Students studying outside the library

Amy Powers named Presidential International Scholar

Amy Powers painting

Spartanburg student will travel the world on independent project

(More awards presented) 

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College President Benjamin B. Dunlap has selected Amy Christina Powers, a rising senior from Spartanburg, as the 2011-2012 Presidential International Scholar. She is the 28th scholar in the college’s innovative program that allows one student to travel throughout the academic year to developing countries researching an independent project.

The announcement was made today (Thursday, May 5, 2011) at the annual spring Honors Convocation, held in Leonard Auditorium. Departmental awards and other special recognitions also were made during the event to honor 2011 graduates, who will receive their diplomas on Sunday, May 22, in a ceremony on the lawn of Main Building.

The Presidential International Scholar is chosen personally each year by Wofford’s president as “the singular student best fitted to benefit humankind.” An anonymous donor funds the scholarship. The scholar spends his or her senior year visiting developing countries around the world and conducting research on an independent study project, returning for a fifth year to complete regular coursework and sharing what was learned during the travels.

“Amy Powers is an altogether remarkable student, a gifted artist with a stellar academic record and an intense commitment to bettering the world,” Dunlap says. “Already a seasoned traveller, she will undoubtedly make the most of this extraordinary opportunity.”

Powers, the daughter of Benjamin Powers of Spartanburg, is a dean’s list student who has studied abroad extensively during her time at Wofford. She studied in Senegal, West Africa, last fall, and currently is in Hangzhou, China. She is majoring in French and Chinese. Powers also participated in Wofford’s 2010 Community of Scholars cross-disciplinary summer research program, in which she conducted research on the topic “The Chinese One-Child Policy: An Inquiry into Human Rights.” She is the recipient of the Professor John L. Salmon Endowed Scholarship, which goes to students studying a foreign language.

Powers also received the Whetsell Fellowship in 2009, which enables a student to study an aspect of the visual arts, with the summer’s study culminating in an exhibition on campus during the next academic year. She spent the summer working with artist David Benson to integrate various art media, focusing especially on collage. Her solo exhibition was in November 2009, and she donated proceeds from the sale of her works to an orphanage and re-nutrition center in Nicaragua, where she had volunteered. She also donated a painting to the college; the piece now hangs outside the game room in the Campus Life Center.

Tyler Swain, also from Spartanburg, is the current Presidential International Scholar. He continues his travels abroad until later this spring.

MEDIA: To download a high-resolution (300 dpi) photo of Amy Powers, click on the thumbnail below, then right-click and save to your computer.  If you have problems, contact Laura Corbin at 

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