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Not for publication

July 30, 2003 -- No. 389

Learning continues all summer for UNC’s Morehead Scholars

Learning is continuing this summer for about 200 Morehead Scholars of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who are participating in service learning projects and numerous types of internships in 40 different countries.

Funded by the four-year merit Morehead Scholarships, the summer enrichment program places these talented undergraduates in positions offering hands-on experiences in outdoor leadership, public service, travel and study and career exploration.

The scholars are sending home accounts of their extraordinary summers that could make terrific features for their hometown media. Below are just a few examples. Editors may feel free to reprint these vignettes or produce their own stories. For more information and photos, or to identify Morehead Scholars from your area, visit http://www.themorehead.org/about/summer/and/or call Amy Curtin at the John Motley Morehead Foundation at (919) 962-1201.

NORTH CAROLINA SCHOLARS:

Claire Young of Highlands, a junior, is interning as a research analyst with former Secretary of State Madeline Albright’s global strategy firm, The Albright Group (http://www.thealbrightgroupllc.com/). Young’s responsibilities have ranged from researching economic and political issues in Russia to taking notes at a conference on post-war economic development in Iraq. She said people she met through The Albright Group helped her explore her interests in international politics. Young met the U.S. ambassador to Egypt, Nabil Fahmy, at an Albright Group briefing and made contacts for her year-long study abroad program next year at the American University in Cairo.

Emily Vasquez of Matthews, a sophomore, is helping residents at Rivington House, an HIV and AIDS treatment facility in New York City. As a part of Rivington’s recreational therapy program, Vasquez holds international cooking classes and has started a gardening project to help the residents spruce up their surroundings. She also lends an ear and an open heart to residents coping with the life-threatening illness.

Richard Waters of Morehead City, a junior, is shadowing doctors in the pediatric and labor and delivery wards of two Honduras hospitals. Waters checks in with patients, helps administer medication and ultrasounds and prepares patients for surgery. He has even assisted on Caesarian sections and helped deliver several babies. Before leaving for Honduras, Waters was unsure whether to pursue a career in medicine, but his hands-on learning experience has confirmed his desire to become a doctor.

Dan Folliard of Troutman, a senior, is working in the office of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) (http://dole.senate.gov). He has attended briefings on Iran, Iraq and the European Union given by thinktanks in the nation’s capital and is researching and writing about national security issues. Folliard also helped Dole prepare for an Armed Services hearing on Iraq and track the Defense Appropriations Act. His work has been enhanced by his Morehead summer experience last year, in which he worked with the International Rescue Committee (http://www.theirc.org/) in Croatia.

OUT-OF-STATE SCHOLARS

Tara Lynn of Dallas, a junior, is working at the Vathsalya Charitable Trust, an adoption center and orphanage in Bangalore, India, that is sponsored by Holt International Children’s Services (http://www.holtintl.org/). Lynn helps abandoned children find suitable homes, visiting the children in their foster homes and evaluating the foster families. Lynn also plays with and teaches the children who live at the center and prepares children who have been adopted by American families for life in the United States. Her experience has inspired her to continue reaching out to India’s underprivileged children upon her return to Chapel Hill in the fall by founding a campus initiative for the Calcutta-based relief network City of Joy (http://www.cityofjoyaid.org/). "I'm not going back to UNC only to forget about what I've seen here," she said.

Laurel Wamsley of Athens, Ohio,
a sophomore, is teaching English in Ghana with Global Routes (http://www.globalroutes.org/, a nonprofit organization that places North American youth in volunteer service roles overseas. Wamsley has come up with creative teaching methods to surmount the obstacles of teaching non-English speaking children. For example, she turned a highly anticipated soccer match against a rival village into a vocabulary lesson. Outside the classroom, Wamsley and her students are working to complete a half-built nursery school and paint a mural of the world at a primary school.

Vincent Lagacé of Lévis, Québec, a sophomore, is volunteering with the ProPeru Student Service Corps (http://www.properu.org/), a cross-cultural service-learning and development work program based in Urubamba, Peru. Working to reverse a trend of deforestation in Peru's Chicón Valley, Lagacé plants new trees and builds clean-burning stoves for Chicón residents. He collaborated with a local environmentalist to design and build the stoves using inexpensive, readily available materials. Lagacé also is surveying the 105 families that live in Chicón about where they obtain their firewood in an effort to map the areas most affected by deforestation. For more information and Lagacé’s photographs from his summer in Peru, visit his Web site, http://www.unc.edu/~lagace/peru.htm.

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Morehead Foundation contact: Amy Curtin (919) 962-1201
News Services contact: L.J. Toler, (919) 962-8589