UW-Baraboo/Sauk County student Leah Buttner of Mauston has been named a finalist in the ninth-annual Liberal Arts Essay Scholarship Competition. The competition is sponsored by the University of Wisconsin System Advisory Group on the Liberal Arts.
Buttner will receive a $250 campus scholarship, with a chance to win one of three $2,000 scholarships as her essay moves on to the next level of competition.
This year’s contest challenged students to consider an essay written by UW-Madison’s Dr. William Cronon. That work, titled “Only Connect,” outlines 10 qualities that distinguish a liberally educated person.
In her submission, “Pushing Past Learning,” Buttner reflects on Cronon’s words by saying her UW-BSC classes have encouraged her to “respect rigor not for so much for its own sake but as a way of seeking truth.”
UW-BSC Dean Tom Pleger said Buttner’s work demonstrates the value of a liberal education and how it prepares students for a lifetime of learning and citizenship.
“A liberal education includes a broad curriculum of the sciences, arts and humanities,” Pleger said. “It is designed to teach scientific methodology, math, analytical and communication skills, an appreciation for the human condition and the arts, and an ability to connect information and ideas. It is the core of all four-year degrees in the University of Wisconsin System.”
Buttner submitted her essay as part of an English class project for Dr. Marc Seals.
“I am proud that it was my Composition II class that brought this point home for Leah,” Seals said. “Witnessing Leah as she moves from being a student to being a scholar has been very rewarding.”
Buttner’s essay has been submitted to a review committee for consideration at the statewide level of competition. Winners will be announced later this spring.