Eat, Stroll, Connect

UW Now events bring campus to alumni.

Patrick Sims speaks on stage in front of audience

Vice provost and theater professor Patrick Sims holds the stage at The UW Now Atlanta event, where he moderated a Q&A with faculty. Chris Hamilton

Creativity is the most sought-after skill among employers today. And the next time you get the urge to pull out a coloring book, remember that you can be more creative with an eight-pack of crayons than a 264-pack. Why? Because the brain works harder if it has fewer choices to make, according to Page Moreau, an innovative UW researcher who studies consumerism, problem-solving, and creativity.

This is the kind of engaging research that alumni learned about at gatherings across the country this past winter and spring. The UW Now: Ideas That Are Changing Our World events were held in Phoenix; Coachella Valley, California; Atlanta; Washington, DC; San Francisco; Chicago; Milwaukee; and Denver.

At the Atlanta History Center event in March, guests listened to remarks by Chancellor Rebecca Blank and then enjoyed five- minute “lightning talks” by three UW professors. They included Moreau; Faisal Abdu’Allah, a professor of printmaking whose groundbreaking work tackles racial politics and other controversial topics; and Jeanette Roberts, a campus leader who is working to bring a more coordinated approach to health-care programs to provide better care to patients.

Vice provost Patrick Sims led a Q&A with the speakers, and Scott Jenkins ’86 accepted the Badger of the Year Award, which recognizes alumni for doing great work in their communities. Guests then joined Blank and other UW and alumni-chapter leaders for a lively strolling supper and a chance to network.

“I am not as connected to UW–Madison as I used to be,” says Eliot Pattee ’12, who moved to Atlanta a year ago and works for the parking mobile app SpotHero. “So it was great that campus leaders were willing to come to Atlanta and talk about spreading the Wisconsin Idea. It was also a great way to network with Badgers in a new city.”

Published in the Summer 2018 issue

Tags: Alumni, Badger, philanthropy

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