WGS Program to Award Inaugural Anne M. Semlak Scholarship

Anne M. Semlak

The Women’s and Gender Studies Program will award the inaugural Anne M. Semlak Memorial Scholarship this year at the Women’s and Gender Studies Symposium to be held on April 3 in the University Galleries. This scholarship fund was established in loving memory of Anne Marie Semlak. Anne grew up and lived her young life in Bloomington-Normal, where she attended Normal Community High School and Illinois State University. At ISU, Anne was very active in the Woman’s Studies Program and graduated with a degree in political science with minors in both Women’s Studies and Peace Studies.


Anne completed her summer internship with the Minneapolis Domestic Abuse Project in 2000, which provided aid to victims of domestic violence. In 2001, the year of her graduation, she won the Women’s Studies Achievement Award. After graduation Anne and her future husband Mark Laken, traveled extensively throughout Europe and moved to Colorado, where they lived the remainder of their lives together. Anne worked as a restorative justice coordinator for Partners of Weld County, which provided juvenile offenders with an alternative to the court system through mediation. The project was very successful and was eventually moved to the District Attorney’s Office of Weld County. She moved on to oversee the Foothills Unitarian Church middle school and high school youth programs for several years. Anne’s work helping others truly defined her life and her spirit will live on in all those who had the good fortune to know her.

In remembrance of Anne, her family has established this scholarship to assist undergraduate and graduate students active in Women’s and Gender Studies at Illinois State University.  For more information on the scholarship visit the Women’s and Gender Studies Web site: http://www.womensandgenderstudies.ilstu.edu/resources/scholarships, or contact the WGS program office at: 309-438-2947.

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