Meet CALS student Brenen Skalitzky

CALS students are doing amazing things, and we’re excited to feature some of them in our Q&A series!

Meet Brenen Skalitzky, a third-year senior majoring in genetics and genomics with certificates in global health, criminal justice and health policy.

How are you involved on campus? 

I am a proud member of many great organizations on campus! I am the Events Director for UW’s Friends of MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders) chapter, a member of the Global Health Alliance and the Badger Crops Club, and a board member for UW’s Phi Kappa Phi chapter.  

Why have you chosen your field of study? 

I really enjoyed genetics in high school, and when I did the Wisconsin Experience Summer Launch, I connected with Dr. Vermillion Kalmon who got me hooked into the genetics program. I’ve been incredibly happy with my choice!

What do you like about being at UW–Madison and in CALS? 

There is such a rich community of programs, organizations, faculty and research opportunities within CALS and UW. Regardless of your major, career path or interests, Madison and CALS have the resources to allow you to explore as much or as little as you want. For me, this was the ability to engage with a rich breadth of organizations across multiple disciplines and research within varying fields. 

What accomplishments or achievements would you like to share with the CALS community? 

I am proud of my Hilldale Research Fellowship, which was awarded to me for a study I designed to apply remote sensing technologies to identify fungal symbionts of plants. With the help of CALS faculty and the support of the University, my idea has become a reality. 

What do you want to do once you graduate?

I will be attending medical school next year and plan to be a physician in Wisconsin. 

Is there anything else you want to tell us?

If you are thinking about CALS, check out the CALS-sponsored study abroad options! They are a great way to connect with students and faculty and travel with scholarship opportunities that made a huge impact for me.