Bon voyage: UW students going abroad in 2014 get advice, awards

Watch for the possibilities.

Joe Elder offers that piece of advice to students preparing to embark soon on a variety of international programs, experiences that will take them far from the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus.

Joe Elder
Joe Elder

The students, along with parents, family and friends, and university staff, packed the Pyle Center’s Alumni Lounge on April 17 for the Division of International Studies Spring 2014 Scholarship Award Ceremony, co-sponsored by the Division’s International Academic Programs and International Internship Program.

Elder, a professor of sociology, languages and cultures of Asia, and integrated liberal studies, was instrumental in shaping and maintaining of the longest-running study abroad programs at UW–Madison.

In his keynote remarks that kicked off the ceremony, he highlighted the transformative experiences of three of the more than 1,500 UW students who had participated in the study abroad programs to India and Nepal.

“You’ll be scared,” he tells the students, “but you’re gutsy.”

Elder’s remarks set the stage for the announcements of scholarship awards to help students pay their way. Nearly 200 students received $555,525, which includes funds from International Studies and IAP, from other units at UW–Madison, and from private foundations.

IAP Director Dan Gold, who served as emcee for the event, notes that the turnout was the largest at an awards ceremony since he arrived at UW–Madison two years ago.

Dan Gold
Dan Gold

“With the addition of the Study Abroad Scholars and Global Gateway Scholarships, we are able to give more funding to more students, including increasing the diversity of study abroad participants by targeting underrepresented student groups,” Gold said. “It is wonderful to see so many students able to add this important experience to their undergraduate careers. Tt was a delight to honor them as they embark on their journeys.”

Gold praised the generosity of donors – “those who understand the importance of a global educational experience towards the academic, personal, and professional development of our students.”

He adds, “I was particularly moved by the scholarship offered by Maimoua Xiong. For a current student to offer this award to other students who wouldn’t be able to embark on this experience without such scholarships is truly an insightful act of generosity I’ve not seen in my over 20 years of working with education abroad.”

Maimoua Xiong flanked by two recipients of her scholarship, Linda Thao (left) and Malory Sanvidge (right)
Maimoua Xiong with two recipients of her MMX award, Linda Thao (left) and Malory Sanvidge (right)

Speaking at the ceremony, Xiong cites her semester in Singapore as inspiration for creating this award:

“The impact studying abroad had on me was phenomenal; it had such a positive impact on my overall personal, academic, and professional growth. Following my study abroad experience, I wanted to give back to the student community …”

To the recipients of her award, she says, “I hope that with the help of this scholarship, your study abroad experience will have a positive impact on you and challenge you to see the world through a different lens.”

Two others students who recently studied abroad also spoke about their experiences. They also offered bits of advice for their peers headed overseas.

Andrea Bonaparte
Andrea Bonaparte
Carly Burson
Carly Burson

“My advice that I would want to give to students who have yet to go abroad is: To do it – despite whatever reservations that you might have,” says Andrea Bonaparte, who went to Venezuela last summer.

“This experience will be one that lasts a life time,” adds Bonaparte, who is majoring in social work and Spanish, along with a certificate in gender and women studies.

“My advice for students going abroad is to expect the unexpected,” says Carly Burson, who studied in Kenya last fall. “Embrace every moment, and remember that the difference between an ordeal and an adventure is your attitude.”

Burson is a junior, majoring in community and nonprofit leadership, with certificates in global health and African studies.

Here are the scholarship descriptions and recipients recognized at the spring 2014 ceremony:

The Joe Elder Awards – supported by gifts from alumni, colleagues and friends to honor Professor Elder, who has served as academic director of the UW–Madison College Year in India program since 1961 – is awarded to outstanding students participating in one of the UW–Madison academic programs abroad.

  • Recipients, all studying abroad during the 2014-15 academic year: Owen Diny, Greenleaf WI, to Jordan; Nichaela Moe, Madison WI, to Chile; Gaochsia, Xiong, Eau Claire WI, to Japan

The Cerk Family Fund for Study Abroad, established by Norman J. and Heewon B. Cerk, to support undergraduate 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.

  • Recipients, going abroad this fall: George Bruch, Brookfield WI, to England; Ramona Dockerty, Milwaukee WI, to Belgium

The Chou Kuo-ping Award honors the UW–Madison faculty member who taught Chinese language here in the mid-1960s and organized opportunities for students to study in Taiwan. This scholarship was created by a former student – Tom Sternberg, of White Plains, NY – to support study in Chinese-speaking countries.

  • Recipients, all going to China this summer (except where noted): Jonathan Formella, Stevens Point WI; Soobin Im, Seoul, South Korea; Victoria Johnson, Hawthorn Woods IL; Veronica Plum, Oconomowoc WI; Patrick Sammon, Chicago IL; Seth Valenziano, Madison WI; Weiyang Weng, Walnut CA; Ashley Xiong, Madison WI; Benjamin Gluck, Madison WI, to Hong Kong, fall semester; Rose King, Towson MD, to China, 2014-15 academic year

The School of Education Lois E. Hack Study Abroad Scholarship – supported by alumni – is awarded to undergraduates in the School of Education, with priority for first-time study abroad students and those participating in programs in Africa, Asia, or Latin America.

  • Recipients: Anna Irmiter, Minneapolis MN, to Ghana, summer; Brianne Kashak, Madison WI, to Ghana, summer; Kayla Sperbeck, Madison WI, student teaching in Uganda, fall semester; Sarah Tran, Milwaukee WI, to China, summer

The Nave Scholarship – 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 – is given to students studying in Latin America who have at least a 3.0 GPA and need.

  • Recipient: Dawson Nonn, Luxemburg WI, to Costa Rica, summer

The Elizabeth Garden Memorial Scholarship – established by Lori Chozen to honor her friend Elizabeth Ann Garden – provides need-based scholarships for students to study abroad in Spain.

  • Recipient: Jenna Carlson, Marinette WI, 2014-15 academic year

The Making Meaningful Experiences (MMX) Scholarship was created by Maimoua Xiong, UW–Madison senior who was inspired by her experience studying in Singapore.

  • Recipients: Malory Sanvidge, Oshkosh WI, to New Zealand, summer; Linda Thao, Milwaukee WI, to England, fall semester

The Laurent Karim Makward Memorial Scholarship – honors the son of Christiane Makward, professor of French, Pennsylvania State University, and UW–Madison Professor Emeritus Edris Makward of African Languages and Literature and French.  Laurent, a student on UW–Madison program in Aix-en-Provence in 1981-1982, died in 1983 in France.  This memorial scholarship is awarded to outstanding students participating in one of UW–Madison’s academic programs abroad.

  • Recipients, going abroad for the 2014-15 academic year: Devin Hess, Mounds View MN, to Russia; Ashley Kosloski, Fort Atkinson WI, to Netherlands

The George B. and Lisa N. McReddie International Studies Scholarship was created to provide support for students studying in Latin America. George McReddie did his undergraduate work in political science and Latin American studies at UW–Madison, and went on to earn his MBA in international finance at Thunderbird School of Global Management.

  • Recipients, all going summer to Argentina, are: Jaclyn Gellings, Franksville WI; Lena Law, Marshfield WI; Cassidy Muir, Arlington Heights IL; Katherine Wargin, New Berlin WI

The Dorothy E. Paull Scholarship Fund – established in 1984 – is awarded to students with a particular interest in public service to contribute to the greater good of the communities where they study and live while abroad.

  • Recipients: Katelyn Erickson, Big Lake MN, to Malawi, summer 2014; Patricia Fahey, Madison WI, to Thailand, fall semester; Ailsa Harju, Shorewood WI, to South Africa, fall semester; Cynthia Manzo, Chicago IL, to Brazil, fall semester; Rachel Stoebe, Kenosha WI, to Spain, 2014-15 year

The Morton and Lena Wax Scholarship – established by their children as a tribute to their parents – is awarded as an expression of appreciation for the excellent education family members have received at UW–Madison.

  • Recipient: Emily Skovran, Lakeville MN, to Switzerland, fall semester

The First-Year Interest Group (FIG) Study Abroad Scholarship – established in 2013 – provide support for students enrolled in FIGs to study abroad, and are made possible by the Schoenleber Foundation and UW–Madison Office of Diversity and Climate.

  • Recipients going this summer to Cambodia (UW Buddhism and Service Learning): Page Bazan, Madison WI; Sara Duesterhoeft, Madison WI; Morgan Haefner, Madison WI; Hannah Millan, Goodman WI; Rebecca Wanta, Mukwonago WI; Sierra Widule, Appleton WI

The John Cabot University Diversity Scholarships are awarded extended to UW–Madison students to attend John Cabot University in Rome, in order to promote diversity in study abroad populations.

  • Recipients: Elliott Loomishoward, Rockville MD, fall semester; Maya Reinholdz, Minnetrista MN, 2014-15 academic year; Tisha Roth, River Falls WI, fall semester; Stephany Vargas, Kenosha WI, fall semester; Vanessa Vosen, Saint Cloud MN,, fall semester

The Pritzker-Pucker Scholarship Awards were made possible by a gift from Gigi Pritzker Pucker, an alumna of UW–Madison’s Nepal study abroad program and a long-time contributor to the study abroad scholarship fund.

  • Recipients, all studying abroad during the 2014-15 year: Carlos Gacharna, Madison WI, to Brazil; Abigail Gadbois, Madison WI, to Hong Kong; Alexander Gibson, Oshkosh WI, to China; Elizabeth Marik, Fond du Lac WI, to Jordan; Kathryn Yeazel, Shorewood WI, to Japan; Azeem Zaman, Verona WI, to Russia

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

  • Recipients studying abroad during the summer 2014: Ellison Armantrout, Seattle WA; Aila Bretl, Port Washington WI; Veronica Christopher, Indian Head Park IL; Edward Hartman, Stevens Point WI; Alex Kohlhaas, Madison WI; Kara Murphy, Madison WI; Sawyer Peterson, McFarland WI
  • Recipients studying abroad during the fall semester: Alexandra Clark, Bloomington MN; James Jahn, Madison WI; Nicholas Monfeli, Racine WI; Alison Rath, Madison WI; Danielle Voellinger, Wausau WI; Michael Wleklinski, Howards Grove WI
  • Recipients studying abroad during the 2014-15 academic year: Alexis Blakey, Marshfield WI; Samantha Brown, Saint Paul MN

The UW Global Gateway Scholarships cover program fees and transportation for UW–Madison first- and second-year students participating in the Global Gateway Program – a month-long, faculty-led program in various locations and themes around the world, intended to introduce students to issues of globalization. The Global Gateway Program for summer 2014 will send 15 students to Shanghai with history professor Joe Dennis.

  • Recipients: Evan Beyer, Saint Paul MN; Mackenzie Carroll, Geneva IL; Emma Fero, Whitewater WI; Dorian Gonzalez, Los Angeles CA; Joann Huynh, Chicago IL; Ashley Krause, Lake Geneva WI; Jennifer Ostrowski, Superior WI; Ryan Rebernick, Caledonia WI; Andrew Rexrode, Beaver Dam WI; Story Sandy, Shorewood WI; Tammy Tian, Greendale WI; Mai Vang, Eau Claire WI; Alex Villarreal, Chicago IL

The Great People – International Studies Scholarship aims to make study abroad for undergraduates accessible and affordable.

  • Recipients going abroad summer 2014: Monica Bianchini, Indianapolis IN, to Thailand; Corey Dunham, Middleton WI, to Jordan; Allie Durdall, Saint Cloud MN, to Turks & Caicos; Gabrielle Fishbaine, Milwaukee WI, to Italy; Jonathan Formella, Stevens Point WI, to China; Taylor Galaszewski, Madison WI, to France; Benjamin Garton, Oshkosh WI, to France; Nancy Gomez, Madison WI, to China; Brooke Harding, Northfield MN, to Croatia; Lamin Keita, Madison WI, to Croatia; Natalie Kovak, Madison WI, to Thailand; Alex Lenser, La Crosse WI, to China; Tiara Luckiesh, Campbellsport WI, to Russia; Jianna Mai, Tomah WI, to China; Jared Mehre, Glenbeulah WI, to Germany; Vincent Musa, Deerfield WI, to Italy; Nina Rembert, Madison WI, to Sri Lanka; Malory Sanvidge, Oshkosh WI, to New Zealand; Namrata Shivaprakash, Madison WI, to Nepal; Lauren Smith, Sheboygan WI, to Ecuador; Alexandria Tangen, Lino Lakes MN, to Australia; Aaron Ullman, Madison WI, to China; Brittany Van Remortel, Suamico WI, to Uganda; Jackson Ward, Madison WI, to Ecuador; Thomas Yonash, Stevens Point WI, to Bhutan; Sarah Zwicker, Oregon WI, to Italy
  • Recipients going abroad fall semester: Liesel Klopp, Lodi WI, to Peru; Celeste Lindstrum, Madison WI, to South Africa; Owen Morgan, Shorewood WI, to France; Emily Skovran, Lakeville MN, to Switzerland; Linda Thao, Milwaukee WI, to England; Megan White, Madison WI, to Australia; Jonathan Williams, Madison WI, to Spain; Anna Zabiega, Chicago IL, to Ireland
  • Recipients going abroad for 2014-15 academic year: Brandon Bohling, Madison WI, to Spain; Jenna Carlson, Marinette WI, to Spain; Rachel Eggert, Plymouth WI, to Spain; Maria Gonzalez Becker, Madison WI, to France; David Van Den Brandt, Cross Plains WI, to Spain

The Study Abroad Scholars Award aims to break down the financial barriers to study abroad and to encourage students to: “Discover the world … and bring the world back to Wisconsin!” All Study Abroad Scholars must carry out a “Share Your Experience” project upon their return to campus. Some of these awards specifically target first-generation college students, those going abroad for the first time, honors students, and majors in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines.

  • Recipients going abroad during the summer 2014: Laura Aprill, Pulaski WI, to Ecuador; Aimee Balistreri, Milwaukee WI, to Ecuador; Page Bazan, Madison WI, to Cambodia; Frank Bonneau, Madison WI, to South Africa; Brian Brito, Madison WI, to Ecuador; Alexis Brown, Barneveld WI, to Ireland; Bridget Callaghan, Eau Claire WI, to Ireland; Mary Alice Carroll, Glendale WI, to Croatia; Anthony Castagnoli, Madison WI, to China; Kyle Cummisford, Waukesha WI, to Ecuador; Jenna Dart, Rhinelander WI, to Kenya; Kelly Douglas, Edgerton WI, to Turks & Caicos; Eric Friestrom, Madison WI, to Nepal; Kayci Gallagher, Lake Geneva WI, to China; Abigail Gleason, Madison WI, to China; Elizabeth Grams, Madison WI, to Italy; Morgan Haefner, Madison WI, to Cambodia; Heather Halvorsen, New Richmond WI, to Spain; Dana Hanson, Germantown WI, to China; Justine Jones, Stillwater MN, to Ecuador; John Joutras, Lodi WI, to Costa Rica; Faatima Khan, Hartland WI, to Spain; Eric Koth, Milwaukee WI, to Germany; Robert Kueffer, Waunakee WI, to China; Rebecca Lebeau, Sheboygan WI, to Nepal; Houa Lee, Sheboygan WI, to Spain; Ciara Lotzer, Fitchburg WI, to China; Taylor Marohl, Green Bay WI, to Costa Rica; Evan Millard, Madison WI, to France; Lauren Monge, Madison WI, to Malawi; Alicia Nelson, Beaver Dam WI, to Malawi; Dana Radojevic, Madison WI, UW International Internship Program; Brooke Ramsey, Madison WI, to Malawi; Lucas Rapisarda, Winnetka IL, to Ecuador; Katherine Reed, Oshkosh WI, to China; Briana Reilly, Chilton WI, to China; Anais Reyes, Glenview IL, to Italy; Bethany Rieth, Oconto Falls WI, to Ireland; Kelli Romine, De Forest WI, to Ireland; Samuel Rosiejka, Hudson WI, to China; Bridget Schams, La Crosse WI, to China; Hazel Schira, Mosinee WI, to China; Jason Scott, Madison WI, to Ireland; Alison Sharpless, Elm Grove WI, to China; Nichole Springer, Kewaskum WI, to China; Megan Stenz, Kaukauna WI, to China; Sarah Tran, Milwaukee WI, to China; Houa Vang, Nekoosa WI, to Croatia; Pa Vue, Madison WI, to Malawi; Rebecca Wanta, Mukwonago WI, to Cambodia; Elizabeth Wendt, Cottage Grove WI, UW International Internship Program; Clara Wittman, Madison WI, to Ecuador; Christina Young, Perrysburg OH, to Denmark
  • Recipients going abroad during the fall semester: Yolanda Arellano, Jefferson WI, to South Korea; Vito Colano, Waterford WI, to Thailand; Danielle Day, Eagan MN, to Peru; Joseph Evica, Madison WI, to South Africa; Daniel Hirsch, Milwaukee WI, to Russia; Lauren Lynch, Eagle WI, to Peru; Rachael Paszotta, DeKalb IL, to Spain; Vanessa Renz, Aurora IL, student teaching in Mexico; Lisett Roman, Madison WI, to Ghana; Neda Sattler, Delafield WI, to Morocco; Nissa Vang, Woodbury MN, to South Korea; Lily Walljasper, Madison WI, to Argentina; Yimin Wang, Racine WI, to France; Padone Yang, Madison WI, to Brazil; Chenmua Yang, Sun Prairie WI, to Italy
  • Recipients going abroad for the 2014-15 academic year: Jenna Ciszewski, Pleasant Prairie WI, to Argentina; Periwinkle Doerfler, La Crosse WI, to Germany; Elliott Frokjer, Saint Croix Falls WI, to Germany; Sofia Linsenmeyer, Monona WI, to Germany; Shannon Reader, Chesterfield MO, to France; Elizabeth Rime, Rochester MN, to France; Kristen Romes, Suamico WI, to Ireland; Kate Schwen, Cottage Grove MN, to Germany; Leah Shapiro, Oak Creek WI, to Russia; Amelie Von Below, Madison WI, to Germany; Sheng Yang, Stevens Point WI, to Japan

— by Kerry G. Hill