Phil was here

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Chelsea Prestien

Phil’s Day 2013 celebrates the many ways philanthropy and private gifts support the university and its programs. Every year, hundreds of students are able to study or conduct research abroad due to the generosity of private donors.


Ariel Lewiton (fifth from the right)

Thanks to the Ann Morse Study Abroad Scholarships, study abroad becomes accessible to students like Chelsea Prestien, who traveled to Glasgow, UK, for the University of Strathclyde Exchange program. The Stanley Awards for International Research are given annually to undergraduate and graduate students, like Ariel Lewiton, for the pursuit of learning activities in international studies that are not available on the UI campus. Ariel spent four weeks in China researching variations on the English language used in local contexts. Jeannette George (more below) grew up in one of the poorest countries in the world, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and her family could not afford to travel anywhere. Now, through the support of scholarships and other funding, Jeannette has studied in several countries, including most recently Uganda to research Sickle Cell Anemia awareness.

But these are just a few examples of private gifts that have made a big impact on student success. In honor of Phil, check out more UI students' unique experiences from the past year:


Naomi Jackson

Naomi Jackson spent the summer absorbing the culture and dialect of Barbados to prepare herself for writing the first draft of her thesis project, a novel set in Barbados called Star Side of Bird Hill. She was awarded a Stanley Graduate Award for International Research. Naomi says through the Stanley award, she was given uninterrupted time to write and to incorporate her ongoing learning about the culture and natural landscape of Barbados into her work. The most valuable part of her research was being able to actually talk to people and capture the essence of the local dialect, something she would never have been able to learn just by studying in Iowa. Read more of Naomi’s story.


Thomas Langer

UI senior Thomas Langer, an international studies major with emphases in human rights and South Asian studies, received a Carver Scholarship and a Stanley Undergraduate Award for International Research to conduct research for his Honors Thesis in India. Thomas spent three months in northern India completing an intensive eight-week Hindi language program and researching the role and impact of new social media on the Tibetan diaspora living in exile; but his most memorable moments came when he stepped away from his role as researcher and instead became another human being living in India. An unexpected visitor quickly became Thomas’ friend and inspiration. Read his story.


Jeannette George

UI senior Jeannette George spent the summer in Uganda researching the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of those affected by Sickle Cell Anemia (SCA). She spent her 12-week experience in a pediatric unit interviewing parents of children affected with SCA.  Jeannette describes her experience as, “one of the most spontaneous and craziest decisions I have made, but it was also one of the bravest, if not the bravest decision I have ever made.” Jeannette’s trip was funded through the Kenneth J. Cmiel Funded Human Rights Internship Program and a Stanley Undergraduate Award for International Research. Read more of her story.


Ethan Gingerich and Nicole Larson

There is no justice in the fact that the people of Jucuapa Occidental must spend the rainy season without access to education, healthcare, jobs and employment. It is their basic human right to have access to these things…There is so much to be gained by all parties involved in the building of this footbridge. – Ethan Gingerich

Two undergraduate engineering students, Nicole Larson and Ethan Gingerich, traveled to Jucuapa Occidental, Nicaragua, to build a bridge with the University of Iowa’s Bridges to Prosperity. Nicole collected data regarding the watershed of the area to determine the amount of run-off from the land before farming, and studied how the conversion of more land to farm land will affect the river and the possibility of increased flooding in the future. Ethan spent his time researching how different mixing methods affect the strength of concrete used in the bridge. Both students’ trips were funded by the Stanley Undergraduate Award for International Research.  Ethan was also supported by the Kenneth J. Cmiel Funded Human Rights Internship Program. Read more of Ethan’s and Nicole’s stories.

Learn more about Phil’s Day at the University of Iowa, and find out how you can support International Programs and students like these.

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