On February 5, 1849, the University of Wisconsin held its very first class. Today, as we prepare to celebrate Founders’ Day, the UW has grown into one of the leading research institutions in the world. What are some of the research initiatives happening on campus now? How is this research impacting our understanding of our lives, our society, and our world? What makes UW–Madison such an advantageous institution for research and teaching?

Join fellow UW alumni and friends online for a special edition livestream in honor of Founders’ Day. The event will begin with a welcome from Sarah Schutt, executive director and chief alumni officer of the Wisconsin Alumni Association, who will discuss why Founders’ Day matters and how it connects alumni everywhere. Afterward, enjoy faculty lightning talks and a Q & A with three UW faculty members who will discuss the groundbreaking research they’re working on right now. The talks will be moderated by Mike Knetter, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association.

Nam C. Kim, BA, MA, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology. He is an anthropological archaeologist with research interests in sociopolitical complexity, ancient cities, and the relationship between modern politics, cultural heritage, and the material record. He is especially interested in the origins and cultural contexts of warfare throughout humanity’s history, as manifested in various cultural, spatial, and temporal settings. Currently, he conducts ongoing archaeological fieldwork in Vietnam at the Co Loa settlement. A heavily fortified, ancient city located near modern-day Hanoi, Co Loa is connected to Vietnamese legendary accounts and is viewed by many as integral to the genesis of Vietnamese civilization.


Young Mie Kim, BA, MA, PhD, is a professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, as well as a faculty affiliate of the Department of Political Science. Her recent research project, Project DATA (Digital Ad Tracking and Analysis), investigates the behind-the-scenes operations of digital political campaigns using a user-based, real-time ad tracking tool that reverse engineers the algorithms of political campaigns. Kim’s research identified “suspicious groups” on Facebook ahead of the 2016 elections. Her article revealing these findings, “The Stealth Media? Groups and Targets behind Divisive Issue Campaigns on Facebook,” received the Kaid-Sanders Award for the best political communication article of the Year by the International Communication Association. Her work has appeared in more than 400 national and international media outlets, including the New York Times, WIRED, and outlets.


Kristyn Masters, BS, PhD, is a Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor, the H. I. Romnes Faculty Fellow, and vice chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Her research focuses on combining engineering tools with biological knowledge to create tissue-engineered models of disease, with a specific focus on cardiovascular dysfunction and cancer. Her work helps scientists to better understand how cells make “decisions” about their fate, decipher the sequence of disease pathogenesis, and identify potential targets for disease treatment. Masters has been the recipient of more than a dozen scholarly and teaching awards over the past 15 years.


A recording of this livestream will be available on uwalumni.com after the event.

Speakers and schedule are subject to change.

This event is hosted by the Wisconsin Alumni Association®.