The College Park Scholars Co-Curricular Scholarship provides financial assistance to current Scholars and Scholars citation earners who benefit from support for participation in active learning related to their Scholars curriculum, including travel-study experiences, research projects, student leadership development opportunities, for-credit internships, or service-learning initiatives.
Nineteen students were awarded the Co-Curricular Scholarship last semester and traveled all over the world, from India to Ecuador to New Zealand. Diandrea Wynn, Christin Salley and Grace Cha described their experiences below.
Diandrea Wynn, sophomore public health science major, Life Sciences
"Over winter I traveled to South India, where I was able to study the public health system of India. They have a … free public health system that is regarded by many as inadequate. Most people turn to the private medical physicians. While there, we visited traditional medical facilities, a water treatment plant, temples, a milk pasteurization plant, clinics, traditional performances and a health news magazine.
After three planes there, I had the experience of a lifetime. Not being able to drink the tap water, being careful about the sanitation of street food, seeing the effects of the patriarchy, the emphasis on astrology, Hinduism and seeing how the caste system relates to health, showed me how privileged I am to live in America, while also giving me new insight on how we have many differences from India, but also the same. This trip has opened my mind to go anywhere.”
Grace Cha, senior business major, Public Leadership
"This past winter, I went to New Zealand for a 3 week course called PLSC/ENSP489Z: New Zealand: Sustainable Ecosystems with Dr. Joe Sullivan. This course focused on sustainability issues and policies in New Zealand's unique environment. We started on the north island in Auckland and made our way down to the south island, ending in Queenstown. We went to different communities and learned about their perspectives on the country's pressing sustainability issues and their impact. Some of these communities included a Maori (considered the first settlers and natives of New Zealand) village, a farm in a national park, and a coal mining town. This trip really was all about experiential learning -- immersing ourselves into New Zealand's culture and environment. We spent a lot of time outdoors, exploring the towns we visited and hiking trails in native rainforest.
I was the only business major in our group of students. I have a sustainability studies minor and I wanted to study abroad before I graduated this semester, and I wanted to go somewhere I didn't have much prior knowledge about. This study abroad experience was incredible. I viewed many things with a business perspective, seeing how sustainability impacts New Zealand's local, national, and global economies. It really gave me a greater understanding of how humans have impacted this earth and the smaller communities that are most affected by that impact. As a Public Leadership Scholar, the trip brought back themes of ethics when trying to decide what policies to implement in a country.
I'm extremely grateful that I received the co-curricular scholarship. Scholars has continually supported my academic endeavors and so much of my personal growth is in thanks to the Scholars community.”
Christin Salley, sophomore fire protection engineering major, Science, Technology and Society
"During the winter 2017 semester, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to study abroad in Ecuador with the help of the Scholars Co-Curricular scholarship. In the three weeks I was in this beautiful country, I visited multiple cities and had amazing experiences. I lived with a host family, climbed mountains… hiked national parks, participated in a traditional ceremony of the indigenous Saraguro people, took Spanish classes at the University of Cuenca, interacted with other students at the University of Cuenca and was able to serve in local communities by teaching English at an elementary school.
This trip was incredible to me. The sights I saw, the people I met, and the things I did will stay with me forever. I think gaining the experience of cultural immersion is important to anyone's education, and it helped further mine by exposing me to the economic, social, and political issues another country was experiencing. I saw a lot of similarities and differences within Ecuador and the United States of America. From my STS perspective, I saw how the following ideas and concepts I learned from my program were applied in real life: 1) technologies are built, adopted and adapted in the context of culture, 2) controversies are about values and are not necessarily resolved by facts, 3) technologies have different impacts on different groups (reveal power relations), and 4) technology is influenced by and influences social categories such as gender, race and class. I am very grateful for Scholars giving its students opportunities like this, and would love to go back to Ecuador one day."