The CALS Senior Award is a yearly award for outstanding students in the Genetics and Genomics major who are graduating. We like to honor students’ achievements inside and outside the classroom. Holistic reviews were given to all students, with a keen look at GPA and academic records, student organization participation, research, leadership, professional development and other activities. This year there were two stand-out candidates and thus we decided to award both!
In addition to their academic achievements, Gabriela and Alyssa saw needs in the community and took action. Alyssa, along with six other students, piloted the Resource Navigation Program at the Wingra Family Medical Center which focuses on addressing social determinants of health in an underserved population. Since its inception in 2016, the program has grown to support thousands of patients through the work of 90 volunteers and has expanded to two additional clinics in Madison. In her sophomore year, Gabriela identified the need for more racial and ethnic diversity in pre-health organizations on campus. Along with other students, she founded and ran a pre-health organization called Pre-Health Without Borders(PHWB) with the goal of better catering to diverse groups, especially international students, and to also explore and learn from the works of health-related NGOs around the world. As president of PHWB, she was an important part of the UW-Madison Pre-Health Committee, an initiative promoting collaboration among pre-health organizations on campus. Congratulations Gabriela and Alyssa on your truly outstanding achievements!