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Gift Establishes First Opportunity Fund Grant Program for UW-Eau Claire Biology Students

RELEASED: May 6, 2005

Steve and Julie HenselerEAU CLAIRE — An opportunity fund grant program for University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire biology students has been created through a $20,000 endowed gift from Steve and Julie Henseler to the UW-Eau Claire Foundation's Fulfilling the Promise of Excellence campaign.

The fund will provide grants for biology students to pursue activities outside the classroom that enhance their education. Activities the fund could cover include trips to professional meetings, special research projects and study-abroad experiences.

The students will need to develop a project proposal, a budget and establish a mentor relationship in order to qualify for the grant.

"The process would require students to understand the process of seeking and justifying the need for funding — a useful skill in many professions," said Carole Halberg, president of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation. "We would like to develop opportunity funds for all university departments to give as many students as possible the chance to participate in this critical thinking process and extend their learning opportunities."

Both of the Henselers received their bachelor's degrees in biology from UW-Eau Claire in 1989. Steve Henseler went on to dental school at the University of Minnesota and has a private practice in Woodbury, Minn. Julie Henseler attended the Medical College of Wisconsin and is an internist at Abbot Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

The Henselers believe UW-Eau Claire gave them a great foundation to start their careers and see the establishment of the opportunity fund as a new opportunity for student growth for the next generation of UW-Eau Claire students.

"The biology department at UW-Eau Claire provided a great foundation for Julie and me to succeed in our professional careers," said Steve Henseler. "We want to share our success with those who played an important role in what we have achieved, as well as to give future students a similar opportunity.”

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