May 21, 2014--John E. Butler, Ph.D., a 1961 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls (chemistry, biology), recently launched an appeal to fellow UW-River Falls donors who are interested in helping students gain access to semester-long scientific research experiences in Europe.
Inspired by UW-River Falls' commitment to both undergraduate research and global education, Butler has provided a $50,000 challenge gift to create the John E. Butler International Research Scholarship. His goal is to make $100,000 available in scholarship support through both annual and endowed funds.
More than half of the challenge has been met and UWRF is now seeking additional contributors, while Butler himself plans later to add additional funds to the program.
"This is not just a research opportunity, but a cultural experience that can last a lifetime," said Butler, who, as the youngest of seven children raised on a family farm near Rice Lake, needed to work to put himself through school.
Butler's professional career in research has made him acutely aware of the need for students to obtain experience and training abroad. "The USA is ranked 25th to 80th in the world in such things as health care, education, information access and general well-being while major countries in Europe place in the top 10," he said. "It is time for our students to learn about what works from others who have been more successful."
Butler is an emeritus professor in the Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa, and has previously endowed an undergraduate scholarship in molecular biology at UWRF. His highly successful scientific career was greatly enriched by his own research and professional collaborations throughout Europe. He is the author of more than 250 scientific articles and has tutored graduate and postdoctoral students from 17 countries.
Those willing to contribute to the John E. Butler International Research Scholarship should contact the UW-River Falls Office of University Advancement at 877-258-6647.