Mike Scanlin (Founder)
The Chris Borton Memorial Scholarship Fund is now in its fifteenth year and with the addition of the current three recipients, 41 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.
The University of California system is undergoing a well-documented budget crisis that has necessitated a variety of cuts, including to the Education Abroad Program (UCEAP). According to a February 2011 report from the University of California, the UCEAP has been forced to eliminate programs, reduce staff at its Santa Barbara headquarters by 30% and at its overseas study centers, and streamline its administrative processes. Between 2009-10 and 2011-12, at least 9 study centers and 22 programs were closed, including several well-known and long established sites. Against a backdrop of high unemployment, rising tuition costs, and cuts to funding for EAP programs, the scholarships we are able to offer with your continued support are more important than ever to allow students to pursue the life-changing, perspective-altering experience of studying abroad. In a note after the Hearts and Scholars dinner in February Kipp Trieu (France, 2008-09) wrote, “On behalf of all Borton Scholars, past, present and future, we are grateful for your support in our academic and professional development as well as in our endeavors as world citizens. Your message and vision have inspired us all.”
Current Scholarship Recipients
Katerina Siefkas, an International Studies- Political Science / Linguistics major, is studying at the University of Lyon in France. She learned about the Chris Borton Memorial Scholarship before she came to UCSD. While still in high school, she visited UC Davis Picnic Day where she met Verena who encouraged her to consider studying abroad and to apply for the scholarship if she chose UCSD.
Katerina grew up in Novato, California and developed a love of languages at an early age. She started with French at the age of seven and has added Spanish and Mandarin Chinese since then. In her statement of purpose, Katerina wrote that fluency means much more to her than simply the ability to communicate with ease. During her year in Lyon, she hopes to achieve “an understanding of the applications of the language, of how they define and represent culture, as the quirks of a language are so integral to the culture’s shape and form.” She is living with two French roommates in an apartment in the center of Lyon, overlooking the Place Bellecour, and can walk to her classes. Outside of classes, she has already traveled to Wales, Oxford and London during her first half year abroad.
Molly Tremblay is a Structural Engineering major with a minor in Literatures in English studying at University College Dublin. It is Molly’s goal to study architecture after graduating from UCSD and eventually design innovative, sustainable buildings. Outside of work and classes at UCSD, Molly remains active with her high school Robotics team as a mentor. Her experiences with the robotics team inspired her to become an engineer and one of her goals for her year abroad is to create the first high school robotics team in Ireland by sharing her passion and knowledge. During her first term, Molly’s engineering project group was chosen to participate in an Innovation Ireland exhibition and she reported that they were able to “awe the engineers with our prototype laptop design.” During the term, she also authored a paper about Samuel Beckett and traveled to London. Prior to her departure Molly wrote, “It is with great eagerness that I prepare for my time in Ireland,” adding that she hopes “to leave the Emerald Isle as a more aware global citizen and well-travelled student, ever eager to share my experiences and encourage others to partake in their own adventures.”
Debbie Leung, a third year student majoring in Urban Studies and Planning with minors in Environmental Studies and Economics, studied at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad in Copenhagen for a semester. Debbie has a special interest in sustainability and tries to be eco-friendly by taking public transit, not eating meat, and carrying around a reusable water bottle whenever possible. She has been involved in promoting energy efficiency and waste reduction with the UCSD Student Sustainability Collective. She targeted Copenhagen because of its modest size, bicycle-friendly streets and green technologies. After one semester in Copenhagen she has decided to return to UCSD because in Copenhagen she was not able to get the credits she needs to graduate on time. She writes that, “Copenhagen has been an invaluable resource for seeing and experiencing urban livability. I really would love to stay in Copenhagen the rest of the year to continue learning Danish and to really get comfortable with the city, but after thoroughly considering all my options for staying, the academic outlook for returning to UCSD was better.”
Updates on recently returned Borton Scholars
Tamar Freeland (Spain, 2010-11) wrote upon her return that her time in Barcelona pushed her to become a more independent, aware, and open-minded person. She writes that, “Living outside of my comfort zone and home culture made me more adaptive and confident in my ability to meet and overcome new challenges.” Her time abroad was full of challenges and struggles but as a result, she writes, “My experiences clarified my values and forced me to think about what I want out of my education, out of a career, out of myself, out of others, and out of life.” She was pleased to have spent a full year abroad as she “needed a year to settle in, get to know the city well, establish a residential routine, feel like a local, and undergo the mental progression that comes with living abroad rather than just touristing around.” Influenced by her time abroad, Tamar is now looking for a job or internship internationally.
Jonathan Nelson (Austria, 2010-11) has returned to UCSD, will graduate this spring with a B.S. in Chemistry, and is in the process of applying to graduate schools. During his year in Vienna he came to feel quite at home there. He writes, “I could speak the language after a year, and I really understood the people there, their culture, their views, and their ideas.”
He credits living with a German speaking family, rather than with other American students, with accelerating his path to fluency. He worked in the research lab of Dr. Johann Mulzer in the Synthetic Chemistry department at the University of Vienna. Outside of the classroom, one of the highlights of his year abroad was the time he was able to spend getting to know his European relatives (see picture with Jonathan in dark shirt), including several hiking and snowboarding excursions in the Alps. He wrote to thank us for the “tremendous help through the scholarship to make this life-changing experience possible!” and let us know he feels “privileged to be part of the large “International Borton-family”!”
Yoshie Yamamoto (Japan, 2010-11) had her time at Tohoku University in Sendai truncated by the devastating earthquake that shook Japan in March. Thankfully, Yoshie was in Tokyo that day and was not injured in any way, but she lost her passport and other belongings and was not able to return to Sendai. Yoshie was evacuated on March 22 nd , in time to return to UCSD for the spring quarter. It took her some time to recover from the mental impact of the disaster and to adjust to the sudden change in venue for her studies. She writes that “studying abroad was one of the best experiences I ever had” and although her time there was cut short “I will never forget the precious time I spent at Tohoku University.”
Hearts and Scholars Dinner
In February, Ray and Verena made a trip to San Diego to attend UCSD’s Hearts and Scholars Dinner. This annual event brings together scholarship recipients and donors. We were joined at dinner by Borton scholars Hanna Rahimi (Spain, 2009-10), Alexandra Delaney (Denmark, 2009-10), and Kipp Trieu (France, 2008-09) and enjoyed catching up with each of them. One part of the program that evening highlighted various scholarship recipients who had gone on to noteworthy achievements. Jenna Carlsson (Senegal, 2005-06) was among this group, as was Ben McCue for environmental work, though his name was listed with another scholarship and it wasn’t clear if it was “our” Ben Winkler-McCue, having lost touch in recent years. It was a pleasant surprise to find out that this was indeed our Ben Winkler-McCue (Spain, 2001-02) and a wonderful, unanticipated reunion took place when he joined the Borton Scholar table.
Updates on past Borton Scholars
Nicola Hil (France, 2007-08) is working at the State Treasurer’s Office for the Tax Credit Allocation Committee—an agency that helps fund affordable housing in California. She also volunteers with Sacramento Women Take Back the Night as a member of the organizing committee. Her team put on the first annual Sacramento community production of “The Vagina Monologues” in April, raising more than $15,000 to support local organizations that work to end violence against women and women in Haiti through Eve Ensler’s organization V-Day.
Naomi Ogilvie (Germany, 2007-08) is living in Seoul, Korea and teaching English to middle school students. She writes, “It’s incredibly rewarding, and I’m really loving all of the experiences this opportunity has brought my way.” She wrote about preparing for winter camp classes where she would be teaching groups of about 20 students with a theme of international education.
Kipp Trieu (France, 2008-09) is a Kindergarten and First Grade teacher in San Jose, California. Thanks to his time abroad, he is also credentialed to teach French language up to the high school level. In his classroom, Kipp seeks to impart to his students a respect for the multiple perspectives represented by their peers via inclusive project-based units that involve parents’ and families’ diverse backgrounds. By doing so Kipp hopes to set the foundation for his students to become effective world citizens. After receiving his first paycheck, Kipp made a donation to the Chris Borton Memorial Scholarship Fund, with a memo that read “Future Scholars.”
Jenna Carlsson (Senegal, 2005-06) is pursuing a Masters of Social Work with a concentration in Management and Planning at UC Berkeley. She also recently had the opportunity to travel to Israel through Birthright, which gives free educational trips to Israel for Jews.
Hanna Rahimi (Spain, 2009-10) graduated from UCSD with a B.A. and took on an internship that has become a full-time position as a writer for a travel website. She writes that, “It is a very interesting job and I enjoy the creative aspect of it and it is really cool to be able to use the experience I had traveling in Europe to anticipate what readers will want to know about Las Vegas for their trip-planning purposes.”
Alexandra Delaney (Denmark, 2009-10) will finish her degree at UCSD in the spring in Neuroscience. She wrote during the summer, “I did end up getting the internship and I am living in Penang, Malaysia right now conducting my research project regarding antibody mutagenesis in silico.”
Laura Summers (Holland, 2008-09) is serving in the Peace Corps in Dupax del Norte, the Philippines, teaching English at a high school. In addition to learning Tagalog, the national language, she is learning Ilocano, the regional language. She writes that, “It’s hard but it makes people here very happy to see the Volunteers making an effort to speak Filipino languages even though we are here to teach English.”
Ben McCue (Spain, 2001-02) received an M.A. from the University of San Diego in Nonprofit Management and Leadership. Since 2005, Ben has worked at WiLDCOAST, a bi-national non-profit based in Imperial Beach, California and Ensenada, Mexico that uses environmental education, advocacy, and policy work to conserve the coastal and marine ecosystems and wildlife. Ben continues to be an avid surfer and regularly returns to northern Spain to visit the friends he made during his year abroad. He writes, “The experience of living and studying abroad made me who I am today. It pushed me to go beyond my comfort level and to live beyond borders. It has changed the way I see the world and my place in it.”
Shige Itoh (Japan, 2000-01) and his wife have a baby daughter named Arden. He writes: “It’s very cool to be a parent. Life is really good.”
Alice Wagner (Scotland, 2004-05) is working on a Masters in Education at Stanford University. She hopes to graduate in June 2012 with a teaching credential in biology so that she can teach science for grades 7 to 12. She writes about teaching, “Figuring out how to make a lesson interesting, relevant, well-paced, and accessible to English language learners and advanced students at the same time is a great brain teaser. I love the challenge.”
Brian Israel (United Kingdom, 2003-04) works for the State Department as an Attorney-Advisor in the Office of the Legal Adviser for Oceans, International Environmental Law and Science. This became his “dream job” while studying international law (which he now teaches in the evenings) at the University of Bristol as a Borton Scholar.
Jennifer Kim (Spain, 2006-07) is living and working in East Java, Indonesia as a Peace Corps Volunteer teaching English to both students and teachers. She writes that she has changed and grown a lot since her year abroad in Spain but that one thing remains the same: “My love for travel, for new cultures, for challenges that come when put into uncomfortable and strange situations. They say that ‘Peace Corps is the toughest job you’ll ever love’ and I’m finding it to be true.”
Ellen Holloway (Spain 2001-2002) is working in a small two lawyer office in Rancho Cordova doing probate and estate litigation. She lives in an apartment in Sacramento. Ellen and Jenna Carlsson met at Ray and Verena’s 50th wedding anniversary last summer.
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,