4W Awards

4W Women’s Philanthropy Council Innovation Award

Provides general support to allow faculty or academic staff to devote time to develop a key initiative related to women and wellbeing that is aligned with the vision and core values of 4W.

Picture1Jennifer Angus (2017) is a professor of Design Studies. She is one of nine leading contemporary artists selected for the landmark exhibition “Wonder” at the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery in 2016. Jennifer has exhibited her work internationally, and has been the recipient of numerous awards including Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council and Wisconsin Arts Board grants. She is co-PI on the award-winning Design and Microenterprise project which launched an interdisciplinary outreach program connecting students with artisans who have requested assistance with microenterprise development.   Her Innovation award will support an extension of this program to explore the transformative potential of textile design collaborations between artisans in Gujarat, India and students in Madison, WI.

Picture1Elizabeth Ann Larson (2017) is an occupational therapist and occupational scientist with over thirty years of clinical and research experience working with children with disabilities and their families. Her clinical experience has shaped both her teaching and research. In 2015, Dr. Larson was appointed as a fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association and awarded a Vilas Life Cycle Professorship Award. Her Innovation Award will support work to develop her 5Minutes4Myself Wellness Program for caregivers of children with autism, moving from a pilot to a full wellness service.

4W Women’s Philanthropy Council Engagement Grant for Emerging Scholars

Flexibly supports graduate and professional students in action research related to women and wellbeing in Wisconsin or globally.

Picture1Alisha Esselstein (2017) is a second-year law student at the University of Wisconsin Law School. She has studied regional conflict and gender in Nairobi, Kenya and Cuernavaca, Mexico. She was a Research Assistant at the Law and Society Trust, a human rights NGO based in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in summer 2016 where she worked on women’s rights, transitional justice mechanisms, and constitutional reform. Her 4W Engagement Grant will support her work at the Gender Justice Program at the International Centre for Transitional Justice in the summer of 2017.

4W Initiative Internships Program

Supports undergraduate and graduate students in completing internships relevant to the 4W mission. Made possible by the Women’s Philanthropy Council.

Two students will work with  young women participating in the  “I am a Leader” program in Madurai, India, collecting stories to share in the U.S  and teaching storytelling workshops.

Picture1Kayla Hui (2017) is a junior majoring in Gender and Women’s Studies with a certificate in Global Health. After her undergraduate studies, Kayla is planning on attending graduate school for her Masters in Public Health to work with marginalized communities and women of color to gain better access to resources and education. Outside of her academics, Kayla enjoys yoga, running, traveling, and utilizing her summers for educational programs.


Picture1Krystal (Lisha) Du (2017) is originally from Quanzhou, Fujian, China. She is a junior majoring in Journalism and Communication Arts. She is very passionate about video production and strategic communication. Her dream is to work in nonprofit communications or advertising. In her free time, she likes to cook and watch movies, as well as traveling to different places and meeting people.


Two students will work with women producing crafts for fair trade in Kathmandu, Nepal, and contribute to design & business plans with Sabah Nepal and other local craft groups.

Picture1Ibtisam Ul-Haq (2017) is an international student from Pakistan who is in his junior year studying Textile and Fashion Design. He is interested in dyeing, screen-printing, and weaving. His work is influenced by Eastern architecture and South Asian culture. He occasionally works with Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS) as a volunteer.



Picture1Luisa Fernanda Garcia-Gomez (2017) creates small runs of handmade shoes, leather goods, and textiles. During her time in graduate school, she is studying and developing ideas about the functionality of the object and the relation between concept and material approaches to production.  She is conducting research at the intersection of art, design, Fair Trade and the use of traditional methods in the context of a global economy.


4W Wisconsin Without Borders Award

Honors the work of students, faculty, staff and community partners that demonstrates excellence in collaboration between the university and local and global communities. The 4W Award recognizes projects which impact women’s wellbeing.

Picture1Marjorie Kersten (2016) graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2016 with a B.S. in Community and Environmental Sociology and a certificate in Global Health.  Currently, Marjorie serves as an AmeriCorps Health and Nutrition Coordinator at the Greater Chicago Food Depository where she works to improve food access and food literacy throughout Cook County, Illinois.  In the future Marjorie hopes to pursue a Masters in Public Health and continue to work on community-based health, nutrition and sustainable food systems initiatives. She is being recognized for her work with the research group MIGHTi , assessing consumer perceptions of edible insects and striving to improve livelihoods in Southern Zambia by working to empower women to farm edible insects.

*Many thanks to the Engagement Grants and Innovation Awards selection committee: Cora Marrett, Connie Flanagan, Lori DiPrete Brown, Sophia Friedson-Ridenour, and Molly Clark-Barol