Lakeland's Ulrich Scholars program, which provides scholarships and learning opportunities for students studying religion, is flourishing in its second year.
There are currently nine Ulrich Scholars attending Lakeland who are studying as a religion major or minor.
The program is funded in part by an endowed fund established in memory of the Rev. Reinhard Ulrich, Ph.D., longtime Lakeland philosophy professor and noted United Church of Christ theologian/historian.
As part of their education, Ulrich Scholars must develop and implement a social justice project that involves the wider community. Some examples of recent activity:
- One scholar recently completed an internship with the chaplain at the Sharon Richardson Hospice.
- Two scholars will be involving other LU students in a project to address food insecurity for students in the Sheboygan Area School District during spring semester. These two scholars are both planning to apply to graduate school and/or seminary to continue their religious studies.
- One scholar helped start a faith sharing group, Catholic Muskies, and volunteers to help teach confirmation for the parishes in the area.
- The scholars have served food to the homeless in Milwaukee, hosted a Latino simulation experience and helped lead a Blessing of the Animals service at Lakeland.
The students are under the guidance of the program's director, the Rev. Karl Kuhn, Ph.D., professor of religion and a Lakeland faculty member for more than 20 years. He holds the endowed Grace Chair of Religious Studies position, supported by Grace Congregational UCC in Two Rivers.
Last fall, Lakeland welcomed the Rev. Julie Mavity Maddalena, Ph.D., to serve in the newly created position of campus chaplain/assistant professor of philosophy and religion/Ulrich Ethicist in Residence. She is ordained in the UCC and has extensive experience in various ministries. Her introduction to ethics class last fall attracted 30 students from a wide range of disciplines.
"Professor Karl Kuhn and Professor Julie Mavity-Maddalena engage and actively prepare religion students to serve the community through faith and social justice," said Nicole Herda, one of the Ulrich Scholars.
Beginning this fall, the Ulrich Scholars program will award one full tuition scholarship and nine $20,000 scholarships. A scholarship day where applicants will interview for these awards will be held at Lakeland on Feb. 20. The deadline to apply is Feb. 1. Students can apply online at lakeland.edu/apply.
"Receiving this scholarship has been very helpful because I would not be here if I wasn't blessed with it," said William Young. "I applied for several schools and this one stood out to me. The smaller campus and classrooms, the diversity, the focus on God's word and many more aspects helped me choose Lakeland."