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A Spotlight on the Lives and Stories of a Few English Department Scholarship Donors

| Gwen Wheat

The UWEC English Department offers a variety of General, Education, and Creative Writing awards for students. The scholarships are an excellent opportunity for students to reflect on their sense of purpose while applying, honor the donors who wish to improve students’ lives, and become encouraged to approach their education holistically. Scholarships hold an immeasurable value and impact on students. This web story features the lives of a few English Department scholarship donors who provide financial assistance and opportunities for students. More information about all scholarships can be found on the Gold for Blugolds website.

Sandra Lindow

Sandra Lindow, Teacher of English and Language Arts Scholarship

One of the newest scholarships for the UWEC English Department to inspire and support future teachers is made possible by alumna, Sandra Lindow (pictured above). From the age of seven, Sandra knew she wanted to teach English and her life has been a great testament to her passion for teaching English. Through financial assistance, Sandra was able to greatly succeed in higher education and as a teacher. Sandra graduated summa cum laude in English and Education, earned a Masters of Science in teaching English, furthered her studies with additional licensure as a reading teacher and reading specialist. She also taught for 42 years. Sandra speaks highly of her time at UWEC learning from quality professors, tutoring in the Freshman Composition Laboratory, and spending time in the beautiful nature of campus that Sandra says, “soothed my poetic soul and energized me everyday.” Sandra’s experiences from her liberal arts education and teaching career have led her to positively advocate for the important skills of teaching children reading and writing. Her scholarship is meant for students who share the same passion to deeply invest in their own learning and that of others. She notes, “I hope that the students who receive my scholarship will understand that someone believes in them.” The Sandra Lindow, Teacher of Language Arts Scholarship awards $1,500 (renewable for up to two additional years) to an English Education student with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Robert St. Louis

Clara B. Small Memorial English Scholarship and the Nadine St. Louis Creative Writing Scholarship

Robert St. Louis is a retired UWEC Chemistry professor and the contact for these two English Department scholarships donated to both honor the lives of Clara and Nadine as well as help current English students foster their education and creativity. The Nadine St. Louis scholarship honors “Dina” St. Louis who was an English professor and Department Chair at UWEC and actively involved in education, the campus, and the literary community. As Robert notes, Dina “ought to be remembered for her contributions to UW-Eau Claire and the community.” Dina made history here in Eau Claire and her story and scholarship encourages other students to grow their experiences and innovation as well. Dina wrote many poems, was involved in groups such as the Writer’s Roundtable, Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, and many more. She was also Eau Claire’s first poet laureate in 2010. More of Dina’s accomplishments can be found on the Gold for Blugold’s website and Dina’s collected poetry notebooks are now available in the Kate Gill Library.

The Clara B. Small Memorial English Scholarship is in memory of Dina’s mother who encouraged Dina to continue to learn and shine as a student, teacher, and writer. Robert says the scholarship is “for the nontraditional student, typically then but not necessarily, a mother returning to school after family-raising”. The donors of these two scholarships believe in the importance of formal education and Robert encourages students to apply. Robert notes for creative writers that submit original poetry or prose for the scholarship application to remember, “It will be a worthwhile accomplishment. Your creation may be the start for a novel or further elaboration, so keep at it.” The Clara B. Small Memorial English Scholarship is one award of $1,650. The Nadine St. Louis Creative Writing Scholarship is one award of $1,000. More information about Clara and Dina can be found on the website:

Eleanor Jones

Grace Shipley and Eleanor Jones Scholarship

This scholarship was created by Eleanor Jones in memory of her friend, Grace Shipley. During World War II, Eleanor joined the US Marine Corps Women’s Reserve Band and Grace Shipley served in the US Army. Both women were also members of the Hormel Caravan, travelling around the country in white Chevy’s learning and performing jazz music from town to town for four years. Eleanor was in the band and Grace was a singer and dancer, which Eleanor notes was a “fabulous experience” that founded “at least a million experiences and memories with Grace.” According to Eleanor,  Grace was “born into abject poverty and refused to stay there- a brilliant mind who would not be denied. That is the real reason behind the start of this scholarship.” The scholarship is given to a student with a terrific goal and a passion to achieve it, such as Eleanor’s passion for writing. While away from home during the war, Eleanor wrote letters to her parents and grew her love of writing that existed ever since she learned how to write. Eleanor has continued to practice all kinds of writing as she earned her a Creative Writing and French undergraduate degree from UW-Madison and has also written Grace Shipley’s life in many chapters, an important highlight being how Grace was an English professor at UW-Eau Claire for many years. The shared passion for music and the written language inspires creativity in current students, scholarship applicants, and scholarship recipients today. It is the hope of the scholarship to encourage and support student’s sense of purpose as they embark on passions of their own. The Grace Shipley and Eleanor Jones Scholarship is one award of $1,000 annually.

Carole Swan Halberg

Carole Swan Halberg

Maurice and Alma Swan English Education Scholarship

Carole Swan Halberg was raised in a small northern Wisconsin town by her parents, Maurice and Alma Swan. Carole’s parents were very smart individuals who were unable to have many education opportunities. Due to these circumstances, Maurice and Alma Swan had an immense value for education, which inspired Carole to give back to UWEC students through the English Education Scholarship in their honor. From memories such as Carole meeting her father at the door as a toddler, asking him to read to her, her parents always believed that Carole would grow up to be an English teacher. However, when Carole graduated from UWEC with a double major in English and Geography, she chose a different profession. Carole says, “I think it both surprised and disappointed them. When I was able to set up the scholarship, I decided to do it in their honor and to give them an English teacher each year rather than the one English teacher I would have given them if I had chosen that career path.” Although Carole did not pursue the career of an English teacher, her professors during her time studying at UWEC had a great impact on her life. Carole has a fond appreciation for English professor Grace Shipley, who taught Carole during the tense spring of 1970 with civility and encouraged Carole and her peers to thrive. While in school, receiving a scholarship to help with the costs of tuition greatly helped Carole attend the university and embrace classroom experiences within both the English and Geography Department that furthered her love for challenging academics. The Maurice and Alma Swan scholarship is set up for student teaching with the hopes of alleviating some stress and allowing the recipient to focus on becoming a more skilled educator. Carole mentions, “I think a little financial support from the scholarship may be particularly helpful as well as a vote for confidence.” As the previous President of the UWEC Foundation she also encourages students to apply for scholarships to take advantage of the direct support from donors. Carole also advises current students “to make the most of every minute and every experience, UW-Eau Claire is a great place to get that start into adulthood.”

The Maurice and Alma Swan English Education Scholarship is one award of $1,000 annually.