Academic Staff: Mid-Career Award

Recipients of the L&S Academic Staff Mid-Career Award must have 8 or more years’ (including the current year) experience as outstanding leaders with substantial professional competency and the promise of continuing contributions.

2018 Recipients

Nick Hill
Director of the Undergraduate Organic Laboratory, Department of Chemistry

Nick has revolutionized the department’s undergraduate organic chemistry laboratory courses, which serve more than 500 undergraduates each semester. His changes have given students access to modern chemistry techniques and cutting-edge scientific discoveries — including those from UW-Madison faculty!

“The organic laboratory curriculum that he oversees is of the highest possible quality and is well ahead of programs at peer institutions in its commitment to engage students with the most authentic data analysis possible,” says organic chemistry lecturer Brian Esselman.

Nick has also drastically improved TA preparation and support, and he’s been an integral part of planning for the new Chemistry Building, which will allow the department to offer organic chemistry lab to a larger group of students.

“His insights into how labs of the future will run have allowed us to design a facility that should be considered modern for quite a long time,” says Matt Sanders, the department’s executive director.

David Macasaet
Senior Information Processing Consultant, L&S Learning Support Services

When a tech need arises anywhere within L&S, David is the go-to solution creator.

“Whether the question is technical, pedagogical, aesthetic or otherwise, he has a knack for simple and clear language, and always seems to have the best advice around for use of the machines in question,” says Ritt Deitz, director of the Professional French Masters Program.

Among many highlights, David has helped the L&S Career Initiative produce more than 60 alumni videos for its Badger-to-Badger: Steps that Matter series. And when Harold Schueb, the professor who created the popular African Storyteller course, retired, David was instrumental in integrating videos of the professor into new iterations of the class.

“Those video recordings existed in large part because of the visionary thinking of David, who strove for years to see that they were created,” say Bruno Browning and Lisa Jansen, director and associate director, respectively, of Learning Support Services. “Everyone recognized that Harold Scheub was a treasure and, by seeing before anyone else did that recordings of him would someday be invaluable, David demonstrated that he is one too.”

Gabriele Meyer
Senior Lecturer, Department of Mathematics

A five-time winner of the University Housing Honored Instructor Award, Gabi regularly teaches a wide variety of courses for the Math Department, from precalculus to upper-level classes for math majors. “Regardless of the course, students appreciate Gabi’s easygoing and accommodating nature,” says Shirin Malekpour, director of the Instructional Excellence Program.

Gabi also supervises MathLab, a drop-in tutorial service held five days a week and staffed by about 100 graduate students. “Hundreds of students benefit from the tutorial services through MathLab every semester and that is owed to Gabi’s efforts,” Malekpour says.

In addition, Gabi is an accomplished crochet artist who makes stunning curved hyperbolic structures out of yarn. Her work has been exhibited internationally and several Math Department faculty have used her artwork to illustrate mathematical concepts in public lectures.

Laura Monahan
Senior Academic Curator, UW Zoological Museum, Department of Integrative Biology

It could be expected that a museum would dwindle, or even shutter, when it loses key leaders. Fortunately, the Zoology Museum has Laura Monahan.

Laura oversees the museum’s collections, funds, staff, students, funding support, teaching and outreach, and her curatorial duties include management of nearly 750,000 specimens.

“Remarkably, the museum is doing more now, with fewer employees, than it was 12 years ago,” says Integrative Biology chair and professor Jeff Hardin.

Laura also developed and teaches the popular course Introduction to Museum Studies in the Natural Sciences — even though teaching is not a formal component of her academic staff responsibilities. And she makes the museum’s resources available to faculty across campus.

“If you are teaching a course that involves birds, mammals, vertebrates or invertebrates, she will provide you resources that will keep your students engaged and want to come to the labs,” says Nazan Gille, instructional program manager for the iBio department. “Yes, in the digital age, there are videos and pictures of all sorts of creatures, but how many students actually get to see a mastodon skull or a cinoid in the classroom? We are lucky to have the resources and more than lucky to have Laura, who makes them available for education.”

All Recipients


  • Nick Hill, Director of the Undergraduate Organic Laboratory, Department of Chemistry
  • David Macasaet, Senior Information Processing Consultant, L&S Learning Support Services
  • Gabriele Meyer, Senior Lecturer, Department of Mathematics
  • Laura Monahan, Senior Academic Curator, UW Zoological Museum, Department of Integrative Biology


  • Nina Valeo Cooke, Department of Gender and Women’s Studies
  • Mark Wendt, Department of Chemistry
  • Arrietta Clauss, Department of Chemistry


  • Araceli Alonso, Senior Lecturer, Department of Gender & Women’s Studies
  • Jeffrey Henriques, Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology
  • Sharon Kahn, Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Geography
  • Dianna Murphy,  Founding Associate Director, The Language Institute


  • Brian Babler, Researcher, Department of Astronomy
  • Shirin Malekpour, Faculty Associate and Wisconsin Emerging Scholars Program Coordinator, Department of Mathematics
  • Debra Pierce, Faculty Associate, School of Journalism and Mass Communication


  • David Black, Administrative Program Manager, School of Journalism & Mass Communication
  • Russell Dimond, Senior Information Processing Consultant, Social Science Research Services
  • Thomas Gorski, Instrument Innovator, Department of Physics
  • Ewa Miernowska, Senior Lecturer, Department of Slavic Languages and Literature


  •  Daniel Denhartog, Senior Scientist, Department of Physics
  • Jennifer Tishler, Associate Faculty Associate, Center for Russia, East Europe & Central Asia (CREECA)


  • Tracy Drier, Senior Instrument Specialist, Department of Chemistry
  • Jim Maynard, Senior Instructional Specialist, Department of Chemistry


  • Dana Longstreth, Associate Professor, Department of Communicative Disorders
  • Rob McClain, Faculty Associate, Department of Chemistry
  • Rachel Weiss, Assistant Director, Center for South Asia
  • Doug Worsham, Learning Support Services


  • Brett Chapman, Senior Scientist, Department of Physics


  • John Stevenson, Associate Director, Survey Center


  • Dr. Scott Mellor, Academic Staff,  Department of Scandinavian Studies 
  • Dr. Ieva Reich, Academic Staff, Department of Chemistry


  • Dr. Jeff Percival, Academic Staff, Department of Astronomy
  • Michelle Quinn, Academic Staff, Department of Communicative Disorders


  • Gloria Mari-Beffa, Academic Staff, Department of Mathematics
  • Merritt Dietz, Academic Staff, Department of French and Italian
  • Paul Hanson, Academic Staff, Center for Limnology


  • Nelly Halzen, Academic Staff, Department of French and Italian,
  • Matthew J. Sanders, Academic Staff, Department of Chemistry


  • Jane Perlmutter, School of Library and Information Studies
  • Rebecca Ryan, Cross-College Advising Services
  • Mary Jo Studenberg, Southeast Asian Studies


  • Bruno Browning, Learning Support Services
  • Anthony Jacob, Department of Chemistry
  • Jack Solock, Data and Information Services Center

Nominate an excellent mid-career staff member.

Please contact the PDRC for more information about the Academic Staff Awards.