Each fall, the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences salutes exemplary individuals who have unselfishly given their time and talent to improve the lives of others and enrich society. Outgoing AAE chair Ken Shapiro
won the 2012 Distinguished Service Award. One of Ken's most recent initiatives, the Khorana Program
, supports exchanges between UW scientists and students and their counterparts in India. Read about the efforts to empower women in Uttar Pradesh by teaching them better dairy practices in the latest issue of Grow magazine
. Over 50,000 female farmers have been able to increase milk production in their small herds, earning an average of $11 a month in extra income, thanks to the training by the UW dairy science teams.
The Chair takes a seat in his retirement throne
As chair of AAE for the past three years, Ken worked tirelessly to hire new faculty, support students and stave off staff layoffs threatened by unceasing budget cuts. Using his peculiar combination of optimism, perseverance and networking acumen, Ken advanced the AAE cause in ways that will benefit the department for years to come. He wrote the winning proposal that garnered two faculty positions and two TA lines through the Madison Initiative for Undergraduates. He hired or retained four more faculty and oversaw tenure and promotion of eight professors. In his first months on the job, Ken threw himself into promoting the department Centennial celebration, and he institutionalized a Friday coffee hour that stimulates intellectual exchange, as well as conviviality.
About a hundred colleagues and friends gathered to celebrate Ken's 29-year career at UW last May. Tributes from colleagues who worked with Ken during his years as Associate Dean of International Ag Programs all pointed to his passionate dedication to promoting international involvement across the college for faculty, staff and students. A scholarship fund
to support undergraduate study abroad has been established in Ken's name.