and visual art that engages all stakeholders.

Implementing Solar Technology for Lighting and Power Applications in Rural Kenya

Students: David Seamon, James Ewald, Mary Mancl, Maxwell Roth, Megan Sweet
Faculty Advisor: Lesley Sager
Community Partner:

In this project, students and faculty partner with a non-profit organization, Merry-Go-Strong, to address household energy access in Gatunga, Kenya. Two primary problems that the residents have previously emphasized were a) the lack of access to in-home lighting and, and b) small electronic charging capabilities. To ameliorate these issues, the team has designed an inexpensive source of solar powered light and USB power that can be easily created/used by members of the community. The current project is designed to disseminate this knowledge/technology to community members.

ARMS High School Tutoring Program: Outreach to Promote Education for Multicultural Students through Scientific Role Models (Dane County, WI)

Student: Lindsi London
Faculty Advisor: Dolly Ledin
Community Partner: Boys and Girls Club of Dane County

This project has received the “Michael Thornton and Nora Medina Social Innovation Award,” a special honor made possible by a generous endowment fund for WIF projects targeting the opportunity gap in Madison. 

The project promotes equity, diversity, and success in science learning among underrepresented teens in the City of Madison. In collaboration with the Boys and Girls Club of America, the Partner School Network, and WIScience, ARMS volunteers will bridge the gap between high school and university students to promote scientific competence. Through one-on-one assistance from UW-Madison tutors, students will be provided personal attention to solidify improved outcomes in advanced science courses and post-secondary education.

Eva the Engineer: Young Girls at the Intersection of Engineering and Sustainability (Madison, WI)

Students: Renee Olley, Morgan Sanger
Faculty Advisor: Angela P. Ahlman
Community Partner: Madison Metropolitan School District

This project has been awarded an American Family Insurance Social Entrepreneurship Award made possible by a generous donation from American Family Insurance. 

The purpose of this project is to encourage middle school girls in the City of Madison to consider STEM-related careers. In collaboration with the Wisconsin Concrete Pavement Association and the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD), team members will utilize their academic backgrounds in civil engineering and environmental sustainability to address the nationwide gender gap in STEM fields with an interactive classroom exercise that teaches female students to fosters teamwork skills, logical reasoning capacity, and environmental sustainability awareness.

The Patio Tomato Project: Decreasing the Gap Between Families and Produce Through Urban Agriculture (Madison, WI)

Student: Caroline Hanson
Faculty Advisor: Jeri Barak-Cunningham
Community Partner: The River Food Pantry

This project will combat the challenges of obtaining fresh product for low-income families by growing and distributing free high yielding cherry tomato plants. In collaboration with the River Food Pantry, the team will distribute the plants during workshops that teach maintenance/utility of low-input gardening, disseminate cooking recipes, and foster long-term healthy practices by engaging children in gardening. Based on results of this pilot, the team will create a student organization that advocates for improved nutrition across food pantries in Madison.

Relationships FLAGs (Madison, WI)

Students: Maddie Zimmerman, Lauren Silber
Faculty Advisor: Tracy Schroepfer
Community Partner: Domestic Abuse Intervention Services

The goal of this project is to partner with Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS), Promoting Awareness Victim Education (PAVE), and sororities and fraternities in UW’s Greek Community to equip students with the confidence and capacity to understand the nature of dating violence and healthy relationships. Currently, DAIS does not offer educational resources to the campus. This project addresses this service gap with a series of interactive activities to teach Greek students about healthy relationships and foster effective intervention strategies that decrease instances of sexual assault throughout the student body.

This story was reposted from the Morgridge Center for Public Service. View the original story here.

Call for applications: Wisconsin Without Borders Recognition Awards for Global Engaged Scholarship

In alignment with its mission, Wisconsin Without Borders (WWB) is soliciting nominations of outstanding examples of globally engaged scholarship by members of the UW-Madison community. To be considered, applications should describe projects involving collaboration between faculty, students, university staff, and non-academic partners that address a problem identified by community members.

Awards will be offered in three categories – (1) faculty/academic staff, (2) graduate students, and (3) undergraduate students. Applicants in both categories may be nominated individually or as a group for a joint project. Faculty/academic staff and graduate students may apply on behalf of the same project, but students must demonstrate contributions independent of the faculty/staff member(s). The award amount will average $500 to $1000 per project. The number of awards offered will be determined by the selection committee. Award winners are expected to be willing to serve on the selection committee for a subsequent year’s awards process.

Deadline Application deadline is 11:59pm on Wednesday, March 15th, 2017.

Application Process

Individuals may apply on their own behalves or nominate someone else. All applications will be expected to include (1) a completed information form (available at ) and (2) a response to the following prompts: Please describe: x x x The project and your role within it; The impact of the project on the community; How the project meets the principles of community engagement (service learning, community-based research, outreach, or other responsive worN); and, How the service and/or research is applicable to the larger global community outside of the target population. All responses should be: 2 to 4 pages typed double-spaced, 1.0” margins, and 12 pt. Times New Roman font. Completed applications will be due via e-mail by Wednesday, March 15th at 11:59pm to Project Eligibility Projects may be of varying durations or structures, but must be a community-engaged learning and research action that is informed by a global perspective, address a community-identified societal need, and demonstrate excellence or leadership in the integration of academic and community engagement. Projects must demonstrate a global (or local to global) connection, but do not have to be located outside of the U.S. All nominees must also demonstrate that their project was completed in a credit-bearing framework. Projects must have been active during the last year, starting in the summer of 2016. Projects should be substantially completed by March 2017. No minimum duration required. These awards are for prior achievement and do not apply to proposals for future work. For more information on the judging criteria, please visit Please contact WWB Graduate Fellow, Garrett Grainger at with any questions.