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CALS students at the December 2019 graduation ceremony embrace the tradition of wearing decorated mortarboards.

On May 9, a new group of UW–Madison students will officially graduate and join the Badger alumni community. Following the state’s Safer At Home guidelines, the university will recognize this group—including graduates of the CALS—during a commencement ceremony video that will be posted online at that day at noon. Visit the site now for a message from Chancellor Blank, more information and FAQs.

Keep scrolling here for the most recent information on how CALS is celebrating our graduates this year, including profiles of some of our outstanding graduates, details about department-level recognition plans and a special message to graduates from Dean Kate VandenBosch.

Be a part of the celebration on social media! Although we cannot celebrate together this year, we still want to know how graduates, their families and their other fans are recognizing accomplishments of the class of 2020. Share your stories, inspirations and graduation photos on social media using #uwgradcals.

Graduates: Did you decorate your mortarboard to commemorate your time at UW-Madison CALS? Share a photo using #uwgradcals.

Alumni: Use #uwgradcals to share your good wishes and advice and tips on life after graduation.

View Dean Kate VandenBosch’s official message to the Class of 2020:

Dean VandenBosch and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Karen Wassarman e-mailed graduates with ideas to stay connected after commencement.

Departments and programs are getting creative about celebrating the class of 2020. Information on these plans will be added and updated as it becomes available.

Department Commencement information
Agricultural and Applied Economics Graduates will receive a gift box through the mail by Saturday, May 9. AAE will also e-mail special messages from faculty and staff to PhD/MS graduates on Friday, May 8 and to BS graduates on Saturday, May 9. Watch Facebook,  Twitter and for graduation messages on May 9.
Agronomy Graduates will receive a gift box from the department later in May.
Animal Sciences The department held a virtual recognition event on May 1 and plans to mail a gift box to graduates.
Bacteriology (microbiology major) Video greetings from faculty and staff will be shared the week of Commencement.
Biological Systems Engineering Graduating students will receive “graduation-in-a-box” through the mail the week of Commencement and a photo slideshow, including video greetings from faculty and staff, will be shared on on Saturday, May 9.
Biochemistry Video greetings from faculty and staff will be shared the week of Commencement.
Community and Environmental Sociology CES will be hosting a live, online graduation event on May 9 at 1:30 p.m. for graduates, their families and friends. Invitations have been distributed by email. Please contact Megan Banaszak with questions.
Dairy Science
Food Science Department Chair Scott Rankin will release a message to graduates on Saturday, May 9 and the department will recognize graduates via social media throughout the week. Additionally, graduates will receive a gift bag from the department following Commencement.
Forest and Wildlife Ecology
Genetics The department will distribute a Genetics Class of 2020 yearbook to all graduating students. Additionally, the director of undergraduate programs and the department chair are featured in a recorded virtual celebration video that will be distributed to graduates over Commencement weekend.
Horticulture The department will post student profiles on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook (@UWHort) during Commencement week and will e-mail graduates a video messages from faculty and staff on May 8.
Life Sciences Communication A live, webcast graduation reception will be held on Friday, May 8 at 2:30 p.m. Invites were distributed to graduates via e-mail. Contact Tera Holtz Wagner with questions.
Nutritional Sciences The department e-mailed graduates a congratulatory message from faculty and staff on May 4 and will share a celebration of graduates on Facebook,  Twitter and at
Plant Pathology On May 15, the department will host an online Honors and Awards Ceremony via Zoom, which includes a video message to graduates.
Soil Science
Environmental Sciences The major will share profiles of graduating students on Facebook during Commencement week.
Biology The program will display a slideshow of graduates at from May 8 – May 22.

While this year’s commencement celebration may look and feel different, the impressive achievements of our graduating students are undiminished. Here are profiles of two of our many outstanding seniors. More profiles are available here.

Kevin Crosby (Photo by Bryce Richter)

Kevin Crosby
Nutritional Sciences major, Environmental Studies certificate

While a UW–Madison student, Crosby interned three summers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (part of the National Institutes of Health) and two years at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison. Crosby served as a peer mentor for campus’ Physics Learning Center and the Department of Biochemistry, and as an undergraduate teaching assistant in the Department of Nutritional Sciences. Outside the classroom, Crosby volunteered as a cultural coalition chair for a consortium of three residence halls, working with a team to create a more culturally inclusive campus. Through the Badger Volunteers Program, he has assisted with the operation of The River food pantry in Madison and an afterschool program at a local elementary school. Crosby attended UW–Madison on a full-tuition scholarship through the Posse Foundation, which identifies students with extraordinary leadership potential and partners with top universities to diversify their applicant pools. He was a Rhodes Scholarship finalist. Learn more about Crosby here.

Hannah Fenelon

Hannah Fenelon
Entomology and Spanish double major, with Global Health certificate

Fenelon pursued undergraduate research, taking a position in the lab of Susan Paskewitz in the Department of Entomology. To help address the public’s general lack of knowledge about ticks and how to identify them, Fenelon worked on perfecting a method for suspending ticks in hard resin blocks that could serve as teaching aids and allow the public to “safely hold ticks in the palms of their hands and get a better idea of what they look like.” The big-picture goal is to help reduce the spread of Lyme disease. To that end, Fenelon shared her resin blocks with kids at a summer camp. She says the entire process has helped her develop skills for working with the public, which will prove indispensable as she pursues a career in global public health and medical entomology. Learn more about Fenelon here.