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Photo gallery Students share ideas, discoveries at Research in the Rotunda

March 8, 2024

On Wednesday, undergraduate students from UW–Madison and campuses across the Universities of Wisconsin gathered at the Wisconsin State Capitol for the annual Research in the Rotunda event to present research findings to Wisconsin legislators, state leaders, UW alumni and members of the public.

Celebrating its 20th year, Research in the Rotunda is an opportunity for students to share ideas and discoveries with policymakers, demonstrating how their university experiences contribute to current and future advances across Wisconsin. More than 350 people registered to attend the event, which featured the work of 160 student researchers.

From addressing heat stress in cattle to maintaining a robust annual harvest of walleye to filling gaps in the care older veterans receive, UW–Madison students are working with faculty and graduate student mentors to tackle issues important to Wisconsinites. The event showcased the curiosity, knowledge and experience of UW–Madison students that fuels the Wisconsin Idea.

Four people huddle and one of them gestures and talks. They all wear suits.

From left to right, UW–Madison Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning John Zumbrunnen, Provost Charles Isbell and Chancellor Jennifer L. Mnookin listen to UW–Madison student Evan Erickson describe his research project, Emerging Chemical Engineering Approaches for Recycling Hard-to-Recycle Plastics. “With this research, we hope to demonstrate how networks of chemical recycling facilities could create profitable economic opportunities, produce environmental benefits relative to current plastic waste management practices,” says Erickson, “and provide a way to make plastics more "circular" and less reliant on continuing fossil fuel use."

Two women shake hands in front of a poster board, another person looks on.

Chancellor Mnookin shakes hands with UW–Madison student Madeleine Allen, a senior majoring in psychology from Imperial Beach, Calif. “Our research aims to learn about the views of clinicians regarding family caregiver inclusion in the mental healthcare setting, especially for older adults with memory loss or dementia,” says Allen. “We are planning on using the data we have collected through this study to develop guidelines and trainings for clinicians on how to best include family caregivers into the mental healthcare team when the patient is an older adult with memory loss. In the future, I would like to work with Veterans and military dependents to learn more about their mental health experiences.” Photo by: Jeff Miller

A woman gesticulates as she talks to a man.

UW–Madison student Sophia Schoenfeld talks about her research project, Molecular Effects of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor on the Mammary Gland and Bone Resorption, with state Sen. Van Wanggaard. Photo by: Jeff Miller

Two men wearing suits talk, one gestures at a poster board.

UW–Madison student Trey Standiford, a third-year biosystems engineering major from Verona, Wis., describes his research project, Developing a Wireless Wearable Localization System to Monitor Dairy Cattle Heat Stress Related Behaviors in Real Time, to Charles Steiner, interim dean of UW–Platteville's College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture “My research aims to address the growing problem of heat stress in the dairy industry by using methods that dairy producers can easily adopt,’ explains Standiford. “This research could significantly improve animal welfare in dairy operations. Comfortable cows produce more milk – and who doesn’t like seeing happier cows?” Photo by: Jeff Miller

A group of people gather and talk.

Chancellor Mnookin talks with faculty advisor and psychology professor Seth Pollak (second from left) and student Ellie Thoma (second from right), a senior majoring in neurobiology and Spanish from Cottage Grove, Wis. Thoma's research looks at how residential stability and perceived social connectedness can help counter the negative effects associated with living in poverty. “Our research aims to inform policymakers, who are directly involved in the design and implementation of social interventions, about what kinds of support are most beneficial for vulnerable children’s development,” Thoma said. Photo by: Jeff Miller

People gather around poster boards and talk.

At left, Provost Charles Isbell talks with UW–Madison student Evan Erickson about Erickson’s research project, Emerging Chemical Engineering Approaches for Recycling Hard-to-Recycle Plastics. At right, UW–Madison student Shoua Xiong discusses her research project, “No One Talks About It: Understanding Hmong Women’s Perinatal Experiences." Photo by: Jeff Miller

A view from above of people gathered around the capital rotunda showing their poster boards displaying research projects.

Hundreds of guests and presenters gather for Research in the Rotunda. Photo by: Jeff Miller

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