Radford University junior Justin Shelton, an information technology major from Richlands, is one of 10 RU students who recently received a $6,000 scholarship to participate in a new foreign language training and international internship program. The scholarship was made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to RU’s International Education Center (IEC). It will serve as the foundation for developing an international internship program for business-related majors and will provide assistance to RU students who participate in the Radford International Business Ambassadors (RIBA) program.
Justin will be studying in Germany, which, in an around-the-world way, brings him back to an area where he has connections. His father was stationed there while in the military, his brothers were born there and he lived there for a short time.
“I’ve worked in several areas of business at a young age, from a grocery store to my current endeavors: commercial contracts with Northrop Grumman, IT work for an agency for senior citizens, and business travel to West Virginia for support for our armed forces under a Northrop Grumman contract,” Justin says. He has his sights set on a career in computer science or software development. Part of his scholarship will be job-shadowing and being assigned to a local or regional business mentor.
A non-traditional student, Justin is studying in Lebanon, a two-hour drive from Radford and 1 1/2-hour drive from his Richlands home. He transferred from a community college because he was impressed with the diversity of teachers at RU and the praise the university received from his friends.
IEC director Jon Stauff believes Justin has what it takes to succeed. Stauff says, “Justin put a lot of thought into his application and showed the selection committee a great deal of potential for success in the RIBA program. His work experience will serve him well overseas, yet he stands to gain as much, if not more, in return from his international mentors.” Stauff says students who receive the scholarships have a unique opportunity to prepare for careers in the global marketplace, including learning stronger foreign language skills.
Justin says his scholarship will literally mean the world to him, helping to “broaden my horizons and see the world at such a young age.”
RIBA is a collaboration between the IEC, RU faculty, Academic Outreach, and Experiential Learning and Career Services.