2024 Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Support

Two dedicated UW–Madison staff members have been awarded the 2024 Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Support. The award is a collaboration between the Graduate School and the Office of Academic and Career Success.

Portrait of Ana Garic

Ana Garić
Graduate Program Manager
Neuroscience Training Program

Ana Garić is the Graduate Program Manager for the Neuroscience Training Program (NTP). In her over 24 years with UW–Madison, Ana’s many roles have included researcher and lab manager, Scholar Career Development Manager for the junior faculty and postdoc career development programs at ICTR, and for the past three years, manager of the NTP graduate program. Ana has been part of UW Science Alliance that brings science outreach education to the community, received the Baldwin Award for developing the SciPOP Ambassadors Program, and helped develop a program that supports scientific collaboration and research opportunities with a Hispanic-serving minority science academic institution in Puerto Rico. As Graduate Program Manager of NTP, Ana has worked diligently to foster a diverse and inclusive training environment. NTP cohorts have come to include more international, non-traditional, and under-represented students, and due to Ana’s contributions, morale within the program, academic performance as measured by grades and extramural funding, and collaborations between students and faculty have significantly increased.

“I find it hard to imagine anyone more deserving of the 2024 Graduate School Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Support than Ana Garić. Through the ups and downs of running a large, multidisciplinary graduate training program, she carries out her administrative functions effectively and efficiently… She has succeeded through skillful organization, communication, and thoughtful prioritization of activities that most benefit the students, their training, and future careers.”

-Nominator Ari Rosenberg, Associate Professor, Department of Neuroscience; Director, Neuroscience Training Program


Portrait of Sara Hladilek

Sara Hladilek
Senior Student Services Coordinator
Mechanical Engineering/NEEP/MD+I

Sara began working with the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics in 2016, later incorporating the interdisciplinary MS – Design + Innovation program into her portfolio. She loves supporting her faculty and departments in the mission of the programs. She is grateful for the opportunity to help students grow within their chosen field of expertise and achieve their goals. She enjoys program management and organization opportunities while learning more about student and faculty research and interests.

“Sara is driven by a desire to help improve the experience of graduate students from the application process through graduation. She truly cares about their well-being and shows it: in her interactions with the students as well as her education of faculty (research advisors; instructors) on graduate student issues. The graduate school experience of our students is better because of Sara.”

– Nominator Frank Pfefferkorn, Professor and Graduate Committee Chair, Department of Mechanical Engineering; Director, Manufacturing Systems Engineering Program