The Department of Spanish & Portuguese is delighted to announce this year’s Marsha Gray Ehrlich Scholarship Fund recipients. Marsha Gray Ehrlich was a former graduate student in our Department, and an inspirational teacher during her long professional career. She received a Master of Arts, with a major in Spanish, on August 17, 1968. She carried the preparation she received from our Department and her joy for Spanish to New York, where she taught Spanish and Latin in public schools for more than thirty years, before retiring in 2002. Ms. Ehrlich carried her love and passion for languages inside and outside the classroom, inspiring colleagues and family alike.
Our first recipient, Katya Garza, a graduating senior studying neurobiology and Spanish with a certificate in Chican@ & Latin@ Studies says, “As a member of the Latinx community myself, I feel a responsibility to give back to organizations that have made it their mission to support, empower, and represent Latinx people. My goal is to help build a bridge between public health, academia, and underserved populations. I will always be grateful for the Spanish department at UW- Madison for equipping me with the right tools and knowledge to continue to make an impact. ”
Our second recipient, Elsa Lundin, a graduating senior studying Political Science and Spanish with certificates in Criminal Justice and Gender & Women’s Studies writes, “Working as a volunteer for the Family Court Clinic and being able to assist Spanish speakers our community in need of guidance through the Family Law process has been so rewarding. The legal process often isn’t very accommodating to those who don’t speak English as a first language and can be beyond difficult to navigate in general. To be able to make that process a little bit easier has been a moving experience. I am so flattered and grateful to have been selected as a Marsha Gray Ehrlich Scholarship recipient! Thank you to Ms. Lauren Gray and the Marsha Gray Ehrlich Scholarship Fund, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Jennifer Binkley and the rest of the team at the Family Court Clinic, and lastly, my family and friends.”
Our third recipient, Anthony Hying, a graduating senior studying Environmental Studies and Spanish said, “I am extremely humbled to be one of the recipients of the Marsha Gray Ehlrich Scholarship. Throughout my time at the Neighborhood House Community Center, I learned how Spanish can build bridges around cultural barriers. I have been able to connect with community members across the greater Madison area to help mitigate food insecurity and provide access to quality education and mentoring to local youth. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of uncertainty about many aspects of life, I have seen firsthand how resilient students have been in combating the challenges during this unprecedented time. I am excited to continue on the legacy of Marsha Gray as an Americorps member with the I Have a Dream Foundation in Boulder, CO where I will to support Latinx high school students on their academic journeys. I want to thank the entire Spanish Department for their support over these past four years, especially during this past academic year during the pandemic. I am looking forward to continuing immersing myself in the Spanish language wherever my career and graduate studies take me.”
We congratulate these students on their sustained commitment to community service.