UW-Madison Students Receive Special Study-Abroad Awards


DATE: Thursday, April 20, 2006

CONTACT: Ronnie Hess, Director of Communications, UW-Madison Division of International Studies, (608) 262-5590, rlhess@wisc.edu


Madison, WI – Some 40 UW-Madison students have been awarded prestigious study- abroad scholarships, the Division of International Studies’ International Academic Programs (IAP) announced today. The awards have been made possible in large part through gifts by UW-Madison alumni, faculty, staff and friends.

“Thanks to these gifts, study-abroad opportunities are being made more possible for increasing numbers of our undergraduates,” says Gilles Bousquet, dean of International Studies. “Study abroad is a core element of a college education and an essential component in an international academic experience.” According to Bousquet, about 50 percent of UW-Madison students say they would like to study abroad but less than half that number does. Bousquet says some students may be reluctant to study abroad because of financial considerations.

UW-Madison offers more than 150 different study-abroad programs around the world and is ranked among the top ten research institutions in study abroad nationally. By unanimous resolution, the U.S. Senate has designated 2006 the “Year of Study Abroad,” encouraging secondary schools, institutions of higher learning, government, business, and the general public to promote and expand study abroad.

Twenty-three students will receive Chou Kuo-Ping awards, named after the UW-Madison faculty member who taught Chinese language courses on campus in the mid-1960s and who arranged for her students to study abroad in Taiwan. The scholarships have been made possible by one of those students, Tom Sternberg, now an insurance executive in White Plains, New York. His gift to the UW Foundation in Miss Chou’s honor goes toward study abroad in China (including Hong Kong) or Taiwan. This year’s award recipients will study-abroad in Beijing and Tianjin, China.

Sternberg believes study abroad can be extremely rewarding. “It brings reality to what is purely a theoretical experience in the classroom,” he says, explaining that study abroad makes interaction with people in their native language possible, with potentially long-lasting results. “Your dealings with them become easier because you can understand what that person has experienced, and I think that leads to better communications and a better world,” Sternberg says.

Ten students will receive Pritzker Pucker Awards for year-long study in one of the UW-Madison’s overseas programs. The students will study in China, Ecuador, India, Hungary, Thailand, Russia, Kenya, Japan, and Senegal. The scholarships were made possible by the Vince Club Family Foundation, led by Gigi Pritzker Pucker, an alumna of the UW-Madison’s Nepal study-abroad program.

Other students will receive awards through the Cyril W. Nave Fund for Latin American Research, named after the UW-Madison alumnus and founder of the Atlantic Refining Company; the Joe Elder Awards, named in honor of the UW-Madison professor who has led the College Year in India program virtually since its inception in 1961; the Laurent Karim Makward Memorial Scholarship, named after the son of UW-Madison emeritus professor Edris Makward and Christiane P. Makward, Professor of French and Francophone Studies at Penn State University; Study Abroad Alumni Awards, made possible through generous contributions from committed UW alumni and friends of study-abroad programs; and the Year of Study Abroad Scholarships, established by International Academic Programs to recognize the recent U.S. Senate resolution designating 2006 as the “Year of Study Abroad.”

The awards, totaling $45,000 and ranging from $300 to $3,000 dollars, were made based on a combination of factors, including financial need, demonstrated academic excellence, and the nature of the academic program proposed for the time spent abroad.

Among the students receiving Chou Kuo-Ping Awards are: Wanda Baker, Richard Bamberg, Nathan Bice, Nicholas Busalacchi, Deborah Egly, Claire Gillis, Tiffany Iliadis, Andrew Kushner, William Marden, Meggy Masters, Lara Naidl, Sheena O’Malley, Daniel Repplinger, Helen Shoemaker, Steven Skroch, Danielle Tallman, Andrea Tolzman, Devin Trezise, Benjamin Voss, Elizabeth Wilichowski, and Daniel Yogerst.

Students receiving Pritzker Pucker awards are: Nathan Bice, Michelle Fischer, Benjamin Harguth, Ryan Hohler, Michelle Jordan, Stephanie Koczela, Collin Stecker, Shira Weiner and April Williamson.

Michelle Fischer and Sara Waly received Nave Awards; Ashley Faren and April Williamson received Joe Elder Awards; Amanda Volbert received a Study Abroad Alumni Award; Benjamin Hargurth and Nicholas Niemuth received Year of Study Abroad Awards. Eva Vasilijevic received both Makward and Study Abroad Alumni awards.