UW-Madison: Six student projects awarded Wisconsin Idea Fellowships for 2015-16

CONTACT: Mark Bennett, mark.bennett.wisc.edu


MADISON – Six UW-Madison student project proposals have been selected from among nearly 20 submissions for 2015-16 Wisconsin Idea Fellowships.

The 17th year of the Wisconsin Idea Fellowships will feature two domestic projects and four international projects. The six projects – to be implemented over the course of the next 12 months – were collectively awarded over $30,000.

The fellowships are awarded annually by UW-Madison’s Morgridge Center for Public Service to undergraduate student projects working to solve issues identified by local or global communities. Fellowships are awarded to semester-long or yearlong projects designed by an undergraduate student (or group of students) in collaboration with a community organization and a UW-Madison faculty or academic staff mentor.

This year’s cohort includes projects in the United States, Ecuador, South Africa, Zambia and Uganda:

-Senior kinesiology student Kristen Cassarini will develop a peer-based support system for teenagers in Madison, Wisconsin who have suffered concussions.

-Journalism and LACIS junior Alexandra Arriaga will spend time in Arizona collecting and sharing the stories of women who have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border.

-In South America, environmental studies and biological aspects of conservation junior Brenna O’Halloran and zoology, environmental studies and Latin American studies junior Lauren Feierstein will develop training and curriculum to help coastal Ecuadorian teachers better incorporate environmental education into their classrooms.

-In South Africa, junior microbiology and global health student Theo Loo’s project aims to prevent waterborne illnesses by conducting water testing and water sterilization workshops as well as establishing community dialogues on safe water habits.

-Junior Marjorie Kersten, a global health and community and environmental sociology major, will work with communities in Zambia to explore incorporating protein-rich insects into the local diet in an effort to combat food insecurity.

-In Uganda, gender and women’s studies junior Mackenzie Carlson and genetics junior Corinne Praska will develop soap-making workshops for women to provide new economic opportunities and improve sanitation.