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Wofford senior named Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar

Regina Fuller with map 382x255
2010-10-12

Regina Fuller to study at University of Ghana in summer 2011
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – A Wofford College senior from Spartanburg, Regina Fuller, has been named a 2011-2012 Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. She will leave for studies at the University of Ghana this summer after she finishes the requirements for her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and intercultural studies.

“In my year of traveling around the world as Wofford’s Presidential International Scholar in 2009-2010, I left two places vowing to return,” Fuller says. “One of those was Brazil, and I’m headed there during this January Interim term. The other was Ghana.

“I looked at my options to study there, and the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarships excited me,” Fuller says. “I have the opportunity to earn credits at one of the leading universities in sub-Saharan Africa, and I’ll also exchange information with Rotarians and others outside the university. I’m particularly looking forward to renewing acquaintances with friends I met in January 2009, as well as spending more time with a very good band and a folk-dance company that welcomed me.”

Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarships were created in 1947 to further international understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries and geographical areas. Over the past 30 years, more than a dozen Wofford graduates have won these fellowships. Until recently, most of them went to European countries, but Fuller is the second consecutive Wofford graduate to select an African destination. Elise Boos, a 2008 graduate and also a former Presidential International Scholar, traveled to Uganda for a year of study in 2009-2010. She is now a student at the Louisiana State University School of Medicine.

Known in the 18th century as a center of the African-American slave trade, the “Gold Coast” achieved its independence from Great Britain in 1957, choosing Ghana as its new name. The university, located just outside the capital city of Accra, enrolls 42,000 students of many different backgrounds. Classes are taught primarily in English, and Fuller plans an academic focus in Swahili and gender studies.

Fuller has been known at Wofford as a dedicated researcher and student with a global perspective. In addition to her Presidential International Scholars project, “Exploring the African Diaspora,” she studied Afro-Caribbean culture and the rejection of African identity in the Dominican Republic and Brazil. She also completed an internship on Capitol Hill with U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., and she participated in Bard College’s Globalization and International Affairs Program in New York City in the summer of 2008. For the summer 2010 Community of Scholars, an interdisciplinary research program, she worked on a film documentary on the music and dancing she observed during her Presidential International Scholars year of travel.

Fuller is a member of the Blue Key Honor Society and the Twin Towers service learning organization. She is a past vice president of the Association of Multicultural Students and was one of the organizers of the “Engaging Our World” social justice conference held in 2007 at Wofford.

A graduate of Spartanburg High School, she is the daughter of Paulette Fuller of Spartanburg and Ronnie Crawford of Chesnee, S.C. She is a Daniel Scholar at Wofford.

“One of the things that I have learned in my travels as an African-American is that there are a lot of misconceptions about the United States around the world,” Fuller says. “In many places, Americans have a reputation of being rich and aggressive in unappealing ways. I think Rotary Ambassadorial Scholars play an important role in altering some of those stereotypes. While abroad, I hope to serve as a goodwill ambassador to Ghana and give presentations to Rotary Clubs and other groups.

“Upon returning home, I want to share experiences, leading to a greater understanding of West Africa in general and my host country in particular.” 

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