In the Know: SMPH Updates for February 12, 2021

Top news:

  • A year of COVID-19 in review: In late January 2021, the school hosted a one-year retrospective Hot Topics in Public Health panel discussion on the pandemic — closing the loop on a year that began with a panel in January 2020 just as the novel coronavirus was emerging. A new article tells our story from panel to panel, and includes the now-available video with improved closed captions of the most recent symposium. Read more 
  • UW–Madison COVID-19 vaccination and Safer Badgers/COVID-19 Testing updates:
    • Health Sciences Learning Center will re-open as COVID-19 test site on Monday, Feb. 15. Site improvements include installation of plexiglass barriers. Hours of operation will be 8:30 am to 12:30 pm and 1:30 to 4:30 pm.
    • Please review yesterday’s Safer Badgers message to employees, graduate and professional students. Those with instructional or mentoring responsibilities may want to review the message to undergraduates.
    • Since Jan. 5, 2021, University Health Services has administered more than 7,000 vaccine shots to eligible members of the UW–Madison community. An article released today summarizes the effort to date, and answers several frequently asked questions. Read more
    • In light of weather forecasts predicting extreme cold, please review the university’s inclement weather policy. Bundle up and be safe! Read more
  • Holiday celebrations: Two holidays are bringing some warmth to this chilly weekend.
    • Today (Feb. 12) marks the Lunar New Year — may the Year of the Ox bring great success and good fortune!
    • Looking for a fun, science-inspired approach to Valentine’s Day this Sunday? Check out public radio show Science Friday’s delightfully geeky collection of Valentine’s Day Science highlights. 
  • We are excited to announce a film screening of John Lewis: Good Trouble, which will be available to watch online Feb. 20-22. Fill out this form to receive a link to view the film. Access to the screening is capped at 300 viewers. Each viewer can watch the documentary at their leisure Feb. 20-22. The documentary chronicles the life of U.S. Representative John Lewis of Georgia and his decades-long fight for reform in the areas of civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health care, and immigration. Learn more about the event and watch the trailer. Keep an eye out for upcoming information about a forum discussion on the film set for Feb. 22.

This event is co-sponsored by SMPH and UW Health. This screening is in addition to the screening of the documentary Black Men in White Coats also occurring this month. Both screenings are part of a series of events and resources focused on anti-racism titled the SMPH Spring 2021 Initiative: Advance Health by Acting Against Racism. 

  • Moving UW–Madison forward during a time of crisis: As part of her annual address to the Board of Regents on Feb. 4, Chancellor Rebecca Blank addressed the many challenges faced by the university due to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and the ways staff, faculty and students are rising to meet those challenges, from quickly pivoting research and instructional operations to implementing health and safety measures. Watch the video
  • Congratulations to Sunduz Keles, PhD, professor, SMPH Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics and College of Letters & Sciences Department of Statistics, for being named an awardee in the Vilas Associates Competition. She is one of 23 UW–Madison faculty members recognized for new and ongoing research of the highest quality and significance.
  • Shenikqua Bouges, MD, will be honored as part of the Outstanding Women of Color award reception on Wednesday, March 3. All are welcome to join the virtual reception. Dr. Bouges, assistant professor in the Department of Medicine’s Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology, was announced as an Outstanding Women of Color awardee in November. 

Building an Anti-Racist SMPH 

Calling out stereotypes and issuing a call to action: In advance of the screening of Black Men in White Coats on Feb. 21-24, check out this article from Forbes that breaks down the powerful themes of the documentary. 


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.