By Becca Starkes
Two College of Charleston students have earned nationally competitive awards that will help fund their graduate studies abroad. Chelsea Roland and Ellie Flock have each been awarded Rotary Ambassadorial Global Grants. These grants are sponsored by the regional Rotary Club district and are intended for students who will pursue advanced degrees leading to sustainable, high-impact outcomes in one or more of Rotary’s six areas of focus: peace and conflict prevention/resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, and economic and community development.
Roland, a senior international studies and Spanish double major, plans on attending the University of Victoria (located in Victoria, British Columbia) to pursue a master of arts in dispute resolution from the university’s School of Public Administration. She hopes to chart a career that incorporates her interest in international conflict resolution, human rights, and cultural studies. Roland plans to research and write a graduate thesis concerning immigration law, a field that would allow her to put her Spanish and French language skills to good use. “Rotary is an organization that promotes international service and cultural understanding,” says Roland. “I look forward to embodying those very qualities while I pursue my graduate degree.” Flock, a senior Honors College student and public health major, was recently accepted to King’s College London to pursue a master of science in global health with a concentration in conflict and security. After a year in the program, Flock plans to work with an international organization in the global health field like the World Health Organization, Partners in Health, or the United States Agency for International Development. In the long term, she plans to become a university professor or a health policymaker.
“Earning the Rotary scholarship means being welcomed into a global network of support and of like-minded peers who engage actively and compassionately with their local and international communities,” says Flock. “It’s reaffirmed my hope that I can make a career of humanity, and the generous support of Rotary District 7770 and the Rotary Club of Mount Pleasant have made this goal possible.” Lou Mello, the current district foundation chair and past district governor for the Rotary Club, contacted Professor Trisha Folds-Bennett in 2007 to discuss recruiting more candidates from the College for Rotary scholarships. Now working primarily with English Professor Anton Vander Zee, who also heads the College’s Office of Nationally Competitive Awards, Mello assists with information sessions on campus and helps prepare candidates for district interviews. “Rotary places a great deal of importance on these scholarships, as our hope is that these scholars will acquire the expertise to make a difference in the world,” says Mello. “Our simple mission is to promote world peace and understanding, and both Chelsea and Ellie share that mission goal.”
These students obtained Rotary grants through the help of the College’s Office of Nationally Competitive Awards. College of Charleston students interested in applying for similarly prestigious awards should contact professor Anton Vander Zee at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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