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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2013 / 05 

Four students receive Phi Beta Delta scholarships for study abroad

May 31, 2013

Elsie Paredes being inducted into Phi Beta Delta
Amer Fayad, president of the Gamma Omega chapter of Phi Beta Delta, and Ian Leuschner, the chapter coordinator, induct new member Elsie Paredes, associate director of the Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute.

Four students have been selected to receive scholarships from the Virginia Tech chapter of Phi Beta Delta, which this spring inducted 18 new members.

Sponsored by the Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute, the scholarships help underwrite the costs of undergraduate and graduate students’ study in other countries. The scholarships are designed to encourage trips to nontraditional destinations for programs that include language and cultural engagement components.

The four students selected for the 2013 scholarships are:

  • Kelly Anderson of Sterling, Va., a rising junior majoring in Spanish in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences who was awarded a scholarship to attend a faculty-led program in Kyoto, Japan, this summer.
  • Amanda Galvin, of Blacksburg, Va., a senior majoring in international studies and minoring in French and leadership and social change in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. She was awarded a scholarship to participate in the Virginia Tech study abroad program in Senegal this summer.
  • Lydia Jamil of Lebanon, a rising sophomore majoring in international studies and minoring in women’s and gender studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences who was awarded a scholarship to participate in the university’s Ancient Rome and its Provinces program in Switzerland and Rome.
  • Taylor Lively, of Hadensville, Va., a rising junior majoring in sociology and minoring in political science and sustainable social change in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. She was awarded a scholarship to take part in a faculty-led program called Creating Sustainable Social Change that will take place this summer in Switzerland and Rwanda.

“These are all hardworking students who aspire to gain valuable experiences and a better understanding of the world as well as experience personal growth,” said Elsie Paredes, associate director of the Language and Culture Institute and part of the committee that selected the scholarship recipients. “They share a passion for diversity, foreign languages, and new experiences and knowledge that will enhance their education and future careers.”

Phi Beta Delta is an international honor society that recognizes the achievements of international students and scholars, U.S. students who have studied abroad, and faculty and staff who are involved in international affairs. It is the first honor society in the United States to recognize scholarship achievement in international education. It was established in 1987 and now has more than 170 chapters at universities in the United States and around the world.

“Locally, the Gamma Omega chapter provides a forum for people from varying backgrounds and fields of study to meet in order to promote a more diverse, enriching, and internationally focused educational experience,” said chapter president Amer Fayad, assistant director of the Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab in the Office of International Research, Education, and Development. “It also provides the opportunity for faculty, staff, and students to interact in a professional setting and exchange views on global issues.”

At its spring induction ceremony May 6, the organization also introduced new members, including these faculty and staff:

  • Elizabeth Bowles, level coordinator, Language and Culture Institute;
  • Khaled Hassouna, associate director of Middle East and North Africa Initiatives, Office of International Research, Education, and Development;
  • Susan Neu, assistant director for special programs, Language and Culture Institute;
  • Elsie Paredes, associate director, Language and Culture Institute;
  • Tonya Pruitt, administrative specialist with the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis, Department of Statistics, College of Science;
  • Diana Housein Salaita, assistant director for student services, Language and Culture Institute; and
  • Jennifer Quijano Sax, director of international education.

Education Abroad at Virginia Tech challenges students to engage with the world by providing study abroad opportunities that are academically, culturally, and personally enriching. On average, 1,200 Virginia Tech students study abroad annually. The office supports more than 50 faculty-led programs, maintains academic exchange programs with 80 universities in 32 countries, and supports Virginia Tech study centers in Switzerland and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Photos: Education Abroad 2013 Photo Contest Winners and Finalists
Photos: Language and Culture Institute packs the park for picnic

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