Phil’s Day 2014 is a day to celebration philanthropy and the impact it has on the University of Iowa. Thanks to the support of generous private donors, these UI students were able to study or conduct research abroad in the past year, gaining invaluable experiences and memories that enhanced their education and lives. Read on to learn about their unique adventures and projects.
“I look at studying abroad as an educational experience firstly, but overall the life lessons I learned from studying abroad and being on my own will probably last longer in my mind. Being dropped in an unfamiliar setting is exhilarating and you learn so many things about yourself and others by studying abroad. It is truly an amazing experience.” - Rachel Bradley
Rachel Bradley is an undergraduate human physiology and pre-physical therapy major in CLAS from Downers Grove, Illinois. She received the Margaret Fox Presidential Scholarship to study abroad through the Birmingham University Exchange program, U.K., where she was able to take classes for her major, travel around Europe, and even get involved with the ultimate frisbee team. Having played on the UI team, Rachel was excited to meet local students by joining the ultimate frisbee team at Birmingham, which she says really heightened her overall study abroad experience.
Ian Nessler is an undergraduate engineering student in the College of Engineering from Iowa City, Iowa, who received funding to conduct research on accelerants in Nicaragua. He worked with Bridges to Prosperity to build a pedestrian bridge that he also helped design. Ian received funding from a Kenneth J. Cmiel Funded Human Rights Internship and a Stanley Undergraduate Award for International Research. Read more about Ian’s experience.
"I cannot explain the thanks and gratitude I have for receiving financial assistance for my thesis project in Portugal through the Stanley Award for International Research. Many do not realize, but every single dollar counts in making the dreams of students' educational experiences come true. I am grateful and proud to be associated with PHIL at the University of Iowa!" - Alia Gant
Alia Gant is an international studies M.A. candidate from Denver, Colorado. She received a Stanley Graduate Award for International Research to conduct research in Portugal for her thesis. Her project explored the economic crisis in the European Union, and she specifically analyzed Portugal’s economic decisions from its colonial past to contemporary times. While in Portugal, she was able to visit libraries and museums for archival records, collections, and raw data focusing on different aspects of Portuguese economics and politics.
Drew Craig, a 2013 graduate of the UI College of Law, was looking for more than just a job from his summer internship. His passion to make a positive impact in the world led him to pursue an international internship in Palestine’s West Bank where he worked for the Defense for Children-Palestine (DCI) and the Al Mustakbal Foundation (AMF). He focused on child advocacy and implementing and entrepreneurial training program from young Palestinians. Craig’s trip was funded by a number of grants, including the Kenneth J. Cmiel Human Rights Internship Program. Read more about Drew's internship abroad.
Amy Hanson is an undergraduate student from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, studying human physiology with minors in chemistry and Spanish in CLAS. She received a short-term study abroad merit scholarship from the Stanley UI-Foundation Support Organization, which she used to study in India through the India Winterim program. Amy took the course Health Sciences and Rehabilitation Medicine in India alongside other UI students at the Meenakshi Mission Hospital & Research Center in Madurai, India. Read more about Amy’s experience.
"Without the funding I received from the Stanleys I would have never been able to travel to Africa like I have always dreamed about. It is through their commitment to education and global service that I was able to pursue my research on HIV in Botswana, knowing that there were people back home in Iowa that believed in what I was doing. I plan to continue working in Africa as part of my work post-graduation, and I'll always remember that it was because of their generous funding that I was able to pursue my interest in global health in an extremely eye-opening way. Thanks so much!" - Emily Roberts
Emily Roberts is an undergraduate student from Chicago, Illinois, studying international studies and global health in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS). She received a Stanley Undergraduate Award for International Research to conduct research on the HIV situation in Botswana, where the adult prevalence rate of HIV is over 23 per cent. Emily specifically looked at the routine HIV testing program and how the implementation of this program affected the functioning of other clinical programs. Read more about Emily’s experience on her blog.
Stephen Estelle is an undergraduate biomedical engineering major from Homewood, Illinois. Stephen received a Diversity Ambassador Scholarship through UI Study Abroad to study for a semester on the Newcastle Exchange program in Australia. He is earning credit for his major through classes in engineering mechanics, human bioscience, and thermodynamics. Stephen said the experience so far has opened his eyes to how the United States is viewed by other countries and allowed him to learn from their perspective.
Blake Rupe is an international studies M.A. candidate from Ottumwa, Iowa. With the support of a Stanley Graduate Award for International Research, Blake spent last summer conducting research for her thesis on Latin American environmental policy. She studied the garbage presence in Veracruz, Mexico, specifically concentrating on the beaches near the city. Blake is currently developing a mobile application called "Re-APP" that socializes and incentivizes a user's recycling and reusing habits. She believes that increasing knowledge and reestablishing recycling habits could help decrease the volume of litter in our oceans. Read more about Blake's project.
"Study abroad has given me a huge confidence boost. I've always daydreamed about taking off on an adventure around the world; being here, and meeting other travelers, I've realized I do have what it takes to follow through on that goal. It's given me a lot to look forward to in the future.” -Michelle Hoehne
Michelle Hoehne, a native of Cresco, Iowa, is an undergraduate international studies major pursuing certificates in sustainability and global health. She received a Diversity Ambassador Scholarship to study abroad in Chile this semester. She said her experience navigating the language and culture of Chile has been great for her Spanish and further solidified her career goal to work as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer.