Forward under 40

Paula Bonner MS'78, president and chief executive officer of the Wisconsin Alumni Association.

I’m delighted to introduce you to the 2014 Forward under 40 Award winners. The seven outstanding UW grads under the age of 40 who are profiled in this magazine are making an impact by living the Wisconsin Idea. When he first spoke of this idea in 1904, UW President Charles Van Hise used it to refer to the concept of how the university shared its knowledge beyond the boundaries of the campus to benefit its home state. Over the years, the Idea has expanded to include how the university benefits the entire nation and now the world.

This year’s honorees truly exemplify that evolution of the Wisconsin Idea because their impact stretches around the globe. From fighting AIDS in Rwanda to fostering an appreciation for art among youth groups around the world; from working with UNICEF to combat childhood blindness to maximizing agricultural yields in thirty-five countries, these alumni are using their UW education to change the world.

As usual, selecting this year’s winners was very difficult. I continue to be amazed at the innovative, hard-working, creative and idealistic alumni that our university produces on a yearly basis, and selecting outstanding examples from a pool such as this is no easy task. A special thanks goes out to our friends at the UW Foundation for supporting this awards program and making it possible to recognize excellence among our younger alumni.

On, Wisconsin!

Paula Bonner MS’78
WAA President and CEO

2014 Honorees


Peter Drobac ’96

Peter Drobac has played an important role in improving health care options for critically ill people in the world's most rural and impoverished communities, from Haiti to Peru and now Rwanda.

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Ayses Gurses PhD’05

As an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Ayse Gurses puts her PhD in industrial and systems engineering to use improving the safety and quality of health care.

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Jarius King ’09

For Jarius King, the Wisconsin Idea is twofold. Using his UW education and talents as a performing artist and leader, King travels the globe to foster youth appreciation for the arts.

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