Mary Jo Read Awards

When Mary Jo Read, a geography professor, died in 1998, she made UWM geography students beneficiaries of her estate through an endowment fund that generates more than $50,000 per year. “The fund will help the Geography Department attract some of the best students in the country,” says Read’s longtime friend and colleague Donn Haglund, professor emeritus of geography. Read, a dedicated professor, accomplished photographer, popular speaker, and worldwide traveler, taught at UWM’s Department of Geography from 1940 (when it was the Milwaukee State Teachers College) until 1965 and was its chairwoman from 1958 to 1963. She then taught at Eastern Illinois University and returned to Milwaukee upon her retirement.

The Mary Jo Read Geography Fund, with estimated assets of more than $1 million, will benefit the department by providing scholarships, fellowships, and merit awards to students who demonstrate academic excellence in the field.

Specifically, the fund earmarks the following for graduate students:

  • Fellowships for geography graduate students, typically to provide additional financial support to those also holding teaching, project, or research assistantships. Both new and continuing students are eligible for these fellowships each year, with awards based on each student’s academic record and competitive standing. A fellowship can be granted to an individual for a total of four years. New student awards are $5,000, and continuing student awards are $2,500. All department graduate students are automatically considered for these awards each year, however those not interested in graduate assistantships may wish to fill out an application form (Word).
  • up to $1,000 travel grants for graduate students. These scholarships are to fund research, and professional development experiences. Use the procedures outlined below.

Travel Award Eligibility

The Mary Jo Read Travel Scholarship competition is open to:

  • Graduate students in the UW-Milwaukee geography master’s or doctoral programs

Categories of Awards

Awards are made in two categories:

  • Category 1 – Travel support for professional development experiences, such as presentation of a paper at a major academic conference; or
  • Category 2 – Travel support for course-related research field experiences.

In order to be eligible for Category 1 awards, students must agree to submit a complete expense report after the conference, along with a short (1-page) report that includes the abstract and details of their presentation. In order to be eligible for Category 2 awards, students must agree to submit a complete expense report after their research-related travel, along with a two page report on what was accomplished, including the associated course. Research-related travel must be connected to specific course work, such as Geog. 654 or 990, that is registered for in an appropriate semester.

To apply submit the following documentation to Prof. Mick Day, Chair, Mary Jo Read Scholarship Committee, Department of Geography, by Wednesday, December 31st, 2014:

Mary Jo Read Travel Scholarship

  • A brief letter of application (300 to 500 words) listing the category of award you are applying for, describing your academic interests and goals, and explaining how the Mary Jo Read Travel Scholarship will enhance your professional development (Category 1) or course-related field research (Category 2) experience;
  • A specific plan (including a budget) of when and where your travel will occur; and
  • Curriculum vitae containing personal information (name, student number, address, phone, email); academic achievements, awards and honors (excluding high school); and current or recent extracurricular activities including volunteer work.