Students can apply for international funding, including the Candy Wei International Travel Award, through M-Compass. Deadlines: November 15 (for Winter semester travel), January 15 (for faculty-led Spring-Summer courses or GIEU) and March 15 (for Spring, Summer or Fall semester travel).
Review criteria include demonstrated financial need, previous international travel experience, program sponsorship (Stamps, other UM, or non-UM), geographic location of program, academic success, commitment to Stamps community and other factors. The amount of available funding is limited; priority given to students who demonstrate financial need, have limited international travel experience and who are enrolled in a Stamps-sponsored international program.
Each year, applications are solicited through email sent by the Associate Dean of Academic Programs. Submissions are reviewed by a faculty committee, and winners are announced at the spring commencement ceremony.
The Candy Wei International Travel Award is a scholarship endowment fund created to support international travel for art students.
The Candy R. Wei Prize for International Studies in Art & Design is awarded to five Stamps seniors every year in recognition of exemplary art influenced by their international experience.
Candy Rong-Rong Wei, born on August 5, 1980, began making art at an early age, with creative interests that spanned drawing and painting, printmaking, photography, digital art, sculpture, graphic design, poetry, and short story writing. Diagnosed with schizophrenia at fifteen, Candy’s work is inseparable from her struggle with mental illness. After a relapse in her sophomore year of college, Candy committed suicide on January 16, 2001.
In Candy’s memory, her mother, Jing Wang, established two funds to support student international travel at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design: the Candy R. Wei International Travel Award, a scholarship that support international travel for art students; and the Candy R. Wei Prize for International Studies in Art and Design, an award that recognizes the exemplary work influenced by students’ international experiences. “It was Candy’s dream to travel abroad to study art, so these funds are a natural way to remember her and to help students fufill their dreams of international study,” said Professor Wang.
“My study abroad experience changed my life” is a sentiment often repeated by students who study internationally. Their experiences inform the way they see the world. Professor Jing Wang, mother of Candy R. Wei and Professor of Chinese Media and Cultural Studies at MIT, knows that this experience also changes the creative work that students make.
The new Candy R. Wei Prize for International Studies in Art and Design will provide financial awards to five Stamps Students each year in recognition of exemplary work influenced by their international experience.
This new gift significantly builds on the generous support Professor Wang has already provided to the Stamps School. Following the death of her daughter Candy in 2001, she established the Candy R. Wei International Travel Fund. Each year, this endowed fund supports the international experiences of eight to ten Stamps students.
“It was Candy’s dream to travel abroad to study art so the fund is a natural way to remember her and to help students fulfill their dreams of international study,” said Professor Wang about establishing the first fund.
As with all Stamps endowed funds, Professor Wang receives letters of appreciation from students, which she treasures. Some students even send artworks that reflect their adventures abroad.
To create this new award, Professor Wang took advantage of the Michigan Matching Initiative for Student Support. In addition, Professor Wang added to an already established planned gift that will provide support for the Candy R. Wei International Travel Fund and for the Candy R. Wei Prize in perpetuity.
As a mother who lost a daughter at age 21, Professor Wang is comforted by the impact her contributions are making on students’ international experience. “I feel Candy’s spirit is alive and going strong.”