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The Dr. Craig Fiedler Special Education Scholarship

Scholarship applications are closed at this time. 


Craig Fiedler’s journey to his position as a special education professor was improbable and circuitous. With a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, he next graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Law in 1977 and began a two-year career as a legal services attorney in Appalachia (Southern Kentucky). Moving back to his hometown of La Crosse, Wis. in the summer of 1979, he eventually decided that being a lawyer was not the fulfillment of his dreams. He became the coordinator of a volunteer program for individuals with disabilities in La Crosse and earned a master’s degree in special education from UW-La Crosse in 1982. By now, he realized that his ambition was to teach at the university level.

He enrolled in a doctoral program in special education at Kansas University, earning his Ph.D. in 1985. His first university teaching position was at the University of New Hampshire where he was a faculty member for two years. A yearning to return to Wisconsin caused him to accept a faculty position in the Department of Special Education, where he served as a professor from 1987 to 2008. His passion for teaching future special education teachers was fueled by his experiences as a parent of a daughter with severe and multiple disabilities. Dr. Fiedler maintained an active research and writing agenda on the issues of special education law, ethics, supporting and empowering families of children with disabilities, advocacy and inclusion. His greatest joy was working with wonderful colleagues within the Department of Special Education and students during his 21-year career.

This scholarship was established in 2008 by the Department of Special Education at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. It was initiated by members of the department in appreciation for the significant contributions made by Dr. Fiedler to the field of special education, the Department of Special Education and the University community. His commitment to individuals with disabilities has been demonstrated as a parent, teacher, advocate and administrator. This award is intended to recognize those who have demonstrated substantial commitment to advocacy in support of individuals with disabilities through personal interactions, professional activities, educational pursuits and leadership roles.

Two $500 scholarship will be awarded for the 2012-2013 academic year.


  • The scholarship is open to any special education undergraduate or graduate student.

  • Applicant must demonstrate the impact on his/her life of a personal relationship with an individual with a disability. The individual with disabilities may be a member of the immediate or extended family, a close friend, or neighbor. What has your relationship taught you about life?

  • The applicant must demonstrate an ongoing commitment to advocacy on behalf of individuals with disabilities by citing at least one example where they engaged in advocacy and/or leadership activities.



  • Applications are available in the College of Education and Human Services.

  • Applications will be reviewed by the Special Education Department and may be reviewed by the Fiedler family if they wish to have input into the selection. Final selection will be completed by the Special Education department.



  • Selection shall be complete early enough in spring to include the award in the University Honors and Awards Ceremony.

  • The scholarship award will be credited to one recipient’s next tuition obligation incurred at UW Oshkosh.



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