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Wofford Presidential International Scholar Readies for Trip

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

SPARTANBURG, SC—It’s not that Dawna Quick wants to see poverty, but in seeing it, she hopes to be able to understand labor, wages and how the concept of “human development” affects opportunities to rise above poverty in developing countries around the world.

Quick, a Wofford College senior from Sumter, S.C., will begin her travels Sept. 23 as the 18th Presidential International Scholar, the college’s unique scholarship program that sends one student to developing countries for an academic year. Each year, the scholar chooses an independent study project that will take him/her around the world for the academic year to developing countries, doing research and interacting with various groups and individuals. An anonymous donor funds the scholarship.

“I will explore the concept of ‘human development,’” Quick says, quoting former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers when he urged Congress to support a “new framework for providing international assistance to developing countries, one that moves beyond a closed (International Monetary Fund)-centered process that has too often focused on narrow macroeconomic objectives at the expense of broader human development.”

She will study the labor force and culture of each country she will visit. “What are the job opportunities available and how are most laborers employed? What training is available to them and how has this training affected their job opportunities? How have foreign companies and investments that have relocated in these countries benefited the local economy and its laborers? What, if anything, do they expect of the world.”

Quick will visit Mexico, Argentina, South Africa, Ghana, Poland, China and Thailand during her nine-month trek.

“In studying employment, I also hope to determine whether wages of laborers are adequate to secure basic needs, such as food, clothing, shelter and medical care,” Quick says. “This study will allow me to have a better understanding of standards of living, which is ever more important given that the IMF has opened a new platform that will focus on ‘poverty reduction’ strategies in its relations to developing economies. What strategies would the IMF have to adopt in order to provide workers the opportunity to rise above the poverty level? More importantly, should poverty reduction be left to the hands of non-government organizations or should the issues of poverty be left to sovereign nations?”

During her travels, Quick will file periodic reports to a Web site that will be accessible through the Wofford College Web site at www.wofford.edu. Upon her return in the spring, she will be expected to begin making presentations about her findings to the college community as well as the Spartanburg community. She then would complete her college coursework beginning in the fall of 2003.

Quick, a Charles E. Daniel Scholar, is the daughter of Leroy and Sandra Quick of Sumter, S.C. She is a business economics major and is a dean’s list student. She is a member of the Wofford Ambassadors, the Association of African-American Students, the Voice of Victory gospel choir, and the Wofford Singers. She is news editor of the student newspaper, The Old Gold & Black.

Visit Quck's Web site at http://findingfishermen.org.