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Three UI Graduate Students Receive Braverman Scholarships

Three University of Iowa graduate students have been awarded the David and Rosalie Braverman Scholarship, given annually to graduate students with disabilities who have demonstrated academic excellence and who have contributed to the betterment of their undergraduate institutions and communities.

Kara Westercamp is one of this year's recipients of the $3,000 scholarship.

Westercamp, a Cedar Rapids native, received bachelor's degrees in finance, management, and political science, and an international business certificate from the UI. She is working on a dual MBA and law degree and serves as vice chair of the National Association for Law Students with Disabilities, a disability advocacy group in legal education. As an undergraduate, she was active in UI Student Government and was on UI homecoming court. She received the Student Government Distinguished Achievement award and was a Presidential Scholar and Hawkinson Institute of Finance scholar. Outside the UI, she was the American Honey Princess and Iowa Honey Queen, which allowed her to travel across the United States as an advocate for the honey industry.

The scholarships were presented during a Nov. 26 gathering luncheon sponsored by the UI Office of the Provost. Several members of the Braverman family attended, including David Braverman's sons, Mace and Jody. UI Interim Executive Vice President and Provost Lola Lopes and UI President Sally Mason addressed the gathering.

"Our Braverman scholarship winners demonstrate that students with disabilities are critical to the diversity which makes us a successful university. They bring to our entire student body perspectives that are valuable to critical thinking and they inspire the university community to face all challenges and to be willing to achieve goals differently," Mason said.

David Braverman and the Braverman family originally endowed a fund in 1976 through the University of Iowa Foundation to support various projects for people with physical disabilities who were attending the UI. The initial project was funding of the paratransit system, called the "Bionic Bus," to transport students and university employees to and from classes and work. The "Bionic Bus" is still in running today and is operated by the university Cambus system.

The fund is used to support, though scholarships, students with disabilities who are enrolled in University of Iowa graduate or professional studies. Since 1979, when the scholarship was first given, 95 Braverman scholarships have been awarded.

The Office of Student Disability Services administers the scholarship program with private funds provided by the Braverman family.

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