Eight members of the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s academic staff — including Mo Fayyaz in the Department of Botany — have been selected as recipients of the 2017 Academic Staff Excellence Awards. Chancellor Rebecca Blank will present the awards at a reception honoring the winners.
“As these awards richly illustrate, our academic staff members are scientists and scholars, communicators and creators, managers and mentors,” Blank says. “They inspire our students, strengthen the work of their colleagues, educate the world and ensure that the mission of this institution never falters.”
Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Service to the University: Mo Fayyaz, distinguished director, Greenhouses and Botanical Garden, Botany Department.
For more than three decades, Mo Fayyaz has efficiently and expertly run the UW Botany Greenhouses and Botanical Garden, a large enterprise that provides indispensable support to the Botany Department’s teaching and research missions. The campus facilities also serve as a vital outreach tool. Fayyaz has excelled at opening the greenhouses and garden to the entire state, from school groups and businesses to the general public. He exemplifies the Wisconsin Idea. A defining moment illustrating his public relations genius came in June of 2001, when he set up a 24/7 webcam to monitor the blooming of the foul-smelling titan arum. The huge “corpse flower” captivated much of the country, drawing 30,000 visitors to the campus over three days and breaking a university record for the greatest number of website hits.