Sophomores Addie Pazzynski and Paige Carter were selected as the 2015 Waynesburg University recipients of scholarships from the Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership. Waynesburg is one of only 15 higher education institutions across Pennsylvania to participate in the Program.
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.
Collectively, the women received more than $15,000 in scholarship money through the Vira I. Heinz Program. The scholarships will afford these women the opportunity to travel and study overseas through various study abroad programs.
Pazzynski, a sophomore biblical ministry studies major and English minor from Waynesburg, Pa., will study in Amman, Jordan, with the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) Middle Eastern Studies program.
She will study the Arabic language as well as concentrate on other Jordanian studies such as Islam, Jordanian archaeology, Jordanian history and Middle Eastern politics. Pazzynski believes studying through the CIEE program will allow her to better understand the Arabic language and the people who speak it.
“As a student of religious studies, I am deeply interested in Islam, its relationship with the Christian West and its diverse people groups and sects,” said Pazzynski. “Through learning Arabic, I believe that I can better empathize with Muslims and further seek ways in which to connect with them from my own Christian perspective.”
Paige Carter, a sophomore pre-law major from Coraopolis, Pa., will spend her summer in Cape Town, South Africa, completing courses through the Council for International Educational Exchange.
Carter will learn about the challenges and realities of post-apartheid South Africa through innovative courses and an integrated community service study abroad project.
“I am excited to immerse myself into an unfamiliar culture and abandon preconceived ideas and notions,” said Carter. “I am anticipating that gaining an understanding of the nature of apartheid history will empower me to see through the wrongfulness of African Law that is tangled working the African Law System.”
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 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.
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.
Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor
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