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UWL Foundation news

Community Engaged Fellowships are a win-win for students, nonprofits

From left, Avery Frankl, Gretta Kraus and Samantha Meister are UWL's inaugural Community Engaged Fellows. The program provides students with high-impact learning opportunities at local nonprofits.

Posted 11:02 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022

As a senior management major, Avery Frankl is getting a solid education. 

However, Frankl knows that not everything can be learned in class. 

That’s why she jumped at participating in UWL’s new Community Engaged Fellowship program, which provides students with high-impact learning opportunities at local nonprofit organizations. 

“Whereas topics learned in the classroom seem to be an overview, during my fellowship I have been able to get hands-on experience with different processes, forms of communication and more,” says Frankl, who started her internship with WisCorps last summer. “I now have a better understanding of how to apply and implement what I have learned in a more hypothetical setting to real-world situations and scenarios.” 

Frankl is one of three inaugural Community Engaged Fellows. Marketing major Samantha Meister also interns with WisCorps, while psychology and Spanish major Gretta Kraus is with the La Crosse Community Foundation. 

While the fellowships differ in focus, each student worked at least 30 hours a week during the summer. They worked about 10 hours a week in fall and in spring each receive a $12,000 stipend. 

The Community Engaged Fellowship program is funded by Professor Emeritus Ron Rada and his wife, Jane. Recently, Mike McGinley ,’82, and his wife, Kathi, joined to support the program.  

From left, Avery Frankl, Gretta Kraus and Samantha Meister are UWL's inaugural Community Engaged Fellows. The program provides students with high-impact learning opportunities at local nonprofits.

Learn more about Community Engaged Fellowships, including how to apply for 2023.


One (successful) Day for UWL

Third-annual giving day sets donors, dollars records

Students took part in One Day for UWL in October. “Students are our future donors, and we were really able to educate them about the importance of philanthropy,” says Taylor Wilmoth, assistant director for strategic engagement.

Two thousand donors contributed more than $355,000 during One Day for UWL Oct. 18 and 19, — the university’s most successful giving day yet.

Alumni, employees, students and friends of UWL teamed up to support a variety of campus causes: scholarships, research, academic programming, athletics and more. 

In 24 hours, UWL had comfortably eclipsed its two previous giving days, both in number of donors and dollars raised.

“I think it went really, really well,” says Taylor Wilmoth, assistant director for strategic engagement. “We smashed our goal of 1,400 donors, which was incredible. And we had a great celebration and presence on campus, which was really exciting.”

The 2,005 donors came from 39 states and all walks of life. The largest donor demographic was parents and families, followed by alumni, employees, students and friends.

After pandemic-adapted festivities in 2020 and 2021, this year’s event had a larger in-person component. Activities included a UWL “Cash Cab” trivia game, lunch on the Wittich Hall lawn, and an evening reception at the Cleary Alumni & Friends Center.

“It’s been my dream to have a presence on campus, especially for students, and we were finally able to do that,” Wilmoth says. “Students are our future donors, and we were really able to educate them about the importance of philanthropy.”

While One Day for UWL comes and goes in 24 hours, its impact is year-round. Things that make UWL so special, says UWL Foundation President Greg Reichert, would not be possible without philanthropy.

“One Day for UWL makes a huge impact, and we are so grateful to each donor for playing a part,” Reichert says. “Donors’ collective giving power makes it possible for UWL to provide an outstanding experience — one where students become well-rounded citizens, learn new fields of study, and engage in top-notch programs and services.”


Learn more: uwlax.edu/foundation


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