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Community on wheels

Van pools are an effective, convenient way of making a long commute more manageable for some campus employees. Plus, they're a good way to build community and save money on commuting and parking, organizers say. “Some riders like to chat, while others drown out everything with their headphones. Still others will try to get some work done during their commute,” says Mark Castillo, a driver and grants manager in the Math Department.

Top Stories

Faculty, staff feedback sought on HR Design

University staff and faculty will have multiple opportunities to offer their perspectives on the campus’ human resources system in several formats this month. Related: Participate in a HR Design poll.

Compendium 2012: Art Department Faculty Exhibition

Feb. 4–Apr. 1, 2012

Experience the breadth and scope of contemporary art today through the diverse work of UW–Madison’s dynamic art faculty. Preview reception: Feb. 3, 5:30–7 p.m.

Around Campus

How does the compassionate brain, measured in the lab, predict what occurs in real life?

Photo: Richard Davidson

Researchers are launching a new series of studies to understand how lab measures of qualities such as compassion relate to their behavior in the real world. Richard J. Davidson, founder of the UW's Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center, has received a three-year, $1.7 million grant to develop lab and real-world measures of virtuous qualities.

Student views help drive placement testing changes

UW-Madison recently completed a review of Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) programming. Paying close attention to student voices, the committee learned that students would prefer not worry about taking placement tests during SOAR, so students will be required to take the tests before coming to campus.

Take a virtual tour of the new old biochemistry buildings

The newest part of the biochemistry complex is the oldest. The oldest is called the addition. It seems complicated, but for an full explanation, take the video tour of the facilities, produced by CALS Communications.    

Inside Info

Use tax time to build financial security

Graphic: Pile of tax forms

Tax season is the one time each year when many people get the chance to see their complete financial picture. J. Michael Collins, family and consumer economics specialist with Cooperative Extension and director of the UW-Madison’s Center for Financial Security says that by closely examining your tax information, you may find ways to save money and strengthen your financial situation. Related: Tax info from Payroll & Benefits Services.    

Buzz

Found in the Archives: Wright cut class!

Do your students ever miss class? Some things never change. Shown in this photograph from the Found in the Archives blog is a picture of Frank Lloyd Wright’s progress report from the 1880s, with a note from the professor that he had “failed to appear in class."

Milestones

Center for Nonprofits appointments announced

Photo: Cynthia Jasper

Two new appointments at the Center for Nonprofits were announced this week by School of Human Ecology Dean Robin A. Douthitt. Cynthia Jasper, pictured, will be the new faculty director and Brian Christens will be associate director for research.

In Memoriam

Maurice Meisner, cornerstone of UW’s Chinese history program

Maurice Meisner, Harvey Goldberg Professor Emeritus of History and expert in Chinese history, passed away at home in Madison on Monday, Jan. 23. He was 80. “Mauri was, for many years, an important cornerstone of our Chinese history program,” says Florencia Mallon, chair of the history department.

In the Media

Steinkuehler takes gaming studies to the White House

The School of Education's Constance Steinkuehler studies video gaming. Since last September, she's also been a senior policy analyst at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where she's shaping the Obama administration's policies around games that improve health, education and civic engagement. Her work was featured in USA Today on Wednesday.

Events

Cycle for Sight raises funds for vision research

If you pedal a bike for an hour, and don't get anywhere, are you making progress? Yes, if you're one of the dozens of the students, staff and community members who will be pedaling furiously to raise money for vision research at the UW Eye Research Institute (ERI). The "Cycle for Sight" event will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Nat and SERF.

Get Involved: Submit an idea, link or photo to Inside UW–Madison.