Exterior of Nancy Nicholas Hall in the evening, with lamps and windows glowing.
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SoHE Undergrads to Lead Two Wisconsin Idea Fellowship Projects

Danielle Wendricks (Community and Nonprofit Leadership and History double major) and Nina Sugaya (Interior Architecture) will lead two of the nine projects that have won Wisconsin Idea Fellowships from the Morgridge Center for Public Service.

The Wisconsin Idea Fellowships (WIF), now in their 22nd year, are awarded annually to UW–Madison undergraduate projects working to address issues identified by local or global communities. Fellowships are awarded to semester-long or year-long projects designed by an undergraduate student or group of students in collaboration with a community organization and a UW faculty or staff member. Projects receive both logistical support as well as financial support—up to $7,000 in total depending on project scope and duration.

Wendricks, along with Josie Brandmeier (Journalism and Theater) and under the faculty advising of Michael Maguire (Civil Society and Community Studies), will run the Madison La Follette High School Pantry Project, which provides resources to address food security along with equitable and responsible volunteering trainings for students at Madison La Follette High School. Though adjusting their plans to observe COVID-19 public health recommendations, Josie and Danielle will work with the Key Harvest Food Pantry to provide infrastructural and programmatic changes. Additionally, the pair will support high school students as they grow as passionate leaders and help to create a succession plan to increase sustainability and coherency across years.

Sugaya, leading three other team members and under the faculty advising of Lesley Sager (Design Studies), will execute the Biomass Briquette Stool project, which serves to mitigate deforestation in Kenya by developing a biomass briquette machine to create a more sustainable fuel alternative to replace wood. This team of students designed a stool which was trialed over the winter of 2020. Once COVID-19 travel advisories are lifted, the team will install the Biomass Briquette Stool in local primary schools and train students and staff in how to use the machine.

Read more about the fellowship and other winning projects on the Morgridge Center’s website.