Four Carolina students have been awarded UNC Class of 1938 travel scholarships to conduct research projects abroad this summer.
The students were selected from among 50 UNC student applicants who submitted proposals for independent projects outside the United States. Selection is based on quality of applicants’ proposals, financial need and seriousness of academic purpose. Each fellowship provides $3,500.
“In many situations, these trips are life-changing events for students,” said Diana Levy, assistant director of the UNC Office of International Student and Scholar Services, through which the fellowships are awarded.
Winners of this year’s Class of 1938 Summer Study Abroad Fellowships, selected by class members and former fellowship recipients, are Lotus Perkins of Bear Creek, Marlon Sequeira of Advance and Crystal Street of Kill Devil Hills. Rosalind Schwartz of Chapel Hill received the Witten Travel Award of $3,250. Dr. Charles Witten ’38 and his wife, Margaret, of Columbia, S.C., established the award. Witten, who also earned his master’s from UNC in 1940 and his doctorate in 1978, is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of South Carolina.
Since 1975, an endowment created by UNC’s Class of 1938 has annually funded independent projects abroad by UNC students. Class members, who lived through and lost friends to World War II, created the endowment to help foster international understanding and promote world peace. The Carolina Alumni Review has featured the effort in past issues, including in May/June 2000.
Perkins, a rising senior anthropology major, will spend six weeks studying the political climate of Chile. She took classes there last summer and will return this year to conduct research. She will work with faculty at Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales in Santiago to interview leading political, military and academic officials.
“I will have the opportunity to discuss topics that are currently a major issue in Chile’s politics with those most closely involved with it, compared to taking classes as I did last summer,” she wrote in her proposal.
At UNC, Perkins has been active in the Carolina Hispanic Association and the Carolina Law and Policy Association, an organization that involves students in foreign and domestic policy issues.
Sequeira, a rising senior biochemistry major, will travel in India to advocate for animal welfare – something he’s wanted to do since he was young.
“Ever since I visited India as a small child and personally witnessed the abundance of suffering animals, I have always desired to return with the capability of making a truly positive impact,” he wrote in his proposal. “This summer I will finally shape this vision into a reality by taking my veterinary experience back to the culturally inspiring, yet impoverished land of India.”
The University Center for International Studies at UNC also is providing $500 through its international internship award for his travels.
At UNC, Sequeira is a member of the Achordants, an a cappella group, and Kamikazi, a hip-hop dance team. He has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and for Campus Y’s Best Buddies and Helping Paws programs. He is a member of UNC’s pre-veterinary club.
Street, a rising senior visual communications and peace, war and defense major, will travel to the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains in India to start a documentary on Tibetan exiles who live there.
“This photo essay is the beginning of a long-term documentary project, which will aid in the preservation of the Tibetan heritage and raise awareness to the individual stories of the exiled community,” she wrote in her proposal.
Street became interested in the Tibetan culture and learning about Buddhism several years ago and hopes to display the photographs she takes during her trip in Chapel Hill when she returns.
Street is a freelance photographer for the Chapel Hill News. She also has worked as a staff photographer at the Radford News Journal in Virginia.
Schwartz, a rising senior dramatic art major, will attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art summer school program in London. During the three-and-a-half week program, she will take voice, movement and acting classes while studying Shakespeare performances.
“You can’t get that caliber of training anywhere else in the world,” she said.
Schwartz has been active in Lab! Theatre, a student theater group, and hopes to bring what she learns in London back to UNC.
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