Study abroad scholarships provide boost for UW–Madison students

Nearly 90 University of Wisconsin–Madison students preparing to embark on a variety of study abroad programs recently received scholarships totaling more than $125,000 to help pay their way. These students were honored November 29, at the Fall 2012 Study Abroad Scholarship Award Ceremony, hosted by the Division of International Studies and International Academic Programs (IAP).

“A study abroad experience should be one of the highlights of any undergraduate’s experience at UW, and an integral part of that student’s academic development,” says Dan Gold, IAP director.

“Though financial and other perceived barriers to study abroad are not as insurmountable as many students might assume, need- and merit-based scholarships are still essential to opening up this invaluable educational opportunity to more UW–Madison students,” Gold says.

Many of the study abroad scholarships available are made possible by generous gifts from UW–Madison alumni and friends. Individual awards range from $500 to $5,000. Awards are made based on a combination of factors, including financial need, academic achievement, and the nature of the academic program.

“IAP and the Division of International Studies are dedicated to ensuring the availability of scholarship funds, which allow many students, who otherwise would not participate, this truly transformative experience,” Gold says.

Two students who recently studied abroad talked about the impact of their experiences.

“In nearly all of my college courses, particularly as a French and Arabic major, an underlying theme has been globalization, says Kate Thornborough, who studied in Aix-en-Provence, France, during the spring 2012 semester.

“I went from reading about the effects of globalization on societies and governments to experiencing it firsthand. I myself became globalized—from learning flamenco from a few Spaniards, to cooking pastries with an Algerian family. I can only hope that I can return soon and learn more,” Thornborough says.

“I think the most important thing that I learned from studying abroad was to always open yourself up and constantly work on expanding your comfort level,” says Aaron Zein, who studied for the 2011-12 academic year at the University of Westminster in London.

“There are so many opportunities available to you when you’re abroad, and the best thing you can do is to seize every one. By constantly experimenting and placing myself in unfamiliar situations, I was able to build my knowledge and perspective through entirely new experiences. I’d definitely say that I now jump at any new opportunity that comes my way and try to take as much as I can from it.”

Here are the scholarship descriptions and recipients recognized at the fall 2012 ceremony:

Norman J. and Heewon B. Cerk established the Cerk Family Fund for Study Abroad to assist undergraduate students in funding their study abroad experiences. Norman (B.A. ‘94 in political science) regards his study abroad experience as a UW–Madison student as a factor in his success. Recipient: Chloe Karaskiewicz, of Whitefish Bay, WI, studying in France.

The Chou Kuo-ping Awards honors the UW–Madison faculty member who taught Chinese language courses on campus in the mid-1960s and organized opportunities for her students to study abroad in Taiwan. This scholarship in Chou’s honor was created by one of those students – Tom Sternberg, now an insurance executive in White Plains, NY – for students who study in Chinese-speaking countries. Recipient: John Matthews IV, of Anchorage, AK, studying in Taiwan.

UW-Madison alumnus Erick Laine established a scholarship to facilitate student exchange between UW-Madison and Aalto University in Finland. The scholarship is awarded to engineering students studying in Finland who are interested in Finnish culture and committed to issues of environmental engineering or sustainability. Recipient: Erik Friede of River Falls, WI.

The Nave Scholarship was established in 1975 with a bequest from the estate of Cyril W. Nave, a 1918 UW business graduate who had many dealings in Latin America. Nave Scholarships are given to students studying in Latin America who have at least a 3.0 GPA and demonstrated financial need. IAP offers 21 programs in Latin America. Recipients: Sarah Blechl, of Madison, WI, studying in Venezuela; Hnub Vang, of Madison, WI, studying in El Salvador.

The children of Morton and Lena Wax established the Wax Scholarship as a tribute to their parents, and to express appreciation for the excellent education family members have received at UW–Madison. Recipient: Zachary Derenne, of Two Rivers, WI, studying in England.

The Gerend Study Abroad Fund was made possible by a 2005 gift from Julie Gerend – an Evans Scholar who went to Florence, Italy her junior year—and Michael Gerend—who completed an MBA at UW–Madison. Both alumni are successful business professionals who encourage all UW–Madison students to pursue international experiences. Recipient: Steven Wheeler, of Sheboygan, WI, studying in Spain.

UW–Madison alumni and friends support the Study Abroad Alumni Scholarship through generous contributions, which provide direct assistance toward increasing the number and diversity of students studying overseas. Recipients: Caitlin Flynn, of Hayward, WI, studying in Ireland; Claire Riebe, of Madison, WI, studying in France; Chelsea Siwik, of Oshkosh, WI, studying in Spain.

The International Internship Fund was established to help students who participate in internships affiliated with UW-Madison’s International Internship Program defray costs. Work-abroad opportunities reinforce students’ academic experiences and advance their professional training, as well as foster global competence and international literacy. Recipients: Van Le, of Chicago IL, studying in Uganda; Brendan Ryan, of Menomonie, WI, studying in Germany.

The Great People – International Studies Scholarship fund aims to make study abroad for undergraduates accessible and affordable, just as the UW Foundation’s Great People Scholarship helps to ensure that no student accepted to the university on outstanding merits will be turned away for financial reasons.

Recipients: Ilana Baumwald, of Minnetonka, MN, studying in Israel; Rogelio Becerra Ramirez, of Madison, WI, studying in France; Andrea Belmonte, of Necedah, WI , studying in South Africa; Lindsay Dupre, of Edgerton, WI, studying in England; Jesus Garcia, of Madison, WI, studying in Australia; Molly Leimontas, of Madison, WI, studying in Uganda; Kim L’Herault, of Verona, WI, studying in England; Hannah Muehlbauer, of Madison, WI, studying in Ireland; Alyssa O’connor, of Madison, WI, studying in Czech Republic; Grace O’Meara, of Madison, WI, studying in Italy; Emily Paulson, of Manitowoc, WI, studying in Wales; Jessica Reiersgord, of Edina, MN, studying in South Africa; Alexander Savage, of Spring Green, WI, studying in Italy; Steven Strauss, of Eagle River, WI, studying in Uganda; Caroline Vandewater, of Plain, WI, studying in England; Suelyn Vang, of Madison, WI, studying in England; Danielle Vargas, of Winfield, IL, studying in France; Tiffany Vazquez, of Willow Springs, IL, studying in Spain.

International Academic Programs (IAP) established the IAP Merit-Based Scholarship to recognize students with high academic achievement (recipients must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA).

Recipients: Riley Beggin, of Hopkins, MN, studying in France; Alexa Adducci, of La Grange, IL, studying in Australia; Matalin Binder, of Eau Claire, WI, studying in Ireland; Natalie Bowman, of Normal, IL, studying in Argentina; Jane Chapman, Clarendon Hills, IL, studying in Ireland; Barrett Clausen, of Minneapolis, MN, studying in Chile; Nora Conneely, of Minneapolis, MN, studying in Italy; Lauren Danen, of Sheboygan, WI, studying in El Salvador; Nicole Delaney, of Buffalo Grove, IL, studying in Peru; Jennifer Dineen, of Oakfield, WI , studying in Costa Rica; Melissa Ertl, of Park Falls, WI, studying in Costa Rica; Lisa Fillingame, of Madison, WI, studying in Argentina & Ecuador; Katrina Fingerson, of Middleton, WI, studying in Singapore & Malaysia; Bradley Gietman, of Fond du Lac, WI, studying in Spain; Katherine Haugh, of Pine Brook, NJ, studying in Jordan; Danielle Hermus, of Green Bay, WI, studying in Germany; Devin Hess, of Mounds View, MN, studying in Russia; Steven Horn, of Madison, WI, studying in Ireland; Alyssa Jarocki, of Burlington, WI, studying in El Salvador; Jacqueline Jones, of Rochester, MN, studying in Italy; Christopher Kozak, of Stevens Point, WI, studying in Jordan; Cara Ladd, of Delafield, WI, studying in Ecuador; Brian Laqua, of Savage, MN, studying in Costa Rica; Mekea Larson, of Saint Paul, MN, studying in France; Michael Lemire, of Madison, WI, studying in Australia; Mackenzie Luce, of West Bend, WI, studying in England; Sofia Majstorovic, of Eau Claire, WI, studying in Italy; Daniel Mann, of Golden Valley, MN, studying in Australia; John Matthews IV, of Anchorage, AK, studying in Taiwan; Margaret Mehr, of Wayzata, MN, studying in Spain; Rachel Murphy, of Madison, WI, studying in England; Evan Nelson, of Madison, WI, studying in Germany; Priya Pathak, of Marshfield, WI, studying in India; Jennifer Pavelec, of Mequon, WI, studying in France; Alexandra Port, of Wauwatosa, WI, studying in France; Christine Prill, of Bayside, WI, studying in Spain; Margaret Riederer, of Amherst, WI, studying in Ireland; Stacy Ruffalo, of Downers Grove, IL, studying in Australia; Alexander Schaefer, of Eau Claire, WI, studying in Argentina; Dana Scheller, of Winnetka, IL, studying in Australia; Brennan Schmidt, of Waterloo, WI, studying in Costa Rica; Clare Sexton-Stern, of Minneapolis, MN, studying in South Africa; Emily Skarda, of Minneapolis, MN, studying in England; Julia Sprangers, of Oshkosh, WI, studying in Spain; Anna Stamborski, of New Berlin, WI, studying in Venezuela; Ashley Street, of Milwaukee, WI, studying in Ireland; Kelly Stretz, of Mequon, WI, studying in Italy; Forrest Theisen, of Madison, WI, studying in Ecuador; Meghan Turzinski, of De Pere, WI, studying in South Africa; Mikaela Weisse, of Madison WI, studying in Taiwan; Steven Wheeler, of Sheboygan, WI, studying in Spain; Benjamin Woolley, of La Crosse, WI, studying in England.

Inger and Jens Brunn of the ScanDesign Foundation, Seattle, established the ScanDesign Study Abroad Fellowship in 2010 to foster Danish-American relations by providing generous financial support to undergraduate and graduate students who have been accepted to study in Denmark for either a semester or a full academic year through any of UW–Madison’s Danish study abroad programs.

Recipients: Michael Bauer of Brookfield, WI; Jenna Bell of South Elgin, IL; Alice Clark of Madison, WI; Emily Jorgenson, of Milwaukee, WI; Valerie Koschinick of Newton, WI; Elizabeth Murray of Corona Del Mar, CA ; Eric Puls of Wayzata, MN; Hannah Somers of Pittsburgh, PA; Lauren Wojcik of Pulaski, WI; Jacob Wolf of Sheboygan Falls, WI.

These scholarship recipients represent a broad cross-section of majors at UW–Madison. The majors represented by the group include: African Studies, Art, Art History, Asian American Studies, Biochemistry, Biology, Business, Celtic Studies, Chicano/a Studies, Communication Arts, Communication Disorders, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Economics, Elementary Education, Engineering, English, Environmental Studies, European Studies, French, Geography, Geological Engineering, Geology & Geophysics, German, Global Health, History, History of Science, Integrated Liberal Studies, International Studies, Italian, Journalism, Kinesiology, Legal Studies, Management and Human Relations, Marketing, Material Science, Music Education, Nutritional Science, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Rehabilitation Psychology, Russian, Scandinavian Studies, Social Welfare, Social Work, Sociology, Spanish, Theater and Drama, Women’s studies, Zoology.

by Kerry G. Hill