Seeds of Greatness

When she first came to UW from Manitowoc, Ashya Kaderabek-Vela already knew she loved genetics, in part for the answers genetics seem to hold in explaining various health-related conditions that were passed down in her family. Initially her career goal was to become a genetic counselor.

“I would be able to help other families understand the issues happening in their families and help them cope,” she says.

But in her freshman year at CALS, Kaderabek-Vela discovered another passion, wildlife ecology—and, most excitingly, a way to combine both of her interests in the field of conservation genetics, an interdisciplinary science that applies genetic methods to the conservation and restoration of biodiversity.

“It’s really important to help conserve the many threatened plant and animal species on our planet,” she says. “They are a part of the earth as much as we are and play huge roles in all aspects of life.”

Coming from a family of limited financial means, Kaderabek-Vela feels fortunate to attend UW–Madison. Her path through the UW has been greatly eased by a grant from the Great People Scholarship fund, which offers need-based grants to fill gaps between various other sources of financial aid.

“I don’t have to worry about whether I can afford to go to school the following semester,” Kaderabek-Vela says. “This grant makes it easier to focus on my schoolwork rather than on how to pay tuition.”

Donations to Great People may be earmarked toward a particular school or college, including CALS, and are matched by the UW Foundation. Donors also may set up a named endowment under the auspices of Great People.

The Foundation match makes Great People an especially powerful way to provide assistance—and helps ensure that CALS continues to foster students from all backgrounds in their development as great students, great professionals and great citizens of the world.

To contribute to the CALS Great People Scholarship fund, visit
http://supportuw.org/giveto/greatpeople and go to “Agricultural and Life Sciences” in the drop-down menu.

For more information about Great People and CALS, contact Sara Anderson, sara.anderson@supportuw.org, 608-263-9537.