Gavinski joins UW-Richland faculty


Last spring, UW-Richland students named her “Roadrunner of the Year,” in recognition of her support of campus activities, accessibility to students, and a positive attitude toward UW-Richland. She’s taught classes for five years at the University of Wisconsin-Richland. Now an announcement that Dr. Jennifer Gavinski has joined the University of Wisconsin-Richland faculty?

While Gavinski has taught classes at the Richland Center UW campus for the past five years, her service has been on a semester-to-semester basis. This past year, permission was granted to hire a full-time biology department faculty member, an extensive search was conducted, and Gavinski was chosen to fill the position, service she is to begin with the start of the fall 2013 semester.

“I’m thrilled to be part of the faculty and I look forward to building a strong biology program,” Gavinski said.

As an assistant professor, Gavinski takes on additional responsibilities that include service as an advisor to students, in particular to those pursuing allied health, biology and others majors, too. She will engage in community outreach activities and will have expanded opportunity to serve on campus and UW Colleges decision-making committees. “Enhancing student opportunities for undergraduate research is a major priority,” she said.

She will continue, too, providing excellent classroom and lab instruction for her students. “Recently, we’ve had students who transferred to UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee programs to pursue majors in nuclear medicine and physical therapy. They have done well because they were well-prepared as UW-Richland freshmen and sophomores,” she said.

At UW-Richland, Gavinski is scheduled to teach Anatomy and Physiology, Concepts of Biology, Microbiology, and Genetics courses, courses that are taken by students majoring in health sciences, allied health, nursing and biology, as well as others.

“Knowledge is important,” she said, “Confidence is the key. I incorporate a hands-on approach as students learn a scientific technique or skill—such as DNA isolation or accurate micro-pipetting.  That helps students gain confidence.”

Gavinski said that her interest in biology grew from her childhood family camping experiences and interactions with really great high school biology and chemistry teachers. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from St. Norbert College and went on to complete, in 2004, a Ph.D. in endocrinology and reproductive physiology from UW-Madison. Gavinski has given numerous invited presentations to scientific audiences and has published a number of full-length peer-reviewed research papers and scientific abstracts. She’s provided training for undergraduate through Ph.D. candidate students.

Prior to her UW-Richland service, Gavinski taught at UW-Madison, MATC, and Clarke College.

Away from the classroom, Gavinski enjoys spending time with her husband, Daniel, and their three-year-old daughter Vivian. Gardening, boating and water-skiing are among her favorite summer activities. Gavinski is from Wisconsin Dells, where her family operates The Original Wisconsin Ducks and dells Boat Tours. During her high school and undergraduate summers, driving, guiding and supervising duck tours were duties of her summer jobs.

For more information, contact Gavinski on campus by email at or phone UW-Richland at (608) 647-6186.



Dorothy Thompson
608.647.6186, ext. 231