Lead scholarship donors Avi Shaked ’80 and his wife, Babs Waldman, MD, have had an incomparable impact on engineering students at UWM. Since 2006, the couple has provided hundreds of scholarships to students at the College of Engineering & Applied Science.
“Our gift to UWM has been successful on so many levels: for the students, the College of Engineering & Applied Science, the larger university, and the employers who hire the graduates,” says the couple. “We don’t know who the next great innovator will be, but we feel the need to support students who wouldn’t otherwise have such opportunities for success.”
Avi Shaked benefitted from scholarships when he was a student at UWM and wanted to give others the same advantage. He also wanted to raise the caliber of engineering students by rewarding those with higher GPAs and ACT scores. Since the couple’s scholarship was established, those numbers have gone up and the freshman retention rate has risen.
First-generation engineering student Ameralys Correa ’19 says her scholarships allowed her to start college immediately after high school, something she could not have done without financial support. “Scholarships eliminate one of the biggest obstacles keeping otherwise capable and motivated students from chasing their dreams,” she says. “At UWM, you can go tremendously far as long as you are willing to work for it. With scholarship support, I can put my time and energy into going that extra mile.”