Leadership Award

Do you have a bright idea that will enhance our university and/or community? The L&S Honors Program can support you and your project.

What is the Cyrena Pondrom Leadership Award?

The Cyrena Pondrom Leadership Award supports students as they plan, develop and implement projects designed to improve UW-Madison, the community and/or the university student body. Each year, up to two (2) students receive awards equal to two (2) semesters of resident, full-time tuition, plus project funds up to $3000 as justified in the proposed project budget. Past award recipients have established mentoring programs for underrepresented students; collaborated with local organizations to improve community access to fresh, healthy and local produce; and founded an academic journal, the Madison Journal of Literary Criticism, to increase students’ opportunities to see their work published. Award winners are expected to submit progress reports to the L&S Faculty Honors Committee as required, and to identify a UW-Madison faculty member who will serve in an advisory/resource capacity.

Who is eligible to apply?

You can apply for a Cyrena Pondrom Leadership Award if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are a currently enrolled L&S Honors Student (HLA, HM, or Comprehensive Honors) with at least one (1) year of undergraduate study remaining at the time of the award
  • Your cumulative GPA is at least 3.3.

How are recipients chosen?

Cyrena Pondrom Leadership Award recipients are selected by members of the L&S Faculty Honors Committee. They will evaluate your application based on the following:

  • Evidence of your achievement and leadership in co-curricular or public/community service activities
  • Strength, rigor and clarity of your project proposal
  • Clearly defined and justifiable project budget proposal
  • Strength of letter(s) of recommendation
  • Submission of evidence of concurrence with the project by any university or community group with whom you propose to work
  • Progress towards completing your Honors in the Liberal Arts, Honors in the Major or Comprehensive Honors degree(s)

What is the application process?

Informational workshops are held each year for interested students and potential applicants. The Washburn Observer Honors newsletter will include the date(s) of these workshops as they approach. Attendance is not required to be considered for this award. The following materials must be submitted to the L&S Honors Program office as a packet:

  • An application and budget form. Updated forms for the 2022-23 academic year will be shared soon. For reference, the application and budget form from the 2021-22 academic year is included below:
  • Required essay
  • Project proposal submission
  • One (1) letter of recommendation from a UW-Madison faculty member
  • Your UW-Madison student transcript (unofficial or official)

When is the application due?

The application deadline usually falls in late March or early April. Please refer to the information shared in the Washburn Observer Honors newsletter for details in the spring semester.

Award status notifications will be mailed to applicants within five weeks of the application deadline.

If you have additional questions about the Cyrena Pondrom Leadership Award, please contact the Honors Program office honors@honors.ls.wisc.edu.