Report to the Board of Regents

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin recently toured UW-Superior’s new ballast water treatment facility at the Lake Superior Research Institute. This one-of-a-kind facility gives researchers access to new information to protect the world’s largest body of fresh water from invasive species and other threats. This influential research is funded through the federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which Senator Baldwin is working to reauthorize and expand through bipartisan legislation.

A team of UW-Oshkosh students is preparing to test a product called Bee Shield™, designed to improve survival of honeybee colonies in cold-weather climates. This collaborative initiative between the UW-Oshkosh* and WiSys** matches student entrepreneurs and inventors with the ultimate goal of taking a product to market.

Also generating buzz, UW-Parkside graduates Katie Knoff and Chelsea Snowden are working with the Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network to improve soil and water quality. Through this project with the cities of Kenosha and Racine, both graduates are helping to protect the endangered Rusty Patched Bumble Bee. Both Knoff and Snowden care deeply about connecting their outdoor interests with improving the community.

The U.S. cheese industry could benefit from a UW-Stout food science project, which won the WiSys Quick Pitch competition this summer. Graduate student Emily Lehmann with Assistant Professor Taejo Kim are researching whether some natural cheeses have greater antimicrobial properties against food-borne pathogens like listeria when stored at room temperature. If so, this could be good news for the Dairy State, making the cheeses safer to eat and easier to market.

UW-Stevens Point student Jessica Enstad interned this summer at the Boys & Girls Club of Portage County, a popular resource for area youth. This family and consumer science major is among 50 UW-Stevens Point students who work or volunteer there each year and among hundreds of students overall who volunteer more than 10,000 hours annually in all sorts of activities to benefit the community.

The UW-River Falls Small Business Development Center positively influences the local economy through strategic partnerships with area businesses. Last year alone, the center assisted 19 startups and grew its capital infusion to over $3 million. This year, the center earned a prestigious award for client outreach, helping to further improve the economic impact of Wisconsin small businesses.

Students at UW-Platteville are gaining access to fresh lettuce grown on campus year-round through a new hydroponics student-managed business. The 1,500-square-foot hydroponics space, built and operated solely by students, will supply nearly all lettuce used by UW-Platteville Dining Services. When in full production, 6,000 plants are grown using 25 gallons of water daily – a 95% water savings compared to field production.

A new summer immersion program at UW-Madison helps prepare nursing students to provide services for people with a broad spectrum of disabilities. Students in the summer respite camp meet with campers and caregivers, dispense medications, and staff the nursing station. The students gain new skills and a better understanding of the importance of accessibility, ultimately benefiting patients and Wisconsin’s healthcare.

Clay Stomps started as a way for UW-La Crosse alumnus Joel Pfeiffer to get clay for his art — gathering people to mix powdered clay and water with their feet. More than 100 clay stomps later, this Wisconsin art teacher is building community worldwide. Now that’s some fancy footwork! The influential family tradition continues with his son, Jarred, who is teaching ceramics at UW-La Crosse this fall.

Imagine what 1,000 hours of volunteerism can do for a small, local community organization. More than 550 first-year students from three UW-Green Bay campuses pitched in for two hours to help clear area trails, trim invasive species, and pile wood at Barkhausen Waterfowl Preserve in Suamico, Wisconsin. Their efforts helped the new students develop teambuilding skills and made a big difference for the local preserve.

UW-Eau Claire continues to be recognized for its comprehensive support for LGBTQ+ students — including twice being named the best college in Wisconsin for inclusivity. Behind those rankings is the leadership of Christopher Jorgenson, director of UW-Eau Claire’s Gender and Sexuality Resource Center. Jorgenson is proud to see Blugolds seek out resources that help them gain the knowledge and confidence to support their peers.

For the third consecutive year, UW-Whitewater has been named among the Colleges of Distinction, a national honor that recognizes dedication to student success. UW-Whitewater offers Warhawks a rich and vibrant student experience, where they are encouraged to be inquisitive and actively learn inside and outside the classroom. A significant number of students engage in research and get involved in influential internships that lead to job opportunities.

Every year, students from the Honors College at UW-Milwaukee take a spring break to help others. This year’s destination was the Big Easy, New Orleans. Among many good deeds with influential impact, students sorted Mardi Gras beads to keep them from jamming sewer pipes, cleared vacant lots of trash, and helped with a variety of projects at a community center.

Carter O’Brien was driven to deepen his expertise as the Sustainability Officer at Chicago’s Field Museum. He is now thrilled to use skills that he’s currently learning in the Sustainable Management master’s program to troubleshoot real-world challenges on the job. The flexible online format and topnotch content are why busy professionals like O’Brien – and their employers – find UW Extended Campus programs so influential.

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