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The University of Wisconsin-Madison Announces New UW Connects Program


June 27, 2019

UW-Madison has launched a new program that brings the campus to communities around the state. The new UW Connects Programs, rooted in the Wisconsin Idea, offers three outreach programs under one umbrella – Badger Talks (, Bucky’s Classroom (, and Badger Ambassadors (

These programs, housed in State Relations, partner closely with Campus and Visitor Relations by utilizing their student staff, who are trained to give tours and work the information desks on campus. UW Connects has been developed with the aim of greater marketability and reach around the state of Wisconsin. These programs have grown consistently over the past three years simply by word-of-mouth.

The new UW Connects program houses Badger Talks, formerly UW Speakers Bureau, which presents 160 free talks by faculty, academic staff and graduate researchers per year around the state.

Speakers are available at no cost to businesses, organizations, schools, libraries, and other entities around the state. Speakers voluntarily dedicate their time to share information with citizens of the state, and UW Connects covers their travel costs. It’s the Wisconsin Idea in action, sparking ideas and conversations on topics important to the community. Talk topics range from cutting edge discoveries to happiness in the workplace, and everything in between. 

Another UW Connects program, Bucky’s Classroom, pairs UW-Madison student ambassadors with middle school classrooms around the state. Guided by a pre-college planning curriculum developed by the UW-Madison School of Education, middle school students begin exploring careers and build a better understanding of what college is all about.

“It has given our students a chance to learn about the University first hand from current college students. They have shared their college experience and taught our students about different career choices…most of my students have never had the chance to visit the Madison campus,” said Matthew Quick, a 2018-19 Bucky’s Classroom cooperating teacher from Sparta Middle School.

The program offers several classroom visits by the ambassadors, culminating with an all-expense paid trip to campus which includes a tour, lunch in one of the dining halls, and a hands-on activity at one of the many campus learning environments.

Badger Ambassadors is also housed under UW Connects. Businesses, organizations, and K-8 schools invite trained UW-Madison student ambassadors to their events to share their UW spirit. They focus on their unique Wisconsin experiences, and information about campus, as well as fun giveaways. Ambassadors promote the value of higher education.

For more information on these programs, or to request a service, please visit


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