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Meet a Badger – Introducing Rob Meister

We'd like to introduce you to Rob Meister, another featured Badger alum! He is currently serving as WAA: Saint Louis Chapter President.

Rob Meister

  1. What is your hometown? 
    I grew up in southwest Wisconsin near the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers, and lived on a farm near the small town of Patch Grove.
  1. Which years did you attend the UW?
    I attended the University from 1993-1997.
  1. What was your major and what degree did you obtain?
    I earned a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, and a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology. After attending the UW, I earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of California at Davis.
  1. Where do you live now?
    I live in St Peters, Missouri with my wife, Heidi. We have two children who have started their own life adventures outside of the St Louis metropolitan area. As a family, we also previously lived in Davis, California and Des Moines, Iowa. 
  1. Describe your current job and career path.
    I currently work at Bayer Crop Science in the Department of Global Row Crop Breeding. Although I started my career as a bench scientist in the department of Biotechnology, my passion for data standards and cybersecurity to enable data science has led me to a role as a team leader in Data Governance.
  1. What is your favorite Badger memory? 
    My freshman year at the University was during the 1993 football season where the Badgers returned to the Rose Bowl after a 31 year hiatus. The excitement of each game win, and the build of enthusiasm over the season, was hard to describe and was likely fully unappreciated by a freshman. During that season, I was in the Camp Randall Stadium stampede after the Michigan win, and on State Street after the Michigan State win in Japan. Looking back, I can trace the roots of many Saturday morning football traditions to those autumn days in Camp Randall.
  1. How would you describe your education from the UW?
    At the University, I was able to interact with world-class researchers in STEM fields. Many of my advanced classes were taught by instructors who either wrote the textbook, or were at the cutting edge of applied research. Although I may not have understood the value and potential from these opportunities at the time, I look back with fond memories.
  1. What is your involvement with WAA: St. Louis Chapter?
    I started attending game watches with my family, and was recruited to chair the scholarship committee and lead the annual Student Send-off event. Recently, I accepted the role of Chapter President. I really enjoy attending the annual events, such as Founders’ Day Celebration, and assisting with fundraising for the student scholarship fund.
  1. Do you have any hobbies?
    I enjoy cycling, and spend many hours on either my road, gravel, or mountain bikes. Last year, I crossed over a personal milestone of cycling more than 3500 miles during the year, and hope to achieve the same in the future. I spend a lot of time cycling in the Wildwood, Defiance, and St Charles areas, but have recently discovered the joy and adventure of cycling in St Louis City.
  1. What is a fun fact people may not know about you? 
    In Madison, I lived near the current site of the Kohl Center, and during my senior year I watched the construction start.
  1. What would you tell prospective students who are considering the UW?
    The University will be a new adventure for you, and many amazing opportunities await you there. My top recommendation is to ‘get involved’ – be active in your classes, be active in organizations, and be active in the Madison community. All of these opportunities will enrich your time in Madison, and will set you on path to success in your future career.
  1. Were you involved in any clubs, sports, or organizations? 
    I was involved in undergraduate research at the University. I worked in the lab of Dr. Michael Sussman in the Biochemistry Department in the Horticulture Building. Under the tutelage of several postdoctoral and doctoral students, I was able to develop an independent research project on heavy metal tolerance in plants, which was recognized with an outstanding undergraduate research award my senior year. My experiences and personal networks from my undergraduate project helped me drive a successful graduate research project on seed development in plants.

Join us for Recent-Grad Weekend on campus June 7–8 for two days packed with all-inclusive summertime fun. Register now before it sells out!