Cyrena Pondrom Leadership Award

Description: 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. 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.

The Award(s): 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.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Currently enrolled L&S Honors Student (HLA, HM, or Comprehensive Honors)
  • At least sophomore standing
  • At least one (1) year of undergraduate study remaining at the time of award
  • Minimum 3.3 cumulative grade point average (GPA)
  • Have had an initial exploratory meeting with L&S Honors Interim Associate Director Pete Keys (

Selection Criteria

  • Evidence of achievement and leadership in co-curricular or public/community service activity(ies)
  • Strength, rigor, clarity, and novelty of the project proposal
  • Clearly defined and justifiable project budget proposal
  • Strength of letter(s) of recommendation (one letter of support must be from the proposed faculty advisor for the project. Additional letters of recommendation can be submitted as further support of the proposal)
  • Submission of evidence of agreement with / support from the project by any university or community group with whom the student proposes to work
  • Progress toward the completion of the L&S Honors in the Liberal Arts, Honors in the Major, OR Comprehensive Honors degree(s)

L&S Honors Program
Supplemental Questions
  1. Please enter the proposed title of your project.
  2. I understand that incomplete applications will not be considered and that all supporting materials and the application must be submitted by the deadline.
  3. I can confirm that I have met with Pete Keys ( and/or Kendra Ramthun ( to discuss my project.
  4. Please select the Honors track you are currently pursuing.
  5. Please select the semester you expect to graduate from UW-Madison.
  6. If you answered "Other" to the question above, please clarify.
  7. Please enter your faculty mentor's First and Last Name.
  8. Enter your faculty mentor's department.
  9. Enter your faculty mentor's email address.
  10. Please upload a letter of recommendation (.pdf) from your faculty advisor/mentor. You are responsible for obtaining and uploading a .pdf version of the letter of recommendation by the due date of the application.
  11. Please list the name or title of your partner campus/community organization.
  12. Please enter your primary campus/community advisor's First and Last Name.
  13. Please enter your primary campus/community advisor's email address.
  14. Please upload any additional letter(s) of recommendation that may be relevant to your project. If you have more than one additional letter of recommendation, please combine the letters into a single .pdf and upload that .pdf. If you are unable to combine .pdf files, please send your .pdf letters as attachments in a single email to Pete Keys (
  15. Upload a current transcript (official or unofficial is acceptable). See for instructions on retrieving a transcript.
  16. Please upload a .pdf version of your completed project proposal. Please include your last name and Leadership Proposal 2024 in your file name.

    For more information about requirements for your project proposal, please visit the L&S Honors website and review our suggested project proposal template.
  17. Please upload either a .xlsx or a .pdf version of your completed budget. The required template for your budget proposal is available on our website. Please include your last name and Leadership Budget 2024 in your file name.

    For more information about requirements for your project proposal, please review our tips for creating a budget.
  18. Discuss the most important leadership or volunteer opportunity that you have undertaken and how it shaped your approach to both your undergraduate career and professional or career plans. How do you envision this proposed Leadership Award project will impact your life both personally and professionally?
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