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Wisconsin Ideas: Inspiration and Insights from Extraordinary Badgers


Join Chancellor Jennifer L. Mnookin for a special program celebrating the University of Wisconsin–Madison during the investiture. Hear from several extraordinary faculty and alumni, each sharing compelling stories about their life-changing work and their connections to the UW–Madison community. Learn about what motivates and inspires their work and what drives their curiosity and success. Celebrate the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea that makes our university so excellent!

Faculty talks will be moderated by John Zumbrunnen, Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning. The panel will include:

  • Katherine Cramer ’94, the Natalie C. Holton Chair of Letters & Science and the Virginia Sapiro Professor of Political Science at UW–Madison
  • Richard Davidson, William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at UW–Madison
  • Will Hsu ’00, President of Hsu’s Ginseng Enterprises, Inc.
  • Vanessa McDowell ’03, CEO of YWCA Madison and member of the UW–Madison Department of Sociology Board of Visitors
  • Manu Raju ’02, Chief Congressional Correspondent at CNN
  • Chris Walker, Director, Division of the Arts at UW–Madison

To learn more about the panel, bios are available below.

Light refreshments will be served before and after the program. This event will be live streamed for those who prefer to attend virtually.

This event is free to attend.

Event Schedule

3 p.m. – Check-in and light refreshments
3:30 p.m.  – Program featuring lightning talks and Q&A in the Overture Room (live streamed)
5 p.m. – Light reception in the Symphony Room
6 p.m. – Event concludes

Additional Information

Wheelchair-accessible and gender-neutral restrooms are available on campus. For information on parking, bus routes, accessible entrances, and more, please view the university’s interactive campus map. When you register, please inform us of any dietary needs, accommodations (such as captions or interpreting services), or other needs.

UW–Madison will hold this event in accordance with all local public health guidance. Mask usage is welcome but not required. Participants who are sick are asked to stay home to help keep our Badger community safe and healthy. If conditions require a change to this event, you will be notified via email or phone call.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

3–6 p.m.

2nd floor, Gordon Dining and Event Center
770 W. Dayton Street
Madison, WI 53706

Free to attend, registration requested due to capacity

Contact Brandon Habron

Watch replay


Thumbnail of speaker Richard J. Davidson.

Richard J. Davidson

William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry and Founder and Director of the Center for Healthy Minds, UW–Madison

Thumbnail of speaker Katherine  Cramer.

Katherine Cramer

Natalie C. Holton Chair of Letters & Science and Virginia Sapiro Professor of Political Science, UW–Madison

Thumbnail of speaker Chris Walker.

Chris Walker

Director, Division of the Arts, UW–Madison

Thumbnail of speaker Vanessa  McDowell.

Vanessa  McDowell

Chief Executive Officer, YWCA Madison and member of the UW–Madison Department of Sociology Board of Visitors

Thumbnail of speaker Manu Raju .

Manu Raju

Chief Congressional Correspondent, CNN

Thumbnail of speaker Will Hsu.

Will Hsu

President, Hsu’s Ginseng Enterprises, Inc.

Thumbnail of speaker John Zumbrunnen.

John Zumbrunnen

Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, UW–Madison