A World of Good
If you want to find a microcosm of all the advantages that a UW–Madison education can offer its graduates and those around them, you need look no further than this year’s group of Forward under 40 honorees. We selected these outstanding alumni, all under the age of 40, for their exceptional dedication to living out the Wisconsin Idea: the principle that the vast stores of knowledge generated by this campus should benefit the state, the country, and beyond.
This year’s group of young alumni have careers that span diverse fields ranging from astrophysics and education to business, law, and social work. Whether they are fighting childhood malnutrition or human trafficking on the global stage, or helping fellow Badgers and underrepresented students closer to home, their stories all share a common thread — the impulse to make society better and lend a helping hand.
I’m inspired in turn by their creativity, their perseverance in the face of daunting odds, their passion, their drive, and their compassion.
I’d also like to remember one of last year’s honorees, Sarah Coglianese ’00, whose courage in the face of ALS inspired many. Although we were saddened to hear that we lost Sarah in November, we were honored that she chose to serve on the Forward under 40 selection committee shortly before she passed away. She epitomized the desire to be of service that marks all of our Forward under 40 honorees.
If you’d like to nominate a UW grad for next year’s award, visit uwalumni.com/forwardunder40, where you can also learn more about this year’s impressive winners. Or, simply read on to see why I’m so excited by what these remarkable young alumni have accomplished and what they will do in the years ahead.
Chief Alumni Officer and Executive Director
Wisconsin Alumni Association
Kashoua Kristy Yang’s 2017 election to the Milwaukee County Circuit Court made historic headlines: she’s the nation’s first Hmong American judge elected without appointment and the first Hmong American female judge.Read More >
When it comes to the business behind Burt’s Bees, Matt Kopac makes sure the company prospers while keeping its promises to people and the planet.Read More >
Kristin Kohlmann’s research on child and maternal health could mean a big breakthrough for treating acute malnutrition — one of the world’s leading causes of child death.Read More >
Through art therapy and advocacy, Owen Karcher helps people find health in body, mind, and spirit.Read More >
From his New York City office, Tim Hotchandani has his finger on the pulse of the finances behind the global health care industry.Read More >
In the international movement to create college opportunity for all, LaVar Charleston is making waves of change. Colleges and universities at home and abroad look to him for his voice and award-winning scholarship exploring how more students can access higher education.Read More >
When humans launch the first crewed expedition to Mars, there’s a chance planetary scientist Ali Bramson has found them a friendly spot to land.Read More >
When others are forced to be silent, Bethany Biesenthal is proud to raise her voice. She uses her legal acumen to fight against forced labor and human trafficking, and she’s known for her thoughtful approach to justice.Read More >