Mike Scanlin (Founder)
The Chris Borton Memorial Scholarship Fund is now in its seventeenth year and with the addition of the current four recipients, 48 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.
According to the Institute of International Education, 283,332 US students received academic credit for study abroad in 2011-12, a 3.4% increase from the prior year. Of those receiving credit, 3.3% studied abroad for a full academic year. By comparison, 8.3% of students receiving credit for study abroad in 2001-02 did so for a full academic year. This is consistent with what we have seen at UCSD, with the number of applicants for a full academic year abroad declining steadily as the costs of higher education have risen and job prospects post-graduation have fallen. The most commonly cited reason for this drop off is cost, not a decline in interest. At a time when the skills acquired studying abroad – language, communication, cultural perspective, and the ability to navigate new and complex social situations – are growing in importance, the financial assistance we are able to provide to our scholarship recipients with your continued support can be the determining factor in a decision to study abroad or not.
Current Scholarship Recipients
Jessica Pham, a Political Science major, is studying at L’Institut d’Etudes Politiques (“Sciences Po”) in Paris, France. Her parents are Vietnamese but this is her first extended time spent overseas.
Jessica is fascinated by the study of politics because “the political world encompasses both individual preference and experience, both exterior influences and interior motives.” She strives to find the intersection of the academic world of grades, deadlines and knowledge, and the real world of culture, politics, religion and personal experience. Outside of her academic pursuits, she loves to experiment with various baking recipes, attend concerts, and spend time with her golden retriever Luke Skywalker. She is living with a host family in Paris during her first semester, which has done wonders for her conversational French. Jessica hopes “to eventually pursue a career in social justice law, international business, or in the non-profit sector.” She has “always been passionate about the welfare of others” and hopes to utilize her time in France as a foundation for a possible career path abroad.
Brenda Vega is pursuing a degree in Human Development and is studying this year at the University of Granada in Spain. She is a first generation college student who wants to “give back to her community by influencing the younger generation to pursue higher education.” Brenda has served on the board of Hermanas Unidas de UCSD, been actively involved in a variety of community programs in San Diego, and traveled to Amman, Jordan in the summer of 2012 in a quest to acquire international experience. She writes that “Granada has a very traditional feeling and the historical presence of the Arab culture is very much alive here, although the Catholic religion is very prominent as well.” Her experiences thus far have allowed her to “learn not only about Spanish culture, but also about how intertwined other cultures are to it.” Brenda has been able to travel to London and has plans to travel to Morocco.
Andrew Kubal, an Electrical Engineering major, is studying at Imperial College in London, England. He was exposed to engineering from an early age by his father, an engineer. Andrew is living on campus, just south of Hyde Park, and describes London as “a big city, not as big as everyone says it is, with bustling streets and nightlife.” He is most excited about the perspective expanding potential of studying abroad. Andrew writes, “engineering is centered on not only understanding complex mathematics and physics concepts, but also on conjuring a novel approach to a problem.” Exposure to foreign points of view “will provide me with new tools in approaching my studies and in my future work.” He joined Imperial’s Erasmus club and so far has visited Edinburgh, Oxford, and Cambridge. He has plans to travel to Germany, Holland and the French Alps.
Rebecca Korff is an International Studies and Economics double major studying in Barcelona, Spain. She is from the Bay Area and has traveled to Brazil many times to visit her mother’s family. Rebecca is an animal lover and an avid runner who hopes to run a marathon one day. She writes that her mission is “to share the power of traveling, the power of opening one’s mind, and viewing life through many lenses.” Receiving a Borton Scholarship made her feel recognized and understood and she hopes one day to also create a scholarship foundation. She writes about the Chris Borton Memorial Scholarship program: “I do not believe there is a better way to prolong his vision and his memory than through helping others.”
Updates on recently returned Borton Scholars
Anita Suen (China, 2012-13) traveled extensively during her time in China. She tutored three Chinese children in English to earn extra money to travel, and was able to visit Inner Mongolia, Anyang in Henan Province, Tianjin, and during her six week spring break: Yanging, Harbin, Yunna Province, Guangzhou, and Shenyang. Upon her return to the United States she called her time abroad “the most rewarding and enriching experience of my life.” Studying abroad gave Anita “the sense that I truly belong to a greater world community and that people from different countries can come and work together to cooperate and make the world a better place. That amount of exposure and the opportunity to form meaningful relationships with people from different cultures and backgrounds is not something I could have gotten at UCSD.”
Stephen Dailing (France, 2012-13) also traveled extensively during his year in France. He was able to make extensive visits to sites in France, England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Poland, Belgium and Holland during his time abroad. He is now finishing up his studies at UCSD and studying for the GRE exam. He writes that, “I will be back abroad again. I do not know when. I do not know how, or even where. Nonetheless, I have caught the bug. There is no way that I could stay away.”
Borton Scholar Gatherings
In June, Kim Burton from the Education Abroad office at UCSD arranged for Jessica Pham, Brenda Vega and Andrew Kubal to meet with former Borton scholar Ben McCue (Spain 2001-02) in San Diego (Rebecca was unable to attend). Ben answered questions and shared his experiences from his time abroad and his path thereafter.
In August, Ray and Verena hosted Rebecca Korff and her mother and brother for lunch in Davis. After lunch they paid a visit to the Davis Art Center, which evolved into a mini weaving lesson as Rebecca’s mother was interested in learning projects to do in her classroom. Rebecca flew to Barcelona, via Oslo the very next day to begin her time abroad.
Updates on past Borton Scholars
Tamar Freeland (Spain, 2010-11) has spent this year in Southern Chile working as a volunteer English Teacher for the English Opens Doors Program. She lives in Panguipulli, which she describes as “a beautiful town on the shores of Lago Panguipulli with views of 3 snow-capped volcanoes.” She teaches at a rural technical high school in the neighboring town. She writes that, “the student body is about 460 boys and 40 girls, so things can get pretty rowdy. The challenges are institutional, economic, social, and cultural, and the level of English is very low, but the students have good hearts and never cease to make me laugh.”
Alexandra Delaney (Denmark, 2009-10) is living in Atlanta, working at the Centers for Disease Control, and applying to Infectious Disease PhD programs around the country. She is moving to Spain next summer where she will be an au pair before returning to start graduate school.
Hanna Rahimi (Spain, 2009-10) is working as an editorial assistant at Mandala Publishing in San Rafael, CA. Mandala publishes books that focus on eastern spirituality, art, ecology and especially the philosophies on India. Hanna writes that “the sensitivity to and genuine interest in different cultures and ways of life that I developed while traveling the world are skills that make me a much more effective editor on these titles.”
Laura Summers (Germany, 2008-09) returned from serving in the Peace Corps in the Philippines at the end of 2012 and is now working in the Admissions Office at International House in New York, a living-learning community for international and American graduate students. She is planning to go to graduate school in the future.
Nicola Hil (France, 2007-08) traveled to New Zealand and Thailand in 2013 and is attending the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (“SAIS”) to pursue a Master’s in International Relations. The program involves a first year in Bologna, Italy and a second year in Washington DC.
She writes, “I love that SAIS has an international component built into the program by offering the option to study in Italy and by having a very diverse student body from around the world. I also like that SAIS encourages students to study international relations and public policy from several different angles with a focus on economics.” She plans to focus in international law and organizations, which will involve learning about organizations like the UN, NGO’s, and humanitarian issues. She received a Dean’s Fellowship that will cover her full tuition.
Jennifer Kim (Spain, 2006-07) returned from her work with the Peace Corps in Indonesia in 2012. She then worked for a non-profit in Portland, Oregon as a School Communities Program Coordinator in a poverty-stricken middle school outside of the metro area. More recently she has returned home and started a job as a high school English teacher.
Halley Henscey (Italy, 2006-07) is living in San Diego and engaged to be married next year. She is exploring doing a Masters in Speech Language Pathology at San Diego State with an eye toward becoming a speech therapist working with children, a career that would use her knowledge of linguistics and incorporate her love of languages.
Joachim Lyon (China, 2004-05) wrote from Shanghai where he was conducting fieldwork. He had recently moved to a hotel that is right across from the Shanghai Conservatory, where he found a piano to play. He writes that, “the first time I ever stayed in Shanghai, during my first big travels in the abroad year, I stayed with friends in a bargain room in a conservatory dormitory. I have very fond memories walking down the street and playing pianos in each of the nearby shops. One way or another, the Borton scholarship follows me wherever I go, and even when I return in new capacities.”
Julia Carter (Egypt, 2002-03) lives in San Francisco and works in Stanford’s Central Office of development in the Communications and Stewardship group making sure that donors are well informed and up-to-date on how their gifts are being used. She writes, “I find it somewhat fitting that my work now involves stewarding donors to Stanford, when so many of the great experiences of my own life are due to the generosity of people like you.”
Ellen Holloway (Spain, 2001-02) is enjoying her work in the legal profession, making lots of court appearances and did her first independent mediation on her own.
We finish this letter with a personal message we received from Jean-Xavier Guinard, the Associate Vice Provost and Executive Director, University of California Education Abroad Program that we think is addressed to you, our contributors, as much as it is to us: “I wanted to thank you for everything you are doing to support UC San Diego students going on UCEAP. At a time when cost and credit are the main obstacles to study abroad, the Chris Borton Scholarship Fund is making a huge difference to its distinguished recipients.”
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,