Spring 2021 Wisconsin International Scholar Graduates Share Their Experiences, Goals for Future

The Wisconsin International Scholars (WISc) Program is an undergraduate honors enrichment program that students enroll in before they begin their freshman year at UW–Madison. The program supports students from all majors who wish to add an international dimension to their studies. International Scholars commit to a common core of course work, participate in internationally-minded meetings and events, and can take advantage of study abroad grants to take their WISc experience beyond the United States.

With the 2021 commencement this spring, many International Scholars have graduated and look forward to continue their commitment of being engaged and local citizens in their various, but connected goals for the future. WISc students shared their thoughts on both the WISc program and their future plans below:


Jacob Bartelt, Political Science and German

“This year, I was awarded the Berghahn Prize by the German department for my capstone paper, and I was also accepted into Phi Beta Kappa for outstanding academic achievement. My plan this fall is to work as a paralegal before possibly heading to law school in the next couple years. I am so grateful to the WISc community for all the support and fun memories over the past three years!”



Sam Buisman, Political Science and Journalism

“I studied Spanish in the hopes of studying abroad in Southern America and Spain. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic foiled these plans. Outside of the classroom, I served as the news director at 91.7 FM WSUM Student Radio and as a host of the political science department’s official podcast 1050 Bascom. After graduation, I plan to spend a gap year volunteering with the AmeriCorps before attending law school.”



Ananda Deacon, Political Science and Spanish

“I plan to continue my organizing efforts with Freedom, Inc working towards the liberation of Black & Brown queer people. I also plan to do community theatre and engage Black & Brown youth to creatively express themselves. After this gap year, I’ll attend law school with a focus on protecting civil rights and liberties.”




Lauryn Duncan, Psychology and Spanish

Lauryn Duncan, Psychology and Spanish

“I have to say WISc is amazing! Throughout my time at UW-Madison, I have received other scholarships and participated in other programs, including the Outstanding Undergraduate Research Scholarship, Elizabeth A. Garden Memorial Scholarship, and Mercille J. Lee Chancellor’s Scholarship. I am grateful for all my opportunities, but none of them have matched the varied interests and deep passions of my fellow WIScers. Although I am excited to begin the Mental Health Counseling MEd program at Columbia University next fall, I will also miss you all! Thank you for a great 4 years!”



Katya Garza, Neurobiology and Spanish

“Apart from being a proud WISc scholar, I was also a part of the Mercile J. Lee Scholarship program and have been lucky enough to receive many awards in the last four years such as the Somos Student Development award, the Marsha Gray Ehrlich Scholarship from the Spanish & Portuguese department, and LACIS and IRIS paper awards. I am moving to Boston this year! I will be pursuing a Master of Public Health and Biomedical Sciences at Tufts University School of Medicine. Additionally, I will also be applying to medical school next year! 

One of my favorite WISc memories will forever be the freshman seminars. It always felt like a safe place to discuss any current issues going on in the world or in our personal lives. It made me get close to my cohort and ultimately gave me life-long friendships. I honestly wish I could experience that again especially after a year like 2020 where so much was happening!”

Asha Jain, Biochemistry

“I am not sure what my post-grad plans are yet, but I applied for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and was selected as a Finalist-Alternate. I am hoping to work in healthcare in the future. My favorite WISc memories are of getting to know my cohort and meeting other WISc scholars at the annual retreats!




Molly Rouse, Political Science and Russian

“During my time at UW, I mainly studied Russian and Thai, but I also managed to sneak in two semesters of Khmer over the summer! With the help of the WISC program, I also had the opportunity to study abroad in Croatia the summer of my junior year which was truly an incredible experience. After graduation I am planning on taking a gap year (or two) before applying to grad school. “



Jinan Sous, Biochemistry

“After graduation, I will begin the medical school application process for matriculation in the fall of 2022. During my gap year, I plan to continue volunteering in the Madison and Beloit communities. I am also currently planning a Europe backpacking trip with one of my close friends for the spring and summer of 2022. My study abroad experiences at UW inspired this trip! My favorite WISc memory is the first day of our first-year seminar where we stayed outside Ingraham Hall and introduced ourselves to our cohort. It was the first time at UW that I felt like I had a community. I will forever be grateful for the WISc program and encourage all WIScers to take advantage of the opportunities offered to you!”



Mengizem Tizale, Biomedical Engineering

During my time at UW-Madison, I participated in the International Learning Community at Adams Residence Hall for two years, continuing my Spanish studies. I attended UW-Madison as a Gates, Posse, LEED, and WIScholar. My plans for the future include working in industry for some time, traveling, and continuing to be a lifelong learner. One of my favorite WISc memories is an ILC Dinner where Doro Wot was on the menu. Doro Wot is a spicy chicken stew associated with Ethiopian Easter. It is one of my favorite traditional Ethiopian dishes. 

WISc, thank you for the many meaningful interactions over the years and by best wishes to the WISc community.”


Jack Urban, Political Science and Economics

“I am thankful to this university, and this community, for helping me become a better student, citizen, and person. I have enjoyed exploring the world through languages, having studied Russian and Arabic at the university, and making friends from all over. Moreover, I have had the privilege to participate actively in social justice initiatives in this special city, and uplift my fellow citizen: something I have learned the importance of in my time here. I look forward to a career that will allow me to continue to uplift others here and abroad. Good luck to all my fellow WIScholars, I am sure you will continue to inspire me as always!”