The Wisconsin Alumni Association is proud to celebrate the accomplishments of our award-winning alumni. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be taking a sabbatical from accepting nominations for future Forward under 40 awards. Please contact Andrea Berns with any questions.
But we’re also encouraged by you — our generous alumni. Several of our honorees were scholarship recipients, and they might not have attended UW–Madison were it not for the generous support of alumni who give to everything from the Great People Scholarship program to the American Indian Alumni Scholarship Fund and the Legal Education Opportunities program.
As you read about the ways these young alumni are bettering the world, I think you’ll be struck by the difference that tuition assistance can make, not only for students, but for all the lives they will impact after they graduate.
Jayeesh Bakshi has invented a radiation shield that protects patients and workers; Scott Colom pursues criminal justice reform; and Kiana Beaudin is making a difference for Native American health care. Erin Banco covers news from war zones to Washington; Kristian Johnsen advocates for transgender members of the military; and Mehrdad Arjmand and Aaron Olson are bringing efficient lighting to the poor in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
All of these honorees — and the alumni who supported them
— give me hope for the world. Please read on to learn more about this year’s dynamic young award winners.
Chief Alumni Officer and Executive Director
Wisconsin Alumni Association
Kristian Johnsen works to make a more inclusive military culture, where LGBT service members can find the acceptance and community they need for personal wellness, career success, and pride in their service.Read More >
As a changemaking district attorney in his home state of Mississippi, Scott Colom loves that he has the chance to use the law to achieve justice for all.Read More >
From cancer patients to nuclear power-plant workers, Jayeesh Bakshi works to protect people from radiation with a technology called ClearView Radiation Shielding.Read More >
Since Erin Banco took over the national-security beat at the Daily Beast, global unrest and political chaos have meant no shortage of news.Read More >
Meet 2020 Forward under 40 Award Recipients Mehrdad Arjmand MS’13, PHD’17 and Aaron Olson ’12, MS’14, PHD’18
As cofounders of NovoMoto, a UW–Madison business spinoff, entrepreneurs Mehrdad Arjmand(left) and Aaron Olson (right) are bringing clean energy to these rural villages, starting with customers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).Read More >
The Ho-Chunk Nation’s Department of Health has been declared a “shining star” among providers in the U.S. Indian Health Service, and executive director Kiana Beaudin is proud to serve her tribe as the department’s guiding light.Read More >