News & Media

UW-Whitewater’s Michael Hendrix wins 2022 WiSys Quick Pitch State Final

LA CROSSE—UW-Whitewater’s Michael Hendrix earned first place in the WiSys Quick Pitch State Final at the WiSys SPARK Symposium on the UW-La Crosse campus on Aug. 1. 

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 research pitch. 

To compete in the WiSys Quick Pitch State Final, students had to win a campus-level WiSys Quick Pitch. Prior to presenting at the campus level, students receive training and support from WiSys staff and faculty and staff from their campus.

PHOTOS: WiSys Quick Pitch State Final 2022

“Congratulations to Michael and all the students for presenting in a very competitive WiSys Quick Pitch State Final,” said WiSys President Arjun Sanga. “Showcases like this one make it clear that the UW System’s regional campuses are producing well-rounded, high-level researchers across all disciplines.”

Hendrix won a $750 prize for the presentation “Identification of Neutralizing Antibody Response in Early Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 Infection.”

UW-Stout’s Joshua Bernin took second place in the competition with the presentation “Developing Protein Rich Higher Fiber and Antioxidant Cranberry Pomace Infused Soy Flour and Rice Flour Blend Extruded Fried Snack.” Bernin won a $500 prize.

Devon Lee, from UW-Platteville, took third place and a $250 prize for the presentation “Carbon Nanotube Electronics.”

UW-Green Bay’s Jillian Kurovski was awarded the People’s Choice Award and a $100 prize for the presentation “Spider Diversity at Red Banks Alvar State Natural Area.” The award was voted on by the audience.

Other student participants included:

  • UW-Eau Claire’s Nichol He and Connor Kamrowski with the presentation “A Deep Learning Model for Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Chemotherapy Outcome Prediction.”
  • UW-La Crosse’s Christine Starshak with the presentation “Cosmetic Donation and Decellularization as a Graft Resource.”

The participants presented their research to an audience of nearly 200 people and a group of three distinguished judges:

  • Jennifer Gottwald, Director of Licensing, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.
  • David Ward, Chair, WiSys Board of Trustees.
  • Joey Frayne, Technology Investment Manager, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

UW-Stout Chancellor Katherine Frank hosted the event on behalf of WiSys.

The state final took place at WiSys’ annual summer celebration of research, innovation and entrepreneurship, the WiSys SPARK Symposium.

During the last academic year about 80 students from across the UW System participated in the WiSys Quick Pitch Program.

“The communication of research to the public is vitally important to the health of our society. I commend all the students that participated in the WiSys Quick Pitch this year to develop this important skill,” Sanga said.

For more about WiSys Quick Pitch, 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.