2016 Dr. Ernella S. Hunziker Scholarship Recipients

      2016 Dr. Ernella S. Hunziker Scholarship Recipients

      New Recipients
      Our first recipient, Casey Dezwijger, transferred to UW-Whitewater from Elgin Community College in 2012.  She is majoring in Early Childhood and Special Education.  Her personal teaching philosophy is that children learn best from playing and discovering. Her goal is to teach in Europe to acquire cross cultural educational practices, and then return to the United States to implement these new learning strategies. Dr. Brooke Winchell describes Casey as a passionate, empathetic, and creative educator who reflects on how to make learning fun and engaging for all students.    She has had many meaningful experiences in her field practicums and the feedback from the professionals is that Carey’s work is exemplary.  During her field placement, Casey always devotes time getting to know the families, talking to them about their child’s day, listening to their concerns, and understanding the priorities they have for their children. She incorporates that information into her approach as she works with their children. Her professor, Carmen Rivers, describes Casey as a reflective practitioner. Professor Rivers states, Casey loves working with children, is patient and cooperative with educational professionals, and is enthusiastic working with children.  Casey’s dedication to the field will be a gift to the children and families she works with now and in the future. Casey, we look forward to seeing you succeed and congratulate you today on receiving this scholarship.

      Samantha Franzen
      Samantha is an excellent student, maintaining a 3.8 GPA.  She distinguishes herself through her positive attitude and energetic approach to learning.  With her sense of entrepreneurship, value of innovation, and her willingness to try new things, Samantha has founded a Limited Liability Corporation to help her in designing and programming a video game that will teach the Spanish language through artistic visual clues, rather than solely memorization.  Her goal is to release this video game before she graduates.  Especially relevant to both studies and work, Sam is accurate and thorough.  According to her former instructor, Assistant Professor Joshua Fishburn, Sam did excellent individual work, but her teamwork stands out even more because she works so well, even in difficult situations.  On teams where the skills of team members are evenly matched, Sam works effectively in leading the design and programming of games.  On teams where she has greater knowledge than her teammates, she works tirelessly to teach them and integrate them into the team.  With compassion and a good dose of common sense, Sam volunteers to assist students with disabilities with group projects and succeeds.  Samantha is a lifelong learner demonstrating intelligence, skill, and great potential for success.  Please help me in congratulating Sam!

      Raquel Huppert
      Raquel Huppert is very active on campus working full-time as the Economics Department Associate and part-time as the Assistant to the Director of the Fiscal and Economic Research Center. She attends class on a part-time basis.  In addition, she holds two student organizations executive board positions, and is a member of two academic honor societies attesting to her superior academic capability. Dr. Kashian characterizes Raquel as a student and an employee who is both creative and resilient.  She is an excellent researcher, an independent worker, and a high achiever.  Raquel is determined and is one of the hardest working students Dr. Kashian has employed in his 14 years at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.  She is an independent and strong individual.  She had the courage to go back to school in her mid-40’s, and the ability to succeed.  She is not slowing down; she is gearing up.  All of these qualities make her an ideal recipient of this scholarship.  We congratulate you today and wish you continued success in your endeavors Raquel. 

      Liliana Rienzi de Gimenez
      Liliana is a passionate, intelligent, multi-faceted person who pours her entire self into everything she does. Her motto is that gaining knowledge in itself is not enough, that she must take the knowledge learned to help others and benefit her community. Liliana is an accomplished musician and she and her husband hold free music classes for children at their church for those who cannot afford lessons so children can discover their gifts and instill a passion for music.  On campus, Liliana actively participated in the UW-W Chamber Singers for three semesters, and is an excellent soloist.  She was chosen last year as one of three winners of the UW-W Music Department’s Concerto-Aria competition.  Being a native of Venezuela, her instructor Professor Gehrenbeck appreciated her gracious advice to him and the rest of the chorus about the choral music in the subtleties of South American Spanish pronunciation.  Her voice was of greater depth and richness than most of her classmates, but she worked hard to fit into the overall sound of the ensemble while simultaneously being a valuable leader within the group.  For Liliana every day is an experience and a source of personal enrichment.  Her dream is to become a professional music teacher, helping others discover their gifts.  She holds her education in high regard and her dream will be realized when she is a successful teacher giving back to her students and community.  Please help me in congratulating Liliana Rienzi de Gimenez! 

      Rachel Sevilla
      Rachel has known she wanted to become a teacher since her junior year in high school.  She completed her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education at Milwaukee Area Technical College, and in 2014 enrolled in the Early Childhood Education 4U program at UW-Whitewater.  In December of 2015, she decided to graduate without getting her licensure due to limited family resources.  However, when she took her last 8 week class in 2015, “Children with Multiple Disabilities”, this course opened her eyes to her love for special education and changed her plan of action.  She is now forging ahead to attain both licensures in Early Childhood and Special Education and will graduate in December.  Her instructor, Professor Krejcarek states, “Rachel possesses a positive and enthusiastic personality.  She is well spoken, articulate, and always ready with a smile and kind word”.  According to Anne Tillett, Coordinator of the ECE4U program at UW-Whitewater, Rachel is a leader among her cohort and her peers respect her and appreciate her leadership skills.  “Passion”, “driven”, and “creative” are all words that Anne would use to describe Rachel. Upon graduation, Rachel plans to apply for the Milwaukee Birth to Three Program, a program that assesses and provides services for children who are showing signs of delay under the age of three.  Rachel, we wish you luck and congratulate you on receiving this scholarship today. 

      Gloria Vaughn
      One of Gloria’s greatest accomplishments is being the first person in her family to earn an Associate’s Degree. However, earning a Bachelor’s Degree has been her goal since her high school graduation in 2008.  In 2015, she was accepted to UW-Whitewater and she is very happy and proud to call herself a Warhawk.  Gloria is majoring in International Studies with an emphasis in Foreign Language and Area Studies.  Her goal is become a school translator or interpreter.  Her professor, Dr. Julie Minikel-Lacocque describes Gloria as studious, hardworking, and thoughtful.  When working with others she helps to motivate and raise expectations of others to a higher level.  Dr. Pilar Melero took note of her quiet, caring ways and defined her participation in her class as more quality than quantity.  She often glanced to where Gloria was sitting during peer work to find Gloria actively engaged in helping other students understand material that she clearly understood and could explain.  Her mentoring helped less strong students with difficult class work.  Her participation, then, was not boisterous, but rather a consistent way of helping her fellow classmates.  She is committed, caring, and intelligent; qualities that will no doubt make her not only a university graduate, but a caring, capable citizen engaged in her community. Please help me in congratulating Gloria Vaughn! 

      Maria Warren
      As a mother of two young boys, one and four years old, Maria took a leap of faith by returning to school, not a choice that she takes lightly.  Maria has been working in the banking industry the past nine years and actively volunteering for over 15 years in her community and at her church.  Through her job at the bank, she volunteers to help with Junior Achievement and writes banking articles in Spanish for the La Comunidad Newspaper teaching Spanish speakers about basic banking in the United States.  Maria is dedicated and enjoys serving her community as she hones her leadership skills in the process.  While raising a family, working, and volunteering, Maria still is able to achieve excellent grades in her courses.  Professor Stalder, Maria’s instructor for Basic Statistical Methods stated that Maria’s average was in the top 3% and he has never seen a performance as consistent as hers.  She received over 90% on absolutely all requirements for his class.  Maria shows excellent academic ability and great potential for graduate work.  Maria plans to go to graduate school to study School Psychology.  Dr. Elizabeth Olson is confident in her abilities and believes Maria’s academic and life experiences will make her an excellent, empathetic school psychologist and that Maria is well on her way to attaining her goal.  We look forward to watching you succeed Maria – Congratulations! 

      Hayley Wiers
      Hayley began her college career with an open slate, exploring different fields of study until she found one that resonated with her, Health and Wellness.  To expand her understanding of the field, she began working with the Northern Illinois Special Recreation Association (NISRA).  Having success rehabilitating a woman with several debilitating conditions back to health, she transferred to Iowa State University to study dietetics.  She discovered quickly that her technical aptitude did not align with the Sciences, so she reassessed her goals and is pursuing a Human Resource Management degree.  Hayley has kept at the forefront, her passion for wellness.  She is a member of the Worksite Wellness Committee for UW-W employees.  Hayley’s mature and pleasant personality made her a good fit as a fitness trainer at the McHenry County College Fitness Center she was working with special populations.  Her calm and positive attitude attributed to the success participants had as Hayley altered a physical activity and expanded on it to make it more challenging for the participants while also being appropriate for their abilities.  She has success in the classroom as well.  Her instructor, Dr. Uma Kedharnath was highly impressed with her presentation skills during a classroom debate, and finds Hayley dependable, willing and open to learn new concepts, and easy to work with. Although she has found herself on a different career path than her original plan, she is looking forward to finding way to continue opening doors to good health through her role in Human Resources.  Hayley, we wish you luck and congratulate you on receiving this scholarship today. 

      Mary Abbott
      Our first recipient, Mary Abbott is most passionate about bringing the arts to the public and reaching out to young people with disabilities and encouraging them to pursue higher education.  Mary currently serves as a board member for the Geneva Lakes Arts Foundation (GLAF).  She volunteers countless hours and cares not only about the organization, but the individual and the community.  Mary holds membership with several regional arts organizations, most notably the Wisconsin’s Regional Artist’s Association in Madison, Wisconsin.  She has actively exhibited her artworks at local and regional venues for many years.  With the help of this scholarship Mary was able to purchase extra materials to build the substrate required for her paintings. This spring and upcoming fall, Mary will be entering her work in various exhibitions. She is diligently working on various masterpieces for her Junior Review later this spring.   Mary approaches her work with careful examination of what she can create that will elicit change, address humanity, and will evoke emotion in the viewer.  Mary is dedicated and committed to a lifetime in the arts as she continually seeks opportunities that allow the Arts to play an important and significant role in defining her present and future self. We look forward to seeing more of your work unfold.  Congratulations Mary!

      Bonnie Chan
      Bonnie is the first in her family to attend college, let alone earn a degree.  Initially Bonnie chose to pursue a degree in Elementary Education, but after taking a Biology course in 2014, she changed her course of action.  She is pursuing a Cell Biology and Physiology major with a minor is Bioinformatics.  The Hunziker Scholarship has allowed Bonnie the opportunity to participate in a summer 2015 study group learning the Python computer programming language, and enroll in an independent study course focused in Python and bioinformatics.  She currently works in the Bioinformatics Research Lab on campus.  Bonnie is also involved in Undergraduate Research and participated at Undergraduate Research Day in March of 2016.  Bonnie’s research focuses on studying the molecular determinants leading to the Zika virus’ explosive expansion and emerging virulence properties.  Please help me in congratulating this motivated, dedicated, and talented recipient, Bonnie Chan. 

      Lisa Denison
      Lisa is pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education and will graduate in December of 2016.  With the help of the Ernella Hunziker Scholarship this past year, Lisa was able to work fewer hours, volunteer more, and focus on her academics.  Lisa was named to the Dean’s Honor List for both the spring and fall semesters with a 4.0 grade point average.  She is proud of this accomplishment, but what is most important to Lisa is sharing the knowledge she has learned to better help children reach their developmental milestones and be successful.  Her volunteer opportunities include serving as a monitor at the Early Childhood Education Conference held on campus, and taking full advantage of several Field experiences. She gained valuable knowledge working in an early intervention classroom at Easter Seals, where she planned and implemented lessons for children based on their needs and the families concerns.  Lisa also volunteered at a Homeless Shelter giving a presentation to parents focused on activities they could do with their children promoting developmental learning.  It was a very eye-opening experience for Lisa.  As Lisa finishes out her college career, she will continue to look for volunteer opportunities working with children in different settings and expand on making differences in children’s lives.  We look forward to seeing you succeed Lisa and congratulate you today on receiving this scholarship. 

      Berenice Solis
      Berenice is a hard-working, dedicated student majoring in Social Work with a minor in Business.  Volunteering in her community has inspired her to work with minority students and successfully advocate for services not provided for an at-risk population, specifically Latinos in the schools.  She is the President of the Parent Teacher Organization at Turtle Creek School and currently serves as the citizen representative on the Walworth County Health and Human Services Board and the Delavan-Darien School District Scholarship Board.  The Ernella Hunziker Scholarship has been essential in helping her maintain her GPA and continue her community efforts.  This school year, Berenice led a community petition effort to restructure the Delavan-Darien school district’s model into a “Center Schools Model” in order to alleviate disproportionate demographics, space concerns, inequitable distribution of resources, economic concerns, and inequitable distribution of special education and ESL children in the school.  In February of 2016, the Delavan-Darien School board voted to approve the change.  Please help me in congratulating this service driven leader with outstanding character and drive, Berenice Solis.