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50th Anniversary

What a great celebration of Biocore’s 50th Anniversary!

On May 14 & 15, 2018, we gathered to celebrate the innovative spirit of Biocore; our community of students, alumni, faculty, administrators, and friends; and our strong commitment to excellence in biology education at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. See the Biocore 50th News Story>>

View anniversary messages on the Message Board

1. Biocore Prairie—Welcome and Walking Tour
May 14, 2018 at 3–5 p.m. at the Biocore Prairie

Description of event- What a lovely early spring day to visit the prairie. The ground was just greening up following a prescribed burn. The walking tour included exhibits of bird banding with Biocore Prairie Bird Observatory leader Jackie Sandberg, bat monitoring team, Biocore Prairie phenology project, Friends of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve purple martin project and bluebird trail, and the Lakeshore Nature Preserve management team. It was so exciting to greet alumni and long time friends -- some going back to the very first Biocore class of 1967, long before the Biocore Prairie began! Thanks to Mat Rodriguez for musical entertainment and for the enthusiastic root beer float drinkers. Many thanks to all for coming out and for your best wishes.

2. Biocore Program—Open House and Showcase
May 15, 2018 at 3–5 p.m.
3rd Floor, Noland Hall, 250 N. Mills St.

Description of event- How delightful it was to welcome back old friends to reconnect with Biocore. The timeline poster was a reminder of where we started and how Biocore has grown and changed over five decades, while continuing to innovate inside and outside the classroom. There were interactive exhibits on "glowing" worms and shmooing yeast; demos featuring elements of Biocore's curriculum scaffold for science communication, research, and team-based learning outcomes; investigation stations with the Biocore Outreach Ambassadors; posters from Peer Mentors and Peer Advisors. We appreciated visits and words of congratuations from Vice Provost Steve Cramer, Dean Kate VandenBosch, Associate Dean Gloria Mari-Beffa and enjoyed student research presentations.  Outside, the Biocore Outreach Ambassadors entertained us with an impressive Coke fountain--reaching as high as the third floor of Noland Hall~ Thanks so much for joining us!


2. Biocore Faculty Dinner
May 15, 2018 at The University Club

Description of event- It was a beautiful evening with many friends and familiar faces. Biocore faculty past and present, many who have spent the majority of their career teaching in Biocore, gathered for an evening of reflection and shared dedication to excellence in undergraduate education. As a special treat, we were joined by alumni--one representative from each decade: 1967- First class- Robert Majeska, PhD Prof BioMed Engineering, CCNY; 1970s- Paul Sondel- MD/PhD, Prof Pediatric Oncology UW Madison; 1980s- Mike Merline- PhD, Biology teacher Madison West High School; 1990s- Amy Prunuske PhD, Associate Prof Medical College of Wisconsin; 2000s- Danny Parrell, PhD candidate, Microbiology Michigan State University; 2010s- Alder Levin, BS candidate, L&S Biochemistry and History and musical entertainment by Anna Kaldjian, BS candidate L&S Microbiology and German. We appreciated the kind words of congratulations from Dean Karl Scholz; the many shared stories about the broad reach and impact of Biocore. Thank you so much for this special evening!  

Shout Out to Biocore!

Happy Birthday, Biocore! I signed up for Biocore on kind of on a whim, I guess, as teenagers sometimes do. I always planned to be a high school science teacher (I am!), so I constantly found myself wondering what I was doing surrounded by all these hot shot pre-med students! I've come to realize that this feeling of 'am I really supposed to be here?' is persistent for nearly all students at every stage of education, and that feeling certainly has helped shape my own teaching. I remember that Biocore was really hard! I did learn a lot, thanks especially to a few good friends I made who helped me out all the time. Looking back, I guess this is my 20th anniversary. I think the Biocore graduation ceremony was more significant than my real graduation a year later...'What?! I actually made it!' I certainly learned some life lessons -- impossible things are learnable when you give them enough time; ask for help; getting an 'A' is really hard but getting a 'B' is not too hard (this may not have been the intended lesson but it has served me well in finding balance in life). I am sure these have helped form my own teaching philosophy -- essentially, be good to each other and it's OK if you're struggling because you're not the only one. After finishing at UW, I spent a year in the secondary science education program at UW-Milwaukee, where I met my wife Liz. We now live in Minneapolis with our two boys, right across the street from Biology Professor Marcie Myers, who would have been my Biocore instructor...except that by junior year I'd realized I didn't really have to take all the labs! At the time I considered that 'being efficient' (another life lesson, I suppose). I am now in my 17th year of urban public education, five years Milwaukee High School of the Arts and 12 at St. Paul Central, where I hope to remain for my career. Well, this turned out longer than expected (my students would not be surprised). I want to say 'thank you' to the teachers and organizers of Biocore, I am sure it is not an easy task to maintain a program like that. I remember Wayne Becker being especially cool, launching Tootsie Rolls into the audience to teach us about glucose (I think?). And to the current teachers, please know that the disengaged teenager kicking his way through your class this spring may just turn out OK after all!

-- Craig Karlen, 1996-1998

Biocore is celebrating 50 Years