Brad Gehrke receives classified staff scholarshipOctober 17, 2013
|Classified Staff Funding Committee member Debbie Peterson with scholarship recipient Brad Gehrke
EAU CLAIRE — A classified staff member at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire recently received a scholarship through the Classified Staff Grant Fund.
Brad Gehrke, a library services assistant in UW-Eau Claire's McIntyre Library and a nontraditional UW-Eau Claire student, applied for the scholarship after a co-worker brought it to his attention.
"I wasn't sure of my chances, but the application was readily available online and straightforward to fill out," Gehrke said.
Gehrke's application was selected, and he was awarded a $250 scholarship to help offset his tuition costs.
Debbie Peterson, who works in Career Services and is a member of the Classified Staff Funding Committee, said that applicants must be employed at the university at least half time and enrolled in a UW-Eau Claire course.
"The committee felt that Brad had presented his case well," Peterson said. "We were glad we could assist him with furthering his education."
Gehrke, who is majoring in computer science, said he's grateful such resources are available at UW-Eau Claire.
"It's great to realize that there is a support network in place for staff going through school, and that we will look out for each other in these fiscally tight times," Gehrke said.
The Classified Staff Grant Fund was established by Linda Haag and Susie Warden, who were completing their bachelor's degrees while also working full time at the university. The two women created the fund through the UW-Eau Claire Foundation after completing their degrees, making sure other classified staff members would have similar opportunities.
Gehrke said the scholarship will ease the burden of being both a full-time employee and a nontraditional student.
"Being a nontraditional student and working full time, I feel like I am always doing what I can to get by and make ends meet," Gehrke said, "This scholarship will help me to get ahead of the pressure and focus a little more on my studies without fiscal problems hanging over my head."