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Photo by Richard Hurd

WPS Health Solutions named a 2023 Top Workplaces USA award winner


DeAnne Boegli
Vice President of Communications

WPS Health Solutions named a 2023 Top Workplaces USA award winner

MADISON, Wis.—Feb. 3, 2023—WPS Health Solutions has earned the 2023 Top Workplaces USA award issued by Energage, a purpose-driven organization that develops solutions to build and brand Top Workplaces. The Top Workplaces program has a 15-year history of surveying more than 20 million employees and recognizing the top organizations across 60 markets for regional Top Workplaces awards.

“In a remote-first work environment, feeling seen over being seen is more important than ever.  We work daily to drive a culture of connectedness by showing appreciation, focusing on mental health and well-being, and fostering an inclusive and empowering employee experience,” said Moira Klos, WPS Chief People Officer. “Making health care easier for the people we serve is at the heart of what we do at WPS. When we take care of our people, they are able to take care of our customers and beneficiaries in meaningful ways.”

Top Workplaces USA celebrates organizations with 150 or more employees that have built great cultures. More than 42,000 organizations were invited to participate in the Top Workplaces USA survey. The award selection is based solely on employee feedback gathered through an employee engagement survey, issued by Energage.

Results are calculated by comparing the survey’s research-based statements, including 15 culture drivers proven to predict high performance against industry benchmarks.

“Earning a Top Workplaces award is a badge of honor for companies, especially because it comes authentically from their employees,” Energage CEO Eric Rubino said. “That’s something to be proud of. In today’s market, leaders must ensure they’re allowing employees to have a voice and be heard. That’s paramount. Top Workplaces do this, and it pays dividends.”

About WPS Health Solutions® 

Wisconsin Physicians Service Insurance Corporation (WPS Health Solutions), founded in 1946, is a nationally regarded benefits administrator for a variety of U.S. government programs and a leading not-for-profit health insurer in Wisconsin. WPS Health Solutions serves active-duty and retired military personnel, seniors, individuals, and families in Wisconsin, across the U.S., and around the world. WPS Health Solutions, headquartered in Madison, Wis., has more than 2,600 employees. Within the enterprise, there are three divisions: WPS Government Health Administrators, WPS Military and Veterans Health, and WPS Health Insurance/WPS Health Plan/EPIC Specialty Benefits. For more information, please visit  

About Energage
Making the world a better place to work together.
Energage is a purpose-driven company that helps organizations turn employee feedback into useful business intelligence and credible employer recognition through Top Workplaces. Built on 14 years of culture research and the results from 23 million employees surveyed across more than 70,000 organizations, Energage delivers the most accurate competitive benchmark available. With access to a unique combination of patented analytic tools and expert guidance, Energage customers lead the competition with an engaged workforce and an opportunity to gain recognition for their people-first approach to culture. For more information or to nominate your organization, visit or

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Photo by Richard Hurd

New Promega Chemistry Will Enable Forensic DNA Labs to Solve More Challenging Cold Cases, Sexual Assault Cases

Eight-color STR multiplex system provides more information per casework sample

MADISON, Wis.–New chemistry for DNA analysis will empower forensic laboratories to overcome common challenges including degraded and contaminated samples. PowerPlex® 35GY System, launched today by Promega Corporation, is a first-of-its-kind eight-color DNA analysis kit that helps forensic laboratories get more information out of their most challenging samples. The kit works in tandem with Spectrum CE System, a capillary electrophoresis instrument launched by Promega in 2022.

“Together, PowerPlex® 35GY System used with Spectrum CE System provide the most advanced forensic analysis available,” says Rohaizah James, Senior Product Manager at Promega. “The eight-color chemistry used in PowerPlex® 35GY System gives more information per sample, even with degraded DNA.”

Next-generation eight-color STR kit

PowerPlex® 35GY System is the first of a series of next-generation eight-color STR kits that Promega is producing to take full advantage of the Spectrum CE System’s eight-color capability. The biotechnology manufacturer has been developing and providing products for DNA-based human identification for more than 25 years.

Short tandem repeat (STR) analysis is the most widely used tool in human identification efforts. Currently available kits rely on five or six colors of dyes to mark regions of DNA that can help identify a match. PowerPlex® 35GY System is the first STR multiplex to include eight dyes. This major improvement in chemistry is made possible by the Spectrum CE System, the first commercially available capillary electrophoresis instrument equipped for eight-color fragment analysis.

“Mini-STRs” for enhanced resolution

PowerPlex® 35GY System includes the amplicons of 15 loci that have been reduced in size to less than 250 base pairs in length. These “mini-STRs” are less likely to “drop out” or disappear during STR analysis, which helps ensure data is not lost. This is especially important in cold case samples where DNA may be degraded or where there may be a limited amount of sample to work with.

Y-STRs for sexual assault investigation and familial searching

PowerPlex® 35GY System is also ideal for working with sexual assault samples or for identifying unknown matches through familial searching. The kit includes 11 STR loci that are located on Y-chromosomes. These Y-STRs, along with the increased sensitivity of the kit, can help labs more easily determine how many individuals’ DNA are present in a sample.

Quality Indicators for Improved Efficiency

Finally, PowerPlex® 35GY System includes two Quality Indicators to help forensics labs work efficiently by quickly identifying sources of failure. These indicators let DNA analysts quickly determine if a sample is degraded or if there was a problem during their analysis. This information can help labs decide if they need to re-analyze samples or if they should move on to the next sample. By combining these Quality Indicators with the high-throughput capabilities of Spectrum CE System, PowerPlex® 35GY System can help forensics labs efficiently work through their sexual assault kit backlog, for example.

Learn more about PowerPlex® 35GY System at

About Promega Corporation

Promega Corporation is a global leader in providing high-quality solutions and technical support to the life science industry. Over its 44-year history, Promega has built a portfolio featuring more than 4,000 catalog and custom products supporting cellular and molecular biology. Today, bioluminescent and other technologies developed at Promega drive innovation in fields such as live cell analysis, drug discovery, molecular diagnostics and human identification and are used by scientists and technicians in labs for academic and government research, forensics, pharmaceuticals, clinical diagnostics and agricultural and environmental testing. Promega is headquartered in Madison, WI, USA with branches in 16 countries and over 50 global distributors. For more information, visit and connect with Promega on TwitterLinkedInFacebookInstagram and the Promega Connections blog.


Penny Patterson
VP, Corporate Affairs
Promega Corporation
Phone: (608) 274-4330

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Monona Terrace Call for Sculpture Artist Submissions

The Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in Madison, WI is soliciting submissions for its 2023 sculpture exhibition. We seek works that engage visitors and complement the organic architecture of Wright’s glass-centric façade.

The exhibition will include five sculptures from regional artists. The four sculptures chosen for the rooftop will be exhibited from May – October 2023. Selected rooftop artists will receive a $1,350 stipend for loaning their work for the exhibition. One sculpture will be chosen for the Olin Terrace and exhibited from May 2023 – April 2024. The Olin Terrace artist will a stipend of $2,400 for loaning their work.

  • Sculptures will be located in high traffic public environment with unsupervised audiences and must be original, created within the past five years, appropriate for visitors of all ages, considerate of the safety of the audience.
  • Soundly and professionally constructed of durable and safe components and require no maintenance during the display period.
  • Suitable for outdoor display in adverse weather conditions.
  • Meet the physical installation restrictions of the rooftop, including being under 200 pounds and able to be physically lifted into raised garden beds and attached to 48” diameter concrete pads.

Anticipated Timeline:

  • Deadline for entries: March 1, 2023
  • Artists notified: March 8, 2023 
  • Sculpture Installation: May 1-4, 2023
  • Opening Reception: Gallery Night, Friday, May 5, 2023
  • Rooftop Sculpture Removal: November 1-3, 2023
  • Olin Terrace Sculpture Removal: April 8-11, 2024

See past Art on the Rooftop exhibitions at For full submission details see the Call for Artists PDF.


Photo by Richard Hurd

Division of the Arts Celebrates Artistic Achievement at UW–Madison with the 2023 Creative Arts Awards

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Media contact: Kate Lochner, Marketing & Communications Manager, Division of the Arts,


Read online: 


Division of the Arts Celebrates Artistic Achievement at UW–Madison with the 2023 Creative Arts Awards

Madison, Wis. – The UW–Madison Division of the Arts announces the recipients of the 2023 Creative Arts Awards, who will be recognized at an award ceremony on Tuesday, May 9, 2023. These awards celebrate artistic achievement, recognize service to the arts and support arts research. Nine awards were open to a variety of arts practitioners, researchers, students, staff and faculty from any area including arts academic departments and programs. This includes Art, Art History, Arts Administration, Communication Arts, Creative Writing, Dance, Design Studies, Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies, Music and Theatre and Drama. Applications and nominations for these awards were juried by a panel of seven committee members including previous recipients of the awards and campus arts research administrators.

This year, the Division was able to provide two new awards for students. The Joan Spero and C. Michael Spero Graduate Student Award supports graduate students in developing arts programming and is presented in collaboration with the Chazen Museum of Art. The Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Arts Award supports undergraduate students working across disciplines to create work and/or to conduct scholarly research.

The Division encourages staff, faculty, students and community members to attend the ceremony this May at the Mitchell Theatre, Vilas Hall (821 University Avenue), which will feature student performances and showcase the arts on campus. The Division also thanks the donors who make the awards possible as well as members of the 2023 Creative Arts Awards Selection Committee, including Wei Dong (Design Studies), Daniel Grabois (Music), Florence Hsia (History), Baron Kelly (Theatre and Drama), Beth Nguyen (Creative Writing), Darcy Padilla (Art), Marlene Skog (Dance).

Additional information about the recipients may be found online.

Faculty Arts Research

Creative Arts Award

Douglas Rosenberg, Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of Art
Project title: “The Sea”

Emily Mead Baldwin Award in the Creative Arts
Finn Enke, Professor
Project title: “With Finn and Wing: Archive of an Amphibious Childhood in a Nuclear Age”

Mimmi Fulmer, Professor
Project title: Women’s voices then and now: at the center of Finnish music as artists, activists, and muses

Helen Lee, Associate Professor
Project title: “Present Tense: A Decade of UW Glass”

Staff and Faculty Arts Outreach

Joyce J. and Gerald A. Bartell Award in the Arts

Spatula&Barcode: Laurie Beth Clark, Professor, and Michael Peterson, Professor

Edna Wiechers Arts in Wisconsin Award
Michael Velliquette, Assistant Professor of Art Foundations
Project title: “Embodied Looking // Embodied Making”

Graduate Student Arts Research and Achievement

David and Edith Sinaiko Frank Graduate Fellowship for a Woman in the Arts
Sachie Ueshima, DMA student, Music Performance 
Project title: Last Letters Home: Voices of Japanese Soldiers in WWII

Lyman S.V. Judson and Ellen Mackechnie Judson Graduate Student Award in the Creative Arts
Trace Leighton Johnson, DMA student, Music Performance 
Ruth Llana, Ph.D. candidate, Spanish with a Minor in Transdisciplinary Study of Visual Culture
Matthew Francis Ludak, MFA student, Art
Orion Lee Risk, Ph.D. student, Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies 

Joan Spero and C. Michael Spero Graduate Student Award
James Carl Lagman Osorio, MM student, Piano and MA student, Historical Musicology
Project title: “Pagbabagong-anyo” (Transformation): Rediscovering Nicanor Abelardo’s “Violin Sonata”

Graduate Student Creative Arts Award
Sahada Jewel Buckley, MM student, Violin Performance & Trace Leighton Johnson, DMA student, Music Performance
Project title: Eastern Shore Chamber Music Festival

Esther Jihye Cho, MFA student, Design Studies
Project title: “Silent Sufferings”

Ben Ferris, MM student, Music Performance
Project title: Roland Hanna Bass Concerto Project

Sophie Loubere, MFA student, Art
Project title: “Trespasses”

Praveen Maripelly, MFA student, Art
Project title: “Vasudaiva Kutumbham” (The World Is One Family)

Skyler Simpson, MFA student, Art
Project title: “Dream House”

Anamika Singh, MFA student, Art
Project title: “FIRE ON THE WATER”

Undergraduate Student Arts Research and Achievement

Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Arts Award

Maile Evelyn Llanos, Undergraduate, Art
Project title: Plants of Wisconsin 

Maia Therese Rauh, Undergraduate, Textiles and Fashion Design and Certificate in Studio Art
Project title: Exploring Structural Weavings Using Elastic Yarns

Katie Ryann, Undergraduate, Dance and Environmental Studies
Project title: The Renaissance Woman: THE BODY

Donors that support the awards include the Joyce J. and Gerald A. Bartell family, Suzanne and Roberto Freund, Bassett and Evjue Foundations, Edna Wiechers Arts in Wisconsin Fund, Emily Nissley and Joan Spero and C. Michael Spero.


Photo by Richard Hurd

Wisconsin Union Theater: Jazz Singer, Composer Cécile McLorin Salvant Will Showcase Rich Vocals and Stories During Feb. 7 Performance at Memorial Union

Jan. 31, 2023

Contact Information:
Shauna Breneman, Communications Director
Phone: (608) 262-8862




MADISON – Three-time GRAMMY Award-winning composer, jazz singer and musical storyteller Cécile McLorin Salvant will blend sounds that reimagine the jazz genre when she performs at Shannon Hall in Memorial Union on Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m. CST. Salvant’s concert is part of the Wisconsin Union Theater’s 2022-23 Jazz Series.

Patrons can purchase in-person or virtual tickets to Salvant’s performance through the event webpage, by phone at (608) 265-2787, or at the Memorial Union Box Office. Wisconsin Union lifetime and annual members, patrons under the age of 18, and University of Wisconsin–Madison students, staff and faculty can purchase tickets at a discounted rate.

Salvant discovered her passion for music at a young age, beginning piano lessons at 5 years old, joining a children’s choir at the age of 8, and enrolling in classical voice training as a teenager. Since her early music education, she has shifted her focus from classical music to jazz and has established herself as one of the most highly acclaimed jazz singers of her generation.

Stylistic experimentation, heartfelt storytelling and velvety vocals characterize Salvant’s unique sound. Salvant considers herself an “eclectic curator,” as she draws connections between genres and time periods usually considered distinct, including vaudeville, blues, jazz, baroque and folkloric music.

Salvant’s repertoire contains new takes on jazz standards along with many original compositions. During her Feb. 7 concert, Salvant will perform a 90-minute set featuring songs from her 2022 album “Ghost Song,” which explores themes of love, loss and life, as well as selections from her previous discography. The New York Times recently named “Ghost Song” the Best Jazz Album of 2022.

Over the course of her extensive career, Salvant has received an array of prestigious awards, including the MacArthur Fellowship, the Doris Duke Artist Award, and GRAMMY Awards for best jazz vocal album.

“I have major respect for Cécile with her unapologetic rejection of jazz standards without alienating the traditional jazz audience,” Wisconsin Union Theater Director Elizabeth Snodgrass said. “She is remarkably talented and creative. Sometimes, the industry shapes the artist, but Cécile is one of those artists who is shaping the industry. I’m so glad we could have her back to the Wisconsin Union Theater.”

Remaining Wisconsin Union Theater 2022-23 season events include Pilobolus’s “Big Five-Oh!” on Feb. 1; Imani Winds on Feb. 5; Samara Joy on Feb. 16; Immanuel Wilkins on March 25; Anthony McGill with the UW-Madison Symphony Orchestra on April 4; and the Danish String Quartet on April 18.

Click here for more information about the Feb. 7 performance by Salvant.


About the Wisconsin Union Theater

For more than 80 years, the Wisconsin Union Theater has served as a center for cultural activity in the heart of the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus. The Theater hosts performances in multiple locations, including Memorial Union, and has an extensive history of remarkable performances. The Wisconsin Union Theater is committed to social justice and works to create an equitable, diverse, and inclusive place for all who engage with the Theater’s programming, events, and activities. The Wisconsin Union Theater is part of the Wisconsin Union, a membership organization that blends study and leisure to create unique out-of-classroom opportunities. Learn more:

About the Wisconsin Union Directorate Performing Arts Committee

The Wisconsin Union Directorate Performing Arts Committee is part of the Wisconsin Union’s leadership development program for UW–Madison students and supports the Wisconsin Union Theater’s mission of serving students through the performing arts. By helping to program the Theater’s annual season of performing arts presentations, the students learn about program curation, relationship-building, marketing, communications, budgeting, and production. Learn more: