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Jacki Whisenant

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Class of 2017

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B.F.A. (Art and Music Performance), University of Wisconsin – Madison


Jacki Whisenant is an illustrator and musician with a fondness for bats, beetles, and unsung ecological heroes that might otherwise be overlooked. An early fascination with bats sparked an interest in unusual animals and plants, and her family's love of books led to many trips to the library for volumes on the natural world. After graduating with a degree in the arts, from UW-Madison, she took several years of additional classes in the sciences to reignite the energy that comes with newfound knowledge (and came within a gnat's whisker of having a second undergrad degree in zoology before being accepted to the Science illustration program). Working at the UW-Madison Zoology Museum was a pivotal experience that sharpened her interest in natural history. She embraces the opportunity to explore new facets of study, particularly entomology and comparative anatomy. Illustrating notes while studying is a tremendous aid to memorization, linking visual information with terms and processes to facilitate learning. As an artist and educator, she is inspired to use skills gained in this course of study to further science education and enthusiasm.