Summer scholarships help seniors finish strong

Statue of Bucky in graduation cap on a summer day

There are many paths on the way to get your degree, and some include Summer Finish scholarships!

Each year, UW–Madison students who are just a few courses away from graduation can apply for a $1,000 scholarship to help them complete their degree during Summer Term.

Not a senior? Never fear, you can still apply for an Undergraduate Scholarship for Summer Study, a Transfer Scholars Summer Award for transfer students or a Summer Housing Boost to help cover the cost of residence halls. Scholarship applications are open in February and due in April. Nearly 2,000 UW–Madison students were awarded Summer Term scholarships this year.

Here are just a few seniors who received Summer Finish scholarships in 2022, sharing their plans and some of their favorite memories. Congratulations, Badgers!

Elena Smith posing in a blue dress, smiling, next to a treeElena Smith from Beloit, Wisc., majored in chemical engineering with a certificate in energy sustainability. This summer she took CBE 424: Operations and Process Laboratory mostly in person, with elements of at-home work. Finishing her degree in August, Elena completed her course at the end of June and is also working part-time at Union South while on campus. She’ll be relocating to the Philadelphia area later this summer.

Favorite UW memory: “Storming the basketball court after the men’s basketball team beat Purdue, becoming the Big 10 champs!”

Samuel Peterson in his graduation gown, smiling, sitting on stepsSamuel Peterson from Hartland, Wisc., majored in information systems and data science. He took English 176: Topics in Literature and Film during Summer Term 2022, asynchronous and online, “which adds a ton of flexibility! I really recommend it,” he said. Samuel graduated early, adding, “It has always been my goal to graduate from UW–Madison in three years. Summer Term and its respective scholarships have been a great resource to achieve this goal, as I’ve completed a total of seven courses during multiple Summer Terms!” After he completes his degree in August, he has a full-time job lined up to become a robotic process automation analyst.

Favorite UW memory: “Getting together with my friends for a late-night study session on the third floor of College Library.”

Meredith Opie throwing her mortar board in the air in front of the Wisconsin State CapitolMeredith Opie from Sheboygan, Wisc., majored in journalism and strategic communication. This summer, she’s taking Life Sciences Communication 350: Visualizing Science and Technology, Communication Arts 605: Digital Studies Capstone and Geography 370: Introduction to Cartography. She applied for the Summer Finish scholarship because it allowed her to graduate early. This summer, she’s spending time with family, cooking, running and doing a marketing internship. After graduating in August, she’ll  look for her first job.

Favorite UW memory: “My favorite memories were those with my favorite teacher, Pat Hastings. Pat taught me so much and, as I will soon start my career, I know I will take all her lessons and silliness with me wherever I go!”

Moiz Zaki standing next to a statue of Bucky, in a Badgers sweatshirtMoiz Zaki from Karachi, Pakistan, majored in economics with a certificate in entrepreneurship. To finish his college career, he took ECON 455: Behavioral Economics this summer. He’s also interning at Intellia Advisors as an analyst, part of a team that advises the United Arab Emirates government on various economic strategies. After graduation, he has a job working as an investment banker in Pakistan.

Favorite UW memory: “Coming from a city that averages 100 degrees (Fahrenheit) throughout the year, my first winter in Wisconsin was an unprecedented experience.”

Caroline Muehlenkamp posing in her cap and gown in front of the State Capitol buildingCaroline Muehlenkamp from Waukesha, Wisc., majored in chemical engineering. She’s taking CBE 424 Operations and Process Laboratory, the capstone lab for chemical engineering, so she can focus on this intensive course. Caroline will complete her degree in August and will be working as an optimized operations engineer for 3M. Before starting work, she’ll spend time outside in Madison – swimming in the lakes, going to the farmer’s market, kayaking and taking bike rides.

Favorite UW memory: “Attending sporting events and cheering on the Badgers!”

Rishitha Nalabothu in a red dress, posing in front of the State Capitol buildingRishitha Nalabothu, from Naperville, Ill., majored in neurobiology. She’s taking Zoology 523 online this summer to finish up her degree. Rishitha says taking a Summer Term course is bringing her closer to her goals in the medical field. This summer, she’s studying for the MCAT and working with the Hittinger Lab under the Hilldale research fellowship. She’s particularly interested in exploring the use of yeast in biofuel production. In the fall, she’ll work at a clinical job. She’s also interested in doing community service and research abroad.

Favorite UW memory: “Jumping into the lake with my friends at around 1 a.m. on a Friday night.”

Melanie Lafountain posing in dress, holding flowersMelanie LaFountain from Menomonee Falls, Wisc., majored in international studies: global security with TESOL and educational policy certificates. She’s taking English 319 and Education Policy 412 online this summer. Melanie says without the Summer Finish scholarship, she may not have had the opportunity to complete her educational policy certificate. After a pleasant summer on the Terrace and with family and friends, she’ll finish her degree in August and plans to move to Galicia, Spain, to teach English.

Favorite UW memory: “The Chazen Museum is my favorite place on campus. They have an incredible collection of interesting pieces, and I enjoyed visiting every chance I could!”

Aidan Frazier holding his diploma and wearing his cap and gown, smilingAidan Frazier from Milwaukee, Wisc., is enrolled in three summer courses and will be completing his degree with majors in political science and history and a certificate in public policy. His Summer Term courses include Curriculum 277: Video Games and Learning; Education Psychology 320: Human Development in Infancy and Childhood; and History 434: American Foreign Relations, 1901 to the Present. After graduation, he plans to backpack across Europe in the fall, take a gap year dedicated to service and then apply to law school.

Favorite UW memory: “Being in the student section for Wisconsin basketball’s conference-clinching win over Purdue at the Kohl Center this past season!”

Visit the Summer Term website to learn more about designing a summer that helps you meet your goals.

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