UAB students receive highly prestigious scholarships

By on July 11, 2013
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Many students have been awarded with scholarships to study abroad.

Camille Turner, a 20-year-old University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) senior from Kentucky, has been awarded a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad.

“Out of more than 2,800 applications, they chose me,” said Turner, a Chinese language and culture major with a minor in science studies. “I was overwhelmed with happiness and excitement like winning the Kentucky Lottery.”

The Gilman Scholarship Program, established through the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000, offers awards for undergraduates to study abroad.

Turner will head to Taipei, Taiwan, in the fall and study Chinese language, as well as Taiwanese and Chinese culture, volunteer with a service-project organization and “explore the country to its fullest,” she said.

Turner is weighing her options for plans after graduation, deciding between becoming an officer in the Air Force, teaching English in China or pursuing graduate studies in international affairs.

“There is so much I can do with a Chinese major,” Turner said. “I haven’t fully explored every option thoroughly.”

The trip can help with that.

“I am opening all doors to exploration, never turning down an opportunity to try new foods or visit new places,” said Turner. “While studying abroad, I want to live life as if I am a true Taiwanese student.”

Elizabeth Bevan, a graduate student in the Department of Biology, has been awarded a John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship by the National Sea Grant College Program. Students are matched with hosts in legislative and executive branches of government in Washington, D.C., for a one-year paid fellowship.

“For me, the Knauss Fellowship will connect that circle of marine influence and give me the well-rounded know-how ultimately needed to make the most effective contribution to marine conservation,” Bevan said.

Since 1979, the program has provided educational experience to students who have an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources, as well as in the national policy decisions affecting those resources. The fellowship is named in honor of John A. Knauss, one of Sea Grant’s founders and a former National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration administrator.

Bevan’s research has been focused on the biology and protection of the endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle at Rancho Nuevo, Tamaulipas, Mexico. She will travel to Washington, D.C., for “Placement Week” Nov. 3-8, 2013. There, she and other fellows will hear presentations from the executive host offices, participate in interviews and ultimately be assigned to their placements.

“I believe I will walk away from this opportunity with a greater awareness of how best to present my research to achieve desired and needed protection for conservation issues through legislation,” said Bevan, who plans to pursue a doctoral degree.

“I aspire to lead the everyday person in society to greater marine awareness and give them the knowledge and power to protect their environment,” she said. “That’s the kind of conservationist I want to be, and I believe this fellowship will help me along that road.”

UAB News

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