Report to the Board of Regents

What started as a pen-pal project between UW-Whitewater students and 2nd graders in Beloit, Wis., has transformed into an award-winning mentorship program. The Little Scholars Program recently won an outstanding achievement award from the Wisconsin State Council on Affirmative Action. College students write letters to their little buddies, and the groups visit one another during the school year. In fact, the little scholars had an inspiring visit last spring to tour campus, visit classrooms, and work on STEM projects with their college buddies.

From open-heart surgery in high school to her first day of college at UW-Superior two years later, Rachael Jackman has come a long way. The supportive campus community and close proximity to family and her physicians helped Rachael choose a college that felt like home. She continues to advocate for causes she believes in, such as raising $3,000 for the American Heart Association to benefit others who face serious heart conditions.

Martel Pipkins remembers not being all that into high school, but a visit to UW-Parkside changed his outlook. His visit inspired him to graduate from Milwaukee Bay View high school in 2005 and then from UW-Parkside four years later. Taking his journey full circle, Martel returned to UW-Parkside this fall as Dr. Martel Pipkins, a visiting sociology professor. His goal: give back … both to make sociology irresistible and to inspire UW-Parkside students to succeed.

UW-Oshkosh alumnus Patrick Gaughan, Class of ’71, is taking lifelong learning seriously. After a 28-year career in public service with the city of Jacksonville, Florida, he returned to school to become a registered nurse and has since discovered a whole new world overseas as a medical missionary. His inspiring work with Smile Train in central Africa is changing lives, providing more than 500 cleft palate surgeries in the past five years.

A groundbreaking study led by UW-Stout materials scientist Elizabeth Boatman explains how, after 66 million years, blood vessels are preserved in the fossil of a T.rex dinosaur displayed at the Smithsonian. Microscopic research on a leg bone sample conducted by five institutions across the U.S. proves that fossils can help unlock secrets to how the dinosaurs lived. But don’t worry … no Jurassic Park–style dinosaur clones will walk the Earth any time soon.

An innovative and inspirational scholarship program at UW-Stevens Point has opened doors to higher education for promising students of color at underserved Milwaukee high schools. For the last 23 years, the Noel Compass Scholar Program has been transforming lives and creating a strong support system for these students that lasts long after they graduate, thanks to the generosity of Stevens Point residents John and Patty Noel.

Generous gifts totaling more than $400,000 are moving the UW-River Falls Dairy Pilot Plant toward completion. The renovated plant will train the next generation of industry leaders with hands-on learning experiences to develop, produce, and market cheese and ice cream. Graduates who have participated in this unique educational opportunity have consistently gone on to become industry experts at top organizations in the region and nation. Now that’s a delicious outlook.

This fall, 160 high school students attended UW-Platteville’s Women in STEM Career Day. Participants learned about career options in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics through exciting demonstrations and hands-on projects working in teams. Each year, over 650 women and girls benefit from STEM programs at UW-Platteville, which has seen female enrollment in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science increase 75 percent over the last eight years.

UW-Madison’s new Hamel Music Center opened in late October with a free concert. Built entirely with private funds, this state-of-the-art music facility will add excitement to Madison’s cultural scene and be a boon for the school’s music students. The center offers a sparkling performance venue for students, faculty, and visiting artists with astounding acoustics – helping the School of Music expand its reputation as a place for innovative musicians to teach and study.

More than 100 UW-La Crosse students are providing extra help for parents in the Wisconsin Coulee Region to raise healthy, resilient children. UWL students volunteer about 2,000 hours annually to keep Gundersen Health System’s parent programming running strong. They do this by developing and running adjacent programs for children to learn valuable social and emotional skills.

For James Kabrhel, inspiring his students to fall in love with science is the greatest joy of his job. The UW-Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus chemistry teacher is putting the “cool” back into science with his popular “Cool Chemistry” shows and interactive student projects. Because of his efforts, he was recently recognized with the prestigious Underkofler Award for Teaching.

Dr. Ming-Li Hsieh, an associate professor of criminal justice at UW-Eau Claire, is engaging students in collaborative and international immersion experiences to help them gain a broad understanding of multicultural justice. By exploring ideas and practices from other countries, students will be better prepared to help address issues in the United States related to policing and criminal justice.

Each year, more than 1,000 middle school and high school students gather at UW-Milwaukee for the Summit on Black Male Youth. The Summit encourages students to unlock their potential through inspiring workshops and presenters who highlight options and opportunities for their futures. The Summit has grown by 20 percent in the past two years – perhaps a good indication the event is achieving its goal to inspire.

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