lsc senior kevin king brings the wisconsin idea to badgers locally and around the world

Graduating LSC senior Kevin King will speak at the department’s scholarship reception on Monday, April 30, 2012, at Union South. A double major in Life Sciences Communication and Neurobiology, with a Certificate in Leadership, King has distinguished himself during his time on campus as a member of the UW MadHatters, the Wisconsin Alumni Student Board and educating primary school and university students in India about cancer.

King received a Hilldale Scholarship and through the Global Scholars Research Program traveled to India with a research mentor to perform cancer education and awareness to primary school and university students. “With my research, I was able to teach around 500 students about cancer and self examinations,” said King. “My dream job would be to host my own medical/public health talk show after finishing up medical school.”

His education in LSC has well-prepared him for his future career. “While in LSC, I’ve focused on how to effectively communicate science and health information to the general public.  I took Don Stanley’s social media class where I made a blog Mindless Science about bridging the gap between the public and neuroscience,” said King. “I was sort of like Bill Nye for the brain! This class helped me put complicated issues into a form that anyone can understand. For example, one of my blogs was about the neuropsychological benefits of Jersey Shore.” King’s blog was recently featured in an article in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health’s alumni magazine.

After graduation, King plans to join the Peace Corps, where he will continue to put his LSC training to good use. “With the Peace Corps, I will be  talking about public health, specifically HIV/AIDS. I have to present the information in a way that’s accessible to the people being directly affected by this knowledge,” said King. “After the Peace Corps, I plan to continue my public health practice with medical school where I will again be using my communication skills and passion for science to deliver health information.”

With the UW MadHatters, King also had the opportunity to sing for the President and First Lady at the White House last December. He shared the story and some photos of the experience:

“Singing for the President and First Lady at the White House with the UW MadHatters was truly an experience I’ll never forget. We knew that we were going to be going to the White House, but we weren’t allowed to say anything (for security reasons) until the day before we left.  From there, it all became sort of a whirlwind.  

We flew out the night before, but our plane got delayed so we didn’t actually get in to DC until around one in the morning.  And being the group of overly excited – slightly school girl-esque guys that we are – no one got to sleep before 4.  

The next day, we performed for Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin in her office and then got a tour of the Capitol. We headed over to the White House where we sang for friends and guests of the President for about 5 hours at one of his holiday parties. We knew that he was speaking in the room just up the stairs, but the staff wanted us to keep singing and entertain the guests downstairs. We were pretty bummed when we didn’t think that we were going to be able to see the President.  

Finally, after everyone was exhausted, the staff brought us into a special room and told us to take a seat until the President came in. Obviously we couldn’t contain our excitement. When he finally came through, he shook everyone’s hand and I was even able to give the First Lady a hug. To be honest, giving her a hug might have been the best part of the trip. It’s one thing to shake the President’s hand, but giving the First Lady a hug is on a whole new level! I mean, we’re practically on a first name basis now!  

Anyway, President Obama joked around with us for a bit about the Packer’s/Bears rivalry and then we were able to sing White Christmas for him and get some photos. We met up with the DC-Wisconsin alumni group that night and flew home early the next morning. We were hardly there for 24 hours, but we were truly honored to be invited for such an amazing experience and we wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support of the campus and community.”

King is one among many outstanding LSC students and will deliver the keynote address at the LSC scholarship reception on Monday. Congratulations on all of your accomplishments Kevin!