[The Ripon Commonwealth Press] Column: Study of Trade Agreement Takes Ben Halfway Across the World

The Ripon Commonwealth Press — December 29, 2010

“Column: Study of Trade Agreement Takes Ben Halfway Across the World”

AS RIPONITES GATHERED ’round their Christmas trees and fireplaces last week, one Ripon native had a slightly different experience:

He was hard at work.

In India.

Ben Beduhn, a Ripon High School and University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, was half a world away, studying something most people would find incredibly obscure: how small and medium pharmaceutical firms were affected by the changes in patent laws when India joined the World Trade Organization.

Now if that doesn’t say “Merry Christmas” …

But, for the 22-year-old, the chance to do so was a huge opportunity — one he couldn’t pass up.

“When applying for graduate programs, I will be looked at in a different light thanks to the field experience I’ve gained,” said Ben, an economics major who studies patent law. “This is my springboard, the capstone of my undergraduate degree, and could impact my career path for the rest of my life.”

… Ben was one of just a handful of students to be a part of the 2010 Tata Study Grants pilot program at UW-Madison, which provided seven graduate and undergraduate students with the chance to conduct independent study projects of their choice in India.

Each recipient, dubbed as “Tata Fellows,” were chosen based on the creation of a unique project plan and study proposal on contemporary India. …

Regardless what he discovers about world economics during his study abroad, Ben knows just being there is an important step in his life.

Prior to leaving, Ben said, “I already feel like in just talking about it, my experiences are connecting me to Indian culture, and know there is so much more to come.” …

Read the entire column.