Students, professors honored by Alliant for academics, community service
Two students and two educators from the University of Wisconsin at Madison are recognized by the UW System and the Alliant Energy Foundation for their outstanding achievements.
The Alliant Energy Erroll B. Davis, Jr. Achievement Awards recognize outstanding academic and community service efforts by students from traditionally underrepresented minority groups who are pursuing a degree in business or engineering at UW-Madison or UW-Platteville.
The Alliant Energy James R. Underkofler Awards for Teaching Excellence recognize outstanding commitment to undergraduate student success and the ability to inspire students with an enthusiasm for learning. The awards are given to students and educators at UW System campuses located within Alliant Energy’s service area.
“I thank the Alliant Energy Foundation for their continued generosity in supporting these student achievement and teaching awards,” said UW System President Tommy Thompson. “And I commend these dedicated students and instructors for their significant accomplishments.”
“We are honored to continue the legacy of these awards, which were created to recognize the hard work of students and faculty,” said Julie Bauer, executive director of the Alliant Energy Foundation. “These annual awards reflect Alliant Energy’s longstanding investment in education and our shared future.
15th Annual UW-Madison Recipients Allianotyou Energy Erroll B. Davis, Jr. Achievement Awards are:
Toyota Alexander Borgmann. Borgmann graduated in May from the School of Business at UW-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, including a double major in actuarial science and risk management, as well as a certificate in professional Japanese. During his university studies, he passed several professional exams in actuarial science. of the Society of Actuaries. He ended his academic career with internships in this competitive field. Prior to graduating, he took full-time employment as an actuarial analyst with Willis Towers Watson in Chicago, where he currently works.
Jasmine Washington. Washington volunteers to teach STEM to K-12 students through fun and hands-on activities, inspiring a younger generation of all backgrounds to believe that a STEM degree can be accessible and rewarding. She held several leadership positions with the UW-Madison chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, which led to the Dean of Engineering selecting her to be the student representative on the National Society of Black Engineers’ Strategic Planning Committee. College of Engineering for Climate, Inclusion and Diversity. Washington plans to graduate in December 2021 with a degree in chemical engineering and a certificate in international engineering.
The UW-Madison recipients of the 31st edition Alliant Energy James R. Underkofler Excellence in Teaching Award are:
- Mary E. Fiorenza, Associate Professor, Department of English, UW-Madison. Fiorenza teaches small, seminar-style writing courses to a wide range of undergraduate students and was instrumental in developing the curriculum for the first-year writing course, English 100, which serves typically 2,000 students per year. She has designed the curriculum and its delivery to ensure that students develop the range of writing practices necessary to meet the demands of their academic training. In response to the pandemic, she took the initiative to revamp the online teaching course for the 2020-21 academic year. Fiorenza participates in and presents research at national, regional, and local conferences, including the annual College Membership and Communication Conference convention. She has mentored dozens of instructors, many of whom are teaching writing for the first time, and has been selected to participate in the [email protected] learning community in 2020 and 2021.
- Daniel Patrick Thurs, Associate Faculty Assistant, Department of Physics, UW-Madison. Thurs is the course coordinator and an instructor for the department’s two largest courses, Physics 103 and 104, which enroll approximately 1,200 students each semester. He played a lead role in developing course content as a core member of the Physics REACH team, responsible for turning them into ‘flipped’ classrooms using active learning techniques. Thurs contributes to student success through its accessible teaching style, thoughtful course content, and engaging course design. It engages students by using real-world applications, such as how cells move, how geckos adhere to a surface, and the properties of blood circulation. He also co-facilitates the weekly instructor meeting with the teaching assistants, setting a pattern for teaching and reflection. Thurs was selected as an Honored Instructor at UW-Madison in 2015, 2017, and 2020.
The Alliant Energy Foundation established an endowment in 2006 to honor the excellent public service record of Erroll B. Davis Jr. Davis, the first African-American executive of a “Business Week 1000” company, is a former director CEO of Alliant Energy and a former board member of UW System. He served as acting superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools from 2012 to 2014.
The James R. Underkofler Awards for Teaching Excellence are given in honor of longtime energy company executive James R. Underkofler (1923–2015), who was a strong supporter of excellence in teaching. undergraduate education. He spent his entire career with Wisconsin Power and Light Co. (now Alliant Energy), ending with his retirement in 1990 as chairman and CEO.
Both scholarship programs are administered by the Office of Academic and Student Affairs of the UW system. For more information on each of this year’s winners, see the 2021 awards program online.
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