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Your Giving Funds ISEP Scholarships and Fellowships

November 20, 2017

Meet our spring 2018 ISEP Founder’s Fellowship and Community Scholarship winners.

Founders Fellowship Winner:

Elizabeth Kell

I am a junior film and cultural studies major at Agnes Scott College. I was born and raised in Grover Beach, California. This summer, I applied and was granted the opportunity to go to Milan, Italy to study the globalization of fashion with my college. During my time there, I fell in love with the Italian culture and the language. In the spring, I will be studying abroad at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, Italy. I plan on learning Italian through my creative project of filming traditional Italian foods that have modernized over time, rightfully moving towards my goal of a global food show. I will be posting bi-weekly videos to my YouTube channel. I hope that learning the language by studying an impactful aspect of Italian culture will allow me to connect better to my Italian roots.

Community Scholarship Winners:

Julia Miller

Growing up in Columbia, South Carolina, many people around me looked the same in terms of religion, sexuality and political beliefs. As a member of the LGBTQ community, I felt out of place and alien in my hometown. Yet I developed a fascination with Japanese culture and language, which only strengthened when I began taking Asian Studies courses at Agnes Scott College. I committed myself to learning Japanese fluently and the intensive language classes at Tokyo International University will help me achieve that goal. There, I also plan to take classes in Japanese history and culture, which I will use to help supplement my research in Asian philosophy. I plan to continue this research in graduate school, where I hope to get a doctorate and specialize in Japanese philosophy.

Tierin Burrow

I broke away from my comfortable, eclectic hometown in Fayetteville, Arkansas to attend Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. Here, I have discovered a passion for environmental science and a unique interest in utilizing geographic information systems (GIS) as a tool for environmental conservation. The environmental science department at my home institution is fairly new and consequently lacks a course selection that represents the range of environmental topics. Seeking to be challenged and take courses unavailable at my home institution, I will be studying at Massey University in New Zealand. While there, I will be taking courses in geology, horticulture and GIS. I look forward to immersion in the dynamic island city and I am eager to have the opportunity to develop new perspectives on sustainability that differ from the United States. Studying in New Zealand will allow me to pursue my major and gain skills useful to my desired career, working for an eco-friendly outdoor company.

Taylor James

I am a junior at Agnes Scott College from Boston, Massachusetts double majoring in English creative writing and Africana studies. In addition to studying abroad, I am an active member of many organizations on campus. I am on the presidential search committee, the president of judicial board, a student ambassador tour guide, a choir member in Joyful Noise, a disc jockey on T&T; a radio show on Black Ring Radio, a part of the student calling program and the Education Chair of Agnes Scott’s chapter of the NAACP.

Growing up an only child with a single parent, I learned what it meant to work hard take care of my responsibilities. My mother persevered through difficult times throughout our lives allowing me to live a life having access to a variety of opportunities, building my character while teaching me that no dream is unattainable.

When I was just two months old, my mother enrolled me in the Metropolitan Council for Education Opportunity (METCO) Program. Being part of this program meant I could attend schools outside of her district that offered a rigorous and well-rounded curriculum. It was my mother’s investment in my education and my learned ability to navigate challenge and change that brought me where I am today.

Patrick Sewell

I am a half British, half Japanese boy born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. My full name is Patrick Akio Yamamoto Sewell, which clearly matches my multicultural background. Some of my favorite hobbies are playing soccer, filmmaking, riding the unicycle and learning new languages. Currently, I am triple majoring in Economics, Cognitive Science, and Ethics at the University of Evansville. Apart from studying, I make the most of the rich diversity of my group of friends. From morning runs with my Greek friend and evening soccer games with my “habayyeb” Arab friends, to late night philosophical discussions with a Syrian muslim, an agnostic Vietnamese, and a Christ-follower Nigerian friend. In Finland, I will immerse myself in the unique history and culture of this amazing and gorgeous country. By interacting with the local students, I would like to understand their different perspectives, not only culturally, but also economically, artistically, and philosophically.

Ilya Turchaninov

I was born in Kazan, Russia and moved with my family to Alaska at the age of 6. I was able to learn English fairly quickly and maintained my Russian with the help of my parents, who kept me educated in both languages. I decided to enroll in Spanish courses in middle school because I have extended family in Spain. I hoped to one day be comfortable speaking with them in their native tongue. I continued to learn through high school and by my senior year was taking courses with Spanish Immersion students, progressively increasing my abilities and confidence with the language. I have also had the opportunity to enroll in a few Spanish literature and film courses, which have maintained but not necessarily improved my speaking and writing abilities. My goal while abroad is to finally become comfortable with the language and focus more on improving my vocabulary instead of worrying about proper sentence structure and grammar.

Julia Monroe

I am from Alexandria, Virginia and have lived there all my life. I am currently pursuing my undergraduate degree at Virginia Tech. I study international public policy, Spanish, and Arabic. Specifically, I am passionate about working with migrant populations and children’s issues. While I just began my Arabic language journey, I have been studying Spanish for eight years. I have a strong passion for languages and have dreamed of being fluent in Spanish ever since I was a little girl when I used think that anyone that knew more than one language was a genius. I will be traveling to Murcia, Spain through ISEP. I cannot wait to make new friends and put my language skills to the test. Abroad, I will be living in a student apartment with other international students and I am excited to not only interact with Spaniards but other international students from all over the world.

Amy Dinh

Although I am fluent in Vietnamese, English is my dominant language. My parents said the hardest thing about immigrating to the U.S. was learning a new language, English. Despite the difficulty, they knew that knowing another language would open opportunities for them and for me as well. They taught me Vietnamese first and English as I was growing up so that I would be bilingual. I am a business administration major with a concentration in marketing and international business. ISEP has allowed me the opportunity to study abroad in Seoul, South Korea to learn Korean, a language not taught at my home university and further my knowledge on international business strategies. I am excited to learn Korean because knowing a third language will allow me to become another resource to communities that are in need of translators, whether that be for students on campus, immigrants, or nonprofit organizations.

Salma Banda

I am Hispanic and proud to say that I am the first in my family to go to college. I am a role model to my younger siblings. My native language is Spanish and I learned English through the years of attending public school. In middle school I had the opportunity to receive a curriculum taught in Spanish while in Mexico. When I came back to the states I continued to learn Spanish throughout high school. I hope that studying abroad will improve my language fluency and put my skills to the test. I will be studying in Almeria, Spain where I will be taking several courses in Spanish and engaging in a new community. I look forward to growing as an individual and learning to adapt to a new environment.

Angel Geller

Indigenous (Native American). Adopted out of the foster care system. First in my family to break the cycle of being a teen mom. Sober and living a life in recovery for nearly four years. First in my family to attend college. Queer. There are many categories that I fall into, but none have been more complicated than being Indigenous. Growing up in Lincoln, Nebraska, I’ve always been portrayed as the onsite resource or ‘expert’ on all things Indigenous since I was in elementary school. Classes covering Indigenous history, language, government, or contemporary issues were unheard of in my public schools even though there are nearly three million Native Americans living in the United States and three reservations in Nebraska. While my family and Indigenous community have great pride in our culture and our survival of genocide, I’ve always felt like I walk in two completely different worlds. Just this last year, I had a grown man ask me if I grew up in a tipi. I’d love to tell you he was only joking.

I am a student from the UmonHon Tribe and a Nebraska Wesleyan University Art major with a focus on sculpture and a minor in Peace and Justice Studies. In addition to wanting to develop and strengthen my skills as an artist in preparation for graduate school, I want to also use this semester long academic experience to learn about the Maori people of New Zealand both inside and outside of the classroom. I also want to create a zine (a homemade magazine comprised of illustrations, photographs, poems, and short stories) reflecting on my experience as an UmonHon woman immersed in a different Indigenous culture with Maori people who are more acknowledged and accurately portrayed in their culture.

Carolina Gutierrez I was born in México and I’m 22 years old. Currently I’m studying graphic design in UPAEP. I am a very curious person. When I was five years old my parents got me into a school where I had the privilege to study English for 10 years until I finished my accreditation exams. After that I began to search for more ways to connect with the world so I began to search for classes of French at my university. Then, I started learning Italian as well. I used to adore knowing about all the cultures around the world and I told myself that one day I would work in a capacity that could give me the opportunity to travel around the globe. I began my love for audiovisual arts when I took my first photography class in college. It had always been a passions since I was a girl but I wasn’t quite aware of how powerful that passion was until I had my first photo project. The project called for me to capture the culture of my city. My parents have always been very supportive to me. They are hardworking people that want me to go as far as I can, professionally and personally and that taught me that experiences and knowledge are the best inversion that a person can make. They cultivated my love for reading and learning and that has made me the woman that I am today. On my internship in Murcia, I will be studying fine arts and a little bit of journalism to complement my knowledge and to experiment with different ways of learning and applying concepts professionally and personally.

Let’s energize students this Giving Tuesday

Studying abroad is empowering, but often, students can’t do it alone. This Giving Tuesday, let’s work together to raise US$7,500 — enough to power ten ISEP Community Scholarships and one ISEP Founders Fellowship in 2018-19.

Donate Now

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