Mike Scanlin (Founder)
The Chris Borton Memorial Scholarship Fund is now in its eleventh year and with the addition of the current three recipients, 29 UC San Diego students have benefited from your generous contributions. They have pursued international study at universities in China, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Scotland, Senegal, and Spain. For up to date details see the Fund web site.
Based on a recent survey from the Forum on Education Abroad, the number of students studying abroad is double what it was 8 years ago. This statistic suggests that a greater number of people are coming to share our view that study abroad is a powerful tool for improving cultural understanding and broadening student’s world views. In addition, legislation has been introduced that would send 1 million students abroad (5 times the current number), with a focus on developing countries. The bill would increase participation in study abroad programs as well as diversifying destinations away from the historically heavy concentration on Western Europe. We agree with the bill’s co-sponsor, Tom Lantos when he calls it one of the most significant avenues for making the United States more culturally sensitive.
The scholarships awarded annually by the CBMSF similarly aim to create opportunities for individual students to experience and interact with other cultures, while also honoring the memory of Chris’ lifelong involvement with the international community. The scholarships are awarded to students studying abroad for a full academic year, as we believe that is the minimum time needed to achieve immersion. While we are pleased with the evidence of greater attention being paid to the importance of opportunities for international study, there are still many challenges for students to face, including increasing costs. Due to your continued generous support, we were able to increase the size of each scholarship by 25% this year. The increase was timely, as a weakening dollar has been a major factor in driving up the cost of studying abroad.
Emilie Ellis is a double major in Anthropology and International Studies-Linguistics. Going abroad was a logical choice for her because she feels that “an essential component of Anthropology is getting the native’s point of view by living with people for an extended period of time.” During her year in Freiburg at the Albert-Luwigs-Universität, Emilie expects to get a taste of what fieldwork is all about. One of her ambitions is to use the anthropological research methods she is studying to improve aid programs for health, poverty and education in developing countries. In San Diego, Emilie lived in International House and was involved in I-House efforts to help the local community in San Diego and across the border.
This summer, Emilie traveled to Tanzania as a volunteer for the Arusha Project, which spreads HIV/AIDS awareness and supports gender equality. In Tanzania she taught English to children in an AIDS orphanage. Since leaving for Europe in late August, Emilie has been able to travel to Poland, the Czech Republic, France, Switzerland, and within Germany to Berlin and Münich.
Nicola Hil wrote in her application that she has a “goal to have an international career and life.” We think she is well on her way: she was born in Britain, moved to California during childhood, lived in and volunteered for the International House at UC San Diego and is spending the current year studying Political Science at Institut d’Études Politiques (IEP) Lyon and Université Lumière Lyon 2 in France. Ray and Verena has a wonderful time meeting Nicola in August in her hometown of Livermore prior to her departure for France. She is acclimating to Lyon and writes that, “The area is beautiful with medieval churches and buildings and cobblestones along the streets.” She also reports that the independent research project she undertook the prior year at UC San Diego on the impact of French and European legislation on the rights of immigrant populations has provided a very relevant backdrop for her studies in Lyon. A musician, Nicola bought a trumpet (“a reliable English model”) and is looking for French students with whom to form a brass quintet. She has been able to travel to Telford, Strasbourg, Avignon, Grenoble, Cerdon and Geneva thus far and has plans to visit her grandparents in England over the holidays.
A double major in Archaeology and Classics, Naomi Ogilvie carefully selected Georg-August Universität in Göttingen for the courses it offers that are not available at UC San Diego, such as Ramses II, Greek Ceramics and an Introduction to the Coptic Language. This is the very same university that Chris attended through the Education Abroad Program. Naomi also expects her time abroad to further her career goals, which include living and working in Europe. Ray and Verena were thrilled to be able to host her for a picnic at the Farmer’s Market in Davis this summer. Prior to starting classes, Naomi was able to tour Scandinavia with her mother. In her application she wrote that, by attending Georg-August, she hopes “to foster personal growth by moving out of my comfort zone and entering a situation as full of the unknown as study abroad.” Several months into her stay, it appears she is well on her way to that goal. She e-mails, “Every day I feel lucky to be here in a country and university which I feel suits me so well, and offers me so many new opportunities. I cannot wait to see how much I will have learned by the end of the year.”
Updates on some past “Borton Scholars:
Jenny Chang (U.K., 1997-98), our very first scholarship recipient, recently got married (see picture on right) and is about to complete her PhD.
Mark Morris (Ghana, 1998-99) sends us regular updates about his San Francisco design company (TURK+TAYLOR) and exhibits of his innovative art work.
Shige Itoh (Japan, 2000-01) got married last summer.
Ellen Holloway (Spain, 2001-02) graduated from law school in May. She is working at the Christian Science Publishing Society in Boston. She e-mails that she likes the work and that it is a non-profit with a focus on work-life balance.
Brian Israel (UK, 2003-04) transferred from Washington, DC to UC Berkeley Law School in August. Despite a heavy course load, he is also working with the Public International Law and Policy Group providing free legal assistance to Nepal and Liberia.
Joachim Lyon (China, 2004-05) is now in Scotland, pursuing a one-year Masters in Philosophy (Mind, Language and Embodied Cognition) at the University of Edinburgh. Having received a prestigious Jack Kent Cook postgraduate scholarship for up to six years, this is just a first step. Joachim writes: “I mentioned the Borton grant in my most difficult JKC essay response, where I commented on the dreams I had expressed in my small application to your foundation, and the ways in which I had realized those dreams during my study abroad.”
Jenna Carlsson (Senegal, 2005-06) graduated in June and has been working as an Americorps VISTA at the International Rescue Committee in San Diego in a home visiting program called Families Connect that helps recent refugees to get settled in the U.S.
Jennifer Kim (Spain, 2006-07) was very excited to experience snow falling on her head for the first time ever last January in Granada.
Halley Henscey (Italy, 2006-07) wrote in February that she was “finally used to so many hours of lecture in Italian…Going out with friends from class is fun because we have to speak in Italian, and we’re all from different countries – in a class of 15 students we usually represent about 13 countries.”
Paul Suarez (Spain, 2006-07) commented on some of his reactions after returning to San Diego: “The first kind of oddity was that everybody spoke English, and the money was so strange and foreign, not to mention bland…In terms of scheduling, being able to go to a grocery store at 10 p.m. but not a restaurant was just all backwards from my Madrileño experience…The lack of a great Metro system has been very hard and I’m not sure I’ll ever get over it…I’ve felt a lot more self confident since returning…Every once in a while I look at my photos…and get really homesick for Madrid.”
Thanks to all of you that make it possible for us to support the efforts of these remarkable young people to become global citizens,