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Presidential International Scholars headed out into the world

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College’s two Presidential International Scholars Ivy Farr of Inman, S.C., and Elise Boos of Slidell, La., have headed out on their academic-yearlong travels around the world to developing countries while researching their independent projects.

Farr will seek to answer the questions of how America and Americans are perceived in other countries, while Boos will research the correlation of community ownership and project sustainability in matters of medicine and social projects.

This is the first year in the scholarship’s 22-year history that two students have received the honor of being a Presidential International Scholar, selected by Wofford President Benjamin B. Dunlap.  The program is funded by an anonymous donor.

Farr, who departed on Thursday, Sept. 14, for her first stop in Mexico, says she will “look at various opinions of the United States and how our government and our people are perceived and portrayed in other countries.”  She will focus special attention on the media portrayal of Americans.  Her faculty advisor is Dr. Anne Rodrick, associate professor of history, assisted by Dr. Tim Schmitz, Dr. Deno Trakas, Dr. Alliston Reid, Dr. John Lefebvre and Dr. Philip Racine.

Here is her itinerary:
Sept. 14 – Depart Spartanburg
Sept. 14-Oct. 10 – Guanajuato, Mexico
Oct. 10-early November – Sao Paulo, Brazil
Early November–Nov. 7 – Atlanta, Georgia
Nov. 7-Dec. 5 – Johannesburg, South Africa
Dec. 5- Jan. 2 – Harare, Zimbabwe
Jan. 3-Jan. 14 – Cairo, Egypt
Jan. 14- Jan. 20 – Paris, France
Jan. 20-Feb. 4 – Warsaw, Poland
Feb. 4-Feb. 10 – Kiev, Ukraine
Feb. 10-Feb. 14 – Train to Saint Petersburg
Feb. 14-March 8: Saint Petersburg, Russia
March 8-April 4 – Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam
April 4-April 26 – Beijing, China
April 27-May 2 – Tonga
May 2 – Arrive in Spartanburg

Boos, whose advisor is Dr. Nancy Mandlove, professor of Spanish and coordinator of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies program, says her longtime interest in public health and poverty issues made her topic of study a natural.  “This past year, I read a lot of works by Jeffrey Sachs, Paul Farmer and Amartya Sen, all of whom do a beautiful job at integrating economics and healthcare and who stress the importance of community empowerment when it comes to improving health indicators. I have always wanted to go to medical school, but in the past few years began to see that non-preventative clinical medicine was not going to radically change the world, only treat it. So when this opportunity presented itself, I knew that I could not pass up the opportunity to see my new interest in action.”  Assisting in her preparation also were Dr. Cynthia Fowler, Dr. George Shiflet and Wofford alumna Sarah McKune.

Here is her itinerary:
Sept. 15-Oct. 7 – Santiago, Dominican Republic
Oct. 7-Nov. 5 – Iquitos/ Cusco, Peru
Nov. 5-Dec. 5 – Cape Town/ Richard’s Bay, South Africa
Dec. 6-Dec. 22 – Nata, Botswana
Dec. 22-Jan. 2 – Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Jan. 2-Jan. 14 – Cairo, Egypt
Jan. 14-Feb. 12 – Dakar, Senegal
Feb. 14-March 17 – Gadchiroli/ Kolkata, India
March 17-April 17 – Ho Chi Minh City/ Hanoi, Vietnam
April 20-May 7 – Tanna, Vanuatu
 
The two scholars will meet in Cairo and travel together for two weeks in January, and will meet again in southern Vietnam near the end of March.

As seniors, the two will return to Wofford following their year of travel to complete their academic requirements for their degrees.