The Fred Risser Excellence in Engaged Undergraduate Student Award

Previously the Excellence in Civic Engagement Undergraduate Award, Morgridge Center for Public Service will be naming their Excellence in Civic Engagement Undergraduate Award after Senator Fred Risser.

The Fred Risser Excellence in Civic Engagement Undergraduate Award will recognize an undergraduate student who has made civic engagement integral to their college experience.

Senator Risser has concluded an extraordinary career in elected office here in Wisconsin. It’s safe to say that without your leadership on the State Building Commission dating back as far as 1960, the UW–Madison campus would not be what it is today.

Here at UW, we want to honor his long and steadfast commitment to public service. The mission of the Morgridge Center for Public Service is to connect campus to community through service and learning to build a thriving democratic society. Your decades of service in both the Wisconsin State Assembly and the Wisconsin State Senate are a truly remarkable example of this pursuit.

To nominate yourself or someone else for this award, please complete this form.

Award winners will receive a $400 one time scholarship and will be honored during the spring semester.

2019: Shasparay Lighteard
2018: Taylor Gilbertson
2017: Katherine Kokkinias
2016: Dania Shoukfeh
2015: Jacob Riederer
2014: Caitlin DeVos
2013: Allison Gundlach
2012: Katie Crean
2011: Jennifer Mathison & Allison Frankel
2010: Molly Reddy
2009: Casmir Turnquist-Held
2008: Laura Marie Scheinholtz
2007: Jenna Klink

2020 Recipient Payton Wade

Excellence in Civic Engagement Undergraduate Award – 2020 Recipient Payton WadeAs a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Payton Wade has worked locally with the Lions Club and led the collection of eyeglasses that were then given to children in the Madison community in need.

On campus, Payton is a founder and active leading member of the Student Inclusion Coalition at UW–Madison, where she advocates for social, academic and emotional wellness of all marginalized students. Through the Student Inclusion Coalition, Payton has inspired other students to engage with the community.

As a house fellow, she helped build community for all of her residents through social events and social justice events. This has inspired many of her residents to join various student organizations that also work with social justice, equity and inclusion on campus.

Payton says her personal growth has led to a deeper understanding of community and social issues. On the Milwaukee Youth Council, she created legislation that resulted in social change.


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.