Campus News

Honors students awarded Rotary scholarships for international travel

Double major Chen Lin has served as president of two of the four major Asian student organizations on campus

UGA Honors graduate Robby Staley and Honors students Mareasa Fortunato and Chen Lin have been awarded Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarships for international travel-study for the 2007-2008 academic year.

Staley, a May 2006 graduate and Foundation Fellow from Huntsville, Ala., received a $26,000 multi-year Ambassadorial Scholarship from Rotary District 6860 (northern Alabama area) to obtain a master’s degree in economics in India. The scholarship will cover two years of study.

Fortunato, a senior from Martinez, earned a $23,000 academic-year Ambassadorial Scholarship from Rotary District 6910 (Georgia area—­Martinez-Evans Rotary Club). She is planning to travel to Bath, England, to pursue a one-year master of research degree in social policy with a focus on globalization and international policy analysis.

Lin, a junior from Alpharetta, received a six-month Cultural Ambassadorial Scholarship worth up to $19,000 from Rotary District 6900 (Georgia area—Alpharetta Rotary Club) for ­intensive language study in Spanish and cultural immersion in Venezuela.

“I am extremely proud of these students and am pleased that their exemplary records of achievement in scholarship and service are being recognized by the Rotary Foundation,” said David S. Williams, director of the Honors Program. “I am confident that they will be outstanding ambassadors of the United States, the University of Georgia and the Honors Program.”

The Ambassadorial Scholarships are the oldest and best-known educational outreach program of the Rotary Foundation, a nonprofit organization that funds international Rotary club and district humanitarian projects throughout the world and international exchanges for students, teachers and professionals.

While Staley was at UGA, he participated in many exchange programs that prompted him to apply for a Rotary scholarship. Through his Foundation Fellowship, he has studied in Italy, Chile, Trinidad and Australia. With UGA degrees in political science and economics, Staley plans to pursue a career in international economic development.

The extracurricular activities of Fortunato, who will receive a degree in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies in May, reflect her interest in a public service career. Selected as an intern with UGA’s Honors in Washington program in 2005, she worked as a legislative assistant in the office of Congressman Jack Kingston. Fortunato also has taught English to Hispanic adults in the Athens area through Catholic Social Services and Spanish to Sub-Saharan African ­immigrants through UGA’s study-abroad program in Valencia, Spain.

Chen, a former research apprentice through UGA’s Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities, says his aspirations of becoming a doctor fit in well with his trip. Along with learning Spanish, he is working with other Rotary members to promote health care issues and related projects of the local Rotary clubs.