Biology Major Newsletter - February 13, 2018

• Important Dates

• Student Spotlight

• Scholarships

• Research and Fellowship Opportunities

• Career, Job, Internship Events and Opportunities

• Other Opportunities and Events

Important Dates

Deadline to request pass/fail or credit/audit options for a Spring term course
P/F can only be used for elective course; not major, college or university requirements: Friday, February 16, 2018

Student Spotlight

Morgan Blaser

Biology and Psychology Major

What has been your favorite bioscience class so far, and why?
My favorite bioscience class so far has been Biochem 501. This class was the first class where the information actually seemed pertinent to my future and it made learning the content so much more fun. It took courses that I had to take for my degree such as biology, chemistry, and organic chemistry and mixed them all together into a class I found useful and fun. Plus, the information learned in biochemistry carries over into the MCAT and medical school which made me want to learn the information rather than just memorize it.  

What class outside of the biosciences has resonated with you the most? 
Psychology 311: Psychology of Law and Social Policies taught by Michael Caldwell and Gregory van Rybroek. I think everyone, not just psych majors, should have to take this class. I learned so much about America’s criminal justice system that I think every citizen should have to know. It was very interesting to learn about punishment, the death penalty, sexual offenses, and the prison system and I think anyone even remotely interested in this topic should take this class.

Are you involved in research? What tips do you have?
Yes, I am involved in research. I am in the Shanmuganayagam lab in the Animal Sciences department. I work with swine models to investigate the effects of oxidized lipids on the gastrointestinal tract. The project I am currently involved with is developing a 3D porcine stem cell model of the GI to investigate oxidized lipid effects with the help of my mentor, a graduate student here on campus. I found my lab by emailing multiple people whose research I found interesting. However, I was denied by quite a bit of people before finding this lab. My biggest piece of advice is PERSISTANCE. A lot of times labs are filled, aren’t doing research or are not looking to hire undergrads, so you just have to generate a list of people you know, such as professors, or areas you are interested in and just keep asking around.

What has been the most rewarding experience out-side of the classroom?
My sophomore year, with the student org, AMSA (American Medical Student Association), I had the opportunity to travel to Guatemala for about two weeks and work in understaffed clinics. That was such a rewarding experience for me because I got to witness first-hand how privileged we are in America especially with our health care system. It was also a great opportunity to meet new people and create lasting bonds with students in the same org as me.

What do you hope to do after graduation?
I will be taking a gap year after I graduate, and I plan on working full time at my current job, St. Mary’s Hospital, to save up money for medical school and also, take some time to travel around the world. I aspire to then attend medical school in the Midwest. I hope to go to the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public where I can pursue a Master’s in Public Health and participate in the WARM program. I hope to one day be a reconstructive plastic surgeon or medical examiner.


Continuing Student Scholarships

Students may apply to these scholarship and find more details at

2018 Richard Ralph Winter Phoenix Rising Humanitarian Scholarship (L&S only)
This scholarship rewards humanitarian achievement and service, encourages excellence and commitment in the application of humanitarian ideals, and affirms the moral obligation to provide for human welfare. The selected student would receive an award of $2,600 paid out in the Fall 2018 term.

Eligible students must be second or third year students and have a strong record of community/humanitarian service. The ideal scholarship candidate should exhibit a natural desire to provide for human welfare and a rational compassion for others. Further consideration will be given if the candidate has overcome life or academic challenges and/or has financial need. Finally, the recipient should possess the innate qualities of dignity, courage and discipline. Due February 28.
University Book Store Academic Excellence Awards
These awards provide $1,000 to undergraduate students who have distinguished themselves by completing outstanding projects, such as a senior thesis, at UW-Madison.  Students must be enrolled in a degree program during the 2017-18 academic year (December 2017 graduates may apply).  Due March 19.

Research and Fellowship Opportunities

The Annual Undergraduate Symposium

Share your creativity, achievement and talent across all disciplines through oral presentations, poster sessions, exhibitions, film shorts, artist talks, and performances. The Undergraduate Symposium is open to all University of Wisconsin – Madison students enrolled during the 2017-2018 academic year, including those who graduated in December. This is an excellent venue for all research, including capstone.

This year’s Undergraduate Symposium will be held Friday, April 13, in Union South. The schedule includes a film shorts session, a Lighting-style talk session, a performance workshop where students can perform and discuss their creative process session, and the Friends and Family reception at 12:45 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Call for proposals is open, apply by March 1.


Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program

The Wisconsin Stem Cell Roundtable (WiSCR), a group of UW-Madison junior stem cell researchers, is pleased to continue our highly successful SURF Program aimed at introducing talented undergraduate students to stem cell research with the help of a grad student or postdoc mentor. Since the inception of the SURF Program in 2013, SURF undergraduate Fellows have gone on to successful pursuits in scientific research, including being awarded additional fellowships (e.g., Hilldale Awards, Oxford-Cambridge Scholarships) and acceptance into top-ranked graduate programs. Apply by March 9.


Summer Program for Undergraduate Urology Research (SPUUR)

Summer Research Opportunities in benign urology are available to undergraduate students. Our exciting 12-week summer research program will immerse students in the laboratory research experience and provides weekly mini-lectures in benign and clinical urology. Students gain essential skills to position them for success in post-graduate studies. Students will present and receive reviews of their individual work at the end of the program.  Apply Today! Applications due March 1.


Undergraduate Research Opportunity

The Holtz Center is accepting research proposals from undergraduate students interested in conducting research on issues at the intersection of science, technology, and society. All undergraduate students at UW-Madison are eligible for this funding opportunity. We are giving two awards, the maximum amount is $1,000 for the student and $500 in flexible funds for the faculty advisor. Deadline February 15.


Summer NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Townsend Lab, UW Dept Forest & Wildlife Ecology

The Townsend Lab is looking for a motivated undergraduate student for our NSF project “Foliar traits and ecosystem variability across NEON domains” which involves using hyperspectral imagery and field data to characterize how the foliar traits that drive biological processes (such as chemistry and physiology) differ between and within species across National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) field sites.

Each summer through 2021, our field teams visit a subset of the NEON sites to collect calibration and validation data for our analyses. We identify species, sample foliage, and make spectral measurements of our leaf samples. The REU student will participate in some or all of this fieldwork in 2018, and will supplement our work with an independent project designed in conjunction with the project’s lead PI’s, Dr. Phil Townsend and Dr. Eric Kruger. While previous field experience is helpful, we will fully train you! A GPA >3.3 is expected, and prospective candidates should be interested in scientific research.

For more details on the position and application process, contact Application (including resume, cover letter, and references contact information) is due March 2.


Syngenta Seeds Summer Research

Position: Syngenta Seeds - Summer Field Research Associate
Location: Syngenta Seeds. Janesville, Wisconsin
Timeline: Summer 2018. May through September if schedule allows.

This position is focused around providing an introduction into the Seeds Production Research (SPR) department of a global agriculture business company. Applicant will be focused on interaction and two-way communication with project managers, SPR Scientists, SPR Agronomists, Corn Breeders, and research staff focused on the characterization and advancement of corn inbreds for the seed industry. Applicant will manage local field research projects during late spring, summer, and early fall. At Syngenta, you have the opportunity to work alongside some of the brightest minds to find real solutions for the seed industry.

For more information, contact Luke Drendel (Seeds Production Research Agronomist):

Career, Job, and Internship Events and Opportunities

Get Your Internship Together

Tuesday, February 13
3:00 – 7:00 pm (students may drop in at any time)
SuccessWorks, 3rd Floor University Bookstore

SuccessWorks is hosting this event is targeted to L&S students conducting internship searches who need help with any aspect of the process. SuccessWorks staff and L&S alumni will offer drop-in appointments, resume reviews, online search/BuckyNet tips, and networking help. We can also help students who haven’t even started the search yet, but know they need to get going.


Wisconsin Ecology Job Fair for Undergraduates

The goal of the Ecology Job Fair is to connect undergraduates seeking work experience in ecology with graduate students, faculty and off-campus ecology-related organizations that need summer field and lab assistants.

Thursday, February 22
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Birge Hall atrium


Successworks Hosted Jobs and Internships events

Events held at Successworks, 711 State Street (above the bookstore). All students invited.

Getting Started with Jobs/Internships in WI State Government Agencies

Would you like to intern or work for the State of Wisconsin? Come to this session to learn how to find your fit, how the hiring process works from an insider's perspective, and gain some tips and tricks for making the search process easier. The basic concepts taught in this workshop are applicable to a state government agency job search in most US states.

Friday, February 16 at 12:00 p.m.
Getting Started with Jobs/Internships in Federal Agencies

The Federal Government offers a multitude of job and internship opportunities, but you might be frustrated and confused by the application process. We can help you cut through the confusion. Whether you have already targeted the federal government as an employer, or know absolutely nothing about Federal opportunities yet, this is the workshop you need to attend.  You are guaranteed to gain an understanding of: the best way to navigate and apply on USAJobs, Federal Pathways opportunities for both interns and recent grads, the different types of Federal hiring, and much, much more!

Tuesday, February 20 at 4:00 p.m.


ORNL and ORISE Virtual Career Fair

Are you looking for a research opportunity? Are you interested in expanding your skill set and becoming competitive in your field?

Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education are recruiting students in STEM! ORNL is the U.S. Department of Energy’s largest science and energy lab, dedicated to accelerating the development and deployment of solutions in clean energy and global security.

Thursday, February 22
11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
a computer or mobile device near you

Pre-register for the Laboratory Internship Virtual Event today!

This virtual career fair will feature various internship opportunities and research participation programs at ORNL. Chat with ORNL scientists and ORISE recruiters and get tips on applying!

This is an excellent opportunity to network and see what a unique internship experience at a national lab would be like! Follow us to stay posted for future opportunities exploring even more programs available at locations around the US through DOE and ORISE!


Career Exploration Center Events

CEC helps students focus on their interests, values, strengths, and personality to give them the tools they need to make decisions about their careers and their futures. Join CEC in 114 Ingraham Hall for the following events:

Careers in Clean Energy
Tuesday, March 13: 3:00 - 4:00 p.m

Exploring Careers Regardless of Major
Wednesday, March 21: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

What about a Career in Physical Therapy
Tuesday, April 24: 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.



Dr. Caitilyn Allen, Plant Pathology, Hiring Student Hourly

The lab of Dr. Caitilyn Allen is currently searching for a motivated, task-oriented, undergraduate student worker. Undergraduates will perform tasks related to the basic operation of the lab including maintaining sterile glassware, preparing media, and operating within biosafety guidelines. Applicants should be available 10 hours/week during the spring semester, with possibility of continuing during the summer and next fall.No previous experience in a research lab is necessary, but applicants need classes in basic chemistry and biology.

If selected, you will learn miscellaneous research skills, including plant growth and care, DNA extraction and analysis, sterile technique, and general microbiology methods. There may be opportunities for eventual independent research project, if performance merits.

Email Madeline Hayes at with your resume and list of scientific courses taken at UW-Madison. Apply by February 28.


Meyer Jackson, Neuroscience, Hiring Student Hourly

I am looking for an undergrad to work in my lab 10-15 hours a week. Duties include washing the glassware, placing orders, disposing carcasses, and other miscellaneous chores. The entry wage is $9/hour. Contact Dr. Jackson for more information:


The DDEEA Hiring Academic Coaches/Tutors

The Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement (DDEEA) is in need of tutors in all subject areas including Biology/Zoology, Biochem, and Microbiology, and will gladly accept applications for any other courses students would like to coach.

We are looking for tutors who have earned an AB or higher in the course to tutor (or equivalent courses/background knowledge), are currently enrolled at UW-Madison with a 2.75 GPA or higher, and want to help other students.Tutors start at $9/hr.

If you are interested, DDEEA Academic Support Services Staff at:  for application and position details.


Campus and Visitor Relations Summer Guides

We are inviting applications for student Information Guides and Tour Guides who will begin in Summer 2018. These students play a key role in representing UW-Madison, welcoming and informing visitors, prospective students, families, K-12 groups, and community members.

Starting salary is $10/hour with opportunities for advancement. Our office promotes excellence through diversity and encourages all qualified individuals to apply. Applications are due Thursday, February 15.


The MacKenzie Center Positions and Internships

The MacKenzie Center, just 25 miles north of Madison, is a diverse environmental education and outdoor skills center with a remarkable conservation history. With interpretive trails, exhibits, museums and programming available for school and youth groups, MacKenzie is a wonderful place to visit and learn about the natural world.

Wildlife Technician Positions are year round, full time hour positions. Seniors graduating this May are encouraged to apply. Apply by February 16

Wildlife, Education, Facilities and Grounds, and History Interns work direct with wildlife technicians, to care for many different species of non-releasable native Wisconsin wild animals housed at the Center. Training will be provided for all areas of responsibility. Apply by March 11


Student Garden Summer Internship

West Madison Ag Research Station is hiring four paid interns for the 2018 season. Applicants should have background in plant science, plant pathology, entomology or horticultural related field-experience. Student interns will be expected to help take the lead role in the maintenance, data collection, and trial management of bedding plant trials, wine and table grape research, and evaluation of overall management of annual and perennial flower program.

These positions offer a wonderful opportunity to meet CALS faculty, staff, and other students, and to get hands-on experience with applied research.  This is also a great opportunity to meet farmers, growers, industry representatives, and visit production facilities and other gardens.

Mon-Fri, 8:00 - 4:30; 40 hrs/week.  May through August.  Must be a current and continuing student. Must have a reliable means of transportation to the station and be punctual, responsible and dependable. A strong work ethic is important and must be committed from May through August.


Other Opportunities and Events

Leadership Certificate

Have you been thinking about completing the UW-Madison Leadership Certificate? The Center for Leadership & Involvement (CfLI) would like to invite all UW-Madison students who are interested in learning more about the Leadership Certificate to attend one of three upcoming Informational Orientation Sessions:

Tuesday, February 20
Wednesday, February 21
Tuesday, March 6

All sessions meet in the Masely Media Center in Red Gym from 6:30-7:30pm.


Wisconsin Pre-Law Diversity Day

Friday, February 23 at Marquette University Law School

Join us if you are interested in law school or are in the process of applying. This FREE event is a great opportunity to:

• Learn about law school admissions

• Learn about diversity and the legal profession

• Attend a mock law school class

•  Meet with law school reps at a Law School Fair

CLICK HERE to learn more and register for the event and free bus transportation.  Lunch is also provided. 


YOU@WISC latest addition to mental health services

is a student connection portal with tools, content, and resources specific to UW-Madison student life. YOU@WISC is designed to build resilience within students and foster campus connections.

Divided into three key areas—succeed, thrive, matter—YOU@WISC offers personalized online tools and campus resources tailored to the needs of each individual student and is customized based on user interactions.

Both YOU@WISC and SilverCloud are available to add as widgets on the dashboard. Questions about either program can be sent to

YOU@WISC joins a suite of mental health services at UHS including access consultations, group counseling, and Let’s Talk. Visit for more information.