Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

Clara Penniman

To honor Clara Penniman's contributions

The La Follette School gives the Penniman Prize and offers student support through the Clara Penniman Award for Wisconsin Government and Public Management.

Contributions to sustain these are welcome. Information on giving is available online, or call (608) 263-7657 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Dr. Penniman's obituary

The Clara Penniman Prize is awarded to the graduating student who has written the most outstanding paper while a graduate student in public affairs.

La Follette School faculty nominate the papers, which best demonstrate the writing and analytic skills the school emphasizes.

A specialist in taxation and public finance, Clara Penniman was the founder and director of the La Follette School's predecessor, the Center for the Study of Public Policy and Administration. She was the first female chair of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's (then otherwise all male) political science department. She retired in 1984 and passed away in 2009.

These alumni have received the Penniman Prize:

  • Joy Tapper, 1986
  • Kevin Piper, 1987
  • David Morrison, 1988
  • John Elliott and Mary Burke, 1989
  • Elise Jaffe and Barry Delin, 1993
  • Leah Bailey, 1994
  • Cody Rice, 1995
  • Ryan Weeden, 1996
  • Rachel Martin, 1997
  • Sarah Archibald, 1998
  • Tamarine Cornelius, 1999
  • David Saikia, 2000
  • Jeff Sachse, 2001
  • Lucas Szylow, 2002
  • Ian Crichton, 2003
  • Kristin Marie Berg, 2004
  • David Zanni, 2005
  • Martha Kraetsch and Maureen Quinn, 2006
  • Kristen Yarber Grill, 2007
  • Andria Hayes-Birchler and Emily Engel (class of 2009), 2008
  • Lauren Benditt, 2009
  • Rocio Sanchez-Moyano and Michael R. Schultz, 2010
  • Kristina Krull, 2011
  • Katherine Sydor, 2012
  • Rachel Polster, 2013
  • Katherine Cary, 2014
  • Allison Sambo, 2015
  • Demetri Vincze, 2016