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Badger Talks showcases diverse offerings from campus experts — remotely

June 18, 2020
A man speaks on a screen with a photo of a farmers market.

Alfonso Morales, a professor of Urban and Regional Planning, conducts a Badger Talks Live about marketplaces and their history. Courtesy of Badger Talks Live

Amid the Coronavirus pandemic, many UW–Madison programs have started to offer new ways of remote learning for not only students, but also for the general public.

Badger Talks, which has historically connected speakers from the various colleges and programs around campus with Wisconsin host groups — businesses, non-profits, public and professional organizations — has taken a new approach with regular livestream offerings for the public through Badger Talks Live and Badger Talks Videos.

Badger Talks Live has quickly grown in popularity, now reaching over 5,000 Facebook views per talk.  Topics presented by UW faculty and staff have ranged from nutrition to ballroom dance to live musical performances by UW faculty.

A woman speaks on a Facebook Live screen with comments scrolling at the bottom.

Assistant Professor Alicia Lee offers commentary during a Badger Talks Live that featured a performance by the WIngra Quintet. Image courtesy of Badger Talks Live

Viewers engage with speakers through question and answer on Facebook Live.

“Thank you. Very helpful during a challenging time,” wrote  Margaret B. of Rhinelander after watching Christine’s Whelan’s talk on Living a Purposeful Life.

“Ahhh, thank you, that was wonderful.” Cathy B. from Fort Atkinson after watching Bob McGrath’s talk on Meditation and Mindfulness.

Badger Talks Live features introductions by Wisconsin students from within the colleges and programs represented by the speaker’s topics. For example, senior vocal performance major Ashleigh Kent introduced the Wingra Quintet performance, which aired on May 12.

Upcoming talks include a bird’s-eye glimpse at the Allen Centennial Gardens, tips from the Wisconsin Union’s Wheelhouse Studios on using visual art for self-care, and a look at food markets around the world and in our own backyards. See the full schedule of upcoming talks here.

A connected effort is Badger Talks Videos, which feature interviews of UW–Madison experts on issues related to COVID-19, from managing finances during a pandemic, to post quarantine re-opening efforts, These videos are distributed to the general public and can be viewed here.

Interested in hosting a virtual talk for your work team, volunteer group, professional club or church group? Badger Talks is now offering virtual talks which can be hosted by you!  Request a speaker through the online request form.

Badger Talks is housed under the UW Connects umbrella in UW–Madison State Relations. For more information on these programs, or to request a service, please visit