News & Media

WiSys recognizes top-notch UW System innovators at special reception

WiSys Innovators Reception (2021) 

MADISON—With help from UW System President Tommy Thompson, WiSys recognized some of the most innovative faculty and students in the UW System on Aug. 18 at a special WiSys Innovators Reception.

The event, held at the Brittingham House in Madison, allowed WiSys to honor four distinguished faculty members and one exceptional student with awards as well as introduce its 2021-2022 class of WiSys Student Ambassadors.

This award is presented to a faculty, staff member or student making exemplary contributions to the UW System innovation community. The award was created to honor the former managing director of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation who supported WiSys throughout his 16-year tenure.

  • Brandon Behringer, UW-Parkside
    Student Inventor
    Brandon, a student majoring in chemistry, has submitted several inventions to WiSys during his time at UW-Parkside. His innovative inventions include a retrofit peltier cooling device and an anodizing pen. Additionally, Brandon has worked to better his university’s innovation community by serving as a WiSys Ambassador during the 2019-2020 academic year.
  • Mark Levenstein, UW-Platteville
    Assistant Professor of Biology
    Mark is an active inventor and champion of student research opportunities. He has been an eager mentor working to get more undergraduate students into research and lab work. He also actively encourages students to participate in WiSys’ student research and innovation programming. Furthermore, Mark is an innovative collaborator, working on varied research projects with colleagues from different disciplines.

This award is presented to UW System leaders, faculty, staff, students or community partners who have played an integral role in supporting innovation at their university.

  • John Obielodan, UW-Platteville
    Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering
    John is a prolific innovator who has submitted numerous inventions to WiSys. As Prototype Center Manager at UW-Platteville, he assists many inventors from across the system develop prototypes from their ideas.
  • Ann Rupnow, UW-Eau Claire
    Entrepreneurship Program Manager
    Ann’s passion for innovation shines through in her work with local entrepreneurs, including many students. She was a key partner in founding WiSys’ first startup hub, WiSys VentureHome-Eau Claire.
  • Susan Gallagher-Lepak, UW-Green Bay
    Dean of the College of Health, Education and Social Welfare
    Susan helped found and grow the WiSys Innovation in Aging student event and contest at UW-Green Bay. She’s a tireless catalyst for research, innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities for undergraduates.

The WiSys Ambassador Program enhances the vital connection between WiSys and the research community on UW System campuses. WiSys Ambassadors receive training in Intellectual Property as well as the technology transfer process, and learn how to access resources offered by WiSys and other campus organizations designed to support technology development and entrepreneurial activity.

  • Abigail Adams, UW-Stevens Point
  • Mallory Brask, UW-Stout
  • Haylie Ford, UW-Platteville
  • Matt Frisch, UW Oshkosh
  • Rylie Gramann, UW-La Crosse
  • Haley Jacquez, UW Oshkosh
  • Kim Krueger, UW-Green Bay
  • Jacob Plumley, UW-Platteville
  • Alissa Santana, UW-Whitewater
  • Jacqueline Sporie, UW-La Crosse

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.