LSC remembers Thomas Schomisch, former faculty and chair

Members of the Department of Life Sciences Communication are honoring the life of former LSC faculty member and chair Thomas P. Schomisch, who passed away at the age of 70 on Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015. Tom had a long and distinguished history with UW-Madison and LSC, when the department was called Agricultural Journalism.

Thomas P. Schomisch (1944-2015) became a faculty member in 1983 and then served as chair from 1999 until he retired in 2004.

Tom earned a B.S. in dairy science in 1966 and an M.S. in agricultural journalism in 1967, both at UW-Madison. He went on to work as a leader in dairy cooperatives, as well as in extension and education programs.

In 1983, he completed a Ph.D. in mass communications at UW-Madison and joined the faculty of the Department of Agricultural Journalism, where he taught advertising, market research and marketing campaign courses. He was elected department chair by his colleagues in 1999 and stayed in that position until he retired in 2004.

“Tom was a fantastic colleague and friend,” said Professor Emeritus Larry Meiller, who worked with him. “He led our department through some difficult times, always with distinction and grace. He will be dearly missed.”

Additionally, Tom served as advisor for the UW-Madison National Agri-Marketing Association student chapter for 17 years. Under his direction, the UW-Madison NAMA chapter won Outstanding Chapter nine times and was a finalist six times in the marketing plan competition. In recognition for his outstanding work with NAMA, the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at UW-Madison gave him the Outstanding Student Advisor award in 1996. Tom also gained national NAMA recognition by being named Outstanding National NAMA Advisor in 1997 and 2003.

For more on the life of Thomas Schomisch, his family, and for funeral service information go to: That obituary also contributed information to this post.