The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Student wins scholarship

In 2002, sophomore Katie Geary helped out with former Republican Gov. Scott McCallum’s re-election bid against current governor Jim Doyle. She became head of her high school Republican group in 2004 and in the summer of 2006, Geary interned for Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Green.This was all done before she even started at UW-Eau Claire.

Now, Geary is the current president of the Conservative Union and is involved heavily with the College Republicans. And because of her work, she is a recipient of the Ronald Reagan College Leaders Scholarship for $5,000 from the Phillips Foundation, a non-profit organization founded in 1990 to advance constitutional principles, a democratic society and a vibrant free enterprise system, according to its Web site.

The scholarships are merit-based and the selection committee looks for student activists who are leaders on behalf of freedom, American values and Constitutional principles, spokesman Jeff Hollingsworth said. Each applicant must write a personal essay and proof of involvement in campus activities.

“The successful (scholarship winners) are confronting problems of political correctness and enforced ideological conformity,” Hollingsworth said. “They are leaders of fellow students, are action takers and are making a difference at their school.”

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Geary wrote her essay on political activism and said it was a lot of fun to write and reflect on her experiences.

“A lot of times things go by so fast you’re working so hard,” she said, “and it’s just fun to recall and look back on experiences I’ve had working for the conservative cause in the political realm.”

She admitted she didn’t expect to win the second highest amount of scholarship money offered, with the highest being one $10,000 scholarship, and thought she might come up empty.

However, Geary said she was surprised, excited and honored to win the award.

“Hopefully, that will enable me to continue working with the Conservative Union and College Republicans,” she added. “It’s really a blessing and will enable me to do more things.”

Senior Tom Burton, a 2006 winner of the scholarship, recommended that Geary apply. He said that she has been very involved ever since she joined the College Republicans.

“She’s been one of our best members,” he said. “Every semester, like many other campus organizations, we have a points contest for members and she’s won as the most active member since she’s been here.”

When thinking about which students from Eau Claire should apply for the scholarship, Burton said Geary immediately came to mind and he encouraged her to take a shot.

Although Geary said she isn’t going into politics as a career, she believes in staying politically active and getting everyone to do the same.

“I think it’s important for everyone to be involved in politics in some form or another,” she said. “It really affects our lives and has an impact on the community and state, so I will always be involved in politics in some way.”

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Student wins scholarship