Thesis-writing program shares joy of scientific research

Several years and tens of thousands of words into writing their doctoral dissertation, you’d think few graduate students would sign on to write even more. And yet over the last decade, dozens of University of Wisconsin–Madison students have done exactly that. They’ve chosen to add one more chapter to their thesis, distilling years of hard-won scientific knowledge into prose understandable by the broader public, something rarely found in a dense document typically written for other scientists.

Grad Spotlight: Princess Merenini

Princess Merenini, a first-year graduate student in the Department of Chemistry, was one of the 2019 Pei Wang Fellowship award recipients. The Pei Wang Fellowship honors the late Pei Wang (Ph.D. 1952, chemistry) by gifting this award to honorable graduate students at UW–Madison. Merenini is an international student from Nigeria. She moved to the United States in 2016 to pursue her undergraduate education at Savannah State University (SSU). Growing up in Nigeria, Merenini was taught that there were only four “prestigious” career paths: medicine, law, engineering and pharmacy.

Nicolas Padilla (B.S. 2017)

Junior chemistry major Nicolas Padilla, from Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, is living his college experience to the fullest. Although he’s busy with upper-level science courses and undergraduate research, Padilla still manages to display a fun-loving attitude …

Tong Wang (B.S. 2015)

When UW-Madison tour guide Tong Wang, a junior from New Berlin, Wisconsin, shows groups around campus, he advises prospective students—no matter their academic interests—to pursue undergraduate research. He speaks from experience, having worked as an undergraduate …