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May 23, 2003

Two ULM Graduates to Study Abroad on Rotary Scholarships

Two graduates from the University of Louisiana at Monroe have been awarded scholarships to study in foreign countries. Recent graduate Phoebe Phillips, who received the bachelor of arts in Spanish, will travel to Xalapa, Mexico for one year. Brandy Bolton, Communications Graduate Student will study in Palmerston North, New Zealand.

Both students will travel through Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarships, which are designed to further international understanding and goodwill and provide winners with the chance to study abroad in their choice of more than 160 countries where Rotary Clubs are established.

To be eligible, candidates must have completed at least two years of university or college course work at the time the scholarship period begins. During their studies abroad, scholarship winners will act as "ambassadors of goodwill" through appearances before Rotary clubs, schools and civic organizations

Phillips, who is proficient in Spanish, will head to Veracruz University or "la Universidad Veracruzana" in mid- August 2003. She will be speaking to the Rotary Clubs in Xalapa as well as in other parts of Mexico. She will also speak to groups in Louisiana upon her return.

Philips will be assigned a Rotary Club host counselor in Xalapa. She will also take a course on teaching Spanish as a foreign language and classes of history and literature. She is scheduled to return to Monroe in May of 2004.

Phillip's sponsor counselor, Rotary member Bob Harrison, said that both scholarship recipients were chosen based on the person's ability to be an exceptional ambassador for the Rotary Club and the USA. The students will each have access to 25 thousand dollars for their travels.

Phillips, from Jigger, La., is no stranger to traveling abroad. Last summer she received a scholarship to study in Spain for five weeks. She was awarded the scholarship from Sigma Delta Pi. Sigma Delta Pi awards only ten scholarships to study in Spain, and the competition is among undergraduates and graduates throughout the U. S.

"One of the reasons I applied for the Rotary Club Scholarship was that I wanted to have an 'applied' part of my studies of Spanish. I wanted to take the textbook and classroom knowledge I gained at ULM and see and hear it in action. I also want to improve my proficiency in Spanish including building my vocabulary, gaining increased confidence in speaking it, and have the language become second nature to me," said Phillips.

"I also want to get as immersed in the culture as possible. I will not be returning home during the year when I'm there because I would like to experience all of the holidays Mexican-style. Because I am thinking about teaching Spanish, I try to remember that all of my experiences this next year will be kind of a gift to share with my future students. I do want to go to graduate school to further my studies in languages. I have a special interest in TESL /TEFL(Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language), so I may study so that I may teach that. As for what I will do when I return from Mexico next Spring, I do not have any concrete plans as of this moment. I will either teach and go later to graduate school or apply to go immediately to grad school."

Bolton, from Slagle La., will study at Massey University in New Zealand. She will leave for her trip on Feb. 15, 2004, and will be considered an exchange student while there.

"I love to travel. I have been to Europe before and during the summer I did an internship with the president of Local Rotary Club. The application for this scholarship is 20 pages long so I was extremely excited to find out I had won, " said Bolton.

Never having been to New Zealand before, Bolton is learning all she can now. "I have bought several books about the country. I have been in contact with my host family and have done a ton of research."

Her masters thesis will be done while there. It will be based on the cultivation of anti-depressants in the mass media in the foreign countries. She says she is interested in the fact that they actually print their side affects on the labels but don't in America. She will research the cultural aspects of her topic.

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