Mike Scanlin (Founder)
The Chris Borton Memorial Scholarship Fund is now in its fourteenth year and with the addition of the current three recipients, 38 UC San Diego students have benefited from your generous contributions. They have pursued international study at universities in Austria, China, Denmark, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Scotland, Senegal, and Spain. For up to date details see the Fund web site.
A Newsweek article from July highlighted the connection between living abroad and creativity. The article cited a study by Northwestern’s Adam Galinsky showing that “those who have lived abroad outperform others on creativity tasks.” The theory is that cross-cultural experiences “force people to adapt and be more flexible.” Whether it is finding accommodations, navigating public transportation, tasting new foods, interacting with the locals or integrating into a new university environment, anecdotal evidence from CBMSF recipients studying abroad confirms this view. The scholarships we are able to offer with your continued support have changed the lives of the recipients in ways that they are now passing on to the next generation. Andrea Martinez (Mexico 1999-2000) wrote this year to express her gratitude for the program’s “ongoing commitment to ensuring that students…find the joy and love for learning through study abroad” and let us know that “the seed you planted years ago has given fruit here in my community as I recently took 32 students to Spain to study abroad. It was wonderful!”
Current Scholarship Recipients
Tamar Freeland, a Communications major with a minor in Spanish Literature, is studying at the Autonomous University of Barcelona in Spain. She describes herself as a student, a sister, a barrista, a hopeful realist, and a bad joke-teller. Based on her visit with Ray and Verena in Davis they would add that she is also a delightful conversationalist. Tamar wrote that she is “looking forward to this experience as an opportunity to become fluent in Spanish, travel throughout Europe, gain a more worldwide perspective, and completely immerse myself in a new culture.” One way Tamar prepared for her year abroad was by living in the International House at UCSD, because she “knew that meeting and befriending international students would not only be a great cultural opportunity here, but would come in handy when I travel to other countries.” Her first impression of Barcelona from the airplane was that “the Mediterranean Sea wasn’t as blue as I was expecting, and that all of the houses had red roofs.” After two weeks of searching, she found a comfortable and affordable apartment with 3 other girls—two from San Sebastian in the Basque Country and the other from Athens. She seems well on her way to achieving the goals she laid out in her Statement of Purpose: to “grow more mature and self-confident in my abilities to live autonomously as a young adult.”
Jonathan Nelson is a Chemistry major studying at the University of Vienna in Austria. He decided on the Chemistry major during a research internship in the total synthesis lab at the Scripps Institute at UCSD. His advisor at Scripps, Dr. Phillip Baran, introduced him to Dr. Johann Mulzer at the University of Vienna with whom he is working on a research project during his time in Vienna. He writes that this “will give me the opportunity of having worked with well-known professors in the Chemistry field at two internationally renowned institutions, which in turn will be helpful when pursuing graduate studies.” Jonathan was raised in a bi-cultural home with an American father and a mother who grew up in Austria. His aunts and their families live in Vienna and he spent more than a month prior to starting his studies traveling and visiting with family. Jonathan is pictured above during one such trip, hiking near the town of Schladming in the Austrian Alps. These experiences will help Jonathan to accomplish his goal of “learning more about the culture of my heritage and getting to know the Austrian side of my family.”
A third year student majoring in human biology, Yoshie Yamamoto is studying at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan. During her year there, Yoshie will be participating in biological research in addition to “taking advantage of the opportunity to take Japanese language classes in order to attain fluency in reading and writing.” Although Yoshie has visited Japan in the past with her family, she writes that during her year abroad she “wishes to experience Japan with the intention of learning about the deep-engraved history of Japan while reconnecting with her ancestral past.” After a six week intensive language program in Tokyo during the summer she was able to visit a grandmother and aunt in Yamaguchi Prefecture and another aunt in Fukuoko Prefecture. She believes that, “One year is enough for me to completely engross myself in the sights and sounds of Japan, as a resident of Japan rather than as a tourist.” Yoshie is doing research in a laboratory focused on the developmental biology of limbs. She writes that she is conducting a variety of experiments through which she is “trying to see how a limb bud develops into mature fingers/toes/limbs.” After graduating from UCSD, Yoshie plans to attend veterinary school and hopes one day to have her own private veterinary practice.
Updates on recently returned Borton Scholars
Alexandra DeLaney (Denmark, 2009-10) wrote upon her return that “what surprised me, however, was how much I learned about and from people instead of from my syllabus.” Her goal was to integrate seamlessly, to dress like a Danish person, communicate with them, to be like them. She writes that her “intense need to understand as an outsider provided me with a unique perspective on people that I had never had before.” She was impressed with how welcoming the Danish students were while she went through a variety of life experiences and she keeps “in contact with some directly, and the others still silently affect me below the surface, because they changed my attitudes and perspectives in an entirely surprising way.” She writes that, “I will never forget the things I saw and did or stop being grateful for the opportunity to live for a year, to reinvent myself, and to come one step closer to being a better person.
Hanna Rahimi (Spain, 2009-10) found herself apologizing to those who asked her to describe her experiences abroad for responding with descriptions that sounded like clichés to her. But she quickly realized that “though the words I use to describe these feelings can sound faded and over-used, the feelings themselves are indeed original and novel because they are mine alone, they are not transferable through speech, through reading, or even through pictures, but only can be gained through personal experiences.” Looking back, she highlighted the importance of staying abroad for a full year. After the first semester she had achieved a “comprehensive understanding of Granada from a traveler’s point of view.” Hanna writes that by the end of the year, “I did not just feel like I understood the culture and the city and the people there, I felt like I was a part of it. The cobbled stones that had charmed me at the beginning became streets that I proudly walked with a sense of ownership and belonging, the once intriguing sights and smells of Granada were now signs of home and comfort.” One of her favorite words in Spanish is imprescindible, which means essential. That is how Hanna felt about her year abroad: “It has been imprescindible to who I am now and who I want to be.”
Updates on past Borton Scholars
Nicola Hil (France, 2007-08) finished a fellowship at CaliforniaVolunteers, the State Agency on Service and Volunteering, through the Sacramento State Capital Fellows Program. She is now an Analyst at the State Treasurer’s Office, where she helps allocate federal and state tax credits for affordable housing projects in California. In October, Nicola spoke eloquently on the topic of gender equality and empowerment of women in a United Nations Day program on the Millennium Development Goals organized by the Davis chapter of the United Nations Association.
Kipp Trieu (France, 2008-09) is working towards putting his experiences abroad to work as he finishes a graduate degree in Education before pursuing a career as a teacher. He writes that his experiences abroad “have impacted my views on effective teaching, intercultural teaching and equity of education.” His time abroad allowed him “to learn and reflect upon myself as a person and as a productive member of the global village.”
Laura Summers (Holland, 2008-09) is waiting to hear where the Peace Crops will assign her. Ellen Holloway (Spain, 2001-02) is living in Washington D.C. and working for the lobbying organization for Public TV.
Jenna Carlsson (Senegal 2005-06) stays in touch during her travels. Her latest message was a card from Nicaragua.
Thanks to all of you who enable us to support the efforts of these remarkable young people to become world citizens and in doing so honor and remember Chris,