Centers of Excellence 2015-16 Annual Report

Picture of the Centers Annual Report Picture.

On behalf of our Centers of Excellence, I am pleased to share with you our 2015-2016 Annual Report.

2015–2016 has been an exciting period for our Centers of Excellence at the School of Human Ecology. In preceding years, each of our Centers had gone through processes to envision their respective paths forward and plan their respective roles as a part of the overall OneSoHE21 Strategic Plan. With many of these critical planning processes completed or well underway, this past year was a period of application and advancement of our Centers’ plans. This Annual Report provides an overview of the depth and breadth of the important research, education and outreach our Centers are engaged in.

We’ll be posting the full report online soon. If you are interested in obtaining a print copy of this report, please contact me directly at

This Annual Report, as with the much of our work, was a truly collaborative effort, with key contributions from all of our Centers. I’d like to give special thanks to just a few of the many people who made this report possible. CommNS student intern Kayla Naus put in all the heavy lifting on getting the proof to final; Alan Talaga and Andrea Plassman provided their usual stalwart can-do Centers support; and all of our faculty Center directors, staff, and graduate student project assistants (as referenced in the report) provided input from their respective Centers.

In addition to the print edition of this Annual Report, we have also created a short video that highlights our Centers’ community-focused work.


Click the image above to watch our Centers video on YouTube.

As you will see from reviewing the work of all of our Centers, each Center is unique in its focus area, structure, and activities. However, all of our Centers of Excellence embrace the following key priorities:

• address and advance inquiries and scholarship related to Human Ecology, or the thriving of individuals, families, organizations, and communities
• approach Center work in a distinctly community-engaged or partnership-focused way
• build relationships and increase contributions from a variety of partners or affiliates from on campus and/or the community at large
• advance multidisciplinary approaches to help tackle “grand challenges” facing our communities and organizations — in the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea
• increase the quality of learning within SoHE for undergraduate and graduate students
• secure and increase extramural resources, through compelling projects, to advance the work of our Centers and contribute to UW–Madison

I believe that the Centers work conducted in 2015–2016 reflects our commitment to these priorities and that we are positioning our Centers to be key units in UW–Madison’s furtherance of the Wisconsin Idea. In historic times when “grand challenges” abound, along with an increased sense of urgency about broad-based community engagement, I believe our community-engaged multidisciplinary Centers and their outstanding campus and community contributors will be positive and creative change agents for our shared future.

It is a delight and a privilege to be a part of this work and I offer my sincere gratitude to all who are helping with our Centers of Excellence mission. Please continue to engage with us in the coming year. Forward!

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