Why Celebrate the Wisconsin Academy Fellows? | wisconsinacademy.org
Your shopping cart is empty.


Why Celebrate the Wisconsin Academy Fellows?

From the Director

Why should you join us in celebrating the election of seven new Wisconsin Academy Fellows this November 6? The answer is simple: They are the superstars of their respective fields, worthy of the attention showered on our states finest athletes.

So who are Wisconsin Academy Fellows? Since 1981 the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters has elected five individuals annually that represent the highest levels of judgment, perceptiveness, and breadth of knowledge in literature, art and the sciences and have contributed significantly to the cultural life and welfare of our state.

Fellows have careers 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.

In these times when we are forced to examine our priorities, we look for leaders to bring us out of a sense of deficit to a new appreciation of our assets. Now more than ever it is important to hold up the models of achievement that make our state and country extraordinary. But we need your help to find these extraordinary people who are worthy of fellowship in the Wisconsin Academy. We ask you to point us to them.

While anyone can nominate a Fellow, it’s members like you—civic and business leaders, teachers, scientists, artists, writers, poets, those who care deeply about our state and culture—that we rely upon to nominate new Fellows. And now is the time. The nomination period runs between October and February of the election year. Check our website for a 2012 Fellows nomination form online at wisconsinacademy.org/fellows and seize your chance to appreciate and encourage the genius in our midst.

For more information about our past and recently elected 2011 Fellows, see the Summer 2011 issue of this magazine or visit our website for a full listing of those that have been honored in years past. You will recognize the names: stem cell scientist James Thomson; former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Janine Geske; John Michael Kohler Arts Center director Ruth DeYoung Kohler; historian John Gurda; former Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird; writer Laurie Moore; or artists Tom Uttech, Truman Lowe, and Lee Weiss.

This year’s honorees include:

  • Steve Ackerman: an atmospheric scientist who has fostered advances in weather and climate predictions that help save lives and livelihood worldwide
  • Judith Faulkner: a health information systems pioneer whose technologies have improved the quality, safety and efficiency of health care across Wisconsin, the United States, and increasingly the world
  • Robert H. Dott Jr.: a geologist whose pioneering research in sedimentary geology has, among other things, brought attention to significant geo-heritage sites in Wisconsin and added Point of Rocks outcrop near Baraboo to the U.S. National list of historic sites
  • Donald A. Nichols: an economic advisor to U.S. presidents and Wisconsin governors who is well known for frequent ”white papers” influencing many policy initiatives
  • Maury Laws: a musical composer best known for his original soundtrack work on animated films and television specials, and beloved by children the world over for the stop-motion classic, Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer
  • JoAnna Poehlmann: a visual artist and bookmaker who draws inspiration from the natural world with pieces in public and private collections across the world
  • Jeremi Suri: a historian and author (Henry Kissinger and the American Century) who focuses on using history to improve the present. Suri was named one of America’s top young Innovators in the Arts and Sciences by the Smithsonian

There is nowhere else you can meet Wisconsin’s finest scientific thinkers, pioneering researchers, entrepreneurs, groundbreaking visual artists, musical composers, creative writers, and historians. So, join us at the induction of the new Wisconsin Academy Fellows this November 6 at 1:00 pm in the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in Madison. Tickets are $25 for members, and $40 for non-members. Please RSVP by the end of October to Kathy Dickerson at kdickerson@ wisconsinacademy.org. You won’t want to miss the chance to hear about the ideas that fascinate our newest Fellows (they will each share ten minutes on a topic they are passionate about). They have and are changing Wisconsin for the better. I hope to see you there.

P.S. Nominate a 2012 Fellow online at wisconsinacademy.org/fellows now through February 1, 2012.

Subject Tags: 


Margaret Lewis was the executive director of the Wisconsin Academy from 2007 to 2011. For twelve years she served as Assistant, Associate and Acting Vice-President of University Relations for the University of Wisconsin System.

Contact Us

Follow Us

Wisconsin Academy Offices 
1922 University Avenue
Madison, Wisconsin 53726
Phone: 608.733.6633


James Watrous Gallery 
3rd Floor, Overture Center for the Arts
201 State Street
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: 608.733.6633 x25