Michael Fryar ’14 wins Rotary grant for study at London School of Economics

Posted by Centre News in Academics, Economics, News 12 May 2014

fryarMichael Fryar ’14, an economics major from Lexington, Ky., has won a Rotary Global Grant Scholarship for study at the London School of Economics in England.

He will earn an M.S. in development studies, a one-year program at LSE. The Rotary award will provide more than $50,000. The 2014 competition was the first for Rotary District 6710, which covers western and central Kentucky.

Fryar spent a semester at Queen’s University Belfast, in Northern Ireland, and is looking forward to returning to the United Kingdom. “President Roush charges us to live with ‘no regrets,’” he says. “I have loved every minute of my Centre experience, and I can’t think of a more exciting opportunity for next year.”

From his very first economics class, Fryar has appreciated the way of “thinking like an economist,” he says. A summer spent working with female micro-entrepreneurs in Nicaragua as a rising college sophomore focused his interest specifically on development economics. He spent later summers in Guatemala, Columbia and Mexico, further expanding his experiences with economic development.

When not trying to solve financial puzzles, Fryar serves as a resident assistant and is a runner on the cross-country and track teams.

Fryar hopes eventually to develop more reliable financial services for people who are historically excluded from formal financial systems, such as banks, especially in Latin America.

“The goal of these financial inclusion programs is to alleviate poverty and empower individuals and communities,” he says. “Money is an important prop in the stories we tell about ourselves. Inclusive financial services change stories of inadequacy and irresponsibility to stories of self-efficacy and success.”

by Diane Johnson
May 12, 2014