Month: June 2017

Announcing the Title VI International Research and Studies Program for FY 2017

The US Department of Education’s International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) office just announced the opening of the a new round of awards for fiscal year 2017: Title VI International Research and Studies Program. The deadline to submit an application is August 14, 2017. The IFLE announcement reads:

The International and Foreign Language Education Office of the U.S. Department of Education is pleased to announce the opening of the competition for FY 2017 new awards under the Title VI International Research and Studies Program (IRS) Program.

The IRS program provides grants to institutions, public and private agencies, organizations, and individuals to conduct research and studies or to develop instructional materials to improve and strengthen instruction in modern foreign languages, area studies, and other international fields. IRS program funds may not be used for the training of students and teachers. Cost-sharing is not required.

The FY 2017 competition will feature one absolute priority and two competitive preference priorities. We hope that these priorities will inspire interesting research projects, surveys, and studies that will be useful to a wide range of stakeholders:

  • Absolute Priority: The Department will only consider applications that propose research projects, surveys, or studies.
  • Competitive Preference Priority 1: Five (5) additional points may be awarded for research projects, surveys, and studies about U.S. school-based Dual Language Immersion Programs.
  • Competitive Preference Priority 2:  Five (5) additional points may be awarded for research projects, surveys, and studies on the outcomes of international education programs for U.S. postsecondary education students.

The following are examples of research, study, and survey projects supported under the IRS program in the past:

The deadline to apply is August 14, 2017. Please refer to the Notice Inviting Applications published in the Federal Register and the application package for further information. We appreciate your interest in this program and look forward to receiving your application!

Refer a student or alum!

Do you know an undergrad here at UW-Madison that would be a good fit for a Fulbright? Maybe you just had alumni event and you met a few that you think should explore their options for funding abroad. Grad students in your department ready to apply for a Fulbright-Hays DDRA or a Boren Fellowship? Some who are planning their summer research and could benefit from an IRIS Summer Fieldwork Award or a Scott Kloeck-Jenson Fellowship? A graduating senior or recent grad that might never have thought about working in Asia but is an exceptional talent and a good fit for the Luce Scholars Program?

Fill out our online referral form and we’ll reach out to them! Students are more likely to apply for a fellowship when referred by a faculty or staff member plus you’ll be helping us spread the word about these valuable opportunities campus-wide.

IRIS Seeking Applications for 2017-2018 Graduate Project Assistantships

Call for Applications
Graduate Project Assistantships in International Studies Administration

The Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS), a unit in the UW-Madison International Division, anticipates multiple openings for graduate student project assistants for the duration of the 2017-18 academic year.

Project Assistants will be based in IRIS but some will be assigned, for one semester or two, to one of the regional centers that make up IRIS. All appointments will be at 50 percent and require 20 hours of work per week, with compensation at the standard 50 percent PA level and full tuition remission and other assistantship benefits.

The purpose of the PAships is twofold: (1) to help IRIS and its constituent centers accomplish necessary work and (2) to help prepare selected students for jobs after graduation that may entail or include administration.
Thus, we are especially interested in applications from students whose academic work focuses on some aspect of regional and international studies, who anticipate careers that might involve administrative elements, and who would appreciate receiving training and mentoring in international studies administration.


PAs will work under the general supervision of the IRIS executive director but will be assigned specific roles and supervisors within IRIS and/or its constituent centers, some appointments shifting between the fall and spring semesters, depending on needs and PA skills. Among the duties that some or all PAs will be assigned are:

  • Assistance in grant applications, grant compliance, and grant reporting, including careful compilation of data for entry into on-line reporting systems.
  • Event planning, including content planning and logistics such as venue selection and reservations, program design, air ticketing, hotel booking, publicity, and communication with participants and campus financial specialists to ensure proper documentation and timely payment of honoraria or reimbursements.
  • Regional and international studies communication, including crafting compelling content on multiple platforms to inform campus and off-campus constituencies of activities, opportunities, and events in regional and international studies.• Layout, editing, author/editor communications, marketing, and other work associated with journals and publications based in IRIS centers.
  • Assist IRIS centers with website maintenance and updating content. A working knowledge of html/css, proficiency in customizing WordPress templates, and experience with both website design and maintenance would be useful.
  • Other administrative work as assigned.


Applicants must be UW-Madison graduate students in good standing, making normal progress toward a graduate degree. Applicants must have experience outside the United States and currently working on a degree that has an international research dimension, ideally including sustained research abroad.

Applicants should apply for general consideration. We will make assignments based on needs and candidate abilities, meaning that applicants should not apply for specific duties or work in specific centers. However, application letters should clearly outline the range of the applicant’s interests and experiences that might bear on selection and assignment.

To Apply

Submit an approximately two-page letter of application, a current CV, and, on a separate sheet, the names and contact information of two persons, ideally including the applicant’s academic advisor, whom we might contact for references if the applicant becomes a finalist. The application letter should be addressed to:

PA Selection Committee
Institute for Regional and International Studies
University of Wisconsin-Madison

No mailing address is needed as it will be handled digitally.

Please assemble these three documents in a single pdf, with your full name as the file name, and attach the pdf to an email message to The subject of the email message should be “2017-18 PA Application.” The message need not have any content beyond, “Here is my application for a project assistantship in international studies administration.”

For full consideration, please apply before 10am on Monday, July 3, 2017.

Questions about the assistantships may also be addressed to

Multiple IRIS Undergraduates Awarded Scholarships!

Tayler Bujnowski, double-major in Communication Arts and International Studies with a certificate in French, has been awarded the $5,000 Henderson-Resnick Internship  Scholarship. She will be interning this summer at the BMP Film Company in Chicago where she will be involved in media production.

Tobin McGilligan (Geography and Cartography majors with certificates in European Studies and Computer Science) has been awarded the $2,000 Picus Scholarship and is participating in the US Department of State Internship at the US Embassy in Mexico in their Information Management Office.

Bridgette Stoeckel (Political Science and Scandinavian Studies majors with a certificate in European Studies) has been awarded the $5000 Shinner Family Scholarship and has accepted an internship at the Danish Parliament in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Congratulations to the three LACIS Summer Travel Grant Recipients! Christina DeMars (LACIS, International Studies, and Spanish major) will be interning at Sociedad de Integracion Gay Lesbica Argentina. Gabriella Gaus (LACIS, Psychology, and Chicanx and Latinx Studies major) will be interning at ALUBA in Argentina. Tobin McGilligan (B.S., Geographic Information Systems/Cartography & Geography, Certificates in European Studies and Computer Science) will be interning at the US Embassy in Mexico City. Each semester, LACIS invites undergraduate students (from any major or discipline) to apply for their international travel grant program.  Recipients can receive one-time funds for internships or volunteer programs in Latin America, the Caribbean, the Iberian Peninsula. Students from any nationality and citizenship are eligible to apply.

Congratulations to all of these students on their fantastic achievements!

Learn more about two International Studies undergraduates who received Newman Awards HERE.

IRIS Academic Programs: A Year in Review

It’s been a great year for IRIS! Last month, 144 students graduated with a major and/or a certificate from one of the Regional Centers. With eight area studies centers in IRIS, six of which are Title VI National Resource Centers, as well as the International Studies major, there were many opportunities for students to study the world. Here are the number of certificates and majors awarded this year, along with photos from the Centers’ ceremonies and other highlights:


African Studies: 47

East Asian Studies: 20

European Studies: 55

Middle East Studies: 7


Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies: 8

South Asia: 6

South East Asia: 10


International Studies: 103

Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies: 11

LACIS Undergraduate Advisor, Sarah Ripp (on left) with three graduating seniors.


Two European Studies certificate students discuss their time at UW and future plans

The Center for European Studies is pleased to announce that 55 undergraduates received the European Studies Certificate this May. Our graduates majored in diverse disciplines, including History, International Studies, Economics, Journalism, Business, Biology and everywhere in between! We wish to congratulate all the graduates and wish them the best in their future endeavors. Here are profiles of two Certificate students:

Amelie von Below
I studied Marketing, International Business and German at UW-Madison. I grew up bilingual in Germany but lost much of my German after moving to the US. As German wasn’t offered at my middle school, I began to learn French and continued to study it through part of college. However, I was still interested in getting back up to a fluent level of German, so I began to take courses at UW, and studied abroad through the Academic Year on the Freiburg program. After returning to Madison and finishing the German major, I was eager to learn a new language and to learn more about areas of Europe with which I was unfamiliar. This prompted me to begin taking Danish courses. I received a FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies) fellowship for the study of Danish in my senior year, during which I also studied abroad (in my last semester) at the Copenhagen Business School.

Adding the European Studies Certificate to my education was a way to point out an undercurrent that had permeated my studies all along: European cultures and languages. Ever since my first semester of university, I had selected every class that focused on Europe that fit into my required coursework. I remember being excited about taking Food in Italian Literature to fulfill the literature requirement, and Global Marketing Strategy as a marketing elective.

Marketing fits nicely with my interest in European Studies, as understanding people is at its core, and the attitudes and values that people have are heavily influenced by culture and language. I am currently interviewing in Germany within the field of Marketing. I plan on working in Europe for three years before applying for my MBA in Marketing, and eventually building a career in international brand management.


Josh Kowalczyk
Josh Kowalczyk was a double major in Economics and International Studies with a Certificate in European Studies. His chief academic interest was the global political economy and its relationship to sustainable development, geopolitics, and macroeconomic policy. Additionally he was a student of Italian language, and he spent a semester abroad at John Cabot University in Rome. Beyond academics, Josh was a celebrated player on the Men’s Rugby Club at UW-Madison, while also serving on the team’s executive board as the recruiting chair.

 Josh concluded his undergraduate studies this past spring as a participant on the UW’s Wisconsin in Washington DC academic internship program, where he interned at the Delegation of the European Union in the Economic and Financial Affairs Section. In this role, Josh was granted the opportunity to research transatlantic economic policies, shadow top-level EU diplomats, and attend meetings at various organizations and government agencies (including the Department of Treasury, the US Capitol, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank).

Going forward, Josh’s post-graduate career will continue in Washington, DC at the Bipartisan Policy Center, where he will be a summer intern working on financial regulatory policy.

The summer is a great time to work on your Fulbright application!

If you’re a rising senior, graduate student, or alumni of the UW-Madison and you’re interested in pursuing a Fulbright US Student Program award – it is most definitely not just for students – the summer is a great time to learn more about the program and work on your application. In fact, with the campus deadline this year on September 11, summer is the time for you to be working on it!

Learn more about the campus-side of the process at and explore all the opportunities available on the Fulbright website.

Mark Lilleleht, the campus Fulbright program advisor, will be available all summer long to answer questions, assist with the application process, and to discuss your interests. Contact him – with your questions or to set up an appointment – at & 608.265.6070.

FUSP poster 2017

Two International Studies students receive Newman Awards

Newman Family Scholarship for International Studies @ UW-Madison
2017 Recipients: Michelle Lam & Emma Strenski

Biography of Michelle Lam

Michelle Lam is a current Junior majoring in International Studies, with a focus on Global Politics and Economy. Michelle was born in Hong Kong, but her family immigrated to Eau Claire, Wisconsin when she was 5 years old. While originally planning to become a doctor, Michelle instead decided to major in International Studies as she realized her passion to understand global ties and the positive and negative impacts of political economy on the daily lives’ of regular people.
International Studies 101 was what first sparked her interest in International Studies and pushed her to declare her major with the IS department, while still pursuing a pre-medical track. However, with her participation in the Taiwan-America Student Conference during Summer 2016, she realized her devotion to International Studies. Consisting of 20 American delegates, and 20 Taiwanese delegates, the conference facilitated the discussion on current issues in Education, Media, Environment, Trans-Pacific Affairs, and Education in today’s world. Both a fun and educating experience, Michelle now has cherished relationships with students ranging from across the U.S. to Taiwan. Wanting to pursue more international and cross cultural experiences, Michelle decided to drop the pre-med track to study abroad in London during Spring 2017 and participate in the Wisconsin in Washington D.C. program during Spring 2018. Currently studying abroad at the University of Westminster in London, she is already gaining different perspectives of the United States’ role in World Affairs, especially International Law and Politics. As people of all backgrounds study in London, their narratives have provided insight into the dominant role of the U.S. in International Relations, its resulting positive and negative consequences and oppositions. She is particularly interested in the Middle East and Southeast Asia and will continue to take Economics and Politics courses focused on these areas.
With graduation looming next year, Michelle plans to head out to Washington, D.C. to pursue graduate school, or a career with a think tank or in public policy. Ideally, she would like to pursue a job that will allow her to continue to study and learn International Affairs. No concrete plans have been made, however, and she is willing to keep an open mind to various opportunities that come her way.

Biography of Emma DeLaney Strenski

My name is Emma DeLaney Strenski and I am from Indianapolis, Indiana. I graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas School in 2010 and from Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in 2014. It was at Brebeuf, in a class called Genocide and Holocaust, that International Studies first caught my attention. My teacher, Mr. Tague, introduced me to the study of other cultures in times of extreme, unthinkable violence. I would like to especially thank him for that. Ever since I took that class, I knew that I wanted to focus my future studies on the history of genocide, the politics of war, and foreign policy measures.
At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I have taken classes geared toward this end goal, including classes on the Holocaust, World War II, Vietnam and Cambodia, US Foreign Policy, and US CIA Covert Warfare. These courses within the International Studies and History departments on campus have helped me gain a vast, diverse knowledge of conflict and resolution in modern history. This will culminate in my senior thesis, entitled “Preserving the Dayton Peace Accords with the Brcko Arbitration.” In this thesis project, I will trace the international arbitration and decision about Brcko, made under the Dayton Peace Accords, in order to examine America’s stances on human rights and individual sovereignty in the late twentieth century. I hope to explain the American approach to arbitrating multiethnic spaces using the case of Brcko, Bosnia as compared to other American interventions in the twentieth century.
The International Studies Major and my internship with the Columbia Support Network has helped me to channel my passion and interest in Latin America into preparation for a profession. In the future, I plan to use what I have learned about Latin America in my International Studies classes in the Peace Corps and law school. Immediately following my graduation in May of 2018, I hope to enter the Peace Corps for a two-year post teaching English as a second language to kids in Latin America. After completing a two-year tour in the Peace Corps, I intend to apply to the Georgetown University Law School. I will pursue a law degree with a certificate in Refugees & Humanitarian Emergencies. I want to learn about the law behind international human rights, the way it works, and how effective it is as a whole. I want to learn as much on the subject as possible, to best prepare me for a career in the field.
In short, what I have learned from my internship and my International Studies classes has influenced what I want to do with my life. This major program has helped to shape my future. I would probably be doing something completely different, perhaps something I would not be as passionate about, if I were not involved in the International Studies Major.