Badger Talks LIVE

Badger Talks is pleased to present a Facebook Live series of talks on topics that intend to inspire, delight, and pleasantly distract in a time we are all needing positive experiences. Tune in to hear UW– Madison faculty and staff experts on a variety of interesting and engaging topics. Not able to watch the live talk? See links to completed talks below.

To view the Badger Talks live streams and upcoming events on Facebook, visit the UW Connects Facebook page by clicking here. 



Upcoming Badger Talks Live Events:

Tuesday, September 22 at 4:30 pm
Taylor Franklin, Program Director, Wheelhouse Studios, Wisconsin Union
Virtual Painting Happy Hour!
View Supplies List Here
Gather art materials on your own and enjoy a “Silhouette Sunset” painting tutorial from the comfort of your own home. Pour yourself a beverage and snuggle in for a low-pressure painting happy hour with Wheelhouse Studios Program Director, local artist and educator, Taylor Franklin. She will walk you through the easy steps to create a vibrant and picturesque painting to cheer up your space. Gather these supplies (link) and join her for a low-key, stress relieving art-making session for all to enjoy – no art skills required! View supply list here.

Rising UW senior Saasha Sundaresh, will join as a participant during the live event.  Saasha is studying Social Welfare and Legal Studies in the UW– Madison College of Letters & Science.

Tuesday, September 29 at noon
Phil Holman, Agronomy Researcher and SARS Superintendent
Heidi Johnson, Agriculture Institute Director, UW Extension
Kevin Schoessow, Area Agriculture Development Educator
Introduction to Spooner Agricultural Research Station (SARS)
The Spooner Agricultural Research Station (SARS) was established in 1909 and has played a critical role in the ongoing development of crop improvement in Wisconsin. Meet some of the staff at the SARS and hear about the many projects taking in this 388-acre space, and how these resources continue to benefit the local communities in NW Wisconsin. Weather permitting, we will also get a glimpse of the teaching and display gardens, one of the few All-America Selections display gardens in the state.

Phil Holman is the Superintendent and Agronomy Project Researcher at the Spooner Ag Research Station. He grew up on a dairy farm near Barronett, WI and earned his B.S. in Ag Business from UW-River Falls and his M.S. in Agronomy (Soil Science) from South Dakota State University. His Master’s Degree work focused on nitrogen leaching to the groundwater under different tillage systems. Phil previously was a UW-Extension Agriculture Agent at Spooner and taught Agriscience courses for Chippewa Valley Technical College.

Heidi Johnson is the Director of the Agriculture Institute for the UW-Madison Division of Extension.  She has been in this role for just over a year but has been with Extension for 11 years.  Her previous roles with Extension were as a county agriculture educator in most recently Dane County and, prior to that, Jefferson County.  As director of the Agriculture Institute, Heidi provides strategic direction for Extension agriculture programming and associated operations across the state.  In her previous roles as an agriculture educator, her focus was on helping farmers evaluate practices like cover crops that lead to the adoption of conservation-based cropping systems.  Heidi completed her Masters and PhD at UW Madison.

Kevin Schoessow is the Area Ag Development Agent for UW-Extension in Burnett, Sawyer, and Washburn Counties.   In addition to providing information and education to area farmers on crops and soils and alternative agriculture, Kevin also provides information and education in home and commercial horticulture.  Some of his horticulture responsibilities include coordinating the Master Gardener Volunteer Program for the Tri-county area, managing the Teaching and Display garden at the Spooner Ag Research Station and organizing horticulture workshops and field days.  He has a special interest in soil ecology and composting. Kevin received both his M.S. and B.S. in Soil Science from the UW-Madison and from UW-River Falls.

Tuesday, October 6, Noon
Sarah Marty, Co-Interim Director, Bolz Center for Arts Administration, Wisconsin School of Business; Program Director, Madison Early Music Festival; Co-Director, Holding History
HAMILTON: How a Musical About History is Making Musical History
Hamilton: An American Musical tells the story of the founding of the country and the Revolution, while also commenting on contemporary issues in America today. With a soundtrack and script that fuses classical musical theatre and poetry with elements of popular music and hip hop, its storytelling both builds on the past and looks to the future.  A cultural phenomenon that exemplifies the highest excellence in the genre,  Hamilton appeals to a diverse audience far beyond the lights of Broadway and the success of the show is changing what theatre is being produced – what stories are being told and who is telling them.

Sarah Marty, Interim Co-Director for the Bolz Center in the Wisconsin School of Business, teaches classes on arts entrepreneurship, arts leadership, and Hamilton: An American Musical for University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Through her work as Co-Director of the Holding History Program, she mentors students as they connect the history of media to the arts and crafts of bookmaking and learn how to share their discoveries in centuries old books through public events in campus libraries and digital platforms.  As Producing Artistic Director of Four Seasons Theatre, she helps bring musical theatre performances to stages, libraries, and retirement communities across Madison, WI.

Tuesday, October 13, Noon
Lori Skelton, Wisconsin Public Radio Classical Music Host and Foodie
Talk TBD
Classical announcer Lori Skelton began working at Wisconsin Public Radio in 1993 and is the host of “Afternoon Classics” each weekday, and the producer and host of “Wisconsin Classical.” Skelton attended Beloit College, where she covered various airshifts at WBCR Radio, the campus radio station.

After graduation, Skelton planned to get her masters in conducting at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, but by chance discovered the studios of WUWM and chose radio instead. Two years later, she began working at WFMR. In addition to her work at WPR, Skelton sings in the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus, enjoys learning about prairie restoration, biking, gardening and wine tasting. She is also a regular contributor to “Food Friday” segments on “Central Time.”

Wednesday, October 21, Noon
Mary Hark, Associate Professor, Design Studies Department
The Art of Papermaking
Originally from St. Paul, Minnesota, Mary Hark received her Bachelor of Arts from the College of St. Benedict, her Master of Arts from the University of Iowa, and her Master of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Tuesday, October 27, Noon
Jack Williams, Professor, Department of Geography and Center for Climatic Research
Climate Change and Ecosystems: Lessons from the Past
How do species adapt to changing climates and how can we help them? Some of our best examples come from the end of the last ice age, when the world warmed by 5-10F. Learn how  past climates and ecosystems are studied, what has been learned, and insights for today.

John (Jack) Williams is Professor in Geography and affiliated with the Center for Climatic Research at UW-Madison.  Much of his work focuses on the large ecological and climate changes accompanying the end of the last ice age, with many instructive parallels to current climate changes.  His work ranges from site-based fieldwork to helping lead and build global-scale community data resources for studying ecosystem responses to past environmental change at global scales.  Awards include election as a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America, the Phil Certain Distinguished Faculty Award and a Romnes Fellowship from UW-Madison, a Bullard Fellowship from Harvard University, an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellowship from Stanford, and a Institute for Advanced Study Fellowship from Durham University.  He and his wife Sarah have lived in Wisconsin since 2004 and have raised their kids here; they enjoy kayaking, dog-walking, and board-gaming.  More information can be found at or via Twitter @IceAgeEcologist

Tuesday, November 10, Noon
Yorel Lashley, Director of Arts, Professional Learning and Community Education
What is the UW Arts Collaboratory?

Tuesday, November 17, Noon
Simone Munson, Collections Development Director, Wisconsin Historical Society
Wisconsin’s Connection to Alexander Hamilton: Meet William Hamilton

Tuesday, November 24, Noon
Mark Hetzler, Professor of Trombone, Mead Witter School of Music
The Benefits of Music That Can Change Your Life
What does it feel like to play a musical instrument… physically, mentally and emotionally? What does learning the language of music do for your mind and your relationship with reading, listening and learning? How can studying music improve your discipline, resiliency, motivation and creativity? What can music do to enrich your relationships with people, both friends and strangers? How can music increase your confidence and fill your soul with joy?

Join world-renowned musician and Professor of Trombone Mark Hetzler as he shares musical examples (both recorded and live), photographs and images, and personal stories which can inspire others to embark on their own musical journey.

Mark Hetzler is Professor of Trombone at the University of Wisconsin- Madison and a member of the Wisconsin Brass Quintet.  He received a B.M. from Boston University and an M.M. from the New England Conservatory of Music. Mark was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and completed a three-year fellowship with the New World Symphony, under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. Former Principal Trombone of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Mark has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops and the Florida Orchestra, and was a member of the internationally-renowned Empire Brass Quintet.

Tuesday, December 15, Noon
Mark Hairston, Assistant Professor, Acting and Directing
Talk TBD
A native of Washington, DC, Mark Hairston is a director, performer and educator with a primary focus on American theater and theater of the African diaspora. He is particularly drawn to classical works, innovative literary adaptations, and theater for community development. Mark is a graduate of the MFA Directing program at Columbia University School of the Arts, where he was the Dean’s Fellow and studied under the primary mentorship of Anne Bogart and Brian Kulick. His recent directing highlights include The Escape; or, A Leap for FreedomKing LearThe Cherry Orchard, and The Henry Dumas Project.  Along with directing, Mark has worked extensively as a professional actor with some of the nation’s leading theater companies. He graduated with High Honors from the BFA Acting program at Rutgers University, and was classically trained at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. Most recently, Mark served as the Artistic Producer on Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s acclaimed production of We Are Proud to Present a Presentation…, and his current projects include Ms. Blakk for President at Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Assistant Director to Tina Landau) and a collaboration with the legendary Bill T. Jones on a new work scheduled to make its world-premiere at the Park Avenue Armory in NYC in the spring of 2020.


Past Badger Talks Live Events:

Talks will be recorded and posted on YouTube, and will be closed captioned within a few days after the live talk. See direct links to talks below.

Beth Olson – Associate Professor
Nutrition to Support Maximum Wellness During Challenging Times
Recorded on Tuesday, April 14, 2020
Click here to watch the recorded Badger Talks Live event

Christine Whelan – Clinical Professor
Life on Purpose: Three Questions Only You Can Answer
Recorded on Thursday, April 16, 2020
Click here to watch the recorded Badger Talks Live event

Tom Zinnen – Extension Specialist
Science Savvy Explorations in Your Kitchen
Recorded Tuesday, April 21, 2020
Click here to watch the recorded Badger Talks Live Event

Susan Frikken – Guest Lecturer
Ballroom Basics for Balance (BB4B)
Recorded Thursday, April 23, 2020
Click here to watch the recorded Badger Talks Live Event

Pelin Kesebir – Assistant Scientist
Cultivate a Healthy Mind in Challenging Times
Recorded Monday, April 27, 2020
Click here to watch the recorded Badger Talks Live Event

Doug Bradley – Distinguished Lecturer Emeritus
Music in a Time of Crisis: The Songs and Legacies of the Vietnam War
Recorded Thursday, April 30, 2020
Click here to watch the recorded Badger Talks Live Event

Katherine Alcauskas, Chief Curator
Behind the Scenes Tour at the Chazen!
Recorded Friday, May 8, 2020
Click here to watch the recorded Badger Talks Live Event

The Wingra Quintet – UW Faculty Woodwind Quintet
Recorded Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Click here to watch the recorded Badger Talks Live Event

Bob McGrath, Distinguished Psychologist Emeritus
Mindfulness and Meditation to Manage Stress
Recorded Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Click here to watch the recorded Badger Talks Live Event

Tom Bryan, PhD, The Nelson Institute
Behind the Scenes: Tour & Seed Starting at Leopold Greenhouse
Recorded Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Click here to watch the recorded Badger Talks Live Event

Mike Randall, Outreach Administrator
The Physics of Plasma (Recommended for ages 6 and up.)
Recorded Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Click here to watch the recorded Badger Talks Live Event

Dorothea Salo, Faculty Associate
Staying as Safe as You Can: Privacy and Security Online
Recorded Tuesday, June 9, 2020
Click here to watch the recorded Badger Talks Live Event
View the presentation notes from this talk here

Alfonso Morales, PhD, Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor 
Understanding the Importance of Marketplaces in History and Moving Forward
Recorded Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Click here to watch the recorded Badger Talks Live Event

Ben Futa, Executive Director, Allen Centennial Gardens
Gardens Will Save the World
Recorded Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Click here to watch the recorded Badger Talks Live Event

Ruthanne Chun, Director of UW Veterinary Care
Overview and Behind the Scenes Tour of UW Veterinary Care
Recorded Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Click here to watch the recorded Badger Talks Live Event

Bookmarks with WPR’s Charles Monroe-Kane
Recorded Tuesday, July 7,2020
Click here to watch the recorded Badger Talks Live Event

David Drake, Urban Canid Project
Red Foxes and Coyotes – Our Path to Co-Existence
Recorded Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Click here to watch the recorded Badger Talks Live Event

Taylor Franklin, Program Director, Wheelhouse Studios, Wisconsin Union
Art-making for Self-care
Recorded Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Click here to watch the recorded Badger Talks Live Event

Karen Oberhauser (Monarch butterflies), Susan Carpenter (Bumble bees) and Brad Herrick (Dragonflies)
Insect “Rockstars” of the Garden
Recorded Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Click here to watch the recorded Badger Talks Live Event

Marianne Fairbanks, Associate Professor, Design Studies Department
Learn to Weave at Home
Recorded Wednesday, August 5, 2020
View Weaving Pattern Here
Click here to watch the recorded Badger Talks Live Event

Lennon Rodgers, Director, Grainger Engineering Design Innovation Lab
Welcome to UW Makerspace!
Recorded Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Click here to watch the recorded Badger Talks Live Event

Julia Yates, Director, Behavioral Health, UW Family Medicine, Internal Wellness and Resiliency program
Building Our Everyday Resiliency Compass
Recorded Tuesday, August 18, 2020
Click here to watch the recorded Badger Talks Live Event

Amaya Atucha, Assistant Professor and Fruit Crop Extension Specialist
Growing Fruit in Wisconsin
Recorded Tuesday, August 25, 2020
Click here to watch the recorded Badger Talks Live Event
Link to Extension Resources here

Mark Louden, Professor of German Linguistics
The Amish in Wisconsin
Recorded Tuesday, September 1, 2020
Click here to watch the recorded Badger Talks Live Event

Tom Caw, Music Public Services Librarian
Welcome to YOUR Mills Music Library
Recorded Tuesday, September 15th
Click here to watch the recorded Badger Talks Live Event