Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

News: Donations and Scholarships

Since 2005, almost 40 students have benefitted from Mark Stone’s generous donations to the La Follette School of Public Affairs. Stone, who lives in Illinois, has given several gifts to the La Follette School over the past 10 years to help graduate students gain the skills needed to improve the lives of people in the United States through public service.

A $1.5 million gift from Herb Kohl Philanthropies will support faculty research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs. The gift will create the Herb Kohl Public Service Research Competition, which will sponsor innovative research that provides evidence-based information to address tough public policy and governance issues.

Two members of the La Follette School’s Board of Visitors took advantage of a one-to-one matching gift from Ab and Nancy Nicholas to boost funding for students pursuing master’s degrees in public affairs at UW-Madison. Curt and Sue Culver pledged $200,000 – the largest single gift in La Follette School history – and Katharine Lyall donated $50,000.

La Follette student Colin Higgins has been named a recipient of the Rhodes Scholarship.

After a few years working in politics and for nonprofits, Mike Pearson decided that to have more of a positive impact on the causes he believes in, he should pursue an advanced degree.

Xin Nong has wide-ranging interests that he is now exploring through the La Follette School's international public affairs program.

An interest in reducing structural inequality brings Demetri Vincze to public affairs and public service. "There is a fundamental inequality of opportunity in this country that is profoundly unjust," the first-year student says, "particularly in relation to race and poverty."

Because Maria Serakos wants her research to make a difference in public policy, she is pursuing a Master of Public Affairs degree at the La Follette School before she goes on to a Ph.D. program.

Mark Japinga hopes to find a behind-the-scenes balance between politics and policy, a happy medium that a Master of Public Affairs degree from the La Follette School will help him achieve.

Kaubin Neupane can make sense of the duality in his life only if he studies in the United States with the intent of contributing to help people in his native Nepal and in other developing countries. "When I was growing up in Kathmandu, I took the local environmental problems for granted and accepted them as another facet of difficult life," the first-year student says.

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