Wisconsin’s DC-based Congressional staff experience UW–Madison

UW–Madison Chancellor Jennifer L. Mnookin talks with staff members working for Wisconsin congressional representatives during a reception held in Victory Hall inside of Camp Randall Stadium at the University of Wisconsin–Madison on Aug. 29, 2023. The event was part of a learning tour that allows them to learn about important work being done at UW–Madison. (Photo by Bryce Richter / UW–Madison)

Nine Washington, DC-based staff members of Wisconsin’s U.S. Senators and Representatives visited the University of Wisconsin–Madison from Aug. 28-30, getting a broad overview of campus and appreciation for landmarks old and new.

On Tuesday, they got an inside look at UW–Madison’s leadership in agricultural and life sciences, touring the new Meat Science and Animal Biologics Discovery Building, the Midwest Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Disease, the Center for Dairy Research, and the Dairy Cattle Center — and they got to preview the state-of-the-art School of Veterinary Medicine facility slated to open by the end of 2023.

They also met with Admissions and Financial Aid senior leadership, discussing programs such as Bucky’s Tuition Promise and Bucky’s Pell Pathway, which allow in-state students with financial need to attend UW at no cost.

On Wednesday, they visited the School of Medicine and Public Health, the Wisconsin Energy Institute, UW’s nuclear and fusion research facilities, and the Morgridge Institute for Research in the Discovery Building.

“We’re always happy to host Congressional staff on campus,” notes Mike Lenn, director of the Office of Federal Relations. “When they experience the many ways UW–Madison is a world-class university, they have a better sense of how federal funds are being used.” Federal funds, in the form of research grants and other budget items, make up a quarter of UW–Madison’s revenue — the single largest source of funding for the university.

Congressional staff also had ample opportunities to relax and enjoy late summer in Madison, from a boat ride on Lake Mendota to a reception in the new South End Zone area of Camp Randall Stadium with campus leaders and researchers.

Congressional staffers, working with Wisconsin-based U.S. Senators and Representatives, kick off their campus tour with Bucky Badger near Bascom Hall at the University of Wisconsin–Madison on Aug. 29, 2023. From left: Anna Whitwam, legislative correspondent, Office of Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-04); Tom Bailey, legislative director, Office of Congressman Glenn Grothman (WI-06); Austin Graham, legislative assistant, Office of Congressman Bryan Steil (WI-01); Julia Mikota, legislative counsel, Office of Senator Ron Johnson; Bucky Badger; Chelsea Blink, senior policy advisor, Office of Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02); Erin Schnell, legislative director, Office of Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02); Amanda Fuerst, field representative, Office of Congressman Scott Fitzgerald (WI-05); Becca Branum, counsel, Office of Senator Tammy Baldwin; Kiley Mulligan, legislative correspondent, Office of Senator Tammy Baldwin. (Photo by Bryce Richter / UW–Madison)