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Paul’s kitchen

Photo: Paul Sprunger

Most people try to get out of doing dishes. Not Paul Sprunger. He was just a kid with a paper route but knew he wanted to cook. And he knew the road to the kitchen started with dirty dishes. So he applied at a restaurant along his route. His break came one day when the dishwasher called in sick. Those dirty dishes were all his. Now, Sprunger works as executive chef for University Housing, overseeing more than 15,000 meals a day. He started in January and is finishing up his first semester with a better idea of the campus appetite and ways to keep improving menu offerings.  

Top Stories

Spring commencement: 15 notable grads for 2015

Grad on Lincoln's lap

More than 10,000 UW-Madison students will receive a degree at this weekend's spring commencement. Every student’s journey is unique, but some of this year’s graduates — including these 15 — have demonstrated extraordinary perseverance. Related videos: Meet the Class of 2015.  

Campus reacts to DA’s Tony Robinson decision

Photo: People embracing at vigil

The campus reacted and reflected following the decision not to charge a police officer in the death of Tony Robinson. More than 50 people gathered at the Multicultural Student Center to watch the announcement live on TV. Later, a group assembled outside Pres House for a candlelight vigil.

Around Campus

Vilas professorships honor research, achievement

Photo: W crest projected on screen

Two groups of extraordinary faculty were honored Monday with awards supported by the estate of professor, Senator and Regent William F. Vilas. Seven of them received Vilas Research Professorships, and 15 were named to Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professorships.

Survey finds alumni starting companies across state

Photo: Employees of Antigo Industries

A survey just completed by the Wisconsin Alumni Association shows a substantial level of business startups among graduates of UW-Madison. Among 2,500 startups, 808 were located in Wisconsin. "This is good news for the state economy," says Aaron Olver of University Research Park.  

Outside UW

Researchers helping to attract Kickapoo Valley tourists

Photo: Pond near Kickapoo River

The Kickapoo Valley is a picturesque area of western Wisconsin that attracts many visitors during the summer. But to improve economic development, many residents and business owners want to lengthen the tourism season, and UW-Madison researchers are helping them make plans to do so.

Campus Initiatives

Faculty and staff step into role of online learner

Logo for Educational Innovation

This past year, more than 20 faculty and instructional staff got another chance at being a student. As members of the inaugural TeachOnline@UW learning community, participants from across campus came together to learn strategies for designing and teaching quality online courses.

Inside Info

Trans/lation: An introduction to gender identity

Photo: Brittany Allen

One of April’s big news stories was Bruce Jenner coming out as transgender. It became an opportunity for many people to learn more about the range of gender identities that exist. UW Health pediatrician Brittany Allen provides answers to some common questions in this direct and thoughtful Q&A.


Tech from the past on display at open house

Photo: 1980s speaker phone

Can you name this vintage technology? It's shaped like a turntable, but this piece of 80s electronics was designed for boardrooms, not nightclubs. Find out the identity of this and other tech treasures at the 50th anniversary open house of UW-Extension's Instructional Communications Systems May 21.


Political scientist, free speech advocate Downs to retire

Photo: Donald Downs

Passionate free speech scholar Donald Downs will retire at the end of the school year after 30 years in the Department of Political Science. Downs has championed the cause of academic freedom on campus, even when it’s meant clashing with university administrators, his fellow faculty members or students.

In the Media

Engineering students help goat get mobile

Photo: Goat on cart

When a group of freshmen signed up for an intro to engineering design class, they expected to get a grade but they got more, WISC-TV reports. "During past semesters, students built appliances such as food dehydrators. This group built something that will change the life of a goat named Bane."

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