Crone named to graduate education post

January 26, 2012 By Terry Devitt

Wendy Crone, a professor of engineering physics and interim associate dean of physical sciences in the UW–Madison Graduate School, has been named the school’s associate dean for graduate education.

Photo: Wendy Crone


Photo: Jeff Miller

Crone is a long-time member of the UW–Madison community, joining the College of Engineering faculty in 1998. An expert in the area of engineering mechanics, Crone is the author or co-author of more than 50 refereed journal articles and dozens of conference proceedings and contributed presentations. She was named Graduate School interim associate dean of physical sciences in 2011.

In addition to her scholarly work in engineering, Crone has been a campus leader in science education and professional development. She served seven years as director of education in the UW–Madison Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, co-directed the Women in Science and Engineering Residential Program, and directed and served on the executive committee of the Women Faculty Mentoring Program. In addition, she has served as a mentor and advisor to numerous students through her scholarly work and in programs such as the Graduate Engineering Research Scholars.

“I see myself as having simultaneously pursued two parallel career tracks,” Crone says. “One is focused on the development of a world-class research program in engineering mechanics, and the other devoted to science education and professional development.”

Read a longer interview with Crone.

Crone notes that her dual career path was set while she was a graduate student at the University of Minnesota where she became involved in graduate student governance. “That was an opportunity to begin a path of service outside of my scholarly work, and I found that it led to many happy coincidences and opportunities.”

According to Graduate School Dean Martin Cadwallader, Crone brings enthusiastic and creative direction to her new post. “We’re fortunate to be able to add professor Crone to the Graduate School team,” Cadwallader says.

“In addition to impeccable scholarly credentials, she has a reputation as an experienced, dedicated and imaginative teacher at the graduate level. We’re looking forward to working with Professor Crone to continue to advance Wisconsin’s strong tradition of graduate education,” he adds.

Crone says that perhaps the biggest immediate challenge for Wisconsin graduate education will be dealing creatively with constraint: “There are a lot of constraints — both internal and external — that we’ll have to deal with, so addressing those limitations and taking graduate education to the next level will be challenging. We’ll have to handle new challenges without new resources to throw at it.”

The Graduate School, notes Crone, exists at the nexus of research and graduate education, giving UW–Madison an envious structure for preparing future generations of scholars and leaders.