From left: Derek Schyvinck, Brian Young, President Reilly, and Ran (Laura) Luo

From left: Derek Schyvinck, Brian Young, President Reilly, and Ran (Laura) Luo.
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MADISON, Wis. – University of Wisconsin System President Kevin P. Reilly has announced three undergraduate student winners of the annual UW System Liberal Arts Essay Scholarship Competition.

The competition, now in its eighth year, was established to support and promote liberal education throughout the state’s public university system. This year’s essay prompt focused on civic participation and invited students to reflect on how their liberal education has helped them process, develop informed opinions, and make decisions about what they see and hear in the political arena, as well as guide their participation as citizens.

Three students have been honored for writing outstanding essays:

  • Ran (Laura) Luo, UW-Madison, “Citizen in a Foreign Land”
  • Derek Schyvinck, UW-Rock County, “Red and Blue Makes Purple: How My Education got Me Through the Elections of 2012”
  • Brian Young, UW-Stevens Point, “The Kindling of Free Thought”

Winners will each receive a $2,000 scholarship to help fund the remainder of their undergraduate education.

Two honorable mentions were also awarded: Kaitlyn Matthaie, UW-Marathon County; and David Meyerson, UW-Madison.

“Students from 13 UW institutions took up the challenge to write essays for this year’s competition, and the results highlight for all of us the thoughtful and insightful students we are privileged to have at our institutions,” Reilly said.  “The winning essays make a compelling case for how well the engaged and practical liberal education we seek to provide students in the UW System prepares them as active citizens in a sometimes contentious democracy.”

The annual competition, which is funded by private funds, is part of the UW System’s Liberal Education 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 and skills that are needed to prepare today’s students for their future roles as citizens.  Visit the Liberal Arts Essay Scholarship Competition page for more information about the initiative and to read the winning essays.

Rebecca Karoff
UW System

Amy Toburen

Carrie Hermanson
UW-Rock County
608-758-6565 (x350)

Kate Worster
UW-Stevens Point