Thirteen Eastern Kentucky University students will soon leave their comfort zones as recipients of study-abroad scholarships from the University.
And, as EKU President Michael Benson promised, their lives “will never be the same.”
For the fourth consecutive year, the University covered all program and airfare costs for a lucky group of EKU students. More than 400 students applied for the scholarships and then converged in O’Donnell Hall and waited for their names to be called and a chance to come to the stage and have Benson spin the wheel to determine their destination.
The original plan called for seven scholarships. But the offices of the president and provost as well as the College of Letters, Arts, & Social Sciences each chipped in additional scholarships during the event.
Possible destinations for this summer included Belize, Cuba, Costa Rica, Great Britain, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Germany, Italy, Denmark, China and Japan. The experiences, some of which involve EKU faculty, are organized through the Kentucky Institute for International Studies (KIIS) and the Cooperative Center for Study Abroad (CCSA).
The winners, most from small towns in Kentucky, and their destinations:
· Juana Childers, Pikeville, Costa Rica.
· Alexandra Cummins, Berea, Spain.
· Kaitlyn Davis, Booneville, Ireland.
· Taylor Harrod, Frankfort, Belize
· Marcus Kuhl, Corbin, Germany.
· Abigail Mattingly, Versailles, Belize.
· Ashley Morrell, Florence, Germany.
· Jacqualynne Newby, Radcliff, China.
· Marissa Roderick, Findlay, Ohio, Ireland.
· Clayton Shelton, Corbin, Japan.
· Rebecca Standifer, Whitesburg, Belize
· Marissa Taylor, Pikeville, Japan
· Tyler Williams, Owenton, Denmark.