Awards ceremony highlights Radford students’ zeal for broadening their horizons
The International Education Center honored 12 Radford University students as McGlothlin Travel Grant recipients on April 4 at its Student Awards Celebration.
The ceremony, which also featured bestowing commemorative cords upon graduating members of the Class of 2016 who have taken part in an international education experience, was keynoted by Provost Joseph Scartelli.
Scartelli highlighted the powerful potential of the international education experience.
“When exposing one’s self to environments that are out of our comfort zone, we reveal to ourselves how much we don’t know. That takes courage. The payoffs are exponentially more beneficial than the risks or the costs. For those who truly love learning, and growing, these exposures are deeply rewarding and gratifying,” said Scartelli to the over 50 students and guests in attendance.
The 2016 McGlothlin Student Travel Grant recipients and their destinations are:
- Alex Atwood (Peru)
- Justin Arnold (Japan)
- Kristy Clark (Peru)
- Cody Claxton (Poland)
- Abigail Fullen (Scotland)
- Riley Harris (US Virgin islands)
- Cari McGregor (US Virgin Islands)
- Cara Myrtle (Russia)
- Samantha Riedl (Costa Rica)
- Elise Roell (Peru)
- Rudolf Soltesz (Alaska)
- Abigail Worth-Jones (Malawi)
Each of the 2015 McGlothlin Student Travel Grant recipient students will have a $1,500 award applied toward their individual foreign study experience. Funding for the McGlothlin Travel Grant program is supported by the McGlothlin Endowment, created by a contribution of more than $1.5 million by alumna Sally Ann Cook McGlothlin's family for the advancement of international education at RU.
All the senior students in attendance qualified for a cord emblematic of international educational experience. Included among the recipients were members of the Kirk Scholars program to China, the Radford Amazonian Research Expedition to Peru and the Barrow Polar Ice team who "spring-breaked" in sub-40 degree wind chill factors this March.
On March 30, the IEC hosted its Pre-Departure Orientation session at which almost 120 students were briefed on their impending international education opportunity. Among the 22 destinations to which Radford students will go this summer are Finland, South Korea, Uganda, Peru and Poland. 70 students will go on trips led by Radford faculty and several will be studying abroad for a full semester, including McGlothlin Student Travel Grant recipient Justin Arnold.
“I just want to gather as much knowledge and understanding as I can about a culture famous for its respectful nature, its history and its technical knowledge and use of robotics,” said the senior computer science major, who will study at Japan’s Kansai Gaidai University.
Fellow McGlothlin recipient Cara Myrtle, a junior sociology and international studies major, will spend a semester at Russia’s St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, immersing herself in the language while studying both Czarist Russia and contemporary Russian life.
"St. Petersburg is an iconic city and I look forward to a different pace and a Nordic aspect," said Myrtle, who is building upon four semesters of Russian language study.
"I want to thank the McGlothlin Endowment for helping me further on my way to becoming an international journalist and world citizen" said Abigail Fullen, a freshman English major, who will study Shakespeare, James Joyce and Victorian literature among other topics at Scotland's University of Glasgow. "I couldn't get there without this help."
Paul Currant, Director of the International Education Center, reflected on the results of international study and travel, saying, "The most overlooked value of this experience appears upon the students’ return. They all seem to remark upon the change in their perspectives and their deepened appreciation of home and their own American culture."