Report by President Ray Cross to the Board of Regents


UW-Milwaukee senior Kirill Shmilovich works with assistant professor of physics Ionel Popa to study how protein hydrogels respond to force. This work could help develop better artificial tissues and smart drug delivery systems. Kirill was one of 60 undergraduates from across the country invited to speak to federal lawmakers in April.

The UW-La Crosse College of Business Administration, with more than 2,000 undergraduates and a highly qualified instructional staff of 68, has just received an international seal of approval from a global accrediting body. The college maintains its local and global mindset with active collaborations within the region and internationally.

UW-Green Bay student entrepreneur Sam Hunt has had big success pitching his ideas. His Local Food Experiment won the WiSys Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament. He then became a semifinalist at the International Business Model Competition, earning $3,000.

UW-Eau Claire students are working with local health officials and the Wisconsin DNR to determine causes of nitrate contamination in area homeowners’ wells. This invaluable experience will help them secure jobs as environmental health professionals and/or continue their education at graduate school.

Capstone projects prepare students in UW-Extension’s online multi-campus degree programs to jumpstart careers in healthcare, business, and IT. For example, student Mariah Rathkamp improved patient care by streamlining the medical record process at Watertown Regional Medical Center. This experience helped her land a job as a medical record analyst.

UW-Manitowoc’s renovated Founders Hall will allow the campus to better integrate technology into the curriculum, and expand research opportunities for students. The newly created physics and engineering lab, for example, will be key to the region’s future workforce development.

In April, UW-Whitewater marked its 150th anniversary. To celebrate, the university has launched a $15-million campaign to support students, teaching, and mentoring. The campus is also highlighting a service culture with a goal of exceeding 150,000 hours of community service to be performed by members of the Warhawk family.

UW-Superior students, staff, and faculty gathered to recognize Swenson Scholars and pay tribute to Jim and Sue Swenson. Over the years, the Swenson Family Foundation has awarded more than 860 scholarships, totaling nearly $6 million to benefit biology or chemistry majors.

Six students became UW-Stout’s first mechanical engineering graduates, less than three years after the program began. Most already have jobs. More graduates are on the way, with program enrollment of nearly 400 expected by fall. The program has grown sharply, according to Professor Devin Berg.

Michigan native and May graduate Farrah Scears followed her passion to UW-Stevens Point. There she found a double major in chemical engineering and paper science engineering, as well as hands-on experiences, close mentorship, and the path to her dream job as a chemical vendor specializing in tissue manufacturing.

UW-River Falls celebrated the grand opening of the St. Croix Valley Business Innovation Center. The facility is an example of UW-River Falls’ commitment to innovation and partnerships among businesses, faculty, and students. It is funded by a federal grant and will offer a range of business services.

The valedictorian of UW-Platteville’s School of Business, Addie Peper, credits her success to being organized and on time. Addie enrolled at UW-Baraboo/Sauk County, where she excelled in the smaller setting. At UW-Platteville, she majored in business administration with a double emphasis in marketing and management.

This year’s Student Showcase at UW-Parkside featured poetry, theatre, and research. It included a poster presentation by senior physics major Siva Shankar. His research was voted the best undergraduate presentation at the American Physical Society national meeting, topping 90 other posters from across the country.

For the past three semesters, UW-Oshkosh student teachers have achieved a 98% pass rate on an assessment tool crucial to gaining endorsement for Wisconsin licensure. The high pass rate speaks to the students’ commitment to becoming effective PK-12 teachers.

Four UW-Madison students won scholarships from the Fashion Scholarship Fund, considered the premier competition for gifted young designers, merchandisers, retailers, and business majors. The School of Human Ecology graduates students who are well-prepared to succeed in this $1.75-trillion global industry.

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