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Ryan PoehlingRyan Michael Poehling was born March 21, 1973 to Henry (Hank) and Sandra (Sandy) Poehling of La Crosse, Wisconsin.  At only 16 years of age, Ryan was diagnosed with Epithelial Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that even today, very little is known about. Ryan went on to win the battle with this disease, and in 1995 earned his bachelor's in Geography, graduating with honors, from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.  Along the way, he served as student representative in Gamma Theta Upsilon, the international geographical honor society. His passion for geography led him to the University of Florida where in 1997, he earned his Master's degree, graduating with highest honors, was named Student of the Year, and was the youngest person ever nominated for Teacher of the Year.  On January 16, 1999, Ryan married the love of his life, Angela Gould, in Gainsville. He continued his graduate studies at Florida taking aim at the rank of Ph.D. Nearing completion of his requirements, Ryan was again stricken with the same cancer. Still, he pressed on and presented his dissertation but sadly passed away on December 17, 2000, at age 27, surrounded by his devoted wife Angela and other family members. Although Ryan passed on before being able to defend his dissertation and finalize his Ph.D. requirements, on May 15, 2001, he was posthumously awarded his doctorate during UF's spring commencement ceremony. Following Ryan's passing, his family set about establishing a charitable foundation in his honor. Today, this foundation, the Ryan Michael Poehling Charitable Foundation, Inc., generously provides UWL Geography students the chance to further enhance their education with the Ryan M. Poehling Memorial Scholarship along with offering the Ryan M. Poehling Memorial Fellowship to University of Florida graduate students.

For more information regarding eligibility and the application process for the Ryan Poehling Scholarship, visit the Geography and Earth Science scholarship page.