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University of Iowa News Release

June 22, 2004

Eleven UI students Win Presidential Scholarships To Study Abroad

Eleven undergraduate students were awarded Presidential Scholarships for Study Abroad this spring semester 2004. Three students were also awarded the Naomi Gunderson scholarships for various amounts. The $1,000 Presidential Scholarships subsidized any food, lodging and travel expenses that were incurred while the students were overseas.

University of Iowa President David Skorton says these scholarships are crucial to providing opportunities for students to gain international experiences, which benefits them personally and professionally.

"Our cultural, ethical and moral strengths lie in the commingling of perspectives from other lands, and the continued acceptance of people of all backgrounds," Skorton says. "That is why diversity and internationalism remain so fundamental to students' educations here at the University of Iowa. To open their minds, it is critical that they have opportunities to study abroad and get a world perspective.
Our curriculum and these scholarships have given them opportunities to study other cultures from throughout the world, and study in places across the globe. "

Former UI President James O. Freedman created the presidential scholarships for study abroad in 1983.

The highly competitive Gunderson scholarships are also awarded annually to UI undergraduate students to develop advanced proficiency in a foreign language while studying abroad. Preference for the award is given to students who speak a language taught at the UI and who plan to study for a full academic year at a foreign university.

The scholarship was created in memory of Naomi Gunderson, a UI alumna who earned a bachelor's degree in 1916 and a master's degree in 1919. Gunderson taught English, Spanish and Latin at high schools in Iowa and California. Having studied abroad several times during her college career, Gunderson created the scholarship to enable UI students to experience foreign cultures.

The study abroad office experienced a seven percent increase in students studying abroad with 917 UI students studying abroad during 2002-2003. For more information, call the UI Office for Study Abroad at 319-335-0353, e-mail questions to study-abroad@uiowa.edu or visit the web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~uiabroad/.

The UI Office for Study Abroad is part of International Programs, which consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects, and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean for international programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.


IOWA

CEDAR RAPIDS: Sterling Bacher, a senior studying journalism and Chinese in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, won a Presidential Scholarship for Study Abroad. He participated in the CIEE program at Nanjing University. Bacher increased his proficiency in the Chinese language and understanding of the Chinese culture.

DES MOINES: Marie Gernes, a sophomore majoring in literature, science and the arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, won a Presidential Scholarship for Study Abroad. She participated in the Semester at Sea Program administered by the University of Pittsburgh. The program allows students to keep up with their studies at their home institutions while experiencing other cultures around the world.

DES MOINES: Kathleen McNulty, a junior studying international studies, political science and history in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and International Programs, won a Presidential Scholarship for Study Abroad. She spent the spring 2004 semester studying in Seville, Spain, in a UI-sponsored program.

ELDRIDGE: Carrie Mohr, a senior studying Spanish in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with a minor in secondary education, won a Presidential Scholarship for Study Abroad and a Naomi Gunderson Scholarship. She studied in Spain through International Education of Students (IES). Her course work included classes to advance her Spanish proficiency.

HOLSTEIN: Courtney Ehlers, a junior double majoring in speech pathology and psychology in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, won a Presidential Scholarship for Study Abroad. She studied in New Zealand at the University of Canterbury. Ehlers researched an emerging therapy in the treatment of early childhood stuttering.

IOWA CITY: John Denning, a senior double majoring in Chinese and English in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, won a Presidential Scholarship for Study Abroad. Denning studied in Qingdao, China, through a Chinese Language and Culture Program. His host institution was the Ocean University of Qingdao.

OTTUMWA: Melissa Ahmed, a junior studying religious studies, Chinese and international studies in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and International Programs, won a Presidential Scholarship for Study Abroad and a Naomi Gunderson Scholarship. Ahmed studied in China through the CIEE program in Beijing. Ahmed advanced her Chinese speaking and reading proficiency.

URBANDALE: Marcella Card, a junior majoring in environmental bioscience with a German minor in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, won a Presidential Scholarship for Study Abroad. She studied in Costa Rica through the Tropical Biology Program sponsored by Education Abroad.

WAUKON: Thea Regan, a junior double majoring in cinema and comparative literature and communication studies in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, won a Presidential Scholarship for Study Abroad. Reagan studied in Northern Ireland, taking film courses to fulfill her major requirements.

NEW JERSEY

JERSEY CITY: Richard Lee, a sophomore pre-business major in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, won a Presidential Scholarship for Study Abroad. Lee participated in the International Student Exchange Program at the School of Economics at Chukyo University.

WISCONSIN

SAUKVILLE: Elizabeth Azoff, a junior studying international studies and English in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and International Programs, won a Presidential Scholarship for Study Abroad. She studied in Valparaiso, Chile, through a program sponsored by the School for International Training, which focused on the study of culture, development, and social justice.

BOSNIA

BANJALUKA: Jasmina Popaja, a junior studying international studies in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and International Programs, won a Presidential Scholarship for Study Abroad and a Naomi Gunderson Scholarship. Popaja studied in Cameroon through the Culture and Development Program sponsored by the School for International Training (SIT). While in Cameroon, Popaja achieved proficiency in French and learned more about various aspects of life in Cameroon.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026, lois-gray@uiowa.edu; Program: Philip Carls, 319-335-0353; Writer: Kent Nguyen