UWM has received an anonymous $100,000 donation that will be used to support full-time students who are Hmong-American or who are studying Hmong-related topics. The money will be split into one $5,000 award available for a current graduate student, as well as several renewable awards of $2,500 for new freshmen and current undergraduate students.
“It is great to see that the donors have chosen to invest in UWM students,” said Chia Youyee Vang, history professor and associate vice chancellor of global inclusion and engagement.
The grants will go to students who demonstrate academic merit and financial need, and who actively participate in the activities of the Hmong student community at UWM. Students who participate in other community-based organizations that advance the needs and interests of the Hmong community are also eligible.
“The scholarship will have a significant impact on the retention and graduation of Southeast Asian-American students at UWM,” said Dao Vang, senior student services coordinator with the Southeast-Asian American Student Services Office at UWM.
Provost Johannes Britz said the gift supports UWM’s core value of diversity. “It will enhance our recruitment and retention efforts, which ultimately leads to students graduating and contributing to society,” he said.
UWM’s Southeast Asian American student population is about 700, of which 80 percent are Hmong Americans. According to Chia Youyee Vang, who studies the history of the Hmong diaspora, the Milwaukee area has the fourth largest Hmong population in the United States.