The Wisconsin Agricultural and Life Sciences Alumni Association (WALSAA) has named LSC Emeritus Professor Tom Schomisch and Professor and Departmental Chair Larry Meiller as two of its 40 in 40 honorees in recognition of their significant service to the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and state of Wisconsin.
The 40 in 40 Impact Awards celebrate the 40th anniversary of the association. They honor individuals who have contributed to shaping CALS and the Farm and Industry Short Course, as well as farms, classrooms, research, and industry across the state. The honorees also are helping to chart the future of agricultural and life sciences in Wisconsin and contributing to building the next generation. Both Schomisch and Meiller were nominated by LSC alumna and WALSAA board of directors member Jenny Dierickx.
The award recipients will be honored at WALSAA’s fall Football Fire-Up event at the UW Foundation, 1848 University Avenue, September 15, 2012, at 3 p.m. prior to the Wisconsin versus Utah State football game.
Schomisch earned all three of his degrees from CALS, including master’s of science and Ph.D. degrees from the Department of Agricultural Journalism (now Life Sciences Communication). During his distinguished career he served not only as a Professor and Chair of the Department of Agricultural Journalism, but also worked with the UW Center for Cooperatives of the University of Wisconsin-Extension.
During his tenure in the department he advised the UW chapter of the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA), as well as the Badger chapter. He was named Outstanding Advisor by NAMA in 1997 and 2004. He also worked closely with generations of students in undergraduate advising and was named an Outstanding Student Advisor in 1996. Schomisch served on the boards of directors for the Association of Cooperative Educators, the Badger Chapter of NAMA, the Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity and Education Foundation, the UW Retirees Association and Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin, among other service.
Meiller also earned his degrees from CALS, with master’s of science and Ph.D. degrees from the Department of Agricultural Journalism. Meiller is currently Professor and Department Chair in LSC, as well as the Director of Undergraduate Advising and Career Placement for the department. During his tenure in the department he has advised approximately 350 masters and doctoral students. Meiller teaches courses in Information Radio designed to give students hands-on training in radio production, as well as vital public speaking skills. He also teaches a fall seminar to prepare undergraduate students for an exchange program with the University of the West Indies in Trinidad.
In addition, Meiller played a key role in launching UW-Madison’s student radio station, WSUM 91.7 FM and is the longest-serving faculty advisor for the station. He has also served dozens of university committees, focused on key campus issues ranging from minority recruitment to UW academic affairs and the UW Athletic Board. Meiller has received numerous awards from the College, including: CALS Outstanding Advisor Award, CALS Excellence in Teaching Award and the first ever Arthur Maurer Extra Mile Award, given each year to an instructor in the College who had gone the extra mile in educating and mentoring students. Nominations for this award are made by students themselves.
Not only has Meiller excelled in service to LSC and the College. He also hosts “Conversations with Larry Meiller,” a 90 minute call-in talk show on-air Monday to Friday on Wisconsin Public Radio. He has been recognized for his radio work with awards from the UW Foundation Tree Legacy Fund, the Wisconsin Dietetics Association and the Soil and Water Conservation Society.
Congratulations Professors Schomisch and Meiller! Thank you for your outstanding service to the department, CALS and state of Wisconsin.