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Morgridge Center awards $300,000 in grants to engaged scholarship projects

May 13, 2013

The Morgridge Center for Public Service has awarded eight matching grants totaling $301,737 to support service learning and community-based research by UW–Madison faculty and researchers in the areas of education, environment, health, civic journalism, and law.

The support comes through a special program established by Tashia and John Morgridge in 2009 to support the institutionalization of engaged scholarship at the UW–Madison.

“We are so pleased to be supporting such inspiring faculty and staff dedicated to advancing community-engaged research and learning,” says Nancy Mathews, director of the center. “Their work makes a difference in the lives of people every day, both locally and globally, and truly represents the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea in action.”

With the addition of the following 2013 spring grant projects, the Morgridge Match Grant Program to date will have directly supported 46 faculty, staff and community partners with $1.7 million.

  • Healthy Activities Partnership Program for Youth (Happy II). Samuel Dennis, associate professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Funded at $42,450 for two years.
  • Madison Commons: A Model for Service Learning in the Field of Journalism. Lewis Friedland, professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, College of Letters & Science. Funded at $14,500 for two years.
  • Engaging to Close the Gap: Community, School District, University. Gloria Ladson-Billings, professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, School of Education. Funded at $23,116 for two years.
  • Science is Elementary. Dolly Ledin, outreach coordinator, Institute for Biology Education. Funded at $47,000 for two years.
  • Immigrant Justice Clinic: Humanitarian Track. Marsha Mansfield, clinical professor, Economic Justice Institute, Law School. Funded up to $50,000 for two years.
  • Engaging Students with Community Food Production and Distribution through Urban Farming. Erin Silva, associate scientist, Department of Agronomy, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Funded at $44,735 for two years.
  • Service Learning in Art Program Development. Gail Simpson, professor, Art Department, School of Education. Funded up to $31,736 for two years.
  • Improving Food Security in Southern Ethiopia: An Integrated and Culturally-Adapted Agriculture, Health and Nutrition Program. Girma Tefera, associate professor, Department of Surgery, School of Medicine and Public Health. Funded at $48,200 for two years.

The Morgridge Match Grant Program matches 50 percent of grants and gifts awarded to UW–Madison campus individuals or entities and community-campus partnerships for new projects that align with the Morgridge Center’s mission and goals.

Faculty members are encouraged to explore ways to initiate or expand community-based research questions or service learning into their curriculum. Projects may focus on local, regional or international issues.

For more information on the program and how to apply, contact Randy Wallar, Morgridge Center associate director, at or visit the Morgridge Center website and click on Faculty & Staff.