BSC Office of Communications

News from the Hilltop

July 27, 2011

Birmingham-Southern College students spending summer studying abroad, two receive Gilman Scholarship

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Several Birmingham-Southern students are broadening their educational scope this summer at foreign universities as overseas study has reached an all-time high at the college.

Two BSC students are studying abroad thanks to the competitive Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Only three students from the state of Alabama received a Gilman Scholarship this year.

Among the students traveling the globe this summer to learn and explore other cultures and customs are:

Catherine Etka, a senior English major from Alexandria, Va., is studying literature and sociology with BSC's partner university, Middlesex University in London, England. Middlesex has one of the largest summer schools in Great Britain that draws students from around the world. Etka is the recipient of an Ellie and Herb Sklenar International Scholarship through the college's Ellie and Herb Sklenar Center for International Programs. She is the daughter of Steve and Joanna Etka.

David Hunter, a senior business major from Birmingham, is enrolled in a Southeast Asia/Thai Studies course in Chiang Mai, Thailand, with BSC's exchange partner, Payap University. The summer program is sponsored by the Education Abroad Network (TEAN), which is partnering with BSC in support of the college's Asian Studies curriculum. Other BSC students have studied abroad through TEAN in Australia, China, and New Zealand. Hunter is the recipient of an Ellie and Herb Sklenar International Scholarship and the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship. He is the son of David and Terri Hunter.

Sara Menton, a senior history major from Ocala, Fla., is studying Chinese language at National Taiwan University in Taipei. Menton has been elected as president of the Love Asia student organization at BSC for the 2011-12 academic year. The Love Asia organization celebrates students with an interest in Asian cultures. She is the daughter of Timothy and Mary Menton.

Nneka Walker, a sophomore biology major from Emelle, Ala., is studying renewable resources and sustainability in Reykjavik, Iceland. Walker is studying with a BSC partner institution, the School for International Training (SIT), that offers undergraduate students the unique opportunity to pursue field study projects within theme-based programs in countries all over the world. She is the recipient of an Ellie and Herb Sklenar International Scholarship, SIT Scholarship, and Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship. Walker is the daughter of Adell Walker.

"An increasing number of Birmingham-Southern students recognize the value of international experience in enriching their academic studies and advancing their professional careers," said Anne Ledvina, associate director of the Sklenar Center. "Study abroad through BSC is one of many ways that our students gain international experience. Other international opportunities exist through faculty research, Hess Fellowships, Harrison Honors Program projects, independent contracts, international travel projects, and service-learning trips."

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