MADISON – The Alliant Energy Foundation and the University of Wisconsin System recognized the outstanding achievements of one UW System student and four UW System teachers at an Oct. 12 awards presentation in Madison.

The Alliant Energy Foundation and the UW System presented a UW-Madison student with the 2012 Alliant Energy/Erroll B. Davis, Jr. Academic Achievement Award. This 6th annual award recognizes the outstanding scholarship and community-service efforts of students from traditionally underrepresented minority groups who are pursuing a degree in business or engineering at UW-Madison and UW-Platteville, institutions within Alliant Energy’s service area.

The 2012 recipient of the Alliant Energy/Erroll B. Davis, Jr. Academic Achievement Award isDaniel Ramirez, a senior at UW-Madison. He expects to receive his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering in August 2013.

“Daniel has both stellar academic credentials and an impressive record of contributing his time and energy to helping others, such as mentoring middle and high school students and creating opportunities to educate the greater campus community about diverse cultures,” said Mark Nook, UW System Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. “Through his leadership and volunteerism, he has made both his campus and wider community better places to live and learn for all students.”

Erroll B. Davis, Jr., the first Black leader of a “Business Week 1000” company, is a former chief executive of Alliant Energy and a former member of UW System’s Board of Regents. He is currently Superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools. The Alliant Energy Foundation established an endowment in 2006 to honor Davis’s distinguished record of public service. The award program is administered by the UW System Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Four members of the UW System’s teaching faculty earned the 2012 Alliant Energy Underkofler Excellence in Teaching Awards, in recognition of their outstanding commitment to student success. The awards are presented annually to teachers from UW System campuses located within the Alliant Energy service area.

This year’s recipients of the Alliant Energy Underkofler Excellence in Teaching Awards are:

  • Judith Harackiewicz,Professor, Department of Psychology, UW-Madison
  • Michael Jurmu, Associate Professor, Geography and Geology, UW-Fond du Lac
  • Michael Penn, Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, UW-Platteville
  • Michel Wattiaux,Professor, Department of Dairy Science, UW-Madison

“It is a privilege to honor these outstanding and talented professors,” Nook said. “Through their contagious enthusiasm, creativity, and commitment to excellence, they are enhancing our institutions and the lives of our students.”

This year marks the 20thanniversary of the partnership between the UW System and the Alliant Energy Foundation. The awards are given as a tribute to the energy company’s long-time senior executive, James R. Underkofler, a staunch proponent of excellence in undergraduate teaching.

The award program is administered by the UW System Office of Academic, Faculty, and Global Programs. A committee of faculty and staff members selects the finalists from candidates who are nominated by eligible institutions.

Media Contact

David Giroux UW System (608) 262-4464