Letter from the Chair

Dear Alumni & Friends

Department Chair inside of Chemical Molecule RepresentationI am excited to bring you the 62nd issue of Badger Chemist, as we explore the many connections of art and science, and how those links can open eyes to the importance of scientific advances and discovery.

In this issue, you’ll meet a new group of Badger Chemist graduates, who head out into the world to be part of technological advances, grow our scientific knowledge and teach others the discipline we love. We celebrate 79 Bachelors of Science degrees, 7 Masters of Science degrees, and 23 doctoral degrees.

The bachelor’s recipients include six with honors, three Hilldale Fellows, one Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship honorable mention, and three undergraduate authors of published research. In addition, 69.3 percent of the graduating class conducted at least one semester of undergraduate research. The graduate students received one Advanced Opportunity Fellowship, four Wisconsin Distinguished
Graduate Fellowships, nine National Science Foundation fellowships, one Graduate School fellowship, one National Institutes of Health fellowship, and four National Institutes of Health traineeships. We are very proud of their hard work and grateful for the many faculty and staff who helped them on their way to becoming professional scientists, worthy of the Badger Chemist distinction.

The faculty and staff have kept up their tremendous work through some trying situations. As you may have heard, in February our building suffered substantial flooding, as a result of temperatures that reached as low as -30 degrees. This flood necessitated a complete shutdown of our building, a concerted effort to move and protect chemical inventories, and relocation of classes, which lasted several weeks. The helpful attitudes of our employees, and the quick thinking and availability of our chemical hygiene officers, teaching assistants, and other graduate students, made this trying situation manageable.

Our department reorganization, designed with guidance from the Office of Strategic Consulting and an external consultant team to create healthy, fulfilling jobs in a highly productive atmosphere, is moving forward. Our teams are creating structures that better support our department mission, and we will have the opportunity to hire additional staff and faculty to enhance our enterprise.

We hope you enjoy this issue of Badger Chemist, through which we explore the connections between science and art. Sometimes those links are about the thought process similarity between chemistry and art, and sometimes they are about how we effectively communicate our work to the public. You’ll find that our scientists, staff and students participate in outreach activities, many of which are art-related, that spread the message that scientific research is exciting and critical to our future.

Our many educational initiatives, research discoveries and outreach activities are possible because of the generous contributions of Badger Chemists like you. Thank you for all that you’ve done to help the UW-Madison Department of Chemistry be a leader in education and research. We know that we are a top-ten department because of those who support our mission. If you would consider a 2019 donation to enhance science education, research and outreach, please visit supportuw.org/giveto/chemistryfund or use the donation envelope on page 17.

As always, we are interested in what’s happening with our alumni and friends, and would love to hear from you. Email us at BadgerChemist@chem.wisc.edu with your updates and news, or contact me personally at the email address below. On behalf of the entire department, thank you and all the best in 2020!


Professor Judith Burstyn
Irving Shain Chair of Chemistry and Department Chair