Report to the Board of Regents

Through the hard work and initiative of UW-Oshkosh senior Brianna Langs, the campus welcomed a prominent national speaker in March to kick off Women’s History Month. Long-time social justice activist Angela Davis used her keynote to inspire a packed crowd of more than 700 in Reeve Union. Davis spoke about justice for women of color and met students and audience members, who were eager to meet her afterward.

UW-Parkside is proud to announce that Mya Peterson and Sam Rozzoni have earned the 2019 UW-Parkside Big Idea award for their research project about new nutrition supplements for aging populations. With the guidance and support of Dr. Daryl Sauer, the team is working on a molecule that has the potential to enhance physical performance and brain function, and also build and restore muscle mass.

Powered by her own determination, and with the help of caring faculty and staff at UW-Whitewater, Anastasia Wilson — who was born with cerebral palsy and dyslexia — is living her dream and inspiring the next generation. She embodies what it means to be a Warhawk — pursue your passions, overcome obstacles, aspire for excellence.

For UW-Superior students Opeyemi Omiwale and Obiageli   Ekwunwa, getting involved in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program turned into a project that not only benefited them, but also the City of Superior. Both seniors from Nigeria, the two brought fresh perspectives to help revitalize the area’s retail industry.

UW-Stout’s Dylan Lubs recently became the first-ever undergraduate to receive the Men in Education award from the National Association for Education of Young Children. This early childhood education major from Chippewa Falls conducted research with Professor Jill Klefstad about male early childhood educators and was part of a faculty-led study experience in Nepal.

As part of his undergraduate research, UW-Stevens Point junior Tyler Hillery is helping Central Wisconsin employers create a hiring process that minimizes employee turnover and saves training dollars. Hillery and his faculty adviser Nikolaus Butz are applying a “Grit Scale” of personality traits, such as courage and endurance, to help local businesses retain employees. Hillery will present his research at UW System’s 16th annual “Research in the Rotunda” in April.

UW-River Falls physics major Roman Alvarado is conducting ground-breaking robotics research that could change the lives of amputees around the world. The senior is working on the design and construction of a Myoelectric Partial Hand Prosthesis. The university offers students like Roman opportunities to conduct research as part of their academic experience as early as their freshman year.

UW-Platteville student Eva Birtell’s research is out of this world, literally. The junior environmental horticulture and biology major is part of a student team that placed in the top five in a NASA-sponsored challenge to propose greenhouse concepts for Mars. Birtell joined the challenge after completing an internship at NASA, where she contributed to research on agricultural production on the International Space Station.

UW-Milwaukee is committed to encouraging undergraduate research, even starting as soon as the summer before freshman year. More than 1,000 UWM undergrads are involved in research each year, on topics ranging from 3D printing of bone scaffolds to preserving a long-forgotten 16-millimeter film archive. UWM is one of two universities nationwide honored in 2018 by the Council on Undergraduate Research.

UW-Madison students helped create an oral history project about the Black Student Strike 50 years ago. Joined by white supporters, the students boycotted classes, took over lecture halls, and blocked building entrances while galvanizing community support behind their demands to enroll more African-American students and hire more faculty of color. Several of the former students recently shared their experiences during a panel discussion at the Memorial Union.

UW-La Crosse faculty hope to inspire students to pursue futures in science. Biology Department faculty members took five K-12 teachers to Belize in January to study bioluminescent ostracods in the Caribbean. UWL alumna and 2018 Wisconsin Middle School Teacher of the Year Maggie McHugh was among those who shared their experiences and data with students back home via Skype.

UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus Professor Renee Richer’s research in Qatar may someday help to prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Richer is studying neurotoxins found in algae blooms that seem to link a certain neurotoxin (called BMAA) to ALS, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. In another study, she is collaborating with Green Bay and Marinette campus faculty, as well as undergraduate researchers, to see how blue-green algae might be useful as a biological water filter.

UW-Eau Claire history professor Dr. James Oberly and student researchers traveled to Budapest to help bring to life the World War II diaries of Dr. Maria Madi, who saved a young Jewish boy from persecution in Hungary. The Blugolds are creating a website and interactive storytelling tools to make the diaries — which are housed at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum — more accessible.


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