2013 Vira I. Heinz scholarship recipients selected, additional student receives opportunity

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Junior Gabrielle King and sophomores Rebecca Lane and Katie Shultz are the 2013 Waynesburg University recipients of scholarships from the Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership. The scholarships will afford these women the opportunity to travel and study overseas through various study abroad programs.

The women received more than $17,000 in scholarship money through the Vira I. Heinz Program.

Gabrielle King, a marine biology major from Clairton, Pa., will spend her summer in Australia. Through the University of New South Wales, in partnership with The New South Wales Department of Environment and Conservation, she will be taking a course called "Wildlife and Conservation," which includes guided travel to many different areas of Australia, including the Daintree Rainforest, the Blue Mountains, Sydney, Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef.

“This opportunity means the world to me,” said King. “I am an aspiring marine biologist and exploring first-hand the relationship between people, wildlife and the environment will greatly aid me in my future.”

Without much experience in travel or the immersion of other cultures, King is excited about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to broaden her perspectives and further her experience within her given field.

Rebecca Lane, an early childhood and special education major from Ellwood City, Pa., will spend her summer in Kingston, Jamaica, volunteering at a school for deaf children through World Endeavors. Lane will receive credits through Seattle Central Community College.

Lane is excited to be given the opportunity to see the world beyond “American-focused eyes.”

“I want to make a substantial impact in this world, and this is the first step towards doing so,” Lane said. “My passion is to serve others and accomplish great works for God's Kingdom.”

Katie Shultz, a human services (social science) major and theater minor from Venetia, Pa., will spend her summer interning at Maori Theater in Wellington, New Zealand, through GlobaLinks Learning Abroad. Shultz will assist with directing, marketing and production and will receive credits through Seattle Central Community College.

Pairing her interest for different cultures with her passion for theater, Shultz knew that New Zealand was the right choice for her.

“The one objective I had coming into the Vira I. Heinz scholarship program was to gain a worldly perspective on different cultures,” said Shultz. “With this scholarship, I can not only learn about new cultures, but take an active role in advancing my skills in the area of live theatre.”

Scholarship recipients were required to complete an application, submit academic and personal letters of reference and a proposal for their intended plans. The proposal included a budget for the trip including the cost of airfare, classes, housing and meals, among other items. Applicants were also required to explain how the trip related to their academic areas of study and future plans.

Upon receiving the application and proposals, interviews were held in front of a committee. The students were selected based on their proposal, their leadership on campus, and how well the committee felt they would represent Waynesburg University and the United States abroad.

The Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership prepares women for tomorrow's global challenges by offering a unique opportunity for international experiences, leadership development and community service. Universities and colleges across Pennsylvania participate in the Program. Typically, three young women from each institution are admitted into the two-year program and receive a scholarship of at least $5,000 to put toward the cost of an international experience of their choosing.

The Program has three principal components: the international experience, the Community Engagement Experience and two weekend-long, intensive leadership development retreats. During the spring semester prior to and the fall semester following their international experiences, the awardees meet in Pittsburgh. These trainings provide the awardees with a foundation of skills necessary to maximize cultural learnings while abroad and to engage their leadership skills in their own communities upon their return.

The Heinz Endowments supports efforts to make southwestern Pennsylvania a premier place to live and work, a center for learning and educational excellence, and a region that embraces diversity and inclusion.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu