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Eight seniors were awarded scholarships yesterday which will enable them to study abroad in places ranging from England and South Africa to Senegal and Mongolia.
The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Fellowships were awarded to John D. Heller '96, Daniel J. Hruschka '96, Rebecca A. Miksad '95-'96, Timothy F. Platts-Mills '96 and Edith A. Replogle '96 The Eliot, Fiske, and de Jersey scholarships for study at Cambridge University were awarded to Tal D. Ben-Shachar '96, who is a Crimson editor, Alison J. Huang '96 and James N. Miller '96.
Heller will travel to Senegal, Hruschka to Mongolia, Miksad to South Africa, Platts-Mills to Papua-New Guinea and Replogle to Russia, according to a press release.
"I want to be able to really speak French, and Senegal is on a continent I know very little about," Heller said.
He said he chose Senegal as a destination because he believes it is an ideal location in which to study "the differences between a language and a culture as well as the different ways a language can be put to use."
Heller said he intends to teach English at a university or high school in Senegal.
Platts-Mills said he plans to focus on aspects of biodiversity in Papau-New Guinea.
"I'm going to Madang province to observe and document the use of plants as structural materials, tools, food and medicine," said Platts-Mills. He said he believes that the trip will be a "life changing experience."
Paul A. Bohlmann, director of fellowships, said the purpose of the Rockefeller scholarship is to inspire students to explore other cultures.
"Rockefeller's family and friends sit on the scholarship board and they are looking for a spirit of adventure and travel that will satisfy the student's own personal needs," Bohlmann said.
Rockefeller Scholarships consist of an annual $10,000 stipend provided as a subsidy for one year of work or study abroad, while Harvard-Cambridge scholarships provide recipients with all college and university fees plus a personal stipend.
"I grew up in a family of Anglophiles," Miller said. "I visited Cambridge as a kid and I remember it as a beautiful school."
Miller said he plans to pursue a masters degree in Sociology and the Politics of Development at Cambridge.
Although Miller has a definite plan of study, Adonica Y. Lui, assistant director of fellowships, said that scholarship recipients "are not required to pursue a specific degree at Cambridge, but instead can feel free to explore a variety of interests."
Lui says that Eliot, Fiske and de Jersey scholars "have to be strong in whatever they do as well as show broad interests in a variety of activities."
Lui emphasized the importance of extracurricular as well as academic achievements for candidates.
"They need to be open to new ideas and opportunities," Lui said, "as well as active in the community and committed to academics."
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