In a fair hallowed hill off the highway
Sat Sparrow who’d never seen the skyway
Til the land did upheave
Forcing Sparrow to leave
Dissolving into mist on the byway
CHID senior Elizabeth Schiffler’s limerick tells the story of a sparrow propelled out of its home by the need to travel and find connections with the world. She wrote this poem as part of her application for CHID’s inaugural Colin Wang Memorial Scholarship, a study abroad award created in memory of UW student Colin Wang, who unexpectedly passed away shortly after participating in CHID’s Amsterdam program in the Summer of 2013. According to CHID Amsterdam Program Director Stacey Moran, “Colin was deeply affected by his trip, and concerned about what to do with his new knowledge. He had a deep sense of the caring and the complexity involved in political awareness and activism.” Colin’s family, in partnership with CHID, established this scholarship so that other students could experience the growth and challenge that comes with international study.
The Colin Wang Memorial Scholarship is not the only study abroad scholarship CHID offered last year. We were also able to award three MacRae Study Abroad Scholarships, merit-based awards to CHID majors to participate in CHID-sponsored study abroad programs. A student who received an award to travel to Prague explained that studying abroad would push her way past her comfort zone: “This program is going to force me to learn how to rely mostly on myself: how to navigate international travel, cook, clean, manage my spending and time, and deal with the fact that I’ll be living with others. Since I’ve never left the United States I don’t know what it’s like to be a guest in someone else’s country; so learning the language and becoming familiar with the customs, that are different than the ones I’m used to, are going to be a challenge but it’s a challenge that I have to try and overcome in order to be respectful to the country.”
In addition to the study abroad awards listed above, CHID has established a rolling research award to support the variety of research projects undertaken by our undergraduate students. This past year we were able to support seven students, whose projects ranged in scope from an examination of the impacts of science and technology in the philosophy and theater of the absurd to an investigation of molecular gastronomy. One student’s desire to discover the histories of a diverse collection of communities around the world through sound and music, culminated in a series of videos (see http://www.phonicearth.com/). Another created an app to explore how we can use augmented reality in comics to enhance the reading experience. The quality and content of CHID student scholarship continues to break new ground.
We are thrilled that we were able to give nearly $4,000 to our students to support their undergraduate research and study abroad last year. We plan to continue to offer these scholarships in the 2014-15 academic year, but the amount we are able to dedicate to this is dependent upon the contributions we receive from our CHID community. If you would like to support CHID students directly, please consider making a donation to the Friends of CHID fund.