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IPiB Announces Mentoring, Teaching Awards; SFLC Welcomes New Officers

The Integrated Program in Biochemistry — the joint graduate program of the Department of Biochemistry and Department of Biomolecular Chemistry — is proud to announce its recent award winners. Tyler Stanage earned the Sigrid Leirmo Memorial Award in Biochemistry and Michael Kelliher and Keren Turton each received a Denton Award for Graduate Student Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring.

Photo of Tyler Stanage
Tyler Stanage, a graduate student
in the Cox Lab, won the 2017 Sigrid 
Leirmo Memorial Award in Biochemistry.

The Leirmo Award is named for an outstanding scientist who received her Ph.D. from the Department of Biochemistry in 1989 and was a postdoc in the Department of Bacteriology. She died unexpectedly in 1990 and her husband funds the award in her honor. She was widely known by her fellow students and colleagues as a promising research and an enthusiastic friend and mentor.

The award recognizes a student’s or postdoc’s consistent willingness to contribute to the intellectual and technical potential of his or her fellow students and colleagues through the selfless help of others. Stanage, this year’s awardee, is a member the lab of biochemistry professor Mike Cox and studies DNA damage and repair.

“I am incredibly grateful to a lot of people for helping me achieve what I have in graduate school,” Stanage says. “Like many aspects of science, I only stand on the shoulders of others who came before me, like Sigrid Leirmo, and do the best I can to emulate them. I am thankful for a phenomenal mentor in Mike Cox who has taught me so much about science, wonderful labmates who wrote letters of support for this award, and my fellow IPiB students for always making me a better scientist.”

Kelliher, from the lab of Jill Wildonger, and Turton, from the lab of Deane Mosher, earned Denton Awards for their consistent commitment to quality, innovative classroom teaching and mentoring in a laboratory setting. The award is made possible by the Arnold E. and Catherine M. Denton Fund.

Photo of Michael Kelliher and Keren Turton
Michael Kelliher (left) and Keren Turton (right) each earned a Denton
Award for Graduate Student Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring. 

“The Denton Award is such a nice honor, and working with students was one of the motivating factors for my entering graduate school,” Kelliher says. “I want to have a career where I can foster educational and professional growth in students. I have had the opportunity to work with some fantastic undergraduates, including the talented Ashley Ng in the Wildonger lab, so it is nice to know that my efforts are appreciated. I hope to continue to grow as both a mentor and teacher throughout my career.”

Wildonger, who nominated Kelliher, says he is an outstanding teacher who has received stellar feedback from undergraduates he has taught and mentored.

“I nominated Mike because he is dedicated to student learning in the classroom and lab, and he excels at teaching in both environments,” she says. “Students are universally enthusiastic about Mike, and I think that their positive words speak the loudest.”

Turton has a long history of teaching as well, coming to UW–Madison with experience elsewhere, excelling as a teaching assistant, and also taking courses in the university’s Delta Program. Mosher, her nominator, says she goes above and beyond in the classroom, and Turton says she is humbled to receive the recognition.

“I'm honored to receive this award, and grateful for the nomination,” Turton says. “I've had a lot of fun learning with undergrads. They inspire me to do my own research more thoughtfully. I'm thankful that Arnold E. and Catherine M. Denton, as well as IPiB, value teaching and mentoring so highly.”

The awards were announced Friday, June 9 at the IPiB Student Faculty Liaison Committee (SFLC) Summer Reception. SFLC also announced their new officers for the next academic year. The new officers are:

Photo of 2017-18 SFLC officers
The 2017-18 SFLC officers. Some not pictured.