Fall Competition Awards

Scholarships and awards are made available for current students through the generosity of alumni, families of alumni and friends of the School. We thank them for their support. Learn about how donations make a difference.


To view scholarships and awards by program eligibility, select an academic program and click "Apply" to filter the list.

The Alumni and Friends of the School of Social Work Scholarship was established in 2008 through the generous contributions of our School's alumni and other supporters. This scholarship is designed to support students in the MSW program who have financial need and are struggling to complete their degree.
Current full-time or part-time program MSW student in her/his Generalist Practice year who demonstrates a financial need in the context of challenges that could prevent completion of the MSW, and who demonstrates a commitment to the social work profession. Students should have good academic standing and potential.
Kathryn E. Becker Norman earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Work in 1974, and her MSW in 1976, from UW-Madison. Before she passed away at the age of 45, Kathryn worked as a case manager in a mental health organization. This scholarship was established in her memory.
Current full-time program and part-time program MSW student in the Mental Health focus area who demonstrates financial need.
The Debra Beebe Scholarship honors the memory of Debra Ann Beebe, a graduate of the School of Social Work, who was tragically killed. Debra, a committed and tireless advocate of persons with serious mental illness, chose to work with the most challenging clients.
Current full-time program and part-time program MSW student who demonstrates a commitment to work in the mental health field with persons with serious and long-term mental illnesses, and has a good academic record. Preference will be given to students who are financing their own graduate education.
This scholarship was established in memory of Donald G. Benn, BS ’56 MSW ’60. This scholarship was created to honor Donald and Alice Benn’s commitment to access and affordability of quality education. As a proud graduate and professional in the field of Social Work, this scholarship will honor Mr. Benn’s life and legacy.
This fund will be used to support need-based scholarships for undergraduate or graduate students in the UW-Madison School of Social Work.
Katherine Prichard Benz attended summer school at UW-Madison in 1949. Although she hoped to pursue her MSW degree that fall, she lacked the necessary financial resources. Fortunately the university awarded her a scholarship, which combined with a part-time job, enabled her to complete her MSW degree in 1951. Hoping to afford other social work students the same opportunity, she has established the Katherine Prichard Benz Fund.
Current BSW, full-time, or part-time program MSW student who has a strong commitment to social work, a demonstrated financial need, and who is working his or her way through school.
This award is open to students interested in International Social Work and who will be undertaking an international field placement.
This award is open to undergraduate social work and social welfare majors and MSW students interested in International Social Work and are involved in a for-credit international experience under the direction of a School of Social Work faculty member. The Awards Committee will consider candidates who demonstrate a commitment to international social work and financial need. FAFSA required prior to awarding decisions.
James Bolek, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Master's Degree in Social Work in 1971, is proud of his connection to the UW School of Social Work and wishes to create a fund for the purpose of supporting graduate students pursuing social work in memory of his wife, Bernice Straub-Bolek, who also achieved her Master's Degree in Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1968. Both passionate and dedicated social workers at the Winnebago Mental Health Institute, this scholarship fund honors their commitment to the next generation of social workers hoping to work with consumers affected by mental illness.
Current full-time program and part-time program MSW students interested in the Mental Health focus area. Preference is given to Wisconsin residents focused on a career in in-patient psychiatric care, with a strong emphasis to students in field at Mendota Mental Health Institute or Winnebago Mental Health Institute.
Established by the Dibble/Geyer/Tupper families, this scholarship honors Robert and Lila Dibble, their parents, who both graduated from UW-Madison. Lila, a 1940 graduate of the School of Social Work, retired in 1985 from Family Services. Robert, who is deceased, received his BS in Engineering in 1942. In addition to Lila, three Dibble children and a son-in-law have graduated from the School of Social Work. Lila and Robert devoted a lot of time, energy and financial support to people throughout the United States and the world who, through no fault of their own, struggled with basic aspects of living that we all take for granted. Hunger was a special concern of theirs. Although they were not rich by American standards, they still felt very blessed and wanted to help others.
Current full-time or part-time program MSW student in good standing who has experienced unexpected financial challenges, and for whom the scholarship will be helpful in completing her/his education.
Professor Arthur Miles was the first Director of the UW-Madison School of Social Work. He was a former county administrator for the Illinois Emergency Relief Commission and former Regional Statistician for the U.S. Social Security Board. Professor Miles was a proponent of a social science rather than psychological orientation to social work and wrote a book in defense of such an orientation entitled American Social Work Theory. Julia Miles established this Scholarship in her husband’s name.
Current full-time or part-time program MSW student who has a demonstrated commitment to social work practice and a financial need that presents a hardship in terms of completing the program. The award may also support a doctoral student who demonstrates an interest in social policy.
In memory of Mary Ann Mutchler Nelson (B.A. ’70), this fund supports social work students who have demonstrated an interest in aging and geriatric social work, about which Mary Ann was passionate.
Current BSW students and MSW students who have a demonstrated interest in aging and geriatric social work.
This award honors the memory of Kathleen Oberbeck Van Gorden, MSSW, 1975. Established by Kathleen’s mother, Bernice Oberbeck and Kathleen’s husband, Reed Ray Van Gorden, the donors wish to provide financial support to a social work student who exemplifies the same passion, spirit, and commitment to the field of child, youth and family services that Kathleen demonstrated throughout her career.
Current full-time or part-time program MSW student who demonstrates a commitment to the field of child, youth and family services. Students with an interest in foster care and/or special needs adoption are especially encouraged to apply.
This award is dedicated to the memory of Richard E. Schwert, a professional social worker and administrator within the State of Wisconsin Division of Corrections and field instructor and field supervisor in the School of Social Work for many years. He was a probation and parole officer in Madison and a unit supervisor in the Green Bay region.
Current full-time program MSW student in good academic standing who is preparing for a career in Corrections and Criminal Justice.
This award was established to honor the memory of John Cordts Slack. John was a retired Major in the U.S. Air Force, and served six tours in the Middle East as a member of the Wisconsin Air National Guard. He was a beloved father, son, spouse, brother, cousin, nephew, and friend to many who miss him dearly.
Current BSW student, full-time program MSW student, or part-time program MSW student. The award is intended to support students who are committed to working with those with alcohol and other drug abuse (AODA) problems and/or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), especially veterans and current military personnel.
Heather Milne Southwick graduated in 1953 with a master’s degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After graduating, Heather spent fifty years internationally with her husband, Charles, in Asia, primarily in India and Indonesia but also in other countries volunteering as a social worker. Back in the U.S., Heather worked in Athens, Ohio as a social worker with the Department of Welfare. With her experience, Heather wishes to assist graduate students who intend to practice social work.
The scholarship will be awarded to a graduate student obtaining a MSW. The student must have excellent academic credentials, be passionate about social work, interested in direct practice, and show potential for leadership in the future.
Proud of their connection to the University, Joseph and Elaine Wojtowicz established this scholarship to provide social work graduate students with financial assistance as they pursue their academic careers. Joseph graduated from the UW-Madison School of Social Work masters program in 1970. Elaine graduated from UW-Oshkosh in 1994 with a degree in Liberal Studies.
Current full-time or part-time program MSW student in her/his Advanced Practice year who has a strong commitment to professional social work practice. Preference is given to students in the area of mental health or social work benefiting children (e.g., adoptions). Preference is also given to Wisconsin residents with a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher, and to those of Polish heritage.
The Lillian Aked Yatvin Scholarship honors the memory of Lillian Aked Yatvin who received her MSW in 1987. Lillian was a dedicated social worker for the West Madison Senior Coalition helping older adults remain independent by living in their own homes for as long as possible. Lillian died in 2004 at the age of 46. Her parents, Milton and Joanne Yatvin, established this scholarship in her honor.
Current MSW student in the Aging focus area or a BSW student who is currently in a field placement working with elders.

Printer Friendly Version