MACON – Mercer University’s Office of International Programs recently awarded its latest round of Global Leader Scholarships (GLS), providing 25 students with a total of $85,774 to participate in study abroad programs during the upcoming spring semester.

The GLS program was launched in 2019 to support students with financial need in pursuing long-term study abroad opportunities at the University.

The scholarship initially offered up to $8,000 per student for programs of eight weeks or longer, but the program was expanded this fall to include awards up to $5,000 for programs of three to eight weeks and up to $3,000 for programs shorter than three weeks.

“The Global Leader Scholarship is an excellent opportunity for students to explore and become sensitive to other cultures through immersion. Traveling will allow students to grow, be curious and adapt to new environments, such as a new language, new traditions, new foods and new social interactions that students would not experience at Mercer,” said Libertad Aranza, lecturer of Spanish. “With more resources, such as the Global Leader Scholarship, students will be willing to apply more often to different study abroad programs. With more students overseas, we can inspire future students to explore and to appreciate other aspects of the world.”

“The Global Leader Scholarship is a great example of Mercer actualizing our core beliefs. One of our mottos is, ‘At Mercer, everyone majors in changing the world.’ What better way to support this endeavor than a scholarship such as this one to financially support sending our students on experiences that not only change the world but at the same time change their world,” added Jason R. Holloway, executive director of advising services and enrollment and instructor of liberal and historical studies in the College of Professional Advancement. “The scholarship presents an amazing opportunity for post-traditional students to partake in world-changing experiences that have often been limited due to financial, temporal or institutional constraints to their mostly traditional, residency-based counterparts.”

Of the 25 students who received the most recent scholarships, 10 will participate in semester-long exchange or affiliate programs and 15 will join spring break faculty-led programs. They include:

  • Dylan Alarcon, a sophomore finance major, who will study in Mexico
  • Anaya Bhatti, a senior chemical commerce major, who will study in Puerto Rico
  • Aundretha Casper, a junior liberal studies major, who will study in Guatemala
  • Kristen Clark, a sophomore psychology and cybersecurity double-major, who will study in England
  • Morgan Copeland, a senior Spanish major, who will study in Puerto Rico
  • Jackson Crowley, a sophomore computer science major, who will study in South Korea
  • Lara Edgeman, a junior holistic child major, who will study in Mexico
  • Keeli Hennon, a junior international studies major, who will study in Morocco
  • Justin Henry, a junior Spanish and public health double-major, who will study in Costa Rica
  • Makenzie Hicks, a junior global health studies major, who will study in Puerto Rico
  • Olivia Hundley, a sophomore international affairs and international business double-major, who will study in Spain
  • Alexandra Jones, a junior international business and philosophy, politics and economics (PPE) double-major, who will study in England
  • Kennia Kirksey, a sophomore biology major, who will study in Israel
  • Sophia McWhirter, a junior international affairs major, who will study in Morocco
  • Arsha Moorthy, a sophomore biochemistry and molecular biology (BMB) and Spanish double-major, who will study in Mexico
  • Thomas Neely, a sophomore marketing and creative writing double-major, who will study in England
  • Nicole Ngan, a junior global health studies major, who will study in Sweden
  • Krupa Patel, a senior biology major, who will study in the Galápagos Islands
  • Christoph Postero, a sophomore accounting major, who will study in England
  • Shaan Prasad, a sophomore biology major, who will study in Israel
  • Miguel Ruiz-Sanchez, a sophomore economics and finance double-major, who will study in Israel
  • Alexis Sharafi, a senior liberal studies major, who will study in Guatemala
  • Fatima Alarcon Tinoco, a senior public health and Spanish double-major, who will study in Mexico
  • Caroline Ulsaker, a sophomore biology major, who will study in the Galápagos Islands
  • Lelena Zewdu, a sophomore global health studies major, who will study in Puerto Rico

“Mercer Abroad is absolutely thrilled to be able to award 25 students scholarships to study abroad during the spring semester through exchange, affiliate and faculty-led programs. In addition to increasing access to study abroad, the purpose of this scholarship is to develop global leaders who will engage in their communities abroad and give back to the Mercer community upon their return,” said Rebekah Anaya, associate director of study abroad.

“In addition to their own personal growth, studying abroad is an exciting opportunity for students to learn critical skills necessary for their future careers, including intercultural communication, development of a global perspective, knowledge of other languages, problem-solving abilities and general adaptability.”

The next cycle for the GLS will be for summer 2022 and fall 2022 programs and will open around mid-February 2022 and close around mid-March 2022.

Kyle is the director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he coordinates hometown and university news releases and serves as editor of the News@Mercer e-newsletter and Reach magazine.​