Awards and Scholarships

We thank the many alumni and friends who have generously supported the Department’s awards to undergraduates and graduate students. Your gifts are increasingly critical to the success of the department. Gifts of any size are welcome and are greatly appreciated.

Undergraduate Awards and Scholarships

Jack L. Pate Undergraduate Travel Award
This award enables a Microbiology undergraduate to attend an annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology or a comparable scientific meeting. Jack L. Pate was a beloved faculty member in the Department of Bacteriology from 1967-1991. A fund in his memory to support undergraduate activities was established following his death in 1992.

William B. Sarles Scholarship, William Harmon Wright Scholarship, Philipp and Vera Gerhardt Undergraduate Excellence Award

These awards provide an opportunity for UW-Madison Microbiology majors to experience first-hand the excitement of scientific discovery by participating in the ongoing research of a UW-Madison faculty member whose research is related to microbiology.

William B. Sarles was a professor of Bacteriology from 1932 to 1972 and department chair from 1954-1968. The Sarles Fund was established by colleagues and former students to honor Dr. Sarles’ life work and dedication to students through teaching and mentoring. In recognition of his teaching achievements, Dr. Sarles received the Carski Distinguished Teaching Award from the American Society for Microbiology.

William (Windy) Wright received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Agricultural Bacteriology from UW-Madison and was a professor in the Department from 1909 until his death in 1929. Dr. Wright, a superb teacher, got the name “Windy” from his students who thought he could breathe and talk at the same time. This scholarship is made possible through the Ira N. Fender Fund to honor Mr. Fender’s favorite professor, “Windy” Wright.

Philipp Gerhardt received a Ph.D. in Bacteriology from UW-Madison in 1949. Dr. Gerhardt is an Emeritus Professor of Microbiology at Michigan State University, and wrote Methods for General and Molecular Bacteriology. He served as President of both the American Society for Microbiology and the International Union of Microbiological Societies.

Ronald W. Hinsdill Microbiology High Achievement Award
This award is to honor and advance the career of one of the department’s best undergraduate students. The Microbiology High Achievement Award Fund was created out of gratitude felt by the extended Hinsdill family, five members of which received one or more degrees from the University of Wisconsin System, including Emeritus Professor Ronald D. Hinsdill. Dr. Hinsdill is the former Chair of the Department of Bacteriology, former Director of Environmental Toxicology and Emeritus Professor of Preventive Medicine.

Karl Leemkuil Memorial Award
This award recognizes achievement of Bacteriology/Microbiology majors in independent research at the undergraduate level. Karl Leemkuil received his B.S. degree in Bacteriology in 1963 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and worked as a microbiologist until his death on November 10, 1980 from leukemia. He was known throughout his life for his honesty, integrity, dedication and courage. This award was established in his memory by Gibco Laboratories, his long-term employer.

Graduate Student Awards

MS Student Performance Award
This award is to honor and advance the career of one of Bacteriology’s best Master of Science students.

Ira L. Baldwin Distinguished Predoctoral Fellowship
Ira L. Baldwin was a distinguished and beloved faculty member in the Department of Bacteriology throughout his illustrious career as a scientist, educator and top university administrator. He died in 1999 at age 103.

The Jerome J. Stefaniak Bacteriology Scholarship Fund
This award recognizes excellence in research by a graduate student. This award was made possible by a generous gift from Dr. Stefaniak, who received his B.S. degree in Bacteriology and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry, both from the UW.

Sigrid Leirmo Memorial Award
This award recognizes a graduate or postdoctoral student who best exemplifies the spirit of Sigrid Leirmo. Dr. Sigrid Leirmo was a postdoctoral student in the Department of Bacteriology when she died tragically in a campus bicycling accident on October 29, 1990. She received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from UW-Madison in 1989. Sig will be remembered both as a promising scientist and as an enthusiastic friend and mentor to others.

Chair’s Award
This award recognizes a student who displays outstanding achievement in their graduate career and who exhibits great potential for success in a post-graduate academic career.

Herman A. Smythe Award
This award is to recognize research excellence by a doctoral student. Herman Smythe received his B.S. degree in Bacteriology from UW-Madison in 1903. Although his love for bacteriology continued throughout his lifetime, his career took him in other directions. He was the founder of Wisconsin Brick and Block Company of Madison, WI.

For information about supporting the Department’s awards and scholarships, please contact the Department Chair Katrina T. Forest or the Department Administrator Kari Straus.