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UW System honors students for essays on the value of liberal education (May 15, 2006)

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 15, 2006

Contact: Rebecca Karoff
rkaroff@uwsa.edu
(608) 263-2728                                                                                             

UW System honors students for essays on the value of liberal education 

MADISON-Three undergraduate students from University of Wisconsin System campuses have been named recipients of the first UW System Liberal Arts Scholarship Competition, established to support and promote liberal arts and science education throughout the state's public university system.

Three students have been honored for writing outstanding essays on the value of a liberal arts education in the 21st century.  This year's recipients are:

  • Heather Damitz, UW-Sheboygan, for "Significant and Applicable Knowledge:  Liberal Arts in the 21st Century";
  • Andrew Myszewski, UW-Madison, for "Empowering Citizens for the Twenty-First Century"; and
  • Jennifer Urbanek, UW-Milwaukee, for "The Liberal Arts:  Preserving Humanity."

Each winner will receive a $2,000 scholarship to help fund the remainder of their undergraduate educational costs. In addition to the three scholarship recipients, honorable mentions were awarded to essay writers Dawn Freese of UW-Platteville; Jennifer Ernie of UW-Green Bay, and Laura Cummings of UW-Whitewater. The first annual competition attracted more than 115 essays, and was open to undergraduate students at each of the UW System's 26 campuses.

"We are proud to have such extraordinary students in the UW System," said UW System President Kevin P. Reilly.  "A true education in the liberal arts and sciences instills in students the ability to think and to express themselves rigorously and creatively, and to understand ideas and issues in context. This year's scholarship recipients are truly exemplary, as their essays demonstrate. We are also proud of the many other UW students who display the signature attributes of a liberal arts education."

Sponsored by the UW System Advisory Group on the Liberal Arts, the Liberal Arts Scholarship Competition was funded by private funds, and was modeled after a similar competition at UW-Oshkosh. The competition is one of many activities of the UW System's Currency of the Liberal Arts and Sciences Initiative, which seeks to make the goals and outcomes of liberal arts education accessible and valuable to all UW students, regardless of major or degree program.

Through a partnership with the Association of American Colleges & Universities and its national campaign, Liberal Education and America's Promise (LEAP), the initiative further seeks to spark public debate about the kinds of knowledge, skills, habits of mind, and values needed to prepare today's students for their future roles as citizens.  More information about the initiative is available at http://www.uwsa.edu/acadaff/liberalarts.

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