News & Media

UW-Green Bay student researchers recognized at WiSys Quick Pitch event

UW-Green Bay's Jillian Kurovski sampled arachnids and vegetative communities in five different locations in the Red Banks Alvar State Natural Area as part of a research project that was presented at the WiSys Quick Pitch @ UW-Green Bay.

GREEN BAY—Two UW-Green Bay students were recognized for competing in the WiSys Quick Pitch research communication contest on May 4.

The student “pitch” competition inspires UW System students to consider the impact of their research and effectively communicate it to the public. Students have three minutes to impress a panel of judges with their pitch.

Environmental science and policy graduate student Jillian Kurovski won first place and a $300 prize for the presentation “Spider Diversity at Red Banks Alvar State Natural Area.” 

Kurovski sampled arachnids and vegetative communities in five different locations in the Red Banks Alvar State Natural Area to gather a species list, identify endangered and globally threatened habitat and to understand how vegetative communities may be influencing the presence or absence of spider species.

Kurovski’s faculty research advisor was Dr. Mike Draney, UW-Green Bay professor of natural and applied sciences.

Junior psychology student Kaitlyn Patridge placed second, earning a $125 prize, for the presentation “The development of a novel animal model to detect rapid-acting antidepressant drugs: Stress-induced depression of digging behavior in mice.”

Patridge’s research project aims to develop an animal model for discovering new rapid-acting antidepressant drugs for humans. Current FDA-approved antidepressants often take more than a month to be effective or do not work entirely for many people. Partridge explained that the current animal models for identifying effective antidepressants may be flawed.

Partridge’s faculty research advisor was Dr. Todd Hillhouse, UW-Green Bay assistant professor of psychology.

With a first-place finish, Kurovski earned a bid to the WiSys Quick Pitch State Final, which will take place at the WiSys SPARK Symposium, July 31-Aug. 2.

The judges for the event, which was held virtually this year, were:

  • Dr. Allen I. Huffcutt, Professor of Business, UW-Green Bay Austin E. Cofrin School of Business
  • Dr. Michael Zorn, Associate Dean and Professor of Chemistry, UW-Green Bay.

For more information about the WiSys Quick Pitch Program, visit

WiSys is a nonprofit organization that works with faculty, staff, students and alumni of the UW System to facilitate cutting-edge research programs, develop and commercialize discoveries and foster a spirit of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking across the state.