Mike Scanlin (Founder)
The Chris Borton Memorial Scholarship Fund is now in its eighteenth year and with the addition of the current four recipients, 52 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.
In an Opinion essay in the New York Times decrying the leadership vacuum in US politics, David Brooks offered some suggestions to aspiring young leaders on how to translate high ideals into practical results. Brooks writes, “Go off and become a stranger in a strange land. Go off to some alien part of this country or the world. Immerse yourself in the habits and daily patterns of that existence and stay there long enough to get acculturated. Stay there long enough so that you forget the herd mentality of our partisan culture. When you return home, you will look at your own place with foreign eyes. You’ll see the contours of your own reality more clearly.” We believe that the skills and experience that Borton scholars acquire in their year abroad will help them convert ambitions to realities. Indeed, the number of former Borton scholars engaged in leadership positions in public minded entities is a testament to this linkage.
Current Scholarship Recipients
Shelby Newallis, an Italian Studies major with a minor in Communications, is studying at the University of Bologna in Bologna, Italy. She believes in being well- rounded, which for her means “dabbling in several different fields to compile an array of skills that help make me as an individual perceptive, detail-oriented and more passionate overall.” She is most interested in writing, traveling and learning about other cultures and thinks that her year abroad in Italy will help with her future goal of working in the creative, culture and/or culinary industry. Since arriving in Italy, she has managed a busy schedule of classes and work, and traveled to Slovenia, Hungary and Croatia. In Bologna, she has an apartment in the Borgo La Croce area and passes the Uffizi and Ponte Vecchio on her way to class. Shelby has gotten involved in the community by volunteering for an organization that helps teach English to Italian children in interactive ways, and babysits for two little girls who she teaches English vocabulary by playing games and doing arts and crafts. She has also started an internship with Flash Giovani, a website that provides information about life and happenings in Bologna, helping with English translation and writing articles. She writes that, “I feel like a different person than who I was in June. I feel like I have a new sense of patience, understanding and empathy that comes with traveling and learning about a new place and culture.”
Sunny Young is pursuing a degree in Psychology and is studying this year at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. In San Diego, she has tutored students of all ages at a local math tutoring center and worked with preschoolers as a teacher’s aide at the UCSD Mesa Child Development Center. She intends to pursue a Masters degree in Social Psychology and continue working with students. Sunny believes that her year abroad will “teach her the values of diversity, acceptance, and understanding.” She wrote to us about a hitchhiking trip she took from Utrecht to Zaragoza. Her university has a student committee that hosts hitchhiking competitions twice a year. They form groups of two or three, pick a destination, and see which group arrives first. Sunny writes that “It was very safe and I met so many nice and interesting people along the way. It really restores faith in humanity.” She felt the experience taught her about patience, finding ways to keep her spirits up, how to make people feel relaxed and comfortable, and how to approach people so as not to scare them off.
Varanon Austin Pukasamsombut, an Electrical Engineering major, is studying at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan. He is passionate about robotics and electronics and chose Tohoku University in order to perform research under Professor Kazuya Yoshida. He believes that this experience will help him achieve his “dream of becoming an inventor; an engineer who designs and creates new devices to benefit society.” Austin has been involved in robotics since high school, when he led a team to the VEX world robotics championships. At UCSD he joined the IEEE Micromouse project team and was able to make a robot that navigated autonomously through a maze. He arrived in Japan this summer and spent two months in a language immersion program at Senshu University, and then another month traveling with friends and family. He stayed with a friend in Kobe for a month and wrote that the experience “gave me a chance to experience life in a Japanese household, where my friend’s parents would always cook homemade Japanese meals for dinner and I would be able to sleep in a tatami room on a futon bed.” He writes that Sendai, nicknamed the City of Trees, is truly a beautiful place filled with forests and mountains. Christian Koguchi (another Borton scholar – see below) lives next door to Austin in the international dorms and they “push each other to go out and explore our surroundings so that we can enjoy our time here in Japan to the fullest.”
Christian Koguchi is an Engineering major studying at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan. After graduation, he plans to work in the fields of signal processing and communications. Apart from his interest in engineering, Christian has a passion for travelling and learning about foreign cultures. He grew up in a family of Japanese-Peruvians, speaking fluent English and Spanish and has travelled to many countries such as Peru, Costa Rica, Germany, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and Austria. He has put his language skills to use in the international dorm at Tohoku. He writes of his interactions with the Japanese students, “I’ve learned this phrase called Inshin Denshin. Perhaps the exact spelling may be off, but I was told the meaning of it is like ‘understanding without words,’ and it literally means something like ‘transmitted from the mind to heart.’ It’s what my friends and I have been saying to describe our communication.”
Updates on recently returned Borton Scholars
Jessica Pham (France, 2013-14) traveled to seven countries during her stay in France. She had the pleasure of living with a host family in Paris, which she described as the epitome of hospitality and kindness. She was particularly inspired by a class she took on the operations of the United Nations and is now considering the possibility of pursuing a career in the field. She wrote to us about the “small, rather obscure daily challenges that I had not quite anticipated–little things such as different working hours (this seems to still be somewhat baffling to me come every Sunday), overly crowded metros that you know completely violate all standards of safety, and general miscommunication with locals due to mispronouncing a letter in a particular word. But these things, as I would advise to any future students who will be in the same position, should be taken as part of the overall ‘ride’ of studying abroad. I believe that such seemingly unimportant ‘complications’ can slowly but surely help shape a sense of independence and confidence in one’s self and abilities.”
Andrew Kubal (England, 2013-14) traveled extensively during his time in England. He visited Berlin, Munich, Amsterdam, Brussels, Prague, Budapest, and went rock climbing on the Greek island of Kalymnos. He writes that he arrived in England with an American mindset and left with a much more nuanced view: “We all bring along baggage, preconceptions, personal beliefs, and the full weight of our life experiences when we travel, but whatever baggage one brings to these places abroad, one should keep an open mind to fully experience what the culture has to offer.” He will be applying to graduate schools after he finishes his degree at UCSD.
Brenda Vega (Spain, 2013-14) is finishing her undergraduate degree at UCSD this fall. When she left for Spain she wasn’t sure which career path she wanted to pursue. She writes that, “my time in Spain gave me the opportunity to reflect on my passions and talents and narrow down on what I enjoy.” After this quarter, she plans to get a job related to the field of public health and get work experience before applying to Masters programs in Public Health.
Rebecca Korff (Spain, 2013-14) traveled extensively in Spain and also to Italy and Austria. She had roommates at the university from France, Italy and Mexico with whom she enjoyed cooking meals and from whom she learned a great deal about cultural differences and norms.
Borton Scholar Gatherings
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 Allie Vogel (France, 2012-13), Stephen Dailing (France, 2012-13), and Jennifer Kim (Spain, 2006-07) 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 catch up with Molly Tremblay (Ireland, 2011-12) at the UCSD International Center with Jennifer Kim, who works in Graduate Affairs. Current scholarship recipients Sunny Young, Austin Pukasamsombut and Christian Koguchi met with EAP program director Kim Burton and Jennifer Kim in June at the International Center.
Updates on past Borton Scholars
Allie Vogel (France, 2012-13) finished her degree, interned with Bainbridge Consulting, and volunteered with a NGO called Foundation for Learning Equality. See spent much of the second half of the year traveling in Nepal, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Vietnam. In Nepal, she completed the Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Base Camp treks. Allie starts a job in the business leadership program at LinkedIn in San Francisco in January.
Stephen Dailing (France, 2012-13) graduated in June and was accepted into a graduate program at the European University at Saint Petersburg. He is studying Russian Art and Culture.
Molly Tremblay (Ireland, 2011-12) graduated in June and has started working for SolidProfessor, a local startup company that creates video tutorials to teach both students and professionals how to use the 3D CAD program, SolidWorks. She also completed a project with Rick Engineering focused on 3D Scanning.
Yoshie Yamamoto (Japan, 2010-11) is attending nursing school at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland. She writes, “Although the program is fast-paced, it is nice to live in a new state where the weather, culture and people seem different.” Yoshie has adopted a Chihuahua and enjoys teaching him obedience and tricks.
Tamar Freeland (Spain, 2010-11) finished her year working as a Volunteer English Teacher for the English Opens Doors Program in rural southern Chile and then set out to backpack through South America. She traveled alone for six months through Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Columbia, Peru, and Bolivia. She writes that, “Every day was a new adventure, and I’ve never felt so alive, curious, and inspired. I am now able to understand Portuguese, and I am teaching myself to speak it. Some of my favorite experiences of the trip were camping in Patagonia, mountain biking in Bolivia and spending Carnival in Rio.” Tamar is contemplating long-term career options and looking for a profession that relates to her passions for travel, social issues, and language.
Alexandra Delaney (Denmark, 2009-10) is in the first year of a Ph.D. program at the University of Pennsylvania in the Cell and Molecular Biology: Microbiology, Virology, and Parasitology subgroup. She is engaged to be married to another UCSD student this coming summer. Alexandra writes that she is “planning on completing some of my dissertation work abroad, because I still believe international scientific collaboration is the hallmark of a globally-minded researcher.”
Hanna Rahimi (Spain, 2009-10) is working as a private tutor in Marin County and teaching a wide range of students from grade 5 through high school. She also teaches two creative writing classes per week to elementary school kids at an after school enrichment program in Fremont.
Kipp Trieu (France, 2008-09) continues to teach Kindergarten and First grade this year and has added a position teaching French at the middle school level. He writes that “While oral and written proficiency are key (and I’m telling them to say anything, but do it with a good accent), I’m moreover looking to impart the beginnings of international-mindedness and understandings of mutual respect on our new generation of global citizens.” During the year Kipp was also able to travel to Denmark and visit with friends from his year abroad during a trip to Paris.
Laura Summers (Holland, 2008-09) returned to the Netherlands to help her Oma (grandmother) move back to the province of Zeeland. She writes that, “It was my first time back to Holland after studying abroad in Utrecht five years ago and it was so great to my family there and to speak Dutch again!”
Nicola Hil (France, 2007-08) is attending the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (“SAIS”) to pursue a Master’s in International Relations. She finished her first year in Bologna, Italy and has started the second year of the program in Washington DC. She spent the summer in Thailand working with a company called Trade Monkey founded by friends. Trade Monkey is a social venture that falls in a growing new space between the nonprofit and private sectors. They connect consumers to products while supporting stable incomes and sustainable growth in local communities. Nicola is helping Trade Monkey design their social impact program with the goal of directly reinvesting into producer communities.
Jennifer Kim (Spain, 2006-07) is living in San Diego and working at UCSD in graduate affairs. She is part of the committee coordinating events to celebrate international exchange and foster global dialogue during International education Week.
Halley Henscey (Italy, 2006-07) got married and bought a first home in San Diego. She completed a yoga teacher training program and is teaching several classes per week. Halley is also taking online classes as a prelude to starting a Masters program in Speech Language Pathology next fall.
Alice Wagner-Robertson (Scotland, 2004-05) continues to teach 8th grade at Rolling Hills Middle School. She is looking into starting either an engineering club or a swing dance club as an after school program for her students. She writes that she is “actively incorporating music and songs into our science lessons to allow students an additional way to learn the new vocabulary.”
Joachim Lyon (China, 2004-05) is finishing a Ph.D. in organizational behavior at Stanford University. Based on his years of ethnographic research, he is writing about recent changes in traditional design occupations and how design consultancies work with and manage clients. He writes that “Over the course of this research, I’ve also reflected deeply on my own occupational identity, and made the big— agonizing—decision to continue my career first in industry instead of going into academia.”
Brian Israel (United Kingdom, 2003-04) has been working at the State Department for the past five years, and for the last three in the Office of the Legal Advisor for Oceans, International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, where he is responsible for “a fascinating mix of matters from the Arctic to outer space.” Brian writes that, “This may just be the best job on the planet for me; it is a wonderful mix of international law, the environment, science, technology, diplomacy and the like. And it can be traced to my time as a Borton Scholar ten years ago, studying international law in the UK (it was at an international law conference in London that I first learned of the job I now have, and set my sights on it.)” He and his wife had a daughter in the spring.
Julia Carter (Egypt, 2002-03) continues to work in Stanford’s Central Office of development in the Communications and Stewardship group and has started a three-year part-time MBA program at UC Berkeley. She continues to travel where and when she can and enjoyed scuba diving trips to Fiji and Honduras during the year.
Ben Winkler-McCue (Spain, 2001-02) completed his first year as Executive Director of Outdoor Outreach, a San Diego-based nonprofit that works to connect underserved youth to the transformative power of the outdoors. He and his wife vacationed in Portugal and Northern Spain, and he writes that it was “a fantastic experience to return to the friends I met and places I learned to love as a Borton Scholar. My year abroad in Santander continues to affect how I see and interact with the world.”
Shige Itoh (Japan, 2000-01) is a partner at his law firm and recently joined the International Bar Association, which is a collection of attorneys from around the world advancing various issues that are relevant to international jurisprudence. He attended their Tokyo conference recently and interacted with attorneys from around the world. He writes that his “familiarity with Tokyo and the culture going back to my UCSD days definitely helped me serve as a tour guide and ambassador to Japan for the various international lawyers that I met at the conference.” He and his wife have a 4-year old daughter.
Mark Morris (Ghana, 1998-99) is living in San Francisco and his clothing label recently opened a retail outlet in the city. He is thrilled to be able to introduce his customers to vintage textiles from around the world. He writes that his time in Ghana was “one of my most memorable experiences….I am always trying to find ways to incorporate African textiles into our collections.”
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,