Friday Features - July 28, 2017

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July 28, 2017

Consier selected for World Food Prize Foundation and USDA Wallace-Carver Fellowship

University of Wisconsin-Platteville student, Josie Consier, was one of 29 chosen from across the country by the World Food Prize Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the prestigious Wallace-Carver Fellowship. This experience offers exceptional college students the opportunity to collaborate with world-renowned scientists and policymakers through paid summer fellowships at leading USDA research centers and offices across the United States.

Fellows will be stationed at USDA research centers and field offices across the country to analyze agricultural and economic policy; assist in the management of food, nutrition and rural development programs; and take part in groundbreaking field and laboratory-based research.

Consier, an agribusiness major at UW-Platteville, was placed with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service for her summer fellowship. She works specifically with the Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research Unit in Ames, Iowa.

“Working with the ARS has allowed me to see the finer details of corn breeding and how we select for certain traits,” Consier said. “This experience allowed me to work with the commodity of corn which I will be working with later in my career."

The Wallace-Carver Fellowship culminates in a week-long, high-level leadership symposium at the USDA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., hosted by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. During the week, the fellows will participate in a series of high-level briefings, tours and discussions around Washington DC with key government officials as well as congressional and humanitarian leaders engaged in the fight against hunger.

“The Wallace-Carver Fellows program provides the opportunity for some of the most highly motivated young college students in America to have hands on experiences working with leading research scientists at the USDA and to be inspired to pursue careers and future leadership positions in food and agricultural science,” ambassador Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize, said.

For more information visit on the fellowship, visit

Kiewit workshop enhances classroom experience for Xiao

Kiewit workshopDr. Danny Xiao, assistant professor of civil engineering, recently attended the Kiewit Corporation’s annual “Building Stronger Curriculum with Kiewit Faculty Workshop” in Aurora, Colorado. The event is a three-day workshop in which professors across the nation come together to help one another become more effective in their teaching. Everyone had to present a lecture of their choice and have it peer reviewed for improvements.

On the first day, attendees reviewed a learning module, toured the Kiewit training center, listened to a keynote address from Brad Kauffman, the senior vice president of Kiewit, and were assigned teams for the next day’s workshop. On day two, the teams focused on either a “Leadership Learning Module” or a “Cost Control Learning Module,” and listened to a presentation by Michael Brueggeman, the president of The Industrial Company. Finally, on the third day, attendees were split into three teams and took classes in field engineering that focused on welding, piping and electrical engineering.

Xiao was in the cost control group, and they built multiple bridges out of K’Nex. During this exercise, the team was given different information to follow for each round of building bridges. This gave Xiao insight into methods for delivering a complicated process to students, and he was able to see the progression from guess-work to engineering work.

There are many valuable aspects of the workshop that Xiao intends on transferring into his classroom. For example, he had the opportunity to meet with Kauffman and other industry leaders which allowed him to learn from those in industry what qualities they want from UW-Platteville graduates. Xiao said he feels he can now do his part in helping instill those qualities in his students.

Xiao said he encourages all of his colleagues to attend this workshop in the future because he learned a lot of valuable lessons and skills to bring into his classroom. He also said there are “lots of opportunities for students, and [he] can now connect students with the company.” There is even a Women in Construction Leadership Seminar for female engineers in civil engineering. Xiao encourages more to take advantage of this free opportunity because it was “definitely worth it.”


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