11 Rotary scholarship wins tied for most across country

Nathalie Tadena

For the second year in a row, Northwestern tied to receive the largest number of Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarships.

As the world’s largest privately sponsored international program, the scholarship allows undergraduate and graduate students to act as cultural ambassadors abroad while pursuing community service projects. NU tied this year in first place with UNC Chapel Hill, both producing 11 scholars. Last year, NU students and alumni received eight scholarships.

NU’s winners this year include current seniors and alumni who will travel to countries that include Israel, South Africa and Kenya.

“Our success shows how internationally engaged our student body and alumni are,” said Elizabeth Pardoe, associate director at NU’s Office of Fellowships. “They are change agents in the best possible way, regardless of cultural boundaries.”

The application process is “rigorously selective,” Pardoe said. Students are nominated for the scholarship by a local Rotary chapter and must demonstrate involvement in social service. Finalists must also complete several interviews before they are selected as winners.

Scholarship winner Whitney Eulich, School of Education and Social Policy ’05, will travel to Venezuela next January for six months. Eulich, who is already fluent in French, said she applied for the program because of its unique combination of service and language immersion.

“I was really interested in learning a new language, and I knew that working abroad was definitely a part of pushing my career forward,” she said.

In addition to taking four-hour Spanish classes several days a week, Eulich will work with an organization to educate the local community on sustainable land use. She also hopes to produce a radio documentary to show different facets of Venezuela, aside from oil and its government leaders.

“Rotary has different kinds of fellowships that can fit anybody’s needs to learn a new language or apply their education in an international setting,” she said.

NU students are consistently successful in securing other scholarships to study abroad, Pardoe said. Last year, NU received the fourth-highest number of Fulbright scholarships, officials announced in November.

“NU students are consistently at the top of the pool,” she said. “There are endless options for (them) to go out in the world and serve as ambassadors through academics and international development.”

[email protected]