Report by President Ray Cross to the Board of Regents

UW-Eau Claire geography majors are learning to use sophisticated geospatial technologies. These students are in high demand for internships and jobs, thanks to the hands-on fieldwork made possible through partnerships with industry leaders.

UW-Extension’s Center for Technology Commercialization helped draw a national biohealth conference to Milwaukee this year. Attendees learned more about a federal grant program for technology businesses. The center’s clients have been awarded over $36 million in funding since 2014.

UW Colleges hosted a veterans roundtable at UW-Waukesha. Community and government stakeholders shared best practices, discussed gaps in veteran services, and connected military families with resources they need for meaningful employment, education, and overall wellness.

UW-Whitewater student Clara McGowan was named co-recipient of the 2017 Richard G. Gaarder Award. The Wisconsin Music Educators Association presents this award each year to a music education major for excellence in music and exceptional leadership.

UW-Superior is helping student veterans adjust to civilian and academic life with a new class titled, “Transitions in Your Life: From Military to Campus Culture.” One student said that going from the Marine Corps to college has been easier because of this class.

UW-Stout has been named a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense. The national designation highlights classes, such as computer networking, that have cybersecurity components. Federal scholarships and grants are available to help prepare students for cyber defense careers.

Two units within the College of Natural Resources at UW-Stevens Point were honored in the national 2017 Rathmann Challenge. They proposed using compost from paper mill and vegetable by-products to improve soil in the Central Sands region.

UW-River Falls graduated the 100th student from its Adult Degree Completion Program. Students earn a business administration degree while working full-time. Many complete their schoolwork at the university’s new, conveniently located Hudson Center.

UW-Platteville hosted its first Health Care Summit, engaging major stakeholders in exploring rural health care. Attendees included area higher education representatives, health care administrators, regional practitioners, and others in the industry.

UW-Parkside molecular biology student Bianca Ruffolo attended the national Newman Civic Fellowship conference in Boston. This future civic leader visited the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate, and last summer participated in the UW School of Medicine’s RUSCH program.

UW-Oshkosh created a series of research videos featuring faculty-student interactions. Topics range from metamorphic rocks to crane habitat. Future videos will showcase hibernation biology, poetry analysis, and cancer treatment effectiveness.

UW-Milwaukee students worked with the Medical College of Wisconsin to develop an app that helps guide doctors during brain surgery. It helps surgeons quiz patients — who are awake during surgery — to determine when the doctor is encroaching on healthy tissue.

The UW-Madison Hancock Research Station supports Wisconsin’s thriving potato industry. Sam Perez keeps a close eye on a warehouse of stored potatoes. By monitoring sugar levels, frying test batches of potato chips, and other techniques, Perez helps growers decide when to go to market.

UW-La Crosse ranked No. 2 among Wisconsin public universities for student loan repayment over the past three years. The Student Loan Report cited UWL’s “It Make$ Cents!” award-winning financial literacy program and a 98% job placement as reasons for better payback.

UW-Green Bay students, staff, and faculty helped non-profits during Make A Difference Day. Volunteers made holiday cards for veterans, sorted food for more than 6,000 meals, landscaped and painted, picked up garbage, and more.