Scholarships make a difference

We challenge our students to change the world. However, they need support to do so.

The School of Education is significantly increasing its scholarship and fellowship packages, and utilizing a new strategic plan for equity, diversity, and inclusion to better attract and serve students from groups that are historically under-represented at UW–Madison. These supports, in the form of scholarships and fully funded doctoral and master of fine arts programs, make us competitive with highly ranked peers across the nation.

In addition, during the COVID-19 pandemic we launched a new Bridge to Success scholarship program for students facing financial need due to the crisis. Combined, these bold efforts are an investment in our students — and in our future.

Here are thoughts from a few students explaining how scholarships have made a difference:

Daisey Velazquez

• “I hope to be working as a high school Spanish teacher in the Madison or Milwaukee areas. I agree that diversity in education is lacking. A few years ago, I worked as an aide in a school in which many of the Latinx students voiced their desire to have a teacher they could relate to. They encouraged me to continue my education to become a teacher.

“Last year, I ran into one of these students. Sadly, he had dropped out but he came up to me and asked me what I was doing. I told him I was still studying to become a teacher and he said how happy he was for me. I wonder if he would have graduated from high school if he would have had different teachers in his life. I plan to create a safe environment for all my students. I plan to have a classroom that allows students to feel empowered to speak their minds and build on their knowledge.” Daisey Velazquez, ‘21 Spanish education, recipient of the Martha B. and Dean T. Brusegar Scholarship in Teacher Education

Joanne Grebner ’75 and Michael Grebner wanted to promote inclusivity within the School of Education’s occupational therapy program and provide scholarship support to assist with costs incurred by students who participate in full-time fieldwork experiences outside the Madison area. They created the Grebner Family OT Fieldwork Scholarship Fund, which was matched by the Impact 2030 Morgridge Match.

Yasmeena Ougayour

The Grebner Family OT Fieldwork Scholarship Fund was awarded for the first time in the 2020–21 academic year.

“I truly am very grateful for this award. This year has been very hard financially as a student due to COVID-19. I am in my second year of the master of science in occupational therapy program at UW–Madison and aspire to become an OT who serves underrepresented communities in need of support in all aspects of their lives. Additionally, I am working toward my clinical doctorate in occupational therapy and hope to become a leader in the profession and an OT clinical researcher, as well as achieve a personal dream of becoming a clinical instructor at a university.” —  Yasmeena Ougayour ’18, MS’20, recipient of a Grebner Family OT Fieldwork Scholarship

“I am deeply appreciative of this support from School of Education alumni and friends, and especially for your empathy and dedication to help students in these challenging times. The financial assistance provided (in 2020 were) of great help to me in paying my summer educational expenses as my daughter and I were facing the financial hardship brought on by COVID-19. This scholarship will allow me to concentrate more of my time on studying.” — Trang Diem, a master’s student with the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and a Bridge to Success scholarship recipient

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