Three West Virginia Wesleyan students will be fulfilling their dreams of studying abroad, thanks to a generous gift from Wesleyan friend and alumna Dr. E. Maxine Moose Bruhns.
The E. Maxine Moose Bruhns Summer 2013 Study Abroad Scholarship will provide funding for three students to participate in international educational programs next summer.
The highly competitive scholarship winners are Rachel Channell, a sophomore theater and English writing major from Elkins; Andrew Wade Phipps, a junior English writing major from Buckhannon; and Briana Nicole Shockey, a sophomore psychology and political science major and gender studies minor from Belington.
Channell plans to travel to Kauvasi, Greece, for six weeks to work with the Archaeological Field School through Duke University. The team will be excavating at a site named the Azoria Project, an archaic city on the coast of Crete. Channell plans to make trips to neighboring towns and do sightseeing in her downtime, but not before learning a little Greek first. Channell hopes to travel to the neighboring towns of Ierapetra and Ayios Nikolaos and see as much as the beautiful island of Crete as possible.
"This opportunity is mind-blowing," Channell stated. "I get to work on an excavation, right next to the Mediterranean Sea, with top-of-the-line archaeologists. To top it all off, having experience with a field school will make me much more marketable."
Phipps intends to travel to Prague, the largest city in the Czech Republic, at Charles University through Western Michigan University. His four-week trip will find him part of a prestigious creative writing program. He will have the opportunity to meet and work with some of the best current writers from around the world, both students and instructors. Although he is unsure of all the activities in which he will be involved while in Prague, he plans to attend a film festival while there.
"I just want what all writers want - to get better," Phipps said. "It still has not hit me that I will actually be on another continent this summer. It is my first international travel experience, and I never thought I would be able to afford anything like this in college. I cannot thank Maxine Bruhns or the Bruhns' committee at Wesleyan enough for this opportunity."
Shockey hopes to travel to Cape Town University in South Africa through Arcadia University's Community Development Program for six weeks. During the program's orientation, Shockey will visit Bo-Kaap, the Malay Quarter, District Six, the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront; and hike Table Mountain. During breaks from the program, she will have the opportunity to take part in a variety of adventure sports located close to Cape Town, as well as have the opportunity to attend cultural events such as theater, music festivals and lectures by national leaders. In addition to the classroom learning, the Community Development Program Shockey will be working with has a service learning aspect. Students will gain hands-on experience such as tutoring local children in reading, math, science and information technology. Shockey hopes to expand her worldview in a way that she can impact change during her time in Cape Town, as well as enact local change once she returns. The program is structured to develop personal insights surrounding ideas of development, poverty and power, and to teach developmental theory and practice in the context of post-Apartheid South Africa.
"I am unbelievably blessed to have the opportunity to do a summer study abroad, especially in the rich culture of Cape Town," Shockey said. "I know this will truly be an opportunity of a lifetime, and I would not be able to do it if it were not for the Bruhns Scholarship."
Born in Grafton, Dr. Bruhns has devoted much of her life to the study and appreciation of and participation in other cultures. She has traveled the world, a champion of internationalism and global living. Her work has spanned the globe, from resettling refuges in isolated areas of different countries, helping others and fostering understanding and communication across cultures. Her travel and experiences have helped her to develop deep understanding and scholarly presentations about the different cultures of the world, which she delivers to students and scholars at The University of Pittsburgh's Nationality Rooms in the Cathedral of Learning. The exhibits she has built there honor the ethnic heritages of many cultures, nations and peoples. Now, she is giving Wesleyan students the opportunity to become global scholars, allowing them to learn and experience more of the world beyond our borders.