Student Voice


June 12, 2024

UW-River Falls welcomes new WiSys regional associate

December 4, 2015

The University of Wisconsin-River Falls welcomes to its campus the first WiSys Regional Associate for western Wisconsin, Kristen Ruka. As a representative of WiSys, a private foundation dedicated to connecting inventors on the UW comprehensive campuses and two-year colleges with businesses and tech transfer resources, Ruka will facilitate outreach and development efforts across the region.

While based at UW-River Falls, Ruka will also serve the campuses of UW-Eau Claire, UW-Stout, and UW-Superior, as well as UW-Barron County, forming connections among WiSys Technology Foundation, campus inventors and administration, and the surrounding communities. Her main objective will be to connect faculty, staff, and students with the resources and support available to help protect, further develop, and commercialize their ideas. She will have offices on-site at each institution where she will meet with researchers on a regular basis, assess their research programs, and identify opportunities for WiSys support.

“We are excited to host Dr. Ruka at UW-River Falls and to have her work with our campus community to encourage innovation and technology transfer. Her unique background makes Kristen the ideal person to further connect WiSys with the UW campuses in the region,” said UW-River Falls Chancellor Dean Van Galen.

Ruka worked for years in scientific research, most recently examining how hormones influence the brain to control reproduction and how they can be used to treat certain infertility problems that have historically been medical mysteries. She decided to move from the lab bench to technology transfer in order to explore other researchers’ innovations and promote excitement about applied research and technology transfer.

“I think the part that appealed to me the most about moving into tech transfer from science was being exposed both to science within my area of expertise and also learning about new areas as well and being able to support other scientists who are interested in other research areas,” said Ruka.

Ruka’s new position will help support UW-River Falls continuing commitment to fostering a culture of innovation and excellence on campus and throughout the region.

For more about WiSys Technology Foundation, visit