Donata Oertel Earns UW-Madison Hilldale Award
Donata Oertel is among four University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty members who will receive Hilldale Awards in recognition of their contributions to teaching, research and service.
The annual awards, given since 1987, are based on the university’s four divisions: biological sciences, physical sciences, social studies, and arts and humanities.
The awards are sponsored by the Hilldale Fund, which supports the advancement of scholarly activity at UW-Madison. The recipients will be honored at the Monday, April 7 meeting of the university’s Faculty Senate.
Oertel, professor of neuroscience at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, has been researching auditory systems for more than 30 years. She began her career at UW-Madison in 1981. Her early research was conducted in model organisms in which she addressed basic mechanisms of electrical signaling in the control of behavior and sensory processing.
Oertel’s work has helped lead to a deeper understanding of how the brain processes and interprets sounds, which has broad implications for treating hearing loss.
“The large body of fundamental work she has contributed to our understanding of auditory processing has established her as an international leader in this field,” writes nominator says Tom C.T. Yin, professor and interim chair of the Department of Neuroscience.
“The body of work Dr. Oertel has produced in 30 years of continuously funded research on the auditory system represents a major advance in our understanding of how the brain processes and interprets sound. Her pioneering contributions to research establish her as a world leader, and a neuroscientist who brings visibility and prestige to this campus.”
Oertel has taught 15 different academic courses during her tenure and delivered lectures in a wide range of subjects to a wide range of students.
“Her versatility as a teacher is truly remarkable,” Yin says. “Dr. Oertel is an inspiring and tireless teacher. She has been creating new courses with innovative new curricula, creating and delivering many lectures in a wide range of fields over a broad range of levels of student on our campus, and managing teams of faculty with varied fields of expertise from many different departments.”
Date Published: 04/02/2014