Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 59.88
Liaison Alex Frank
Submission Date April 14, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Wisconsin-Madison
EN-10: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Alex Frank
Sustainability Analyst
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability :
South Madison Partnership

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? :
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe?:
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership?:
Sustainability-related

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? :
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability:

The UW South Madison Partnership (UWSMP) is a UW–Madison initiative designed to meet the South Madison community’s needs and foster mutually beneficial relationships (https://communityrelations.wisc.edu/south-madison-partnership/overview). The facilities are funded, owned, and maintained by UW-Madison

Located in The Village on Park, the space recently underwent an expansion and encourages engagement between community members and UW–Madison in accessible and meaningful ways. The new space, completed in summer 2020, now has five private offices, eight classrooms, co-working spaces, three conference rooms, a kitchenette and an open gathering space to better support current and future growth as an important community resource.

The expansion project allows more community members, researchers and students to facilitate joint projects. Along with increased programming, there will also be new opportunities for partnerships with both campus and community organizations.

UWSMP partners with 22 community organizations and works with campus partners across eight schools and colleges, five divisions and two institutes, in addition to the Division of Extension. Programming at the UWSMP includes the UW Odyssey Project, which offers a free humanities course for adult students facing economic barriers to college, and the Neighborhood Law Clinic, which provides a range of legal and advocacy services to low-income community members. The space is also utilized for community-based learning courses and the Oh Happy Day Class which is a partnership with the faith based community advisory board and community members to develop a faith-based intervention for African American individuals dealing with depression.

While UWSMP closed during 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19 it reopened in early 2022.


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):
UniverCity Alliance

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (2nd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (2nd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus? (2nd partnership):
Sustainability-focused

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? (2nd partnership):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):

Most of the earth’s people already live in cities, and cities will continue to grow. Yet most cities struggle to be as safe, rich, healthy, inclusive, equitable, environmentally sustainable, and well-governed as they would like to be. Many factors influence the shortfall between city potential and performance, yet the failure results in part from a lack of knowledge about new solutions and a lack of bandwidth and/or capacity to implement them.

The UniverCity Alliance (https://univercity.wisc.edu/) at UW-Madison connects education, service and research activities across UW-Madison with cities, furthering the practice of sustainability.

UniverCity Year is a three-year partnership between UW-Madison and Wisconsin communities with administrative funding and support from UW-Madison and faculty and student time offered with no charge for work on specific projects. Communities, including underrepresented groups collaborate with students, staff, and faculty on the creation and selection of research projects.

In year one, the community partner identifies projects that would benefit from UW-Madison expertise. UniverCity Year staff match those projects to UW-Madison faculty, staff, and graduate students.
In year two, UW-Madison faculty, staff, and students conduct research through courses, independent projects, and internships. Local governments then receive big ideas and feasible recommendations that spark momentum towards a more sustainable, livable, and resilient future.
In year three, UniverCity Year staff support the community with resources and tools to move projects from idea to implementation.

The most recent work with Pepin County (https://univercity.wisc.edu/pepincounty/) includes projects across topic areas including:
- Economic Development
- Education
- Environmental Sustainability (e.g., "Feasibility study of composting yard waste”; “Water quality data, privacy, and communication strategies”; and “Conservation management plan for Fall Creek watershed”


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):
Badger Volunteers

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (3rd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (3rd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership? (3rd partnership):
Sustainability-focused

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? (3rd partnership):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):

Badger Volunteers (BV, https://morgridge.wisc.edu/students-get-connected/badger-volunteers/) is a semester-long program (11-week commitment) that pairs teams of students with community organizations to volunteer 1-4 hours each week at the same organization. The program is designed to foster meaningful and consistent connections between community partners and students over the course of an entire semester. While individual programs run for at least one semester the Badger Volunteer program is ongoing.

Badger Volunteers, which is funded and run out of UW-Madison, provides logistical support, transportation, training and educational workshops for student volunteers in the program.

Volunteer opportunities fall into three categories: education, sustainability, and public health. Badger Volunteers is open to any UW–Madison student (including graduate students) in any major and any interest. Many programs focus on serving underrepresented and vulnerable populations and these community partners lead how BV volunteers are utilized at their programs.

BV maintains on-going relationships with over 80 community organizations, given limitations due to COVID-19, BV volunteers worked at 23 partners in FY20, such as:
- Friends of Lake Wingra (whose mission is to promote a healthy Lake Wingra through an active watershed community)
- Goodman Community Center (serves people ages 3 to 103 with their children and youth programs, older adult activities and meals, food pantry, fitness center, event spaces and more)
- Odyssey Project (which provides a whole family approach to breaking the cycle of generational poverty through access to education, giving adult and youth learners a voice, and increasing confidence through reading, writing, and speaking)


A brief description of the institution’s other community partnerships to advance sustainability:
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Website URL where information about the institution’s community partnerships to advance sustainability is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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