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New Scholarship Fosters Global Learning

WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College’s first ‘Global Scholars’ have successfully returned from their education abroad experiences, which were made possible through the college’s newly-created International Education Travel Scholarship (IETS).

The brainchild of Darlene Smith-Worthington, an instructor and coordinator of the PCC Abroad travel program, IETS is based on the Gilman Scholarship, which provides awards for study abroad opportunities to undergraduates receiving Federal Pell Grant funding.

Andre Gregory, PCC’s International Programs Coordinator, said college administrators established IETS as part of the school’s mission to ensure students are globally knowledgeable.

“The only way to truly prepare our students for success in the global economy is to provide international education opportunities,” Gregory said. “That includes hosting international students and guests, providing our faculty avenues and training for curriculum internationalization, and sending our students abroad.”

Gregory said IETS is primarily merit-based, adding that students applying for the scholarships must meet certain eligibility requirements, including full-time enrollment status, a grade point average of 2.5 or higher, and completion of at least 12 semester hours.

Candidates must also show how the PCC-sanctioned travel directly relates to their programs of study and write an essay in which they detail how the experience would benefit them professionally and academically.

Gregory noted that a major scholarship component is the campus sharing plan.  All applicants, he said, must create a plan demonstrating how they will educate the campus and community about their education abroad experiences once they return.

PCC’s 2010 – 2011 Global Scholars are Amy Fenton, Alexandra Sauve, Ava Cratch, Tamsey Evans, Lavita Preston, Elizabeth Pittman, Mecca Waller, Chris Deville and Jason Gunn.

Fenton and Sauve traveled to Germany, Italy, Switzerland and France from June 13-25. Cratch, Evans, Preston, Pittman, Waller and Deville visited France from July 25 to Aug. 2, and Gunn traveled to China from May 25 to July 8 as part of PCC’s collaboration with the Wuxi Institute of Technology.

Evans, a paralegal technology and university transfer student, plans to share her experiences with middle and high-school students in her area.

“I live in Greene County [where] many of the people never see beyond the county line,” she said. “I plan to go to the high school and middle school and show them what hard work can do for them.”

Deville, a PCC French instructor and Foreign Language Lab coordinator, received the faculty version of IETS for her commitment to global education through documentation of curriculum internationalization and her language skill set, which was invaluable to the students traveling with  her to France. She provided language and culture lessons to the students prior to their departure overseas.