European Studies certificate recipient Claire James, has won the inaugural Wolff fellowship, which provides $45,000 to an L&S senior and allows them “to pursue their passions without limitations.” This fellowship emphasizes both academic accomplishment and community service. “When we set out to create this opportunity, we knew there were students with incredible talents and a desire for service that we could support,” said donor Paul Wolff, a UW-Madison history alumnus. “Claire James is clearly an exceptional graduate who we are proud to champion as she pursues these worthy efforts.” James, who graduated in May with majors in economics and international studies, credits her approach to education with some of her past UW courses such as an astronomy course and “Economic Geography and Locational Behavior” which engaged the class in a research project on a proposed Bus Rapid Transit System for the City of Madison.
With the chance to travel the world, James will be able to expand on the knowledge she’s gained of international intersections. For Claire James, the fellowship has given her the opportunity to expand her cultural cognizance through work this summer on English programming in Nagasaki, Japan and then she will go on to teach English to students in Seoul, South Korea. This expands on her experiences volunteering with Madison’s Open Doors for Refugees, where she has helped English language-learners at Madison College practice conversation. For the next part of her trip, her interests with the intersections of economics, poverty, and geography will lead to volunteer field research with the Associated Center for Agro-Based Development (ACADES) in Lilongwe, Malawi, which is a partner in UW-Madison’s Project Malawi, to empower smallholder farmers. In the spring, she will be volunteering with the Sehgal foundation in Gurugram, India to work on projects that examine gender roles in agriculture. The last part of her trip will take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina where she will be taking intensive Spanish.
To hear more about her story click here.