Congratulations UW-Madison Honors Graduates

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Winter 2020 Graduates


Jonathan Benson



My favorite memories of Biocore were the ones made while studying with my peers for exams or projects. Though we were usually stressed, we always managed to have a bit of fun with the Biocore experience. I’m glad to have become a part of the Biocore community, and I know it has helped lead me to success in the future.


Hailey Johnson

Biology, Nutritional Science | Global Health


Biocore provided me with a community of people who I have gotten to know deeply and that genuinely care about my well-being and personal growth.



Nan Nongnuang

Biology | Studio Art, 2D and 3D


Biocore made me a better learner. The program allowed to have a deeper level of understanding of the material rather than just memorizing facts. Although it was a challenging path, it taught me the importance of perseverance.


Gabrielle Nicole Rauls

Biology | Global Health


Finding my five best friends!



Megan Reilly



Biocore has been such a wild ride! Looking back, I’ve loved every minute of it, even at the hard parts. I will cherish the memories of the late nights studying in Merit Library with my friends, performing an experiment in the wet lab (often more than once), and visiting the Biocore Prairie. I am grateful for the community that made me the student and person I am today. Thank you!


Regen Riley



I remember hearing the phrase “Biocore Prairie” and thinking it was going to be some fairly small, rooftop garden. Then, going out the the prairie for the first time and just being astonished by the actual size and beauty of it.


Chloe Schomaker

Neurobiology, Psychology


The third semester of Biocore was the best semester of my life. I loved the lecture portion of third semester and had a blast studying for those exams. But even better than the lecture portion was the lab. Getting to spend weeks down in a creek, turning up rocks and catching crayfish with a couple of great friends was an absolute dream. My favorite Biocore memory overall might be baiting a crayfish trap with a Fazoli’s breadstick at 11pm on a Friday night because we forgot to bring hotdogs. Unfortunately but not surprisingly, I don’t think crayfish like soggy garlic bread because we didn’t catch any, but I still think it was a worthwhile effort if not just for the memory. I had never had more fun conducting research and likely will never have that much fun with a project again. Thanks, Michelle, for giving us that independence and allowing our genuine excitement to drive the project forward!


Vienne Seitz

Neurobiology, Psychology


I met some of my best friends in Biocore, and had the opportunity to TA for physiology lab and lead the Biocore Outreach Ambassadors. Each of these experiences heightened my interest in science and encouraged me to share this passion with others. I can’t thank Biocore enough for the wonderful support system it provided me with and for constantly challenging me to be a better learner and person.


Elizabeth Dianne Somsen

Genetics & Genomics


Biocore has taught me the value of cultivating and engaging in a community of learners. I am so thankful for all my peers and the time we got to spend together!


Leo Joseph Steiner

Biomedical Engineering | International Engineering


I remember raising manduca “Goliath Worms” for the animal physiology unit, and getting an email one morning that manduca had escaped and were roaming around their room. I raced into Noland to rescue them! It was amusing how much those little guys seemed to enjoy disrupting my schedule, I suppose a little sleep has to be sacrificed for the sake of science.



Spring 2020 Graduates


Olive Aviles

Conservation Biology, Zoology | Environmental Studies


One of my favorite memories of Biocore is the time I spent studying with others in Noland hall. We spent a lot of late nights and weekends studying together which was a great way to build friendships while also benefiting from group studying.


Maxwell Bado

Biology | Business


Working intimately with Seth and Michelle during the lab portion of the course was great, and the fact that connected to volunteering with the Summer Science Camp was great, too. I enjoyed working with those kids and it taught me so much about what Science was all about – opening minds to to beauty of the world.


Kelly Bartig

Biology | Health & Humanities


A favorite memory of mine was in 384 when bunch of us had to go into lab early in order to begin prepping for an experiment. Someone brought a griddle in and we all made pancakes. Although Biocore was difficult there was always a sense of community which is what I loved most about the program.


Alexis Rose Bradt



I didn’t know my love for science could grow anymore until I completed Biocore. Biocore also isn’t just all about science, you experience an amazing journey where you learn more about yourself, find forever friends, and form awesome connections with faculty that will be by your side for it all and help you in other areas of school and life!


Samantha Busch

Biochemistry | Classics


One of my favorite memories is showing up to the very first Biocore 382 lab day out by the Biocore Prairie. On that day, I met some of my best Biocore friends and it really helped me gain that vital sense of community that Biocore has to offer. From that first day, I gained friends and peers who helped me succeed in many of my other classes as well as made the experience in Biocore overall unforgettable!


Emma Kate Dewane



Biocore honed my critical and creative thinking skills and strengthened my knowledge of science. One of my favorite memories was waking up for data collection at 5am and Artun making pancakes on a portable griller in the discussion room for everyone.


Ryan Gassner

Biology | Global Health


Biocore has been one of the most enriching parts of my college experience. I have made lifelong friendships and was able to explore my passion for the natural sciences in ways I never imagined. From sunny days at the Biocore Prairie to late night study sessions, Biocore has made my time at UW-Madison something I will never forget.


Nicholas Girardi



Even though it was challenging, Biocore prepared me for my PhD program more than any other course, and having a great group of friends to study with made it all possible!



Natalie Haag



It’s hard to pick just one memory as Biocore was a big part of my undergraduate experience. I learned a ton not only about the class material, but also important life skills such as how to be an independent scientist and work as a team to solve a problem. One of my favorite memories was my 486 lab group raising the manduca worms together (being a parent of 60 is very difficult). I met some of my best friends through Biocore and could not have done college without them. I know that many of them will be lifelong friends!


Hallie Hanson



Biocore has made me the inquisitive scientist I am today. I’ve made wonderful life long friends through all the long hours and late nights. Biocore is a community of wonderful intelligent people making the world a better place and I’m so thankful and proud to be a part of this family.


Alexandra Harris

Biology | Global Health


Reflecting on Biocore, I think about all the life-long friends I met in the Biocore program.



Helen Jieun Heo

Molecular Biology, Neurobiology


Biocore 587 was the perfect capstone to the Biocore experience, allowing us to apply all of the knowledge we had gained in the past year and a half. As an aspiring research, Biocore provided an incredible foundation for creative, experimental thinking that I was able to use throughout my undergraduate career.


Kevin Jones



The week 1 lab of 382 was my first class as a college student. What a way to start: rolling prairie plants between my fingers and smelling them in the name of science! Although, I remember my project for that unit was so poorly planned that I can’t help but laugh looking back… putting dead plants in paper bags to measure biomass of the prairie floor?? But in all seriousness, Biocore was an great community for me during my undergraduate experience. It was a great foundation for my education and I made friends that have lasted until now.


Artun Kaan Kadaster



I will always remember my personal growth as a scientist and cherish the many close friends I made during my time in Biocore. It was without a doubt one of the best decisions I made during my undergrad experience. Special thanks go out to the teaching staff, my peer mentors, my mentees, and my classmates!


Yochana Kancherla

Neurobiology, Psychology
| Health and Humanities, Leadership


One of my favorite memories of Biocore is the first day in the Prairie when Seth said we might see a prairie buffalo and I believed him.


Logan Klein

Neurobiology, Psychology | Global Health


I will always look back fondly on my time on the Biocore Prairie, and I’m so thankful for the lifelong Biocore friends.



Kaining Mao

Biochemistry, Chemistry


I learned a lot about communication skills (writing papers/making posters/giving presentations) as an international student who never had such experience before entering college.


Matthew McLaughlin



Exploring the Biocore Prairie on the first day of class!



McKayla Miller

| Education


One of my favorite memories was when we had to be in really early for a Biocore experiment, so my team brought in materials to make pancakes for the class. We had a great time enjoying our experiments and pancakes together.


Macy Peterson



Spending long nights studying with classmates in the lab room



Katie Plachta

Conservation Biology
| Legal Studies


I cherish memories of late nights in Noland, bat hikes in the summer, and sharing my love of biology with others. I always smile when I encounter Biocore concepts in other classes. On Wisconsin!


Christina Riehle

Genetics & Genomics | Global Health


Biocore has taught me that I can know and so things I didn’t think I could.



Vienne Seitz

Neurobiology, Psychology


My favorite thing about biocore are the amazing people I met. I met some of my very best friends during lab and while volunteering with BOA.



Cecilia Gretchen Shortreed

Biology | Spanish


The first thing that comes to mind when I think about Biocore is the people. In two years, a group of strangers turned into lifelong friends. The connection with and support of professors was unlike anything I found elsewhere on campus. I will always be grateful for the ways that Biocore challenged me and for all the little memories that I keep.


Thomas Staniszewski

Neurobiology | Global Health


The biocore program has been instrumental to my success at UW-Madison. Not only did I learn valuable skills about biological research and community outreach, but I also met some of my closest friends and had the chance to interact with a number of influential faculty members on campus.


Abbey Stoltenburg

Biochemistry, Neurobiology


I will never forget all of the amazing people I have met through my Biocore experience. I met some of my best friends in college through Biocore and will always remember my first lab class in Biocore Prairie. I knew Biocore would be different than any other class I’d taken after that first day in the Prairie. I won’t forget the Biocore Science Nights or any of my amazing Biocore professors either. Despite the challenges, this was one of the most rewarding experiences that I participated in during undergrad. I’m happy I took a risk and tried Biocore because if I didn’t, I know I would have missed out on all of these amazing experiences.


Andrew Suscha

Biochemistry | Philosophy


From the first awkward day at the Biocore Prairie to the cupcake at our graduation from 587, Biocore was the best learning experience I had at UW. The instructors and students created a community feel unlike any other course. My appreciation for both biology and the scientific method continues to grow as I see myself applying what I learned in Biocore to everyday life. I am very grateful for Biocore!


Sheyenne Tung

Neurobiology, Psychology


Biocore has not only given me better and improved skills in critical analysis and thinking, but also some of my closest friends and roommates, and that’s really special!


Haley Jean VanBeek

Biology | Health and Humanities


The Biocore Honors Program at UW pushed me to the next level academically. The knowledge, skills, and friendships that I gained throughout the program will stick with me for a lifetime.


Julie Wallin

Neurobiology | Gerontology


My favorite memory from Biocore was peer mentoring! My peer mentors, and fellow mentees, were such an important part of my first year in Biocore. They really helped me adjust to Biocore and understand the material. Some people I met through peer mentoring are even some of my best friends now!


Zack Wermeling

Biochemistry | Business Management in Agriculture and Life Sciences


Going to the Biocore Prairie nearly every day in the summer of 2019 and watching it change over time was like watching magic.



Ke Xu

Neurobiology, Psychology | Stem Cell


Biocore program shifts my career aim from a psychology focus to a biology focus. I had many first-time experiences in the program, and I felt so lucky to know all the fabulous professors and teammates. Two years of study in the program generates so many unforgettable memories. I still remember our team discussing biology on the prairie, in the laboratory, after class, and even during the peer mentor sessions. I have made many friends, and I am so proud of what I have achieved in the program!


Tianlei Yan

Biochemistry, Chemistry


I really appreciate the instructors and TAs’ help for my scientific thinking skill and the writing skills. I will never forget the writings and presentations in the biocore lab.


Mary Zeitler

Microbiology, Psychology


Biocore helped be grow as a student and scientist. I also learned that I am not good at walking through prairies.



Jonathan Zhu



Spending hours on end with my friends studying in Helen C. White reviewing feedback pathways.


College of Agricultural and Life Sciences


Spring 2020 Graduates


Chavin Buasakdi

Chemistry, Biology


Small steps that took me to an unknown valley of life and scientific research.



Olivia Chao

Biology | Global Health


Go out with your friends, jump in the freezing lake, eat as much Paul’s as you can, studying is just as important as your mental health. Do what makes you happy, because you only get four years of college so make the most out of it.


Sonam Dolma

Biochemistry | South Asian Studies


What inspired me to come to UW-Madison was the atmosphere of student excellency both inside and out of the classroom. As I reflect over my undergraduate experience, I believe that UW was the perfect fit for me to receive a world-class education and the Honors program made it even more of an enriching experience. Some highlights that have stood out over my time on campus are the connections I got to build and nurture with the phenomenal professors and students that make this university feel like home. I know that this has been a less-than-ideal culminating semester for all of us, but I commend my fellow Badgers for their resiliency during these turbulent times. Commencement is a big milestone for all of us, so I just want to say my heartfelt congratulations to the class of 2020! On, Wisconsin!


Mary Donoghue

Biochemistry, Statistics


Being a part of the CALS Honors in Research program allowed me to develop a strong passion for research while also meeting and working with some of the most amazing scientists.


Artun K. Kadaster



During the summer of 2019, I had the opportunity to participate in the UW-SCORE international research fellowship (organized by Prof. Marvin Wickens). I got to spend two months at the University of Oxford doing research in the Brockdorff biochemistry lab. This program, one filled with both fascinating lab work and thrilling sojourns through Europe, generated lifelong friendships and a renewed passion in science. It exemplified the spirit of curiosity, exploration, and camaraderie that has been an integral part of my UW educational experience.


Simona Khomutov



Working in a breast cancer research lab when family members have been affected by the disease is extremely motivating and meaningful. I feel honored to have had the opportunity to make a small impact in the field and hope to continue my progress in the future.


Andi Pan

Pharmacology and Toxicology, Genetics and Genomics


The Honor in Research program in CALS has encouraged me to engage in research early as a freshman. In addition to seminar courses at the graduate level, guidance from my mentors and opportunities to share my research have cultivated my enthusiasm for biological sciences. I have spent a summer in a physiological chemistry lab in Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München and completed my senior honor thesis in a heart regeneration lab with the support of Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowship. The four research experiences in the college have transformed my career goal into developing life-changing medication as a scientist. In my future Ph.D. training at the Scripps Research Institute, I will continue to pursue excellence in scientific innovation.


Anna Walther

Community and Environmental Sociology | Leadership


I am grateful for the opportunity to engage with the greater Madison community and incorporate the Wisconsin Idea into my learning.



Haiyang Zheng

Biochemistry, Computer Sciences


Many things happened and they changed me. Will never forget the sunny afternoons of Lake Mendota.



College of Engineering


Spring 2020 Graduates


Logan Kossel

Mechanical Engineering | Thermal Energy Systems Engineering


My favorite undergraduate experience was working in the Cryogenics Engineering Lab.



Jiayi “Grace” Li

Biomedical Engineering, Legal Studies | Biology in Engineering; Criminal Justice


I am very grateful for the welcoming and open-minded environment fostered by UW-Madison. I gladly took the advantage of this resourceful campus to explore my interests in science and law by pursuing multiple certificates and majors. I also loved the way all the faculties and staff members I worked with for the past four years have encouraged me to continue challenging myself and seizing every opportunity that comes my way.Look back at what I have accomplished and learned, I am certain that my undergraduate has prepared me well for my future career in forensic medicine.


Labib Shahid

Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics


A major difference between the Honors in Research Program and undergraduate coursework is the level of independence one faces through a research project. In the courses we take, the problems are given to us by our instructors and there is usually one correct answer. However, for my research project I identified the problem I wanted to study, and solved it based on my knowledge from previous classes and guidance from my mentors. While the level of independence was challenging, the thought process and effort that went behind obtaining results were beyond rewarding. The Honors in Research Program has been my steppingstone to pursue a Ph.D.


Paul Slaughter

Mechanical Engineering


Many of the best moments of my undergraduate experience have been improved, or created, by a strong support network of family, friends, and mentors. I hope to continue to have such excellent people around me as I go onto graduate school and beyond.



College of Letters & Science


Winter 2020 Graduates


Samantha F. Ausman



The highlight of my undergrad was working on my senior honors thesis with the Dumesic group!



John S. Chlystek

Philosophy, Biochemistry | Integrated Studies in Science, Engineering, and Society


The honors courses I’ve had the opportunity to take through the L&S Honors program have been a valuable enrichment to my undergraduate education. As a biochemistry major, the honors component of a few courses I’ve taken required me to engage more deeply with current research being presented. This experience gave me a greater understanding of the current field of biochemistry and the research landscape I’ll be experiencing after graduation.


Anisa Ciaciura

Psychology, Neurobiology | Global Health, Leadership


I have enjoyed engaging in content through intimate Honors sections throughout my degree and developing strong relationships with faculty. The Honors experience has allowed me to meet and learn from diverse peers and professors beyond my majors in psychology and neurobiology. One of my favorite Honors section included Population Health 370 which inspired me to pursue Public Health post-graduation. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to become involved in multiple parts of campus including serving as the Honors Student Organization Communication Chair.


Olivia Coleman

Political Science, Communication Arts


The Honors Program at UW-Madison has opened my eyes to a wide variety of academic interests outside of my field. Each honors class provided me the chance to explore a topic I otherwise would have missed in a normal college experience. Every honors professor cares so much about helping their students improve in their speaking, writing, and reading skills. I am leaving this program with a deeper understanding of not only the world but the strengths I can apply to my career in the future.


Emma Lynn Cooper



Being a member of the honors program challenged me academically and provided me with amazing opportunities to prepare for my future career that I can’t imagine I would have had otherwise. The honors program made a large campus feel small and personal, and I always felt appreciated and understood. I will always be grateful for the time I had in the honors program and the community/friendships I have made.


Echo Dianna Fatsis

Psychology | Criminal Justice


The Honors experience was truly wonderful. I met and interacted with a handful of equally motivated students with similar passions and formed close knit relationships with my professors as well. It was nice to have someone like a professor care about you as a person and about your academic career on a campus that is so large.


Yuzhuo Kang

Statistics, Economics


Taking the honors classes is a special and unforgettable memory


Tyler James McCarthy

English, Psychology | Italian


Through the honors program I was able to form close connections with other students, my professors and advisors. Having a small “home” on campus the honors program had a great impact on my college experience.


Elisabet Asplund Pietz

Spanish | LGBTQ+ Studies


My undergraduate experience would have been drastically different without the L&S Honors program. I particularly want to thank David Danaher and Marwa Shalaby for teaching extraordinary Honors-only courses. Their courses provided me with the space to question my own beliefs, develop a stronger understanding of the world and push my mind to the limit.
I will be attending UW-La Crosse as a member of their Doctor of Physical Therapy class of 2024, and hope to eventually become a bilingual, culturally competent, actively anti-racist physical therapist. Participating in the Honors program here at UW-Madison has been a crucial step of my journey.


Chloe Schomaker

Neurobiology, Psychology | Biocore Curriculum Honors


I loved being a part of the Honors program here at UW because it made the campus feel so much smaller. I can’t step outside my front door without running into a familiar face, and I can thank small class sizes for having these connections. My Honors experience has also made me so much more comfortable with writing, as most honors classes require an extra end-of-semester research paper, and talking to my professors, as professors become so much more approachable with smaller class sizes.


Kelsey Stimes

Neurobiology, Communication Sciences & Disorders


I greatly enjoyed developing my undergraduate honors thesis within the Communication Sciences and Disorders program and getting to experience the scientific process behind human behavior research first-hand!


Keer Zhao

Chemistry, Communication Arts | Art Studio, Digital Cinema Production






Spring 2020 Graduates


Sheila Rozalia Binti Abdul Rashad

Geology & Geophysics | Environmental Studies


It was indeed challenging but yet worthy experience to write your honor’s senior thesis. You are not considered as honor’s student if you don’t experience sleepless night at the end of your writing due date.


Eve Rose Alterman

Political Science | Educational Policy Studies


My honors experience taught me how to cultivate and maintain individual relationships with professors, and use those relationships to help myself be a stronger student and a better individual altogether.


Mingcong Bai

History, Russian





Aaron Taylor Barenbaum

Neurobiology, Psychology


One of the most rewarding experiences in my time as an undergraduate at UW-Madison was the conduction of my Senior Honors Thesis. Being given the opportunity to design and conduct my own original research project and see some of the interesting results that were found was a rare moment of genuine pride.


Lily Beckers

Communication Sciences & Disorders | Education and Educational Services


My Honors experience allowed me to get to know my professors in new ways. It was such a wonderful learning opportunity to collaborate with my Honors professors throughout several semesters. Giving a lecture on universal newborn hearing screenings and studying and researching more specific topics were great experiences to have as an undergraduate student.


Abra Jolie Berkoff

History | Integrated Liberal Studies


I am incredibly grateful for my time in L&S Honors. One of the most valuable aspects of my Honors experience was having discussion each week with my professors. I appreciated getting to know my professors outside of lecture and delving deeper into the content they were very passionate and knowledgable about. I am very thankful for my time in Honors and at UW-Madison, and I am excited to see what the future holds!


Greta Rose Brown

Neurobiology | Global Health


In the Spring 2017, my Honors advisor suggested looking into the Welton Sophomore Honors Summer Apprenticeship program. I was fortunate enough to earn a spot in the program and became associated with the Chang Lab at the Waisman Center. While I was able to get involved with cutting edge research investigating gene mutations as a cause of Rett syndrome, I was also able to develop lasting and respectful relationships with my mentors. This apprenticeship led to an invitation to join their team as an undergraduate research assistant which then led to an expansion of my network into other research labs on campus. It also positioned me to provide training and mentoring opportunities of my own as a trusted senior member of their team.


Jonas O. Brown

Astronomy-Physics, Physics





John Nicholas Brunn

Chemistry | Mathematics


Having small and personable classes that engaged me in new and surprising ways within subjects outside of my major opened my mind to the incredible array of study at the University and helped me make a diverse pool of friends and peers.


Anna Linnaea Cash

Psychology | African Studies, Global Health





Ruth Cesar Heymann

Economics, Mathematics | Computer Sciences, Environmental Studies





Junda Chen

Computer Sciences, Mathematics


This was the first time I come to Lake Mendota. I came here because I didn’t just want to learn about math, or just computer science. I wanted to learn more about the world, this broader existence that I shall have the ability to appreciate it and live with it. I didn’t want my major to restraint my eyesight. I wanted to be liberally educated. Comprehensive honor program gave me the drive to spend my day and nights on subjects that I could never thought of learning: French literature, philosophy, astronomy, biochemistry, rhetoric, architecture and design. It also gave me the opportunities to connect and learn with amazing people. It gave me the inclusiveness to fail, and the capacity to grow. The program also helped me the dive deeper into computer science. To my parents who love and support me for my dream in Madison, to all the professors who has taught me to become the person I am today – Thank you! I will remember what I had learned here, and try to make our world a better place.


Emma Isabel Collins

Psychology, Spanish


Being an Honors student at Madison definitely changed my college experience for the better. The relationships I got to form with my teachers through honors only courses were pivotal to my college career. I enjoyed being in smaller classes and enjoyed the extra challenges that came with that!


Zhaoqing Cui

Computer Sciences, Economics, Mathematics


As an Honors student, I feel very fortunate to take a graduate-level course and to do year-long research with Professor Mark Craven. I believe both experiences gave me opportunities to explore more in Computer Science.


Giovanna Francesca Danna

Italian, Psychology | European Studies






Suzy DeGuire

Classical Humanities, Latin, Political Science | European Studies


I loved the support I received from my honors thesis advisor, and how he has served as a mentor in my college experience.


Corbin DeSautell



I think the honors experience has provided me with an in depth holistic understanding of my education and how it fits into not just my major but the world around me. Also, many of the honors classes I took were some of the more interesting classes that were outside of my direct field of study. I think the program contributed positively towards my experience at UW-Madison.


Laura A. Downer

German, International Studies, Political Science


My Honors experience was a constant reminder to challenge myself to go beyond the assigned lectures and reading. Completing extra projects in Honors-designated courses somehow made me want to go beyond the syllabus in all my other courses. A lot of my Honors experience was in the German department, studying abroad and taking a couple senior seminars, and I count among my top experiences at UW.


Kaylin Ellioff



During my time as an L&S Honors student, I not only had the opportunity to work on an exciting neurobiology research project leading to a future publication, but also work with and train fellow students. This picture was taken the day before Erica (left) and Amanda (second from right), returned to Puerto Rico after their summer research programs concluded. Hawra (second from left), who recently joined Dr. Corinna Burger’s lab, also had chance to get to know our group throughout the summer. In between running Western blot gels and performing the Morris Water Maze with our rats, Erica and Amanda had me try a variety of Puerta Rican cuisine like tostones (YUM) and cheesy hot chocolate (also YUM). Getting to know these girls was such a highlight in my honors research experience and I am looking forward to seeing them again at conferences in future years. Apart from that summer, the honors program allowed me to attend the annual Society for Neuroscience conference in Chicago and present at a few of its satellite meetings. Here I had the opportunity to network with neurobiology students and faculty from all over the world. I cannot thank the L&S Honors Program, the Trewartha family, Corinna Burger (my research advisor), and so many others enough for all the training and opportunities I have been afforded during my time here. On Wisconsin!


Heather Erickson

English, Philosophy


I am particularly thankful for the experience of completing a Senior Honors Project under Professor Elizabeth Bearden. Under her guidance and freedom, I explored multiple disciplines, such as philosophy, early modern literature, and disability studies. Further, I wrote my longest argument which advocates for counter eugenic logic and disability gain. I am so grateful to have learned from such a wise scholar, brilliant lecturer, and caring mentor. I will carry this experience with me forever.


Claire Evansen

Biochemistry, Mathematics | Biocore


I’m so glad I pursued an Honors degree at UW! I would like to give special thanks to Janet Batzli, Michelle Harris, the whole Biocore teaching team, and Susan Brantly — each of these fantastic professors challenged me to become a creative scientist, writer, and thinker.


Madelyn Funk

Education Studies, Psychology


My favorite part of the honors experience was getting to know my professors on a more personal level and learning things more in-depth by taking discussion sections taught by the professor rather than a TA.



Leah Rose Gerlach

Neurobiology | Global Health


My Honors courses have been some of the most memorable throughout my undergraduate career. They have given me the opportunity to study topics far outside my major and gain knowledge in a wide variety of topics. I have also met some great friends and mentors through the Honors program, and I will always look back on it as an important part of my time at UW.


Lexington Haider

Biology, Spanish






Rebecca Michelle Hanks

International Studies, Political Science | African Studies


I’m so fortunate to have been part of the L&S Honors community for the past four years! This program allowed me to take on an enriching and diverse course load, to develop lasting connections with peers and professors alike, and to attend a wide variety of interesting events and workshops. It gave me so many amazing memories and experiences here in Madison, all of which I will bring with me as I start new professional and personal journeys in the years to come.


Lauren Hartman

English | Business


Throughout my four years at Madison, I have loved the opportunities and relationships that being a part of the Honors program has given me. When I took smaller Honors courses that were led by professors, attended Honors academic advising appointments with advisors who actually knew my name, and recognized fellow Honors students in my classes, I felt like more than just another number at a massive university. I will miss being a part of the Honors community!


Sarah Joy Heinze

Communication Sciences & Disorders


I am truly grateful for this experience. I had an amazing opportunity to do research and work with some amazing minds. The research that I completed further solidified why I love what I do. I am excited to further pursue my education in this area by getting a Master’s degree from UW Madison starting Fall 2020.


Helen Jieun Heo

Molecular Biology, Nuerobiology | Biocore


The L&S Honors Program gave me many opportunities to further explore my interests inside and outside of the classroom.


Alexa Herskowitz

Journalism | Digital Studies


My experience at UW was greater than I could have ever imagined. A highlight of my academic journey took place this past year, where I had the opportunity to work alongside one of my favorite professors while conducting research for my senior thesis. I absolutely loved having the opportunity to explore a topic I am very passionate about.


Nathaniel Hilliard

Astronomy-Physics, Mathematics, Philosophy, Physics


Many thanks to all the support from the friends, family, and faculty that have kept me going throughout the years, with special thanks to the D’Onghia and Schmidt groups for the invaluable mentoring, generosity, and opportunity that they have provided outside the classroom. And a big thank you to the Honors program and numerous L&S professors who collaborated with me to expand my education beyond the standard course material, affording me the agency to personally direct my own curriculum and all of the fulfillment that has come with it.


Oliver Andrew Hitchcock

Astronomy-Physics, Mathematics, Physics | Computer Sciences


The Honors Program at UW-Madison allowed me to get the most out of my undergraduate education. Honors allowed me to explore rich coursework, attend smaller classes, and form connections with the brightest minds at UW-Madison.


Bradley Huffaker

Economics, Sociology






Megan Janssen

Journalism, Spanish


My junior year I had the opportunity to take an Honors history seminar on a personal topic of interest, which would turn out to be one of my favorite classes I took at UW. The course is History 600: Baseball & Society Since WWII, co-instructed by MLB Commissioner Emeritus Allan Selig. Learning from a great professor and the former Commissioner of MLB was an incredible experience, which is the definition of bringing the classroom to life. I am so glad I was able to get into this very popular class and receive Honors credit. We capped off the class with a trip to Commissioner Selig’s Milwaukee office and to Miller Park. This was a definitely a highlight of my Honors experience.


Megan Anne Johnston

Psychology | Global Health


I am very grateful for my Honors experience here at UW. It both challenged me and allowed to me to thrive during my 4 years here. I have gained valuable knowledge that I will carry with me in my future career and life experiences. My honors experience allowed me to get to know my professors at a deeper level than I would have in my large lectures. I have been able to form meaningful connections and gain a deeper understanding in my courses. In addition, the Honors advisors were instrumental in helping me find my path. They were always eager to help and offer resources.


Samantha Jones

Journalism | Development Economics, Environmental Studies


I had such a great experience working on my senior honors thesis! I challenged myself by working with a J-School professor I had always wanted to take a class with, and was able to curate my own project based on my interests. By analyzing some of my favorite protest novels, I have been identifying the trajectory and characteristics of narrative in social justice movements — a topic I wouldn’t have been able to study in-depth otherwise.


Jiwon Kim

Communication Studies & Disorders | Education and Educational Services


The ability to do an honors thesis was incredible!



Abigail King

History, Political Science


The honors college connected me with amazing, driven people that became my best friends. It challenged me and made me into a better student, person and leader. I am so thankful for the resources and connections it brought me.


Alex Michael King

Legal Studies, Political Science | Criminal Justice



Benjamin Kinzer

Computer Sciences, Mathematics | Studio Art


I always remember tricking other honors students into climbing trees with me at picnics and gatherings. Many fun times, many fun trees.


Nicole Julie Koshevatskiy

Psychology | Business


I thoroughly enjoyed the honors classes I took at UW-Madison because of the close relationships I established with distinguished professors. I was also able to expand my leadership capacities beyond the classroom through my position as the activities chair for the Honors Student Organization.


Aditya Krishnan

Geology & Geophysics | Scandinavian Studies


Between the people, experiences, and resources, joining University of Wisconsin and the Honors program was without a doubt one of the best decisions of my life. My experience of taking honors classes is unparalleled. They felt like an infusion of fresh ideas and perspectives. As graduating senior reflecting back on this whole experience and remembering certain more challenging classes, I am left with a bittersweet feeling. From advisors who go above and beyond to help you to professors that want to you succeed, this program has allowed me to make the most out of my college experience and excel at life.


Emma Langer

Biology, Psychology


Working for the Honors Program, I was provided a family of incredible people – students, faculty, advisors and administrators. I will never forget the laughs and memories we shared, and could not imagine my time as an undergraduate without them!


Mary Grace Larson

Political Science, Spanish | Environmental Studies, Gender & Women’s Studies


The Honors experience gave me a unique opportunity to engage more closely with professors and think more critically about my courses. I am very grateful that I had the chance to get such individualized attention and feedback throughout my education. A particular highlight was a Spanish course that was only the professor, two other students, and myself. I never thought I would get that chance at a huge university.


Alexander Latham



Getting to write one of my longest honors-optional project papers on the social psychology of Kendrick Lamar.



Harry Lees

Journalism, Political Science


Finally completing my Honors Thesis was an incredible moment



Dustin Lemke

Anthropology, Zoology | Archaeology, Global Health


Researching and writing a senior honors thesis this year was one of the most challenging, yet rewarding experiences I’ve had at UW.


Ketzel Levens

Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences


The research that I have conducted as a part of my senior thesis has allowed me to follow my curiosity and dig deep into a greater understanding of atmospheric sciences, leaving me with a well-rounded understanding of my major and a greater appreciation for the work it takes to understand atmospheric phenomena.


Anna Li

Neurobiology, Psychology


The honors experience has allowed me to learn from and work with world-class faculty. I am appreciative of the knowledge I have gained and look forward to taking what I have learned into my future.


Julia Lucey

International Studies | Educational Policy Studies


My Honors experience allowed me to cultivate deeper relationships with professors-Honors, and non-Honors! The Honors Program made me more comfortable reaching out and interacting with professors which has been invaluable.


Yuan Ma

Economics, Mathematics, Statistics | Computer Sciences





Alexa Cara Miller


Some of my favorite classes w

ere Honors seminars and Honors optional classes. They provided a smaller academic experience that allowed students to connect with professors and the class material on a deeper level. I am so happy I had the Honors Program as part of my undergraduate career at UW!


Amelia Moore

Legal Studies, Political Science, Psychology | Criminal Justice


The honors only classes have always been some of my favorite courses. I have always felt that these were where I gained the greatest depth of knowledge and have forced me to think critically and on a more in depth level. Additionally, I met one of my best friends in an honors only class first semester freshman year. I am always grateful that the honors program allowed my friends and I to meet and ultimately helped shape my college experience.


Christopher Murphy

Biochemistry, History


My Honors experience has offered me a deeper and more comprehensive education and experience. It has not only allowed me to research topics that I would not have otherwise been able to study and to better get to know professors but also introduce me to other driven undergraduates. The Honors College, in total, has provided me richer and more intimate experience at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.


Anusha Guruprasad Naik

Anthropology, Molecular Biology | African Studies


The L&S Honors program pushed me to appreciate breadth in my education. As a member of this program, I took courses on obscure topics and gained unique perspectives on the world surrounding me.


Mikhail Nedbai

Computer Sciences

I remember running my first batch of experimen

ts on the CHTC computing cluster. The thrill of launch a large scale computing job, and getting back huge batches of results, being able to analyze them and relaying the results back to my mentor was really exciting.


Lily Oberstein

Art History, Journalism, Legal Studies | Criminal Justice


I loved being able to take large lecture classes and debrief about the material with a more intimate group in an honors section. This style of learning really helped me not only learn the content of my classes, but let me engage with the material in a way many others don’t get the opportunity to.


Abby Olivieri

Communication Sciences & Disorders | Education and Educational Studies


I enjoyed the smaller classes that were discussion based. I had classes with some of the same people throughout my college years and it was nice to see a familiar face from time to time.


Victoria Paige

International Studies | Educational Policy Studies


I’m still surprised I was able to pass honors science classes.



Cynthia Papantonatos



Because of the Honors program, I was able to participate in the Welton summer apprenticeship, where I met a great group of friends that plays ping pong and Super Smash Bros together.


Anna Patterson

Neurobiology | Global Health


I most enjoyed being creative through my honors projects for classes. I definitely feel that I’ve been able to develop a more in-depth understanding of course concepts through these projects.


Logan Pearlman

Economics, Political Science


Honors gave me the opportunity to take classes and meet professors I wouldn’t have otherwise. That was great



Prachi Raina

Economics | Business


I actually met my college best friend through the Honors Program! She and I were sitting at SOAR together trying to figure out classes for freshman year and I remember we were so nervous and excited about what was to come. Little did I know she would be my best friend all through college! The Honors Program brought me people that are willing to go the extra mile with me while having a blast along the way 🙂 Thanks L&S Honors for all the advising, ice cream socials and friends!!


Benjamin Rolsma

Philosophy, Economics


In my freshman year I took a philosophy seminar on a whim because it was an honors-only class. It turned out that I love philosophy and so it ended up becoming my second major. Further philosophy classes with honors sections, honors projects, and so on, have profoundly shaped by undergraduate intellectual journey for the better.

Nicole Schreiber

Political Science |  Integrated Studies in Science, Engineering, and Society; Public Policy



Xavier Schultze

Biology, Philosophy


Getting to know instructors better during special honors sections.



Carlie Servais

Neurobiology, Psychology


Being an Honors student allowed me to meet and interact with so many amazing people. All of my Honors classes were lead by amazing professors and the Honors discussion sections were chances for me to meet classmates and peers that shared the same interests as me. Some of my best friends are people I met in Honors classes! Without these opportunities, I definitely would not have had the chance to experience so many different perspectives and personalities.


Perri Sheftel

Journalism | Entrepreneurship






Nathan Joseph Simon

History, Psychology


My favorite Honors experience was taking the Honors discussion component of child development psychology my freshman year with Dr. Seth Pollack. His passion for his research and teaching of how to analyze empirical articles was foundational to my ability to grow throughout college as a scholar and researcher in the fields of psychology and educational psychology.


Hannah Smyth

Neurobiology | Entrepreneurship, Global Health





Dylan Solomon

Economics, Political Science






Lauren Sorensen

French, Political Science | African Studies


My experience at UW-Madison was greatly impacted by my decision to pursue an Honors degree. After deciding to study abroad in Senegal for both semesters of my junior year, the Honors program allowed me to continue to cultivate my academic interests in the politics of Senegal. Writing a Senior Honors Thesis covering this topic was one of the most difficult tasks I have ever taken on but truly one of the most rewarding.


Justin Spore

Environmental Studies, Journalism


The Honors program had incredibly helpful advisors, and I was exposed to great classes I wouldn’t otherwise have been pushed to take.


Thomas Staniszewski

Neurobiology | Biocore, Global Health


The L&S Honors Program has provided a number of unique opportunities for me over the past four years. Not only have I received additional experiences in my courses, but I also feel that I’ve made lasting connections with many of my professors. One of my favorite Honors experiences was the Honors Banquette at the Pyle Center. I was lucky enough to return to this event as a Senior to represent the Biocore Program to inform prospective students about this honors biology certificate as well as other pre-medical coursework. Overall, I’m grateful for all of the additional resources and guidance provided by the L&S Honors Program which have helped me tremendously throughout my undergraduate career.


Abbey Stoltenburg

Biochemistry, Neurobiology |  Biocore


I began my Honors experience my sophomore year in college with Biocore. The decision to do Biocore was one of the best that I made during college. I met so many amazing people through this experience including some of my best friends in college. Despite the challenges of Biocore, I was able to grow as an individual and as a scientist. I will never forget this experience or the amazing instructors I have met.


Nina Kim Tran

Biochemistry | Southeast Asian Studies


My favorite experience as an honors student was completing my senior thesis. This project encapsulated my undergraduate career and is one of my proudest achievements!


Amelia Snow Birgitta Wagner

Journalism, Political Science | Gender & Women’s Studies


I have always appreciated the willingness of honors professors to ensure that students are engaging with the material and connecting with students on an individual basis. I am proud to be a L&S Honors graduate!


Elizabeth Wahmhoff

English | Digital Studies


Joining the Honors program was one of the best decisions I made during my time at UW-Madison because it allowed me to go above and beyond in a wide variety of disciplines. While I am an English major, the Honors courses I took in the sciences were some of my favorites and I developed a passion for sustainability because of them. My Honors experience has made me a better thinker and a more rounded individual who is able to look at a problem from multiple perspectives.


Chenhao Ye

Computer Sciences


When turning back to the summer that I started to research with Prof. Remzi Arpaci-Dusseau and Prof. Andrea Arpaci-Dusseau, the moment that I would appreciate most would be at the end of our weekly discussion, Remzi always asked me, “You are doing great, so what’s next?” Remzi seldom directly told me what to do but instead provided feedbacks after I developed my thoughts first. I am grateful that I could do project in such an independent but supported way, and it made me realize I was developing the idea rather than simply implementing it.


Ali Hur Zaidi

Computer Sciences, Mathematics






Alexandra Zinnen



My time at UW-Madison was filled with memories I will cherish forever. From the passionate students to the charismatic and caring professors, to the fascinating classes, every second helped me grow both as a student and as a person. The memory that expresses these sentiments most was from my Psychology 513 course about Hormones, Brains, and Behavior. As a requirement of the class, we had to create a presentation synthesizing three research papers relating to a topic about hormones. Although we had to switch to an online distance learning format due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, all of the presentations were amazing and inspired vigorous discussions. Passion for the chosen subject was exuded by each and every presentation, perfectly encapsulating the honors experience of a vivid learning environment filled with students from various expertise and backgrounds, creating a diverse and stunning landscape of knowledge.


Zonghao Zou

Applied Mathematics, Engineering, & Physics; Comuter Sciences |  Business


I was given the opportunity to receive Welton Apprentice summer scholarship. We went together to a house outside of Madison to present our summer achievements. That was a great experience.



Mercile J. Lee Scholars Program


Winter 2020 Graduates


Natalie Baccam

Social Welfare | Asian American Studies


Powers-Knapp Scholar: PK has meant so much to me throughout my time here. Without my cohort and others support, I would not be here graduating today. Whether it be a shoulder to cry or lean on, a shared experience, or a night out full of laughter – PK has provided me many experiences that shaped my time here. To me, PK has meant resilience, love, support, and most importantly a family.


Isabel Erickson

Biomedical Engineering


Chancellor’s Scholar: CS has supported me and helped me feel like I belong on campus right from the start of freshman year. My peer scholars have also inspired me and given me excellent examples for my future.


Edward Fulton

Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Economics | Mathematics


Chancellor’s Scholar: CS has given the world to me and I’m not exaggerating. They provided me incredible opportunity, a really beautiful community, and gave me the freedom to have my own college experience. I couldn’t have asked for a better program to be a part of.



Laura Guerrero

Biomedical Engineering


Chancellor’s Scholar: CS has provided me with the resources to excel as an undergraduate. My advisors have been instrumental in my grad school preparation by encouraging me to participate in research early on and take advantage of summer research opportunities outside of UW-Madison. I’m forever grateful for the advisors, mentors, and friends I’ve gained through CS.


Aaron Hernandez

Computer Science


Chancellor’s Scholar: To me, the Chancellor’s Scholarship Program represents the core values of inclusion, diversity, and academic excellence in scholarship, leadership and service. With their support, underrepresented students like myself have had the opportunity to become widely recognized and prepared for a future full of success and inclusivity.


Connor Jones

Geology | Scandinavian Studies, Environmental Studies


Chancellor’s Scholar: CS provided me support in and outside of the classroom while surrounding me with some of the most capable students on campus. It gave me a network of mentors, other scholars, classmates, and friends who never ceased to inspire me through my time as an undergraduate.


Thomas Jones III

Computer Engineering, Computer Science


Chancellor’s Scholar: It’s been such a privilege to be apart of a group of outstanding scholars ranging from all backgrounds. I will forever be thankful for what the scholarship has given me in terms of mentorship, academic support and finances. It’s very humbling being a second-generation Chancellor Scholar and seeing how the program has expanded and given all of us the tools to excel as Scholars. I am excited to see where my education takes me and promise to live the values Mercile Lee instilled in this scholarship to the best of my ability!


Justin Rivera

Biology | Environmental Studies


Chancellor’s Scholar: CS at first was a place that brought me back to Earth and grounded me into staying focus. It then grew into an environment where I was able to embrace who I was and participate in an accepting, cooperative environment. It’s more than “just another scholarship”, it’s a program that brings your dreams into reach by providing caring and attentive guidance. Will always remember my experience in the CS program.


Lexi Sandoval

Computer Science


Powers-Knapp Scholar: I am eternally grateful for everything the Powers-Knapp Scholarship Program has given me. PKS not only gave me friendships that’s I cherish, but also a place to grow as a student and a person.


McKensey Van Wie

Communication Sciences and Disorders, Gender and Women’s Studies


Powers-Knapp Scholar: The Powers-Knapp Scholarship program has been a space where I had the privilege to meet many like-minded individuals who share my drive for excellence. This program was always a space to share ideas, discuss hardships as well as triumphs, and to create lasting memories to carry with you into your future endeavors. I am so grateful and honored to have been apart of this program. Once a scholar, always a scholar.


School of Nursing


Spring 2020 Graduates


Laura Block



A reflection: nursing school has helped me think critically in multiple, new and distinct ways. For example, I can now interpret a set of lab values or ABGs and listen to a patient describe their strengths, challenges, and history, understanding which societal forces may be playing a role. The nursing honors program helped me take my thinking to a whole new level – it helps me question what I do and do not know, how my knowledge (and knowledge in general) is derived, and more. In addition, the nursing honors program has helped me understand how the field of nursing, and nursing as a profession is advancing, and the role of a nurse scientist. It makes me even more excited about my future in the Nursing PhD Program. I encourage everyone to consider nursing, not only as an avenue to practice, but also a way to get involved in knowledge development!


Liz Cardinal

Nursing, Spanish | Global Health


Favorite memory from undergrad was receiving my acceptance letter from the School of Nursing while studying abroad in Madrid, Spain!



Abby Elsholtz

Nursing | Gerontology & Global Health


UW-Madison has given me the best four years of my life! I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with an incredible research team in the School of Nursing. This work will be carried forward in my practice and future endeavors.


Marcela Maria Hanson



The honors program at UW guided me in understanding evidence based practice and quality improvement for the profession of nursing and healthcare as a whole. I value this experience and look forward to applying what I’ve learned to my practice as a registered nurse. I’m excited to enter the workforce as a badger nurse!


Phuoc Hong Nhan

Nursing | Global Health


My favorite memory was first first step on campus. The uncertainty was exciting as it only meant that there was a world of possibility. And I’m happy with my outcomes!


Megan Reinhardt

Nursing | Gerontology


Having the chance to collaborate with Dr. Linsey Steege has inspired me. I was witness to both her passion and her kindness, and it was a huge honor to work with her.


Margaret Reske

Nursing | Education, Educational Services


One of my favorite memories from the nursing honors program would be getting to learn from and work with the entire research team in Dr. Kwekkeboom’s PhD, RN, FAAN lab. As a first generation college student, exploring the opportunities of an undergraduate degree was challenging. Being in the honors program allowed me the opportunity to see what it would look like for me to pursue various a graduate degrees in nursing.


Mariah Ulness



I am incredibly grateful for my Honors experience which was enriched by so many friendships and my wonderful mentor Dr. Traci Snedden!



Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program


Winter 2020 Graduates


Vershawn Hansen

Neurobiology | Environmental Studies & Global Health


Addison McGhee

Statistics | Mathematics



Diana Tapia

Conservation Biology; Environmental Studies & Geography