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Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs receives $300,000 for study abroad


By Nick Sobecki



In her State of the Campus address several weeks ago, Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel announced an increase in funding for several diversity and scholarship programs on campus.

The Office of the Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs will receive $300,000 from the Office of the Provost so that more students may study abroad. Some of these funds can be used as soon as this semester, including for a trip to Ghana sponsored by the Hudson and Holland Scholarship Program.

“The idea is that my office will have a line of support for students that primarily come from those three programs to hopefully both stimulate and create interest in study abroad opportunities,” said Edwin Marshall, vice president of Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs. The three programs are the Hudson and Holland Scholars Program, Groups and 21st Century Scholars, Marshall said.

The $300,000 is a part of the Office of the Provost’s budget, which Robel can give to different projects, said Munirpallam Venkataramanan, vice provost for strategicinitiatives. The heads of the schools and other offices make requests around this time of year, and then the provost decides where the money goes.

The official announcement of the funding came at the Feb. 19 State of the Campus address.

“I was at the State of the Campus address, so I’m aware that she committed $300,000,” said Susan Carty, director of the Office of Overseas Study. “We inquired the next day and the answer was that it was not yet outlined.”

Some of the details that will be considered are policy creation, who gets the rewards and how much each scholarship will be worth, Marshall said.

“By the start of the next academic year, this will all probably be organized in a more concise package,” Marshall said.

Funding will be available for Hudson and Holland’s annual trip to Ghana this spring.

The Ghana trip was instated in 2002 by former Hudson and Holland director Kevin Brown.

“Providing more funding to HHSP will hopefully reenergize the program and allow us to continue recruiting outstanding minority students,” Allie Medellin, president of the Hudson and Holland Scholars Advisory Council, said in an email.

The money will be dispersed through the Office of the Vice President of

Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs, which will work in cooperation with the Office of Overseas Study.

“My primary focus is Groups, Hudson and Holland and the 21st Century Scholars,” Marshall said. “That’s not to say that other students will not be able to access these funds.”

While Marshall’s office plans to use some of the funding to offset the cost of the Ghana trip, money will be available for personal study abroad opportunities, Marshall said.

According to the latest data from the Office of Overseas studies, during the 2010-2011 school year, 2,203 IU-Bloomington students studied abroad. Additionally, IU-Bloomington ranked seventh overall among colleges for number of students who study abroad.

Spain, the United Kingdom and Italy were the top three choices for study abroad locations among students. 

“With IU, we are always looking for great opportunities to benefit our students,” Marshall said. “And, given the world today, I believe that with the openness of our world, cross-culture learning is essential as we go about our tasks preparing leaders for tomorrow.”

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