Mike Scanlin (Founder)
The Chris Borton Memorial Scholarship Fund is now in its twenty-first year and with the addition of the current four recipients, 65 UC San Diego students have benefited from your generous contributions. They have pursued international study at universities in Austria, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Holland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Scotland, Senegal, Spain, and South Korea.
According to the Value of Education Survey released by HSBC in late 2017, interest among American students in study abroad is growing sharply. This year, 43 percent of U.S. parents said they would consider sending their child to a university in another country. The previous year it was just 29 percent. This increase brings the U.S. in line with the rest of the world. According to the study of 8,000 parents globally, 42 percent of parents consider sending their child to college outside their home country. Key benefits of studying abroad that parents identified include developing foreign language skills (49 percent) and exposure to new experiences, ideas and cultures (48 percent). Of parents considering university abroad for their child, 40 percent of those surveyed say the higher cost to them is a potential barrier. The Chris Borton Memorial Scholarship Fund, and other programs like it, play an important role in achieving the goal of greater access to education abroad.
Current Scholarship Recipients
Thomas Bayne, a Political Science major, is studying at University College Maastricht in the Netherlands. A native of Northern California, he came to UCSD after a period of pursuing artistic ventures in Los Angeles. He hopes to expand his knowledge of international political systems during his year abroad and bring such understanding back to the U.S. in hopes of creating a more efficient U.S. system. Outside of academics, Thomas enjoys film, literature and hiking. He has made trips to Budapest, Dublin, Amsterdam and Brussels thus far. Thomas writes that “the EAP experience has widened my idea of not only what profession I could enter but where I would practice that profession.” He has been hired by several organizations to photograph and report on events in Maastrict and hopes to start an internship in the field of journalism during the summer. He writes, “None of this would have been possible without the kindness and opportunity afforded to me by the Chris Borton Memorial Scholarship.”
Emily Yeh is a Political Science – International Relations major studying at Keio University in Tokyo, Japan. Emily grew up in Taiwan before moving to Irvine, CA in 10th Grade. Prior to college, Emily took a gap year and interned at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan. Besides studying in Japan, she has studied in France and Switzerland during her college career. In 2014, Emily was appointed by the International Olympic Committee as Youth Olympic Games Ambassador and was part of the Chinese Taipei delegation at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games. She has participated in the UC Washington Program (UCDC) and interned at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a trans-disciplinary research think tank. Prior to departing for Japan, she was a research assistant at the UCSD Department of Political Science working on a project funded by the UCSD Frontiers of Innovation Scholars Program that seeks to make sense of the political communication on Twitter during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Her career and research interest lies at the intersection of sustainable development, environmental policy, and urban planning. Emily is “dedicated to the knowledge transfer of her off-campus experiences and tries to make more students aware of the resources available.”
Gio Castillo, a Social Psychology major, is studying at the University of Barcelona in Spain. He grew up in a Latino family in Palm Springs, California. He writes that “the differences I saw every day between American and Latino cultures sparked my fascination with exploring different cultures and understanding the subtle complexities behind their norms.” He is a self-described “knowledge junkie” and loves picking up new hobbies like surfing or the ukulele. Prior to leaving for Spain, he was involved in two research labs at UCSD studying emotion and cognition from multiple viewpoints. In his time in Spain he has experienced first-hand the political turmoil of the Catalan independence referendum. He is currently monitoring the elections for the new regional government after Europe did not recognize Catalan independence on the grounds of political illegitimacy. Large turnout is expected. He writes, “The most impactful moment I’ve experienced thus far was participating in the anti-terrorism march in the aftermath of the attack on La Rambla. The theme was ‘No Tenim Por’ or ‘We Are Not Afraid.’ Thousands took to the streets of Barcelona, myself included, to demonstrate they would not show the fear ISIS wishes to instill.” For Christmas, Gio will be traveling to Dubai to visit a cousin who just had twins. He is also eagerly looking forward to the upcoming match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Alexandria Vollhardt is a Literatures of the World major studying at Freie Universität Berlin in Germany. She grew up in Ventura County, California and has a strong interest in languages including German, French, and Italian. The focus of her studies is European literatures and literary theory. At UCSD, she became involved with the Muir Quarterly, a satirical newspaper created and managed by students, as a staff writer and assistant copy editor. She chose to study in Berlin as a way to engage with her heritage while also experiencing a city completely new to her. She writes, “I am learning how to consolidate the difficult and privileged parts of living abroad, and understanding that not every second is a thrill, but rather a piece in a larger puzzle that one must make oneself. Each moment will make up some part of the final product, but right now (at the beginning), I am most concerned with finding the corner pieces.” Alexandria would eventually like to teach at the university level and continue research in the field of literature.
Updates on recently returned Borton Scholars
Mikayla Webster (Japan, 2016-17) is finishing her undergraduate degree at UCSD and, partially inspired by German friends she made during her time in Japan, hopes to pursue a Master’s degree at the Technical University in Munich, Germany. Mikayla writes of her year in Sendai, Japan, “I have learned more and in new ways about the world, studying, socializing and myself than I could have even comprehended prior to my stay in Japan.” She came to understand cultural differences through language: “While English has many tenses, Japanese has only past and non-past. Rather, their infinite verb conjugations reflect social hierarchy. It enforces a distinction based on age and status that is inescapable.” However, she found the collective mentality facilities “an air of kindness and willingness to self-sacrifice for the good of others the likes of which does not exist in America.” She spent half of her time in Sendai in a laboratory and gained myriad hands-on learning experiences she would not have obtained in the U.S. Mikayla was able to visit Osaka, Kyoto, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Vietnam. She writes that she underwent a transformation during her travels: “I was extremely scared while first traveling. I tended to distrust everyone and kept to myself while entering a new situation. While traveling alone I met many locals and other travelers who helped me realize something I always knew but never quite understood: Everyone, like me, is just human.”
Sophie Osborn (Japan, 2016-17) returned from Tokyo this past summer and took on the challenge of a leadership role for a summer academic exchange conference called the Korean-American Student Conference. An executive group of eight Korean and American students led Korean and American delegates across the U.S. to three cities: Washington D.C., Dallas, and San Francisco. Sophie writes that “the confidence I gained from studying abroad in Tokyo allowed me to take the lead in our group and finish off the conference successfully.” Her experiences abroad have inspired her to try to reach out to younger students at UCSD during her final year, and in order to do that she has become the Vice President of the International Studies Student Association. The organization has hosted many international-themed events and Sophie tries to talk to as many member students about studying abroad as possible. Post-graduation, she hopes to join a think tank in Washington as a research assistant focused on East Asian foreign policy. She writes, “My internship in Tokyo with the think tank the Japan Forum on International Relations has given me insight into this career field, and I would love the chance to try my hand at it here in the U.S.”
Jennifer Rivas (France, 2016-17) wrote from London, England in the spring, where she was taking a vacation. She writes, “It’s so very interesting to see and feel the difference between English and French society, and realize that in the end, I’ve become a little French myself!”
Justin Lim (South Korea, 2016-17) is finishing his undergraduate studies at UCSD. At the end of his time in Korea he reflected that it “was truly a pleasure and privilege to meet not only Koreans, but also people from other countries around the world. ” He gained insights and perspectives he had never considered before. He writes, “It seems that I needed to leave my home country to discover that I was living in my own little bubble.” He wishes to “reiterate my thanks to the Chris Borton Memorial Scholarship Fund for granting me this opportunity. It’s difficult to put into words, but the world and my future look so different from before.”
Hearts and Scholars Dinner and Friends of the International Center Awards Ceremony
Ray and Verena made a quick trip to San Diego to attend the February 23 annual UCSD Hearts & Scholars Dinner for undergraduate scholarship recipients. They enjoyed the festivities in the company of 2015-16 Borton Scholars Mary Ma and Daniel Lee and Kim Burton from the Education Abroad Center. In addition to sharing some of their experiences at Peking University in Beijing and Keio University in Tokyo with the Bortons, Daniel and Mary also had fun comparing notes about the differences in regional spoken Chinese and foods.
Vincent Yu and Megan Bright were unable to attend the dinner, but Vincent managed an early morning visit to the hotel for breakfast. He emphasized the value of having a full year experience abroad, saying that one year “sacrificed” was definitely worthwhile as a life experience. Tohoku University had provided lab experiences that were very valuable while presenting a different dynamic in relations with superiors. Vincent focused on setting goals for the year abroad and felt he had fully met those goals. He added thoughtful observations about changed and changing views. He was excited about having secured a job with Google.
The Friends of the International Center at UCSD invited the newly selected 2017-18 Borton Scholars to their annual Membership Dinner and Award Ceremony on May 16. Unfortunately Thomas, Emily and Ray and Verena were unable to join the celebration, while Gio and Alexandria had a chance to be recognized as Borton Scholars and to socialize with a large group of students who similarly were awarded scholarships for study abroad. It is gracious of Ruth and Katya Newmark of the Friends of the International Center (who knew Chris at UCSD) to extend the invitation to our students.
Updates on past Borton Scholars
Daniel Lee (Japan, 2015-16) recently began graduate school at UC Berkeley. He writes that he looks “forward to what graduate school has in store for me and will try my best for the challenges that lie ahead.”
Shelby Newallis (Italy, 2014-15) is working as a Kindergarten – 2nd Grade Resource Specialist Teacher in Los Angeles. She helps meet students’ different learning accommodations in a small group or one-on-one setting. Her career allows her to travel and this year she traveled to Mexico, up and down the coast of California, New York, and Colombia. She writes that her EAP experience “gave me the time and freedom to explore and develop a life-long passion for learning about a place and the people that live there with an open mind and heart.”
Rebecca Korff (Spain, 2013-14) was recently admitted to Tufts University, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy for fall 2018. In her applications to international affairs masters programs she touched upon her EAP experience. She writes that “every program that I looked at expressed the importance of study abroad, especially for a career in international relations.”
Debbie Leung (Denmark, 2011-12) is a Transportation Systems Planner at IBI Group working on projects that enhance mobility, access, and quality of transportation in San Diego and beyond. Her passion for transportation continues to be fueled by her first encounters with a robust, multimodal public transportation system in Copenhagen, Denmark. Debbie teaches several vinyassa and aerial yoga classes a week.
Yoshie Yamamoto (Japan, 2010-11) is currently working at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore as a Registered Nurse. Her decision to pursue a career in healthcare was shaped by her study abroad experience at Tohoku University. She writes that her first-hand experience of the devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Northeastern Japan “instigated a desire to help those requiring medical care after it shed light on the preciousness of a human life.”
Laura Summers (Holland, 2008-09) and her husband moved from New York to Denver in early 2017. During the year she returned to the Netherlands to visit her Dutch grandmother and her family. She writes that “Going back is always a nostalgic experience for me – getting to eat Dutch food, speak Dutch, and bike around just like I did when I studied abroad.”
Kipp Trieu (France, 2008-09) continues to teach kindergarten in Silicon Valley, and is working on his school’s Global Citizenship program, the mission of which is to prepare students to be active, informed, engaged global citizens of the 21st century.
Nicola Hil (France, 2007-08) currently lives in Guangzhou, China with her husband Amaury, who is a U.S. Foreign Service Officer. In April, Nicola and Amaury celebrated their second wedding ceremony with family and friends in the U.S. Nicola has also been busy working as a freelance research analyst, learning Chinese, volunteering at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, and traveling. If you would like to follow along with her adventures, you can sign up for her newsletter at www.tinyletter.com/nicolahil
Jenna Carlson (Senegal, 2005-06) is focused on her business, Inspired Events, that she created two and half years ago to help non-profits plan events. She loves the work and writes that she is “learning every day more about how to be a female social entrepreneur.” In October, she took a trip to the New Mexico desert for a reunion with the girls she studied abroad with in Senegal. She writes that the group is “is still a tight knit community from this shared experience and plan to do another reunion next year.” She keeps her love for cultural exchange and travel in her heart through her Latin dance team, Sabor Latino.
Alice Wagner (Scotland, 2004-05) and her husband Scott welcomed their first baby this spring. Named after a jazz musician, Alice reports that “Lewis Basie is exceptionally cute and curious.” Alice is taking time away from teaching science to care for Lewis.
Ellen Holloway (Spain, 2001-02) is working for the Children’s Law Center in Sacramento representing foster children. She writes, “It’s a privilege to get to do this important work and serve such a deserving population.” Ellen recently returned from a trip to Iceland where she spent 9 days driving the Ring Road and sleeping in a van. She described the landscape as “uninhabited and beautiful” and the locals as “warm and welcoming.”
Austin Leininger (Scotland, 1998-99) moved back to California and took a full-time job as Priest in Charge of Calvary Episcopal Church in Santa Cruz. In January, he made his first trip back to Scotland since his year studying abroad there in 1998-1999. He writes that “it was a great joy to be back in a place where I made such rich and lasting memories.”
Jenny Chang (Scotland, 1997-98), the very first Borton Scholar, supports the Scholarship Fund. She wrote that although it has been a quiet year for her, she is looking forward to reading about her fellow Borton Scholars’ milestones.
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,