Student Activism Award

UW–Madison has a rich history of student activism. The 1969 Black Student Strike that resulted in the creation of what is now the Department of Afro-American Studies, as well as protests throughout the 1990s focused on UW’s treatment of LGBTQ+ students are just a few examples of this rich history that has continually propelled us forward as an institution. For decades, students have advocated for policy change and resource allocation to ensure UW is a campus that lives up to it’s values and fosters an inclusive community and equitable educational experience.

Student activism is crucial to our campus’ growth and it is highly deserving of recognition. Indeed, activism is a key pathway of public service and allows students to engage in multiple methods of civic engagement through activities such as organizing, policy change, or advocacy. As such, the Morgridge Center for Public Service is pleased to offer this newly developed award that seeks to recognize student activists and their impact on our campus in the current moment — not just years later in a historical reflection, as is often the case.

This award honors the efforts of individual students or student groups who pursue activism as a means of improving the campus community in some way, shape or form. Activism can look like many things, from calls for policy change, to awareness raising, and community building.

Fill out the application form and submit it here.

The deadline to apply is Friday, March 8 at 5pm.

Any questions or concerns? Email:

This award offers a $400 one time scholarship to an individual or student group* that skillfully and equitably engages in student activism. Awardees will be honored on Tuesday, April 9, 2024 as part of the Wisconsin Idea Conference.

*The distribution of the award to student groups requires consultation with the Morgridge Center to determine equivalent distribution options. Individuals seeking to nominate a non-registered student organizations are highly encouraged to select one member of their organization to act as the nominee. This allows us to best coordinate an equitable payment.

2022: No Recipient Selected
2021: UW–Madison BIPOC Coalition

2023 Recipient Antiracism Learning and Action in Neuroscience


Formed by graduate students in 2020 after the murder of George Floyd. This student-led organization gathered graduate students and faculty in the Psychology and Integrative Biology departments to come together, learn about antiracism, and take action in support of equity in the academic and greater Madison communities.

The group is inherently collaborative, connecting with other graduate student organizations, faculty, and the greater Madison community. ALAN has collaborated with Madison East High School, UW faculty, and graduate students across the life sciences to participate in the event.

ALAN has collaborated with UW professors to coordinate a lesson in biological sciences centered on antiracism. ALAN is currently in collaboration with the Climate and Diversity Committee and the Social Events Committee in the Psychology department, to bring graduate students together.

ALAN has hosted over 50 antiracism learning meetings, collaborated across departments and with the Madison community, and provided resources broadly to academics at UW and beyond to structure their own antiracism learning and action groups.


The Be the Change Bash is the Morgridge Center’s annual end-of-the-semester celebration. The Bash honors students, staff, faculty and community partners who contribute their time and talents to both the community and the UW-Madison campus through service.

The event also includes the Morgridge Center’s annual award ceremony.