• Meiklejohn Travel Award

    Up to $1500

    Named for Alexander Meiklejohn, founder of the University of Wisconsin Experimental College (1927-1932), the forerunner to the ILS Program

     This prize is intended to help support an ILS student in a university-sponsored or an independent program of education-centered travel or study abroad, taking place during the summer or academic year (or in the US if the destination is remote from the student’s home or the campus).


    • Enrolled in the ILS Certificate program.
    • “Consideration is given to the student’s need, extra-curricular activities and academic standing.”
    • Must be a full-time undergraduate student.


    • A two-page double-spaced typed statement of your project, outlining your interests, goals, and itinerary.The student should provide evidence that the travel proposal has been reviewed and endorsed by an appropriate faculty member.
    • The student should provide evidence that the travel proposal has been reviewed and endorsed by an appropriate faculty member. This can include a letter of confirmation that the student is participating in a study abroad program or another academia-related trip.

    The travel should take place during the summer or academic year immediately following the award; in your application, please specify.
    This project may be directed by a faculty member for directed study credit, be part of a study abroad course for credit or non-credit, or be a non-credit self-directed trip. Indicate in your submission which of these options you will be using.
    The grantee will submit a report on the project upon returning and present an ILS Travelogue at an ILS student event in the fall semester

  • Pooley Prize

    Up to $2,000 each (based on available funds)
    Named for Professor Robert Pooley, the first chair of the Integrated Liberal Studies program (1948), this prize is:

    • given annually to outstanding ILS students
      on the basis of academic achievement (GPA of at least 3.0 for the 3 preceding semesters),
    • evidence of good character
      student leadership in the ILS program, including involvement in extracurricular activities, and
      available for travel purposes relating to their ILS courses.


    Open to all students who are enrolled in the ILS certificate, in the process of completing, have completed or are about to complete the ILS certificate program this year.


    • A double-spaced typed essay on your educational philosophy and goals (at least one page must be devoted to a narrative of your transcripts). The transcript narrative should tell why you took the elective courses you did, what you learned, what you liked or disliked, expectations met or exceeded, hopes realized, disappointments, and so on. Also discuss your participation in the life of the ILS Program.
    • Two reference letters from faculty in ILS providing evidence of your participation in and contributions to the life of the ILS program, your scholarship, and your character.
  • Ruth Knatz Memorial Prize

    Up to $5,000 (based on available funds)
    Named for Ruth Knatz Gross Wisnewsky and given by her husband, Edward Wisnewsky, this prize will be given only to a truly outstanding student who:

    • is majoring in at least one humanities discipline
      gives promise of making a valuable contribution to the humanities
    • has done exemplary work in 15 ILS credits (six credits above 250)
    • has achieved junior or senior standing
      has enrolled in the certificate program and plans to complete the ILS certificate program.


    • Three letters of recommendation, two from ILS faculty and one from faculty in your major, addressing your current contributions to the humanities and your potential for future contributions
    • A brief (4-5 pages, double-spaced) essay on why you love the humanities; how the study of the humanities has changed your life; and how you hope to share what you’ve discovered with others.

    The winner will present a talk in a symposium at ILS entitled “The Promise of the Humanities.”

  • Last Year's Winners

    Winners from the 2017-2018 Academic Year

    Jenny Detjen
    Meiklejohn Travel Award
    Jenny Detjen is a graduating senior with a Bachelors of Science in Political Science with a focus on International Relations & American Government as well as a certificate in ILS. When she is not studying, she is involved with Model UN and connects with international students through BRIDGE. Her love of ILS began when she took a FIG as a freshman and fell in love with the department and its combination of different disciplines in one course.

    “The Meiklejohn travel award will primarily go to paying my tuition at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad so I can learn about the danger of terrorism from a European perspective, as well as connect with American students, and Danish and Swedish people.”

    Phoebe Marquardt
    Pooley Prize
    Phoebe Marquardt is graduating with distinction in biology with a certificate in ILS. During her time at here she has been involved with the Wisconsin Union Directorate-Music committee, the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program, and WSUM student radio. She has reveled in her opportunity as an ILS student ambassador to contribute to a program that has been so pivotal to her college career.

    “ILS has provided me with a more comprehensive understanding of our society and pushed me to seriously consider the type of citizen I want to be. I credit ILS’s professors’ passion and value of the pursuit of Truth with providing me the tools to become an increasingly more engaged, fulfilled, and responsible member of my community. The Meiklejohn House will remain in my memory as a place filled with intellectual curiosity and humor.”

    Rachel Piltser
    Pooley Prize
    Rachel is a junior majoring in Retailing & Consumer Behavior with certificates in Entrepeneurship and ILS. In addition to being an ILS student ambassador, she is the Vice President of Membership Development with Badger SPILL and the Director of Local Trips for Hoofers Ski N’ Snowboard Club. Regardless of where she ends up, she knows ILS has instilled her with skills, passions, and knowledge to last a lifetime.

    “ILS has streched my capacity for analysis and broadened my horizons beyond recognition. After college, I don’t know when I’ll have the opportunity to be surrounded by people who are equally as interested in the world and passionate about learning. I’m so lucky to have found a place that understands the innate human desire to contextualize & make connections, and gives us the tools to do just that.”

Photo of the 2016 ILS banquet

Elena Mederas with Rick Avramenko
Elena Mederas receives the Ruth Knatz Award 2017, presented by the ILS Chair Richard Avramenko