Position title: First-Year Program Manager, College of Agricultural & Life Sciences (CALS), University of Wisconsin-Madison; Former Graduate Student
Liza was born and grew up in Madison, while also spending some time in California and Taiwan in her middle and high school years. She returned to Madison for college, earning her B.S. in Biology with a focus in Neurobiology and Ph.D. in Biological Psychology at UW-Madison. As a sophomore taking Bio 152, Liza got involved with Dr. Catherine Auger’s research lab doing immunohistochemistry to look at vasopressin in rat brains. She then worked in Dr. Tony Auger’s lab under the mentorship of Dr. Stacey Kigar, looking at sex differences in DNA methylation and juvenile social play. These experiences and the supportive mentorship of Drs. Auger and Dr. Kigar convinced Liza to pursue her PhD in the Auger lab after her graduation. Her PhD research focused on sex differences in the opioid system and juvenile social play.
During her graduate career, Liza found that her passion lay in teaching and mentoring and she became involved in the Wisconsin Institute for Science Education and Community Engagement (WISCIENCE). After she earned her PhD, Liza took on a postdoctoral fellow role at WISCIENCE and worked as the Research Mentor and Mentee Training Coordinator at WISCIENCE. She coordinated summer research programs, facilitated and taught research-related courses, and mentored undergraduate students pursuing leadership in STEM. She also conducted a small study with her colleagues to study research self-efficacy — one’s belief in their own ability to succeed in research. The study investigated the various factors that can influence research self-efficacy levels in undergraduate researchers and how they may change over time.
Liza started her position as the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) First-Year Program Manager in May 2021 and runs the CALS QuickStart Program and teaches first-year seminars. In her free time, Liza enjoys reading, indoor bouldering, playing board games with friends, knitting, playing the piano, and binging Netflix shows with her two cats, Halibutt & Tuna.