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Category: Community

UW Prof. Jordan Ellenberg, “Shape: The Hidden Geometry of Information, Biology, Strategy, Democracy, and Everything Else”


It’s the most wonderful time of the year, time for the Wisconsin Book Festival, 28 events this week alone, both in-person and online, and Stu Levitan welcomes one of the featured presenters, and one of the brightest stars in the firmament that is the University of Wisconsin faculty, Professor Jordan Ellenberg, to discuss his NYTimes best-seller, Shape: The Hidden Geometry of Information, Biology, Strategy, Democracy, and Everything Else.

Fitchburg-based Spanish Learning Center wants students to love language

Noted: Currently, De Pierola splits her time between her own business, a part-time job as a Spanish teacher at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, and her own studies. Trained as a lawyer in Peru, she’ll graduate with a masters degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School in December and then take the bar exam — the necessary steps if she wants to practice law in Wisconsin. Simultaneously, she’s earning a teaching credential through online courses from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota.

‘Now we’re waiting’: Evacuees at Wisconsin’s Fort McCoy face health care issues, confusion over restarting their lives

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: Erin Barbato, the director of the Immigrant Justice Clinic at the University of Wisconsin- Madison, said that the immigration status of evacuees isn’t tied to remaining at the base, but once they leave, a clock starts on their resettlement benefits, which are only available for eight months after leaving the base.

“Many people are confusing the resettlement process with the immigration process. So, when people are applying for humanitarian parole or for their Special Immigrant Visa or even for asylum, that does not need to be completed on the base,” she said. “The issue is people have now been waiting for a long time at these bases and they don’t want to remain there any longer, but many of them need a resettlement plan in order to get their life started in the United States.”

Dr. Russell Jeung, co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate, will talk about building an anti-racist movement as UW Diversity Forum keynote speaker

Madison 365

Dr. Jeung co-founded the Stop AAPI Hate reporting center after reading news stories about attacks against Asian American elders and seeing an alarming escalation in xenophobia, bigotry and violence in the United States resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Jeung will be the day-one keynote speaker at the University of Wisconsin-Madison 2021 Diversity Forum Nov. 2-3.

UW Athletics help East Side Youth Football Program replace equipment lost in a fire

Madison 365

University of Wisconsin-Madison Athletic Director Chris McIntosh and UW Head Football Coach Paul Chryst recently showed their support for the East Side Youth Football Program, helping them replace the football equipment that they lost in a tragic fire. On Sept. 14, they gave the young people a special surprise showing up at practice at Madison East High school to present equipment and speak to the young people.

Watch now: Madison nonprofit works to support Latinos with developmental disabilities

Wisconsin State Journal

The nonprofit recently partnered with UW-Madison’s Waisman Center on a $330,000 grant aimed at removing some of the barriers Latino families face when seeking care. As part of the three-year grant, Padres E Hijos En Acción has hosted three informational workshops designed to hear the needs of Latino families. The project hopes to create teams of about 20 families that can advocate for themselves and create change in the health care system.

Anti-Muslim hate crimes increase after 9/11, Madison Muslim community unites against hate


Challenging prejudice, something UW Madison Division of Extension Program Manager Sarah Schlosser faces frequently, as a white Muslim woman who wears a hijab. “I think a misconception is that if someone’s in hijab if they’re covering that there’s no way they could be a feminist, there’s no way they can believe in women’s rights and I actually feel like if we believe that women have a right to wear whatever they want, that should be include being as uncovered or as covered as they choose,” Schlosser said.

Two decades later, Madison first responders reflect on 9/11

Capital Times

Describing himself as a “young and impressionable” student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Lau was just shy of his 20th birthday at the time. The scene would move him to take action, altering the course of his career — and his entire life. He abandoned his initial plans to study business, instead taking courses in a field he’d never before considered: law and policing. After receiving his degree and completing the criminal justice certificate program in 2004, Lau got a job in the UW-Madison Police Department, where he’s worked for the past 17 years as an officer.

Big Brothers Big Sisters partners with UW to distribute more than 200 backpacks at Back to School event

Madison 365

Littles in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and their families got to see the UW campus, meet new UW Athletic Director Chris McIntosh, watch UW football and volleyball practices and get a backpack full of school supplies on Aug. 21 at the Big Brothers Big Sisters Back to School event held in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Big Brothers Big Sisters partners with UW to distribute more than 200 backpacks at Back to School event


Littles in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and their families got to see the UW campus, meet new UW Athletic Director Chris McIntosh, watch UW football and volleyball practices and get a backpack full of school supplies on Aug. 21 at the Big Brothers Big Sisters Back to School event held in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

‘It’s all or nothing’: A small pay bump can cut benefits for Wisconsin workers


Quoted: University of Wisconsin-Madison economics professor Timothy Smeeding said the rise in wages for low-income workers means it’s a good time to reassess their jobs and find a better one.

“For those reasons, the job market is in favor of workers right now and turnover is good,” Smeeding said. “When people voluntarily leave jobs, economists think that’s good, because that meant they found something better.”

Milwaukee took a big hit in the new census numbers. The question is whether they’re accurate.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: “It’s sort of like a race, where you’re only seeing people at the starting line and people at the finishing line but you’re not seeing how they go around the track,” David Egan-Robertson, a demographer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said of the data released every 10 years.

Wisconsin cities look to basic income to close racial, other wealth gaps

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: Stephen Young is a University of Wisconsin-Madison assistant professor who studies basic income programs in the United States and worldwide. Young said universal basic income is not a “magic bullet solution” but an idea that has gained traction in the past decade to “address structural unemployment and poverty.”

Flexible parking, BRT good for UW-Madison campus — Patrick Kass

Wisconsin State Journal

Letter to the editor from Patrick Kass, director, transportation services, UW-Madison: Recently, we’ve had over 4,000 employees enroll in flexible parking options that allow them access to campus parking facilities without a commitment to purchasing a dedicated space for a full year. Combined with a robust bus rapid transit (BRT) system, these policies can build a network of transportation options that will allow our employees to access campus in convenient, cost-effective and more environmentally friendly ways.

Forget Critical Race Theory in the Classroom. Kids Are Learning About Race on TikTok.


Quoted: “If you look at the language of some of these bills, they’re really pretty broad,” says Diana Hess, dean of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s school of education. “There’s a lot of things that are in the language that would make it really hard to teach civic education.”

LIFT Dane’s Legal Tune-up Tool can help you remove eligible criminal and eviction records

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: “We used public data that is so often used against people to help correct situations or improve situations that might be barriers to employment, housing, education, childcare and health,” explained Marsha Mansfield, director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Economic Justice Institute and director of LIFT Dane.

University of Wisconsin is planning a Badgers block party … in Milwaukee’s Deer District

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

From an ocean of green to a sea of red. It really is Christmas in July at the Deer District.

Maybe Frank Kaminsky will be present for both?

Though the Milwaukee Bucks playoff run will be over one way or another by July 29, the Deer District will still be a hot spot for local sports celebration, though this time it’s for a brand outside the city.

Wisconsin educators help design ‘Shipwrecks!’ game

PBS Wisconsin

During the 2020-21 academic year, 14 Wisconsin third through fifth grade teachers took part in the Shipwrecks! Game Design Fellowship with PBS Wisconsin Education and Field Day Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Throughout the winter, these educators met with teachers, game designers, researchers and maritime archaeologists to co-design a video game that investigates shipwrecks in the Great Lakes using the practices of maritime archaeologists.

A New York Times article sought to expose Wausau and Marathon County’s racial tensions. Some say that ‘snapshot’ only made things worse.

Wausau Daily Herald

Quoted: Doug McLeod, a journalism professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said conflict can indeed be threatening, especially to smaller cities, and that the national attention that Wausau is receiving would “disappear into everything else” in a city like New York or Chicago.

“(Conflicts) can be more divisive, they can raise tensions in smaller communities,” said McLeod, who studies social conflicts and the mass media. “Those communities might look for scapegoats to place blame, (and) it’s often the person coming in from outside — like a journalist from New York.”

Wisconsin Latinx History Collective to enrich state’s historical narrative over the next 5 years

Madison 365

Noted: The Wisconsin Latinx history collective is an organization created in partnership with the Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS) and the UW–Madison Chican@ & Latin@ Studies Program and will spend the next five years documenting the history of Latinx people in the state of Wisconsin.

Officially created in January of last year, the collective began with the meeting between Arenas and four other academics, including historian and UW–Madison assistant professor Dr. Marla Ramírez Tahuado; UW–Madison Associate Professor with the School for Workers Dr. Armando Ibarra; cultural anthropologist and assistant professor of geography and Chican@ & Latin@ studies Dr. Almita Miranda; and assistant professor of Latinx Studies at Marquette University Sergio González.

New partnership works to improve vaccine hesitancy for families


Quoted: UW professor Christine Whelan has shared her expertise as part of Dear Pandemic, helping people understand how to talk with others about their COVID-19 fears.

“We can see people who say, absolutely I will never get the vaccine, and a couple of weeks later, they change their mind. So, interestingly enough the research has found that it is much easier to change your opinion, than it is to change your behavior,” she said.

Bigger event on hold but Casting for Kids organizers hope to raise $100,000 for charities

Wisconsin State Journal

A scaled-down version of Casting for Kids returns to Madison’s four lakes on Saturday, with the Green Lantern Restaurant in McFarland as the post-fishing headquarters. University of Wisconsin men’s hockey associate head coach Mark Osiecki hopes to raise $100,000 for the American Family Children’s Hospital and the UW Carbone Cancer Center through the outing and an online memorabilia auction.

Dane County No. 1 in COVID-19 vaccination among large U.S. counties

Wisconsin State Journal

With nearly 63% of Dane County residents receiving at least one dose of the vaccine and new cases down, “we’ve temporarily reached a point where there’s adequate immunity and not a ton of new disease being reintroduced … but it’s a moving target,” said Dr. James Conway, a UW health pediatrician and vaccine expert.

“We’re getting really close” to herd immunity, said UW-Madison infectious disease epidemiologist Malia Jones, but “there’s no way to figure out exactly what it is until after the fact.”

Milwaukee-area Muslim community celebrates Eid al-Fitr, end of Ramadan with outdoor festival, fun for

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: Rawan Hamadeh of Brookfield, who just finished her freshman year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was at the festival surveying people about their vaccination status.

“There are a lot of rumors being spread about the vaccine and how safe it is,” Hamadeh said. “Our goal is, if they aren’t vaccinated and they don’t want to be vaccinated, to try to educate them and inform them that there is nothing in the vaccine that can harm you.”

Dane County leads state in COVID-19 vaccination, but racial disparities persist

Wisconsin State Journal

Dr. Jasmine Zapata’s mother and husband weren’t sure they wanted to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but after talking with her about their concerns they got immunized in March. Zapata, a UW Health pediatrician who is Black, is having similar conversations with patients, before church groups, at school forums and with friends and other family — pretty much anyone she knows who wants help making a decision.

With hard lessons from the pandemic and protests, Madison looks to forge the next Downtown

Wisconsin State Journal

UW-Madison is in the process reimagining Library Mall — the area featuring Hagenah Fountain between the Wisconsin Historical Society and Memorial Library — the last piece of the East Campus Mall project from Regent Street to Lake Mendota. “I would say that the overall goal is to make this another entryway, or front door to the campus … one that is indeed welcoming to all people and helps open the university and its amazing events to everyone,” said Gary Brown, the university’s director of campus planning and landscape architecture.

Madison issues warnings for Mifflin Street block parties


The police department plans to notify the University of Wisconsin if anyone is cited for illegal activity on or around April 24 for its Office of the Dean of Students and Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards to determine if further action is warranted.

Efforts ramp up to vaccinate people of color against COVID-19 in Wisconsin

Wisconsin State Journal

UW Health has had a few “vaccine racial equity days” at its Arboretum Clinic on South Park Street and plans to continue holding at least one a week, said Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, chief diversity officer. Groups representing communities of color invite people to come, and interpreters and printed materials in several languages are available, she said.