February 13, 2008
Rotary scholarships go to five from University of South Carolina
Rotary scholarships for study abroad in 2008 – 09 will go to four University of South Carolina students and one graduate.
Recipients include Barry Blitch of Mount Pleasant, Sarah Elizabeth Chakales of Richmond, Va., Samantha Martin of Lititz, Pa., Ashley Rhoderick of Middletown, Md., and Kimberly Vinci of Kenner, La.
Chakales and Martin will receive Rotary academic scholarships valued at $25,000 for nine months of study abroad. Blitch, Rhoderick and Vinci will receive Rotary cultural scholarships valued at $12,500 for three months of study abroad.
Rotary is the world’s largest privately funded international scholarship program, which fosters international understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries and geographical areas by encouraging person-to-person diplomacy.
Blitch, a junior sociology major, is the daughter of Michael and Judy Blitch and a graduate of the Academic Magnet High School. A member of the initial group of Capstone scholars, Blitch has served on the Capstone Student Advisory Board and is a member of Gamma Beta Phi, an honor and service organization, and the Women’s Mentor Network. She has been a copy editor for The Daily Gamecock and has interned at the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry and Riley Communications in Columbia. She has served on the board of Student Publications and Communications and is an intern at Post No Bills in Columbia.
Blitch will spend three months in the fall in Dakar, Senegal, where she will study french at Africa Consultants International. She was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Mount Pleasant.
Chakales, a graduate of J.R. Tucker High School, is the daughter of Debbe Harless and Jamie Chakales, both of Richmond. She will spend the 2008 – 09 academic year studying journalism at the University of Hong Kong. A senior broadcast-journalism major in South Carolina Honors College, Chakales has been a freelance photographer for C-SPAN and a field producer for WIS-TV’s Friday night football segments. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Golden Key honor societies and has participated in Dance Marathon, Habitat for Humanity and student government. Chakales has been president of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, a Washington Semester fellow in the office of U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and a Shafto fellow. She received the Hearst Journalism Award for Student Reporting, the Radio and Television News Directors Association of the Carolinas Scholarship and the S.C. Broadcasters Association Scholarship.
Chakales was sponsored by the Columbia Capital Rotary Club.
Martin, an August 2007 graduate of the university’s School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management, is a study-abroad adviser and program coordinator in International Education Programs at Jacksonville University. At Carolina, Martin was a peer adviser in the Study Abroad Office, a member of the women’s club volleyball team and the Shack campus ministry. She worked with English Programs for Internationals, an intensive English-language campus program. Martin, who wants to continue her education in peace studies and conflict resolution, will study at the University of Ulster-Magee campus in Londonderry, Northern Ireland.
The Lake Murray-Irmo Rotary Club sponsored Martin, who is the daughter of Bryan and Cindy Martin and a graduate of Lititz Christian School.
Rhoderick, a South Carolina Honors College senior majoring in chemical engineering, is the daughter of Jay and Angela Rhoderick and a graduate of Middletown High School. She received Cooper and Rothburg scholarships and has been active in the Campus Crusade for Christ and the American Institute for Chemical Engineers (AICHE). She is a member of Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society and University Ambassadors. Rhoderick will study Arabic at the American University of Cairo in Egypt.
She was sponsored by the Lake Murray-Irmo Rotary Club.
Vinci, the daughter of Donald and Nancy Vinci, is a graduate of Mount Carmel Academy. An exercise-science major in the university’s Arnold School of Public Health, Vinci is a University Ambassador and the service coordinator of the Newman Club. A native of New Orleans, she is a recipient of the St. Thomas More Spirit of Service Scholarship. She will study Swahili in Zanzibar, Tanzania, at the Taasisi Ya Kiswahili Na Lugha Za Kigeni.
Vinci was sponsored by the Columbia Capital Rotary Club.
Rotary candidates were supported in the competition by the university’s Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs, established in 1994 to assist students applying for national fellowship competitions. To learn more about national fellowships and competitions and to view a complete list of the university’s Rotary scholars, visit www.sc.edu/ofsp.