By Michael R. Lovell, Chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
In among the 3,498 individuals eligible for graduation from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee this semester were two small but significant subgroups of students. Along with construction projects we have under way, those students represent significant building blocks for the future of our community. Drew Kartos and Lilliann Paine made up the first significant student subgroup. They were the first people to earn degrees from the Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, with both earning a Master of Public Health degree.
We continue to be extremely excited about this school and the ability of its faculty, staff and students to help health care professionals better understand and improve the health of area residents and the environment in which we all live. Location was of great importance to us when the school was constructed on North 10th Street alongside one of the former Pabst Brewery buildings. Among our building tenants is the City of Milwaukee Health Department and we’re just a few blocks from Aurora Sinai Medical Center – a major Milwaukee healthcare provider.
The second student subgroup was made up of 10 individuals earning their Master of Freshwater Sciences and Technology degrees from the School of Freshwater Sciences. The school is already attracting students from all over the world even though the central educational facilities for the school are extremely limited. Those limits, however, are just a short-term challenge as construction continues on the $53 million addition to the school’s main facility at the east end of Greenfield Avenue.
We received extremely good news about those facilities in June when Kikkoman Foods Inc. – the international soy sauce manufacturer with its largest production facility located in Walworth, Wis. – announced it would help create the Kikkoman “Healthy Waters” Environmental Health Laboratories. Those laboratories will be a key research facility at the Greenfield Avenue site.
Another UWM facility under construction also celebrated a milestone in June. The final beam was hoisted into place at the Innovation Accelerator, the first new building at the university’s Innovation Campus along Watertown Plank Road in Wauwatosa.
Many friends of the university gathered to watch the beam get raised into place and also check out the future construction site for ABB Inc., the first private development at Innovation Campus. UWM already has research projects ongoing with ABB, a global corporation specializing in power and automation technologies, and the new facility on our property will create even more opportunities for ABB; our faculty, staff and students; and the community at large.
From small groups of students to large construction projects, UWM is very much focusing on the future of Milwaukee and the surrounding communities. With our partners, we are putting together the building blocks for a solid future.