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Wisconsin Academy Announces 2012 Fellows

Friday, June 15, 2012 - 7:00am
Contact: Jason A. Smith, communications director
 

MADISON—Established in 1981, the Fellows program represents the highest level of recognition conferred by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters. Drawn from a pool of statewide nominees, Fellows are elected for their extraordinary levels of accomplishment in their fields as well as a lifelong commitment to intellectual discourse and public service. The Wisconsin Academy today announced its 2012 Fellows: author Jerry Apps, cinema scholar Tino Balio, journalist Jean Feraca, medical doctor Cynthia Haq, plant geneticist Molly Jahn, music conductor Jim Latimer, and science communications scholar Dietram Scheufele. Complete biographies and images of the Wisconsin Academy’s 2012 Fellows can be found below or online at wisconsinacademy.org/fellows along with existing Wisconsin Academy Fellows.

Other Wisconsin Academy Fellows, Wisconsin Academy members, and the general public are invited to meet and congratulate the 2012 Fellows at an awards ceremony on October 21, 2012, in Madison. More details to follow.

Wisconsin Academy Fellows are distinguished individuals from a wide range of disciplines that help the Wisconsin Academy shape its programs and projects. To be considered, one must have or have had a meaningful relationship with the state of Wisconsin and be highly esteemed for qualities of judgment, perceptiveness, and breadth of knowledge of how literature, art and science contribute to the culture and welfare of the state. Those elected will also have a career marked by an unusually high order of discovery; technological accomplishments; creative productivity in literature, poetry, or the fine or practical arts; historical analysis; legal or judicial interpretation; philosophical thinking; or public service.

The Wisconsin Academy seeks statewide nominations from Academy members, existing Fellows, and the general public for fellowship consideration. The Council, the Wisconsin Academy’s governing body, awards Fellows distinctions based on the recommendation of a selection committee broadly representative of the sciences, arts, and letters. The total number of Fellows is limited to 100.

 
About the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
The independent, nonprofit Wisconsin Academy applies the sciences, arts, and letters to bring context, civilized discussion, and meaningful action to the most important issues and ideas of today. We create spaces—public forums, art galleries, publications—where citizens join together to examine the challenges of our times, suggest solutions, and look at the world in new ways. We celebrate and preserve Wisconsin’s human, cultural, and natural resources. In this way the Wisconsin Academy connects people and ideasfor a better Wisconsin. For more information on Wisconsin Academy programs and events, or to learn how you can join the movement for a better Wisconsin, visit www.wisconsinacademy.org.
 

  INTRODUCING THE 2012 WISCONSIN ACADEMY FELLOWS

Jerry Apps
Thousands of people have learned about Wisconsin’s unique history by reading books written by Jerry Apps. His distinguished career as a prolific author includes more than thirty fiction, nonfiction and children’s books that relate to rural history and country life. Each book offers a vivid slice of rural life in Wisconsin and the Midwest; taken together, Apps’ body of work provides a compelling picture of the history and culture of this state. Apps and his books are truly beloved by Wisconsinites, who view his work as an accurate portrayal of Wisconsin life.
 
In addition to his work as an author, Apps has generously shared his talents and expertise with others by teaching writing at an array of Wisconsin-based writing schools and workshops. He also works closely with local historical societies and libraries. His commitment to teaching others is demonstrated by his career as a professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and his statewide work with University of Wisconsin–Extension. In these varied roles, he has excelled as a teacher and mentor and in outreach to Wisconsin communities.
 
Tino Balio
Tino Balio is the preeminent scholar of Hollywood filmmaking as an American industry and professor emeritus of communication arts at UW–Madison. Beginning in the 1970s, Balio’s books pioneered the study of show business as a business. Countless researchers have drawn information, ideas, and methods from his work. His 2010 book, The Foreign Film Renaissance on American Screens, was reviewed by the New Republic and the Wall Street Journal. Balio is the 2001 recipient of the inaugural Academy Film Scholar Grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
 
Balio’s importance extends well beyond his distinguished scholarship. As director of the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research, he landed a major coup for the UW by acquiring rich collections of materials relating to modern media industries. Thousands of films, papers, and photographs document the centrality of film, theater, and television to our culture. These collections attract scholars from around the world to Wisconsin. Balio also won funding for cataloguing and maintaining these materials, and he publicized them through a University of Wisconsin Press book series.
 
Later in his career, Balio created the Arts Institute, which has become UW–Madison’s leading arts outreach body. The Institute invites artists for long-term residencies, mounts exhibitions and concerts, and nurtures collaboration among departments. Under its auspices, Balio created the Wisconsin Film Festival, now one of Madison’s premier arts activities.
 
Jean Feraca
Respected poet, journalist, and radio host Jean Feraca is a 27-year veteran of public talk radio. She brought to her broadcast career a lively personal style and sense of adventure perfectly suited to creating a global, on-air community. At Wisconsin Public Radio, Feraca served as host and co-producer of the Ideas Network’s award-winning news and cultural affairs program, Conversations with Jean Feraca, from 1990 to 2003. Conversations with Jean Feraca won the National Telemedia Council’s Distinguished Media Award in 1996.
 
In 2003, Feraca started the daily program Here On Earth. Feraca originally came to WPR in 1983 as humanities producer after leaving NPR affiliate WGUC-FM to become a freelance arts, humanities, and general assignment reporter for National Public Radio’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
 
Feraca’s memoir, I Hear Voices: A Memoir of Love, Death, and the Radio (2007) was was named an Outstanding Book by the American Association of School Librarians and one of the year’s Best Books for General Audiences by the Public Library Association. Earlier writings include her first book of poems, South From Rome: Il Mezzogiorno (1976), which was published with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. She received a Wisconsin Arts Board Fellowship to complete Crossing the Great Divide (1992), her second book, which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
 
Feraca holds a BA cum laude in English from Manhattanville College in New York. She received an MA in English from the University of Michigan and completed coursework toward her PhD at the University of Kentucky. She also did graduate studies in drama at the University of California–Berkeley and studied studio art at Columbia University.
 
Cynthia Haq
A Wisconsin resident since 1983, Cynthia Haq, MD, has worked to improve health care and medical education to address the health needs of communities near and far. At the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Haq is a professor of family medicine and has enjoyed caring for patients in rural Belleville, Madison, and Milwaukee. She loves teaching, has led educational programs for the Department of Family Medicine, and has designed and implemented patient-centered communication curricula. In Milwaukee, she established the Training in Urban Medicine and Public Health (TRIUMPH) program to prepare medical students to become physician leaders to care for medically underserved urban populations.
 
Haq has promoted global health in Wisconsin and abroad. She served as a visiting professor to strengthen health professional education and to establish family medicine training programs at Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan; at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda; and at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. She worked with the World Health Organization and World Organization of Family Doctors to co-author the book Improving Health Systems: the Contribution of Family Medicine (2002), which encourages development of health systems built on a strong foundation of community-based primary health care. She collaborated with UW colleagues to establish the Center for Global Health to catalyze global health education, field programs, research, and partnerships in low-resource settings.
 
Molly Jahn
Molly Jahn has demonstrated major achievement not only in her research as a plant breeder and as a teacher, but also in her service to Wisconsin and society at large. Jahn is currently a professor in the Laboratory of Genetics and Department of Agronomy at UW–Madison. She holds adjunct appointments at Seoul National University and the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. She has had a distinguished international research career in plant genetics, genomics and plant breeding of vegetable crops, focusing on molecular genetics of disease resistance and quality traits. Her research groups at UW–Madison and Cornell University have produced crop varieties now grown commercially and for subsistence on six continents under approximately sixty active commercial licenses.
 
As dean of the UW–Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences from 2006–2011, Jahn advanced many new initiatives across her college and campus, including major advances in renewable energy, with agricultural groups focused on sustainability, and with Wisconsin’s tribes. Her innovative approaches to cross-sector partnerships; engagement with emerging institutions and underserved populations; and integrated projects focused on impact, civic science and technology transfer have been highlighted in numerous studies and books. She has consulted widely in the private sector and has served as an advisor for philanthropic interests in venture capital and finance, First Nations, and domestic and foreign governmental agencies in agriculture, food security, life and environmental sciences.
 
Jim Latimer
Jim Latimer has an exemplary dedication to music and the arts. He lives his belief that music is for everyone. He gives back to the community through his extraordinary talent in music performance and teaching, as well as through his warm personality. This is proven by audience responses to his performances as a percussionist and conductor. He has a unique ability to combine everyday values of excellence and fairness in everything he does. It shows in the careers of his students, now scattered across the country in positions of prominence and excellence: as a conductor of the Topeka Symphony; as the highest-ranking officer in the U.S. Coast Guard Band; as teachers and professors of music in public and private schools at the elementary, middle, high school, and college/university levels; and as physicians at Mt. Sinai and Duke University Medical Center, to name a few.
 
Latimer has devoted his life to taking music to the people of the community and the state. He combines his love of music and extraordinary talent as conductor of one of Wisconsin’s finest professional concert bands, the Capitol City Band, and as a performing member and founder of Madison Marimba Quartet. He conducts Madison’s oldest volunteer community band, which gives musicians of any age a place to play and presents public-service concerts in nursing homes, health care and retirement centers, senior centers, hospitals and for veterans’ services.
 
Dietram Scheufele
Dietram Scheufele, the John E. Ross Professor and director of graduate studies within UW–Madison’s Department of Life Sciences Communication, is one of the world’s most-respected scholars in the area of science communication. Scheufele has published over 130 peer-refereed articles, book chapters, and monographs dealing with public opinion on emerging technologies and the political effects of mass communication. His 1999 article, “Framing: A Theory of Media Effects,” is identified by Microsoft Academic Search as one of the ten most cited articles in the history of the communication field. He currently co-chairs the National Conference of Lawyers and Scientists, a joint committee of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Bar Association, and is a former member of the Nanotechnology Technical Advisory Group to the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
 
A true believer in serving society, Scheufele is a frequent commentator in media and has worked for PBS, the World Health Organization, and the World Bank, among other public sector clients. Scheufele has embraced the Wisconsin Idea, with a constant commitment to linking research to policy decision-making in Wisconsin and beyond, and with an impressive dedication into making higher education at the UW one of the best in the nation, working with stakeholders across the state when chairing the Academic Affairs Visioning Committee for the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

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