Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Monday, October 15, 2007

Student wins scholarship to Dubai conference on leadership

First-year international public affairs student Alison Patz will be going to Dubai for the Women as Global Leaders Conference in March.

Patz is one of four University of Wisconsin-Madison students who won scholarships from the campus' Center for International Business Education and Research. "I am thrilled to have been selected, and excited about representing La Follette at such an important international forum," she says.

As part of her Master of International Public Affairs degree, Patz is pursuing a certificate in Middle Eastern studies and studying classical Arabic. "This conference will be a good practical application for my language studies," she says. "It will help me complete a fuller picture of Middle Eastern culture and traditions."

After graduating, she plans to pursue a career in international education policy. "My long-range goal is to work for an organization that better prepares teachers through local assessment and dialogue; that increases enrollment, particularly for girls, at the primary, secondary and collegiate levels; and that monitors and evaluates improvements made by communities in teaching life skills, especially in the Middle East," she says.

Patz is originally from Green Bay, Wisconsin. After graduating from Smith College in 2004, she joined the Peace Corps and served two years in Morocco as a youth development volunteer, which entailed teaching English as a second language.

"As a ESL teacher, encouraging my female students to understand the importance of respecting each other and working together to improve their communities was an important classroom objective for me," she says. "In attending the Women as Global Leaders 2008 conference, I look forward to discussing how best to help girls explore their ideas about themselves and their roles within their families and communities with today's top women leaders."