Students Venture on International Journeys of Their Own Design

July 14, 2014

[Group photo] From left to right: Eva Keller, Madison Grabow, Glen Pringle, Edward Yount, and Margaret Hunter. Alexandria Vincent could not be present for the group photo but is shown individually below.

Six students from Saint Leo University pursued a variety of international trips this summer to broaden their education, with part of the costs financed by special stipends from the university. They are part of the first cohort of Yvain Scholarship recipients.

The Division of Academic Affairs created Yvain Scholarships this year to cultivate broader international knowledge among motivated students. The initiative is in keeping with the university’s goal of producing lifelong learners and leaders possessing global awareness. To qualify for the awards, students submitted detailed proposals for short-term, yet individually meaningful journeys they wished to pursue. Additionally, the students had to be willing to underwrite part of their proposed trips themselves.

In addition to recommending students for selection, the scholarship panel decided to call the grants Yvain (pronounced ee-VAHN) Scholarships, reflecting a name from the popular medieval stories of the English King Arthur and his “Knights of the Round Table.” Yvain was one of knights, an altruistic and adventurous soul, who, through a series of circumstances, befriends a lion that becomes his companion. At Saint Leo, the lion is the symbol of the university as well as the basis for the mascot, and Saint Leo athletic teams are referred to as the Lions. With so many worthy associations, the name Yvain was deemed fitting inspiration for the students and their journeys.

Six students were chosen to receive $1,600 each, which was applied directly to air fare.

The students selected as Yvain Scholars were:

  • Madison Grabow, an undergraduate studying international hospitality and tourism management, who wanted to travel to Peru for nearly three months to immerse herself in ecotourism there.
  • Alexandria Vincent, an elementary education major who just graduated, and Eva Keller, an undergraduate in international tourism and hospitality management, who are traveling together to Cusco, Peru, on a two-week volunteer trip. They are working in schools and orphanages through the organization International Volunteer HQ. In the fall, Ms. Vincent will return to Saint Leo to begin work on a master’s degree in education.
  • Margaret Hunter, an undergraduate studying social work, who decided to travel to Chile through the organization Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms and stay for two weeks with a host farming family. She wants this experience to serve as preparation for future intended service and educational travel to Haiti.
  • Computer science major Glen Pringle and management major Edward Yount, who decided upon a two-week hiking tour of the well-known El Camino pilgrimage trail in northern Spain. The area is rich in Christian church history and architecture.

The Yvain Scholarship recipients are expected to give presentations about their journeys to the university community in the fall.