In the Know: SMPH Updates for December 16, 2020

Top news:

  • Goodbye, UW2020. Hello, Research Forward (and its Dec. 21 abstract deadline). As the UW2020: WARF Discovery initiative comes to a close, one doesn’t have to look far to see its profound impact on the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. Many biological sciences projects were led by SMPH faculty members as principal investigators. Dozens of other SMPH faculty members served as co-principal investigators, investigators, and collaborators. “I am excited about the possibilities that Research Forward offers to our scientific community,” says Anjon Audhya, PhD, Associate Dean for Basic Research and professor of biomolecular chemistry. Read more
  • COVID-19 vaccine initial phase updates: UW Health will vaccinate eligible employees at UW–Madison who are dually appointed. An FAQ is available on U-Connect (access requires login or VPN). UW–Madison students and employees not affiliated with UW Health who are eligible for the initial phase of vaccination, or Phase 1a, will receive an email from University Health Services shortly with more information. Phase 1a includes health care workers and employees who are in direct contact with COVID-19 patients or who have direct contact with the virus or virus specimens. Anyone who believes they should be vaccinated under Phase 1a because they meet the criteria above but who do not receive an email from UHS this week should email with the subject line “Phase 1a eligibility” and include their full name, contact information, and a description of their eligibility. 
  • A closer look at the Fall 2020 issue of arts journal Corpus Callosum: among the 29 new pieces of music, writings, and visual art contributed by students, staff, and faculty of the UW–Madison health sciences community are:
    • A musical composition, Remembrance Waltz, by associate research specialist Amanda Young
    • 18 works of visual art including linocut print Death Grip by hospice and palliative medicine fellow Anna Stecher, MD; textile art Best Friend Wedding Gift Quilt by medical student Marissa Paulson; 3D work Here by senior research specialist Holly Cohn, MFA; metalwork The Future is Female by Neurology chair Kathleen Shannon, MD; and digital illustration Neurons a la Klimt by PhD candidate Cameron Casey
    • 10 written works including For Our Beloved Elders with Memory Loss by senior outreach specialist Fabu Carter, MA; Seek by professor Nasia Safdar, MD, PhD; My Land by associate professor Ryan McAdams, MD; and Hephaestus by associate professor Dipesh Navsaria, MD, MPH, MLIS.  
  • All are welcome to submit a question for the Winter Faculty/Staff Meeting, which will occur at 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 25. An agenda for the meeting is forthcoming. Read more 

Building an Anti-Racist SMPH 

  • Please join in a virtual discussion featuring Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa on Jan. 14 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., who will discuss his journey from being a migrant farmworker to a world-renowned neurosurgeon and researcher, as told in his book, “Becoming Dr. Q.” This event is presented via a partnership between the All of Us Research Program at SMPH, the Madison Public Library, the Wisconsin Book Festival, the National Library of Medicine, and other state and national partners. Read more 


Please send kudos about your colleagues. Honor someone at and we’ll share the stories. Submit your thoughts and we’ll share them in a future issue.

“Thank you to Administrative Specialists Margaret Carney and Tricia McVay in the Department of Surgery for taking time out of their day to help guide me through the ABS (American Board of Surgery) renewal process and explain where to find self-assessment credits. Having someone else take a look at my work and advise me through the process was really helpful.”Claire Stein, Medical Program Assistant, Department of Surgery 

“I would like to acknowledge the Dean’s Office, in particular those who manage the SMPH newsletter, for the incredible efforts they’ve put in to make sure we have clear and complete information in a complex and rapidly changing COVID-19 environment. I appreciate the inclusion of anti-racism resources in each newsletter and its general tone, which is clear, concise, and engaging. The newsletter is a big project even though it may seem easy to put together, so thank you very much to everyone involved. Your work makes a difference!”Sue Carlson, Director of Operations, Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics

Editor’s note: On behalf of the Office of Strategic Communications, we are honored and grateful. We strive to help members of the SMPH community feel informed, included, engaged and inspired. 

Wellbeing Wednesday

Never a lack of winter fun: Even with physical distancing, there are many fun winter activities. Check out 25 ideas from CNN, including exploring winter traditions around the world, enjoying the outdoors, and getting cozy.