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IPiB Announces Awards for Teaching and Mentoring, SFLC 2018-19 Officers

The Integrated Program in Biochemistry (IPiB) — the joint graduate program of the Department of Biochemistry and Department of Biomolecular Chemistry — is excited to announce its 2018 awards that celebrate teaching and mentoring. The awards were given out at the IPiB Summer Reception on Friday, June 8.

"We had a large number of nominations for both of our awards, a testament to our talented students," says biochemistry professor Ivan Rayment, who heads the IPiB Steering Committee. "Congratulations to all of the award winners and their mentors, and many thanks to all of the faculty who nominated their outstanding students for these awards and made the committee’s job very difficult."

Kasia Dubiel, a graduate student in the Keck Lab in Biomolecular Chemistry, and Sarah Hansen, a graduate student in the Hoskins Lab in Biochemistry, are recipients of the 2018 Denton Award for Graduate Student Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring. Kate Henderson, a postdoctoral scholar in the Record Lab in Biochemistry, received the Sigrid Leirmo Memorial Award in Biochemistry.

“Earning the Denton Award serves as encouragement to continue to gather skills so that I can help inspire the next generation of scientists,” Dubiel says. “I have had the opportunity to work with students in a wide range of environments and from these experiences I have learned that each student has a different view point and unique needs. I hope to pursue a career in teaching at a primarily undergraduate university. I believe this award will help show that I am passionate about teaching and mentoring.”

The Denton Award honors IPiB students who consistently provide quality guidance and scientific training in mentoring undergraduate students in their research efforts and show evidence of quality, commitment, and innovation in teaching.

The award is made possible by the generosity of Arnold E. and Catherine M. Denton. Like Dubiel, Hansen is also very involved in teaching and mentoring and wants to pursue a career at a primarily undergraduate institution. 

“I am very happy to receive this award because I have a passion for working with undergraduate students in the classroom and lab,” Hansen says. “I’ve been a graduate teaching assistant for seven semesters here at UW–Madison and have mentored four undergraduate students in the Hoskins Lab. My career goal is to teach and lead a research lab at a primarily undergraduate institution. This award will help me be competitive in this job search as well as in my future search for a tenure-track position.”

The Leirmo Award recognizes graduate or postdoctoral students who exemplify the spirit of Sigrid Leirmo. Sigrid received her Ph.D. from the Department of Biochemistry in 1989. She was widely acknowledged among her fellow students and colleagues as a promising researcher and enthusiastic friend and mentor.

“It’s an honor just to be nominated for the Leirmo Award, let alone be chosen,” Henderson says. “I absolutely love the research we do in Professor Tom Record’s lab and truly enjoy teaching and helping others. Tom and my lab mates are simply fantastic, and I’m thankful for the opportunity work with all of them.”

Photos of winners of the IPiB teaching and mentoring awards
Left to right: Kasia Dubiel with Professor James Keck and Allyson Yake, who co-nominated her, Sarah Hansen mentoring a student in the lab, and Kate Henderson talking with a student about his results in the lab. Second and third photos by Robin Davies.  

IPiB’s Student Faculty Liaison Committee (SFLC) also announced its newest round of officers at the reception.


2018-19 SFLC Officers. (Some not pictured.)

  • Chair: Dana Dahhan (Bednarek Lab)
  • Vice Chair: Elizabeth Larson (Harrison Lab)
  • Treasurer: Dylan Plaskon (Record Lab)
  • Outreach: Josie Werner (Wildonger Lab), Joshua Mitchell (Mosher Lab), and Kathy Senn (Dvinge Lab)
  • Career Development: Eddie Rashan (Pagliarini Lab)
  • Social: Alex Duckworth (Keck Lab) and Abigail Bartlett (Pagliarini Lab)
  • Student Invited Speaker: Tina Lynch (Kimble Lab)
  • Recruiting: Harriet Saunders (Wildonger Lab), Sophie Sdao (Merrins Lab), and Elizabeth Larson (Harrison Lab)
  • Lunch Symposium: Nate Murray (Pagliarini Lab)
  • Curriculum: Nathan Thomas (Henzler-Wildman Lab)
  • IPiB Retreat: Matthew Blackburn (Sussman Lab) and Kanika Jain (Cox Lab)