With $1.1 million grant, ‘public humanities’ program gains ground

“Engaging the Humanities,” a UW–Madison program launched to help graduate students in the humanities explore rewarding careers beyond academia, has won a $1,100,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the second phase of the initiative.

The five-year grant is intended to grow and strengthen efforts that began in 2013 with an initial $1.1 million grant from the Mellon Foundation, joining several other ambitious outreach initiatives sponsored by the UW–Madison Center for the Humanities.

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Two more awards for University Opera

UW-Madison’s University Opera is on a roll. Both shows from last year, Transformations and Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, have won awards in the National Opera Association’s (NOA) Opera Production Competition for 2015-2016.

It is the second year in a row that UW-Madison has garnered an award from NOA, and the first time that each production was separately recognized. University Opera produces only two operas each year.

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Playing by ear

In just three semesters at the UW-Madison Mead Witter School of Music, assistant professor of violin Soh-Hyun Park Altino has made a stirring performance debut, forged deep connections with students and staged a pretty epic performance at Camp Randall. 

On January 22, 2017, Professor Altino will perform a recital with pianist Christopher Taylor. Read our Q&A to learn more about the performance, Professor Altino's favorite type of music to perform, and her teaching approach. 

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Approaching a patient like a painting

Before becoming a hospitalist and medical instructor at Duke University, Dr. Suchita Shah Sata was an honors student at UW-Madison, where a number of art history courses helped make her a better doctor today.

She says, "I even teach my medical students to approach a sick patient like a Seurat painting: You have to get really focused on the small dots of color (lab values, vital signs, heart sounds, family history, etc.), but then you have to step back and see the whole picture in order to accurately diagnose and treat the patient." 

Read more about her experience in her own words. 

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Odyssey Project wins $100,000 National Endowment for the Humanities grant

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Odyssey Project has received a $100,000 challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to help expand Odyssey Junior, an innovative program creating a pipeline to college for economically disadvantaged children through a humanities-based course of self-discovery and expression.

The Odyssey Project has a 14-year track record of empowering adults near the poverty level to overcome adversity and achieve their dreams through higher education. It offers a two-semester humanities course that lets students rediscover the joy of learning while earning six credits from UW-Madison. 

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New ESL active learning lab expands learning possibilities for international students

More than 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students at UW–Madison are united by a common thread: the need for English language skills. The ESL program — part of the English Department — recently celebrated the launch of a new interactive learning lab. Dan Pell, the designer of the learning lab, sought to create a dynamic space that provided flexibility for instructors based on different learning goals.

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In The Isthmus: Making a scene

Johannes Wallman arrived on the UW-Madison campus in 2012, tasked with reviving a dormant program. Under his watch, the university has joined most of the rest of the Big Ten in offering a jazz studies major. However, the impact of the German-born, Canada-raised pianist and composer goes beyond the concrete confines of the Mosse Humanities Building. 

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L&S 2016 Year in Review

The College of Letters & Science enjoyed a fantastic year, from research breakthroughs in every discipline, to breaking ground for a new music center that will transform campus and redefine what it means to pursue a musical education at UW-Madison. 

We've compiled a few of the stories from a year defined by great achievements and great generosity.

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DeShawn McKinney wins Marshall Scholarship

UW-Madison student Deshawn McKinney has been named a winner of the Marshall Scholarship, a prestigious award given to up to 40 scholars each year to study at the graduate level at a UK institution in any field of study. 

In November, he was named a Rhodes finalist. McKinney is a senior majoring in English-creative writing.

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