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New scholarship opens door to research opportunities in China, El Salvador for Loyola sophomores and juniors in summer 2014

| By Nick Alexopulos
Beijing China
Beijing, China

A new scholarship available through Loyola University Maryland’s national fellowships office will give sophomores and juniors the opportunity to travel to either China or El Salvador for a summer project focused on study, research, and service.

The Jennings Family International Summer Research Scholarship for Undergraduates is made possible by a $25,000 gift from Katherine and Larry E. Jennings, Jr., parents of a current Loyola student. The scholarships are available for summer 2014 only and will fund the program cost, transportation, and other fees and expenses for up to five students, with preference given to applicants whose socioeconomic circumstances and/or academic major requirements would otherwise make it difficult for them to study abroad.

"An overseas research experience is out of reach for many students without the one-of-a-kind opportunity afforded by the generosity of the Jennings scholarships," said Arthur Sutherland, Ph.D., director of the national fellowships office and associate professor of theology at Loyola. "But the value of this opportunity goes far beyond access; the unique programs in China and El Salvador will allow students to freely explore how significant global issues impact emerging countries, and ultimately use what they learn while abroad to take a critical step toward becoming an agent of social change."

Students who are awarded a scholarship and choose to travel to China will participate in the ChinaGreen Summer Program in Environmental Sciences at the Beijing Center for Chinese Studies. The four-week environmental studies travel course involves introductory lectures and field research in Beijing, and almost two weeks of class excursions throughout China. Students will acquire an understanding of how sustainable systems work and how the structure and function of these systems is altered by human activities. Through first-hand experience, students will study the major environmental issues in China, including air pollution, water pollution, loss of biodiversity, and climate change. The program runs June 2 through July 1, 2014.

Students who are awarded a scholarship and choose to travel to El Salvador will participate in the Silvia Arriola Summer Program offered through fellow Jesuit institution Santa Clara University. Students will focus on health care and public health through direct immersion in the country’s poor communities. This intensive program explores what the health problems are in El Salvador, why the country has these health issues, and how they are being handled from a response and prevention perspective. The program runs June 15 through July 13, 2014.

"Enriching immersion programs should be accessible to all exceptional students who strive to travel internationally for scholarship, and we are honored to open those doors for more students at Loyola," said Katherine Jennings.

Student participants who travel to either location will have a number of responsibilities before, during, and after their time abroad. They will present a study abroad-based research project at Loyola’s Undergraduate Research Colloquium in spring 2015, actively blog about their experience, and submit a detailed experience report, among other commitments.

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