Alumni Success Stories

Featured Alumni Profiles

Image of Catherine Reville, Class of 2015

“I wanted to understand how biotechnology companies make decisions.”

Catherine Reville, M.S.
Class of 2015
Director, Corporate Strategy

Image of Michael Matter, Class of 2016

“This program allowed me to shape my career’s future into what I wanted it to be.”

Michael Matter, M.S.
Class of 2016
Research & Development Supervisor,
Exact Sciences

Image of Tanesha Norris, Class of 2015

“The confidence that I built has fostered accelerated growth in my career.”

Tanesha Norris, M.S.
Class of 2015
Director/Project Leader
Roche (San Jose, CA)

Image if Matthew Brieger, M.S. Class of 2016

“I was interested in pursuing management opportunities.”

Matthew Brieger, M.S.
Class of 2016
Project Manager
First Wave BioPharma

Image of Darcia Schweitzer, M.S. Class of 2016

“I was a science teacher interested in a career change.”

Darcia Schweitzer, M.S.
Class of 2016
Supervisor, Creative Writing Services
Promega Corporation

Image of Kenyon Koeper, Class of 2019

“I sought a program that could anticipate what I would need to know to make me successful in the future.”

Kenyon Koeper, M.S.
Class of 2019
Associate Director,
Project Management
Sarepta Therapeutics

“I come from a scientific and technical background. Going into the master’s program, I really wanted to get the business perspective in terms of how marketing, sales, commercialization (impact) how a drug product taken from start to finish is able to get to the end user.”

Image of Keerthna Prakash, M.S.Keerthna Prakash, M.S.
Class of 2012
Senior Consultant – Life Sciences Division

Originally trained as an engineer, Keerthna’s first job after college was with Genentech. Inspired by the field of biotechnology, she recognized the need expand her professional skills and education to propel her career.

The program captured her interest since it not only focuses on scientific concepts, but the cross-functional attributes such as business and ethics. Shortly upon graduation, she was hired by Deloitte in their new Life Sciences division because of her unique, broad set of skills. She has excelled at her fast-paced job guiding client innovation for accounts across the globe.

In 2018, Keerthna returned to Madison as the keynote speaker for the Class of 2018 commencement ceremony where she inspired the new graduates by sharing how the program helped her succeed.

In May of 2021, six graduates from 2009 to 2021 discussed biotech career strategies and how the M.S. in Biotechnology Program helped each with their professional pursuits.

Whether you’re just beginning your career or have years of experience, you’ll find the alumni panelists offer valuable advice on how to develop your career for leadership positions within the biotechnology industry.

Featured Alumni Panelists
(2009 – 2021)

Image of Garima Singh, Class of 2021Garima Singh, MS (Class of 2021)
Associate Research Scientist, PPD

Before starting the MS in Biotechnology, Garima worked in Singapore at Biolidics Ltd (formerly Clearbridge Biomedics Pvt Ltd) as an associate scientist where she served as the project and technical lead for cellular and molecular assay development for identification and characterization of circulating tumor cells.

During her time at Biolidics Ltd, Garima saw her company go from a start up to a publicly listed corporation. She currently works at PPD as a research scientist and plans to use her degree to become a product development leader.

Image of Madison Porter, Class of 2019Madison Porter, MS (Class of 2019) Project Coordinator, Labcorp Drug Development (formerly Covance)

After completing his undergraduate degree in 2015, Madison began working at Covance as clinical study analyst. Madison was promoted to senior analyst while completing the degree.

After graduating in 2019, he shifted his role at Covance from study analyst to project coordinator, where he is able to use the organizational knowledge and cross-functional skills he gained with his master’s degree to facilitate cross-company project implementations.

Image of Alana Davis, Class of 2011Alana Davis, MS (Class of 2011) Head of Biologics Program Management, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies

Alana’s career path explifies how planning and hardwork, combined with skills and insights from her master’s degree, can lead to limitless success. Alana began the MS in Biotechnology as a toxicology study technician at Covance, and within a year of graduating she was promoted to global commercial operations client manager.

While she appreciated working for Covance, in 2013 Alana found a business development opportunity in North Carolina with FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies. Since relocating, she has performed a variety of cross-functional duties at Diosynth, including biomanufacturing program management, commercial sales planning, and client relations development. She currently holds a significant leadership role as Diosynth’s Head of Biologics Program Management.

Image of Karali Fedor, Class of 2020Karali Fedor, MS (Class of 2020) Associate Project Manager for Operations, Exact Sciences

Karali was working as a research analyst with Covance when began the degree in 2018. She discovered an interest in biomanufacturing through content in the program and students in her cohort working in manufacturing. Drawn to their mission to eradicate cancer, she took a position with Exact Sciences with their production team before completing her first year in the MS in Biotechnology.

In April 2021, Karali began a new role in the company as a project manager in operations, allowing her to expand the use of her knowledge of production to improve existing operations and implement new initiatives.

Image of Colleen Stowe, Class of 2015Colleen Stowe, MS (Class of 2015) Senior Group Leader, Cell & Gene Therapy, PPD

From medical laboratory diagnostics, to clinical laboratory supervision, to quality assurance management, Colleen has created career opportunities over the past decade through continuous professional education and preparedness.

Colleen credits the MS in Biotechnology program for providing her with comprehensive understanding of how regulatory policies and business factors impact how new clinical tests and devices are brought safely to market.

Image of Angeline Choudoir (Stodola), Class of 2009Angeline Choudoir, MS, PMP (Class of 2009) Senior Project Manager, Genus PLC

Before becoming an experienced project manager, Angie was an R&D scientist for a local biotech start up developing DNA-based diagnostics. With her MS in Biotechnology degree, she elevated to R&D manager overseeing a small team of researchers.

As her career as a scientist continued, Angie discovered interest beyond the bench in project management, beginning as a PM with a clinical research software company and later with a global agricultural biotech company. Angie enjoys leading interdepartmental and cross-functional teams to plan and execute projects central to an organization’s mission and critical to a company’s financial success.

Image of Chuck Dokken, M.S. Class of 2009“I knew I was capable of more.”

Chuck Dokken, M.S.
Class of 2009
Executive Customer Solutions Manager – Genomics and dPCR

Image of Sreedevi Kameswaran, M.S. Class of 2011“Biotechnology is the future—and I’m prepared for it.”

Sridevi Kameswaran, M.S.
Class of 2011
Walmart Pharmacy

Image of Kim Hartz, M.S. Class of 2010“I’m better at evolving with the biotech industry.”

Kim Hartz, M.S.
Class of 2010
Founder, CEO
Hartz Consulting

“I met some of my long-lasting, great friends through the program who are not only friends, but colleagues and an important part of my professional network.”

Image of Amy Hendricksen, M.S., Class of 2010Amy Hendricksen, M.S.
Class of 2010
Director of Marketing, Protein Quantitation
Bio-Rad Laboratories (San Francisco, CA)

Having worked as a technician, lab manager, and customer services representative, Amy entered the program was to further her career in the field of biotechnology.

During her time in the program, she was hired by Promega to lead the growth and development of one of their primary assay product lines. In 2014, Hendricksen relocated to San Francisco, California to work for Bio-Rad Laboratories. She continues to thrive in her professional pursuits and credits the program for igniting her career growth.

Image of Ryan Liermann, M.S. Class of 2005“I learned firsthand the ins and outs of biotech management.”

Ryan Liermann, M.S.
Class of 2005
Global R&D Portfolio Director

Image of Ahmed Osmon, M.S. Class of 2010“I needed a degree in line with today’s changing pharmaceutical industry.

Ahmed Osman, M.S.
Class of 2010
Executive Team Lead – Pharmacy
Target Corporation

Image of Scott Yoder, M.S. Class of 2005“I wanted to understand how a biotechnology company operates and makes decisions.

Scott Yoder, M.S.
Class of 2005
Director, Global Program Management
Novartis Gene Therapies

“I had worked in the pharmaceutical industry for a number year and it was an opportunity to take things to another level here at the University of Wisconsin. There is that ability to take science and commercialize it and really build, develop and grow a pretty amazing early phase company and hopefully turn it into something great down the line.”

Image of Jason Mlsna, M.S., Class of 2012Jason Mlsna, M.S.
Class of 2012
National Account Manager

Jason Mlsna (B.S., Agricultural Business Management, UW-Madison) joined the M.S. in Biotechnology Program in hopes to have the opportunity to directly apply his business and sales experience to an expanded role with a biotechnology company.

His longer term desire was to apply what he has learned from this program to worldwide development, application and commercialization of biotechnological agents and pharmaceuticals. Considering his advancement from Regional Account Manager to National Account Manager supervising a national sales force team, he’s achieved the goals he set out to accomplish. Jason continues to reside in Madison, Wisconsin.

Image of Tori Sampsell, M.S. Class of 2005“I feel confident in my abilities to translate innovation and discovery into quality of life.”

Tori Sampsell, M.S.
Class of 2005
Senior Manager, Customer Education

Image of Gabe Gross, J.D., M.S., Class of 2004“Where there are breakthroughs in science, there are legal concerns.”

Gabe Gross, M.S.
Class of 2004
Business Trial Attorney and Partner
Latham & Watkins

Image of Michael Bragin, M.S. Class of 2005“Business, science and finance. It all came together for me.”

Mike Bragin, M.S.
Class of 2005
Oncology Forecasting

Image of Jennifer Fronczak, M.S. Class of 2004“I didn’t want to spend years getting a narrowly focused Ph.D.

Jennifer Fronczak, M.S.
Class of 2004
Associate Director of Operations

Image of Linda Miller, M.S. Class of 2005“I wanted to realize my full career potential.”

Linda Miller, M.S.
Class of 2005
R&D Portfolio Manager

Image of Heather Gerard, M.S. Class of 2005“Having a science degree did not mean I was restricted to being a bench scientist.”

Heather Gerard, M.S.
Class of 2006
Senior Intellectual Property & Strategy Manager
Promega Corporation