Badger Buddies Peer Mentoring


Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, Badger Buddies has moved online to Zoom. The meetings will take place every first Wednesday of the month at 1 pm. Please contact Badger Buddies co-chair Matthew Warren ( or Taja Lozar ( if you have any questions. Thank you!

Badger Buddies Basics

Badger Buddies is intended to provide new postdocs, within 1 year of their appointment start date, with a small group shared interests postdocs led by an established postdoc. All the mentors are volunteers interested in enhancing the postdoc experience for others, and easing the transition to Madison. The UWPA is always interested in improving the Badger Buddies program and wants to hear your ideas and input. Attend one of our Executive Council meetings, email an Executive Council member, or tell the Office of Postdoctoral Studies your thoughts.

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Tips for Peer Mentees

  • Before joining a Badger Buddies meeting, ask yourself what you’d like to get out of this opportunity and formulate some questions ahead of time. Coming to a Badger Buddy meeting with key topics in mind can help ensure a productive, engaged meeting.
  • Focus on problem solving. Badger Buddies aims to bring people within the postdoc community together, and bringing focus to developing actions and identifying goals, ways to move forwards.
  • Remember that Badger Buddy mentors are peers and volunteers. Thank them for their help and time, be flexible, and be a positive member of the postdoc community. If you find that a mentor or group might not be the right fit, that’s ok! You are welcome to meet with any mentor in the program.
  • Share feedback. As a new endeavor of the UWPA, we will be updating and adjusting the program to best fit the needs of the UW-Madison postdoc community. We can’t do that without your help, and you should always feel free to share feedback with any member of the UWPA Executive Council, or the current head of the Badger Buddies program.
  • Keep contact information private. The Badger Buddies program and the UWPA will not share your information, or that of the mentors in the program. Similarly, we ask that you not share personal information regarding the mentors from this site. This is to keep the Badger Buddies program as an open, but safe, place for mentees and mentors.
  • Have fun and build connections. Above all, we hope this program provides new opportunities to meet other postdocs, and to help you make your transition a positive experience.

Tips for Postdoc Mentors

  • Facilitate an open and inclusive meeting. If you have multiple mentees at one or more of your meetings, make sure to facilitate an open, inclusive, and non-offensive dialogue within the group. We have kept the groups small so this task is easily accomplished; however, if you would like advice or help with your meeting, let us know and an experienced postdoc can likely sit down and answer questions you have about how to best facilitate a group.
  • Be prepared to lead – share a little about yourself, your field, and your interests outside of UW. Leading with a personalized introduction helps mentees feel comfortable and better formulate their questions. What issues did you face? Was there anything you learned later that you wish you knew from the start? Your specific story could help them open up, or think of new issues that they’d like advice on.
  • From the beginning, be clear about what you are willing and able to offer. For example, if you are interested in answering questions by email outside of formal meetings, share that. If you’d like to keep maintain interactions during formal Badger Buddy meeting times, share that too.
  • Give us feedback. We are very interested in your experience as a Badger Buddies mentor. If there issues with the website, setting up meetings, finding a meeting space, or anything else you feel is necessary to pass on, please let us know. This program is new, and open to changes that will enhance the experience for everyone.
  • You can learn from mentees, too! Ask mentees what they are looking for, what they care about, what they find helpful.
  • Refrain from offering tax or immigration advice to mentees. The Office of Postdoctoral Studies is able to answer relevant questions and direct tax or immigration related questions to the appropriate entity.
  • Mentoring sessions can be held online or in person depending on the pair’s preferences. Make sure to follow social distancing measures as directed by the University at all times. When meeting in-person, we recommend meeting in a public spot.
  • Make sure to email the Badger Buddies co-chair Matthew Warren ( or Taja Lozar ( if you no longer wish to participate in the Badger Postdoc Mentors program.

Badger Buddies History

The Badger Buddies Peer Mentoring program for postdocs was originally conceived in 2013 by Chris Konop, a postdoc at UW-Madison. The program was overhauled and relaunched in 2019 by the Badger Buddies Committee: Hector Burgos-Robles, Kaitlin Davis, Sanath Janaka, Daniel Z. Radecki, and the Office of Postdoctoral Studies with Imogen Hurley.

Badger Buddies Alumni

The UWPA would like to thank all postdocs who have volunteered to be mentors in the Badger Buddies program. Below are alumni of the Badger Buddies program who have devoted their time and effort to enhancing and supporting the postdoc community at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

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  • Hector Burgos-Robles, Ph.D.
  • Sanath Janaka, Ph.D.
  • Kaitlin Davis, Ph.D.
  • Daniel Z. Radecki, Ph.D.
  • Alireza Ousati Ashtiani, Ph.D.
  • Sebastian Bauer, Ph.D.
  • Taehee Kim, Ph.D.
  • Shane McMahon, Ph.D.
  • Jay Mishra, Ph.D.
  • Gina Galleo, Ph.D.
  • Ashley Kates, Ph.D.
  • Marco La Manna, Ph.D.
  • Teal Potter, Ph.D.


  • Hector Burgos-Robles, Ph.D.
  • Kaitlin Davis, Ph.D.
  • Daniel Z. Radecki, Ph.D.
  • Liza Chang, Ph.D.


  • Liza Chang, Ph.D., chair
  • Alyssa Adams, Ph.D.
  • Jess Kelliher, Ph.D.
  • Shalini Lal, Ph.D.
  • Daniel Z. Radecki, Ph.D.