Olikara Finding Badger Connections In China

Steven Olikara, a political science and environmental studies major from Brookfield, Wisconsin, has been traveling in China this summer, exploring Wisconsin connections and interests.

Olikara, UW–Madison’s incoming senior class president, wants to ramp up the university’s engagement of new alumni chapters abroad and facilitate a broader array of opportunities for students as they graduate.

“The most pressing global challenges of the 21st century, from energy security to climate change, will require cooperation between U.S. and China. I want to make sure University of Wisconsin students are at the forefront of leading solutions to these challenges. That’s why I think it’s so important that we understand how both societies operate and relate to each other,” he says.

“It is stunning how well represented Badgers are in key economic centers, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong,” he says.

Previously, Olikara worked with the International Internship Program on developing a new hybrid study abroad/service-learning program, “China: History and Modern Development of Environmental Health.”

The program includes a faculty-led historical and environmental study trip through China, followed by an interdisciplinary team of students and faculty embarking on a service-learning field project focused on sustainable development and global health issues in Sichuan Province.

He shared a few photos from his travels.


Steven Olikara meets with Matt Beyer (left), president of the Beijing Badgers Alumni Association, who has played an integral role for the UW in China on a variety of initiatives, including the Chinese Champions program.


In Hong Kong, Steven and the president of the US-China Environmental Fund worked to establish a new Hong Kong-based charity. Here, Steven is pictured in the central district with other founding members of the organization.


Steven joins the leaders of Tsinghua University's Student Union for a campus tour after meeting with university officials to build on their TelePresence meeting last December about service-learning collaborations.