Mike Scanlin (Founder)
The Chris Borton Memorial Scholarship Fund is now in its sixteenth year and with the addition of the current three recipients, 44 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, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Scotland, Senegal, and Spain. For up to date details see the Fund web site.
Speaking during International Week to a UCSD audience, Dean Lynn Anderson presented an informative overview of the UCSD Education Abroad Program. She reported that UCSD ranks 7 th in the nation for number of students studying abroad for a full year and that 22% of UCSD undergraduates study abroad, compared to 3% nationally. The long-term goal is to send 50% of undergraduates abroad before graduation. In a survey assessing alumni experience and impact on careers and life, 51.4% agreed or strongly agreed that study abroad influenced their choice of career; 39% agreed or strongly agreed that study abroad helped them obtain their first job after college; and 93.7% agreed or strongly agreed that cross-cultural skills acquired abroad were professionally valuable. We have seen this impact first hand among our group of Borton Scholars. With your continued support we are now able to offer three $7,000 scholarships each year that are having a lasting positive impact on the careers and significant personal relationships of the recipients.
Current Scholarship Recipients
Alexandra (Allie) Vogel, an Economic Sociology and Business Marketing major, is studying at L’Institut d’Etudes Politiques (“Sciences Po”) in Paris, France. She grew up in Southern California, is fluent in French and enjoys traveling, design, painting and yoga.
She is a student affiliate for The Center for Research on Gender in the Professions and is working on a research project titled “The Sport of Beauty – Investigating the Lure and Economics of Beauty Pageants” which examines the cultural and economic aspects of beauty pageants and how well they meet their stated goals of promoting educated, self- confident women. During her first term, one of her classes shot a documentary about a café in Belleville called Aux Folies. Allie writes that “People in Paris really stay in their quartiers or neighborhoods, and Belleville epitomizes this with its’ unique feel.” Prior to beginning coursework in Paris, Allie was able to make a trip to Ireland, where she attended a “red head” festival. During the term she was able to travel to Grenoble and Bordeaux. She lives in the 11 th arrondissement sharing an apartment with a French and a Brazilian student. Allie writes that it “is amazing just walking through Paris….especially at night and Sunday mornings when it is calm. It is like walking through a painting.”
Stephen Dailing is a Political Science and International Studies major also studying at L’Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris, France. He was drawn to Sciences Po by the yearlong program, which would allow him to fully immerse himself in the French culture, and by the institution’s dedication to the study of social and political sciences. He was originally attracted to this area of study while participating in Model UN and student government. Stephen hopes to become a diplomat either with the United Nations or for the US State Department. He writes that he loves “the mix of cultures and ideas combined with the practical interests of negotiating….it is a puzzle that constantly shifts in seemingly unpredictable ways due a variety of objective and subjective standards: political, cultural, personal, or simply good or bad luck.” He enjoyed his classes during his first term, and found that the professors expected “more original synthesis of ideas as opposed to regurgitation of facts and concepts” and that the argument style “is a complete inversion from the Anglo-Saxon Style.”
Anita Suen, a Political Science major with a concentration in International Relations and a minor in Chinese Studies, is spending her senior year studying abroad in China at Beijing Normal University during the summer and at Peking University during the academic year. She is a Chinese-American who grew up in San Francisco speaking both Cantonese and English. During her year abroad she will primarily be advancing her Mandarin language skills with hopes of becoming fluent, exploring her Chinese roots, and learning about Chinese society, economics, and politics. During her summer program the EAP office in Beijing organized a field trip to Shandong, the province directly south of Beijing, where she spent four days visiting Jinan, the capital, Tai’an, the city at the base of the Taishan Mountain which she climbed, and Qufu, the home of Confucius. In addition to her studies, Anita has kept up an ambitious travel program, visiting Mutianyu, Xi’an, Chengdu, Jiuzhaigou, and Shanghai. She wrote us an e-mail on the overnight train to Hohhot, Inner Mongolia where she was going to spend a few days in the grasslands and the Gobi Desert, experience sleeping in a yurt, herding sheep, and riding horses and camels. It was a ten-hour ride in an overcrowded train on the way there and the same on the way back with only standing room tickets available. “But, things can always be worse,” Anita wrote, “and it will be a memorable learning experience, and I’m very excited for Inner Mongolia, which was at the top of my list of places to visit in China.”
Updates on recently returned Borton Scholars
Molly Tremblay (Ireland, 2011-12) started working in the Programs Abroad Office upon her return to San Diego and has found it rewarding to talk to prospective students, hearing their stories and sharing her own. She made a speech during UCSD’s Partners in Education awards ceremony about her time abroad and shared with us some of what she tried to communicate: “While I learned more than I could have imagined about Irish culture and its people, what was more surprising was all that I learned about myself. As a whole, living abroad instilled me with a new sense of confidence and left me with a clearer picture of where I want my life to go.” Molly has switched her minor to theatre because of her experience in Dublin and will be taking both play writing and set design classes in the upcoming year. She writes that she hopes to later combine her major (Structural Engineering) and minor studies through set design because “after all, even theaters need engineers!”
Katerina Siefkas (France, 2011-12) has returned to UCSD and will be graduating in June, after which she hopes to travel abroad again, most likely to China. This summer she did an internship with the State Department in San Francisco and was able to meet several Foreign Service Officers and ask a lot of questions. She wrote to us about sitting on the lawn of the Eiffel Tower with a group of friends towards the end of her stay in France. What she remembered most about the evening was “sitting with this group of people and realizing the full extent of the fluency I had achieved throughout the year….It was incredible to realize how much I had absorbed of the French manner of speaking, not just the actual words but the little mannerisms and gestures that accompany them.” One of the most valuable parts of her experience abroad was “the connections I made with other students from around Europe and discussions we had about politics and nationality. It’s incredible to have the experience of discussing World War II with Germans or the role of Russia with a Finn or national identity with the French.”
Debbie Leung (Denmark, 2011) continues her interest in transportation through an internship with the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), the region’s transportation planning and implementation agency. She was featured in the September 2012 edition of the UCSD Alumni Triton Magazine and will be graduating from UCSD in March 2013.
Hearts and Scholars Dinner
In February, Ray and Verena drove 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 Alexandra Delaney (Denmark, 2009-10), Jonathan Nelson (Austria, 2010-11), Tamar Freeland (Spain 2010-11), Yoshie Yamamoto (Japan, 2010- 11), and Debbie Leung (Denmark, 2011) and enjoyed catching up with each of them. It was fun to see them all connect with one another through sharing stories about their time abroad. On the same trip, we were also able to have dinner in Solana Beach with Ben McCue (Spain, 2001-02) and breakfast in Del Mar with Halley Henscey (Italy 2006-07). Ben asked how he might help us with the Scholarship program and came up with a great idea that we have proposed to the EAP office: interviewing prospective applicants, both to give the students more insights into the study abroad possibilities and to give us more background on possible candidates. We are exploring the idea of contacting Borton Scholars who remain in the San Diego area to form an interviewing committee. This initiative would be very much in tune with the goals of the program: fostering connections and collaboration in the international community.
Updates on past Borton Scholars
Jonathan Nelson (Austria, 2010-11) graduated from UCSD and began a doctorate program in Chemistry at UC Santa Barbara. He is teaching, taking classes and focusing his research on various types of gold catalysis. He writes that “Gold will catalyze some fundamental transformations under very mild conditions, which makes it pretty useful, and neat to work with.”
Yoshie Yamamoto (Japan, 2010-11) graduated from UCSD and is living in Pasadena, where she is volunteering at a local hospital and taking classes required before applying to nursing school. Realizing the value of human life when she experienced the earthquake and tsunami last year led Yoshie to shift her focus from veterinary medicine to caring for her fellow human beings.
Tamar Freeland (Spain, 2010-11) graduated Cum Laude from UCSD in June. She has been accepted to be an English Language Teaching Assistant with the English Opens Doors Program in Chile, a volunteer initiative supported by the Chilean Ministry of Education and the United Nations Development Programme. Assuming all goes well obtaining her visa, she will be teaching English to Chilean middle or high school students next year and hopes to travel through South America after the academic year ends.
Hanna Rahimi (Spain, 2009-10) quit her job in internet tourism and took a break to devote time to working on a novel. She serves as a tutor for low-income students in Escondido. She writes, “This is a wonderful chance to make a difference for students who don’t often get individual attention when it comes to academics and I love giving them a chance to learn skills that will help them do better in school.” Many of the families she works with speak only Spanish, so she gets ample opportunity to utilize the fluency she gained during her year in Spain. In her second job, Hanna works online as a teaching assistant for entry-level writing courses at Ashford University. She writes that, “Studying abroad taught me essential communication skills and compassion that aid me in being an effective educator for the diverse types of students in my classes.”
Alexandra Delaney (Denmark, 2009-10) graduated from UCSD with a joint degree in Physiology / Neuroscience and Psychology and took a job at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. She is working on a retrospective analysis of the etiologies of neonatal sepsis in South Asia with funding for the research provided by the Gates Foundation. With plans to apply to medical school next June, she writes that “after my stint in public health I am leaning towards a joint degree, M.D. / M.P.H., so fingers crossed that everything works out!”
Laura Summers (Holland, 2008-09) finished service in the Philippines and officially became a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer. She is making her way back to California by way of Cambodia and Vietnam. She writes that her “EAP and Peace Corps experience has definitely instilled in me a love of cultural exchange, and though I’d like to find a job in California to be close to my family, I’m hoping there is an international component in whatever job I do next.”
Kipp Trieu (France, 2008-09) is in his second year as a Kindergarten and First Grade teacher at a parent involvement charter school in San Jose, California. He writes that his kids “know how to say the date in French, and every day without fail “2012” (duh-me-dooz-uh, with a Parisian accent) makes them giggle.” He incorporates multilingualism and multiculturalism, both standards he gained from his time living and studying abroad, as often as possible into his thematic instruction units. Considering multiple perspectives is an important part of Kipp’s curriculum, as he believes this principle translates into thinking with complexity as well as interacting positively with others. Ray and Verena joined Kipp for coffee in Cupertino early in the year and he visited us in Davis during his holiday break. We feel fortunate whenever we have a chance to catch up in person with Borton Scholars.
Nicola Hil (France, 2007-08) is working at the State Treasurer’s Office for the Tax Credit Allocation Committee in Sacramento and was elected President of Women Take Back the Night, an organization that works closely with local organizations and advocates to raise awareness of violence against women locally and abroad. She also serves on the board of the Capital Fellows Program. Nicola is currently applying to graduate programs in public affairs and one business school for entry in the fall of 2013. She writes that “All of the programs are outside of California (mainly on the East Coast), as I’m feeling the itch to explore new places again!”
Naomi Ogilvie (Germany, 2007-08) finished her teaching job in Seoul, South Korea and has decided to take the following year to work and travel through Southeast Asia. She is currently in Thailand, where she has upcoming plans to volunteer at an English school in Chiang Mai, and then take a permaculture course at a small farm near Pai. She writes, “In February or March, I’ll travel to Burma, and after that will either visit Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, or settle down and get a job.”
Paul Suarez (Spain, 2006-07) married a woman he met while studying in Madrid and continues to work at an engineering company in Los Angeles that he joined after completing graduate school at Stanford. He sent us his brief update while honeymooning in Peru.
Jenna Carlsson (Senegal, 2005-06) is in the second year of a Masters of Social Work at UC Berkeley and preparing to graduate in May. She has been learning about community organizing, policy advocacy, and management practice and has kept very busy balancing school, internship, work and some semblance of a social life. She has become involved in supporting the undocumented student movement and recently submitted an opinion piece that was published in the Oakland Tribune.
Alice Wagner (Scotland, 2004-05) graduated from Stanford with a Masters in Education and found her first full time teaching job at Rolling Hills Middle School in the Campbell Union School District. She writes that she “got engaged to a Mr. Scott Robertson while hiking in the Santa Cruz Mountains, married a Mr. Scott Robertson, and moved into a beautiful little apartment with a Mr. Scott Robertson. I’m not sure I could possibly have so many life changing events in one year! As a direct result of my year abroad in Scotland, we had a Ceilidh dance at our wedding reception – which everyone enjoyed.”
Joachim Lyon (China, 2004-05) is in his fifth and penultimate year of a PhD at Stanford Management Science and Engineering, and has recently defended his dissertation proposal. He leaves shortly for Shanghai to conduct three months of ethnographic research for his dissertation. He writes, “This trip will be the longest I’ve stayed in China since I actually studied abroad, so I’m both nervous and excited. I truly believe one should not spend too long without properly traveling, without properly giving oneself a small measure of self-exile. When traveling, the fear of the unknown and the un- plannable, given an open mind, can give way to a sense of self-reliance, dynamism, and especially humility that is easy to forget but is so important.”
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. Ray and Verena missed seeing Brian on their trip to Washington DC for the UN Association annual meeting because he was on his way to Tasmania for the meeting of the Antarctic Treaty Parties. Recently Brian sent an e-mail from Nairobi, where he and his wife were en route to Tanzania to trek on Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Ben McCue (Spain, 2001-02) continues to work with the bi-national non-profit WILDCOAST and other non-profits in the US and Mexico. Ben’s fiancée is getting a degree in Social Work with a specialty in human trafficking. He is still an avid surfer and has returned to Spain every year after his year abroad. He stays in touch with friends he made while studying in Spain during and has added new ones.
Shige Itoh (Japan, 2000-01) continues to work at a law firm in Costa Mesa, California and was recently elevated to partner. He has occasional work that involves Japan but hasn’t had an opportunity to revisit for a few years. He writes, “I’m hoping to take my family to Japan in the near future to introduce my daughter to her relatives there.”
Jenny Chang (UK, 1997-98) continues to work in a lab at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She took a weeklong trip up the Danube with her mother and visited a few cities that she hadn’t been to since her year abroad in 1998. She writes that “it was nice not to be on the hostel circuit this time.”
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,