Editor's note: Ben Sheene, a junior English major from Danville, Ky., wrote this article.
DANVILLE, KY—Rising Centre College senior Mark Mallman has been awarded the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to study abroad in 2007-08.
"It blows me away," Mallman says of his selection. "I 'm very thankful because it 's something I couldn 't do otherwise."
Mallman, an anthropology and sociology major from Franklin, Tenn., spent much of the time before his application visiting Rotary clubs and getting to know members. "It 's been good to know members of the club". "Rotary is something I could be involved in for a long time."
For his application, Mallman had to research five different schools as potential study sites in three countries. He chose two schools in New Zealand (his top choice), one in Australia, and one in both Ireland and Scotland. Although he won't find out where he will be studying until October, he plans on doing graduate work in sociology focusing on delinquency. "I'll be working on the factors that feed delinquency such as poverty and divorce, since they tend to be large issues in delinquency." As to why New Zealand is at the top of his list? "[New Zealand's] University of Canterbury has a sociology professor whose specialty is delinquency–" "Not to mention all the mountains and trout streams."
Of course it all couldn 't have been done without help. Over his spring break Mallman says he met with Otey Walker, a Rotary Club member who acted as his "point man" offering suggestions and advice on the club and how to apply. In addition, Milton Reigelman, Cowan Professor of English and director of Centre's study abroad programs; Beau Weston, NEH Professor of Sociology; and Lisa Williams, Assistant Professor of English, helped him with recommendations and other parts of the application process.
As a member of the Rotary district selection committee, Reigelman was well equipped to see Mallman 's ability for the scholarship. "I became impressed with his genuine curiosity about other places and other peoples when he decided to spend the last semester of his senior year studying in Strasbourg, and before that to walk some of the medieval pilgrimage trail to Santiago de Compostela in Spain," says Reigelman. "He seemed to me a natural for a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship—and he was."
Mallman recently returned from a cross-country fishing trip with his father and is currently assisting Weston with research. The work they are doing this summer "is the beginning of a larger project on knowledge class vs. corporate class marriages," says Weston. As an assistant Mallman says he will be helping with research, keeping up with Weston 's reading, and "be someone to discuss his ideas with." On his recommendation for the scholarship, Weston described Mallman as "Mr. Leadership" at Centre.
Since 1947, nearly 37,000 men and women from 100 nations have studied abroad under the auspices of Rotary International. Today it is the world's largest privately funded international scholarships program. More than 1,000 scholarships were awarded for study in 2003-04. Through grants totaling approximately $428 million, recipients from some 70 countries studied in more than 70 nations.
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