E-Net News

Grant from U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka assists Periclean Scholars

Periclean Scholars in the Class of 2011 have worked for three years to raise awareness of environmental issues in the nation of Sri Lanka, and in January, the group will host a national conference there with support from a $5,000 grant from the American Cultural Center run by the U.S. Embassy.

Scholars learned of the grant this month and said it comes at just the right time. With conference expenses expected to top $10,000, the newfound money covers almost all the funds the students found themselves still in need of raising.

“This fell into our laps,” said Elon University senior Natalie Lampert, one of the Periclean Scholar handling logistics for what's been named the Leaders in Environmental Advocacy Forum (LEAF). “We had some pots of money, but this has given us more freedom to do additional planning and to put together a ‘next steps’ dinner. That will help us reaffirm partnerships, and debrief and talk with our keynote speakers on a more personal basis.”

The Jan. 22-23, 2011, summit will be overseen under the guidance of associate professor Crista Arangala, mentor of the Periclean Scholars Class of 2011, and professor Tom Arcaro, Director of Project Pericles at Elon University, with support from partners and administrators from the University of Colombo and other leaders in and around the city of Colombo.

The goal of the summit is to facilitate communication between distinguished scholars, globally recognized leaders, and invited guests on issues of environmental education and stewardship, focusing specifically on how these issues affect and impact the regions and peoples of Sri Lanka.

Upward of 300 conference attendees are expected. Ten speakers are taking part in the summit, including two keynote speakers, and organizers believe the conference may generate media coverage from the likes of Sri Lankan news outlets as well as the BBC.

Periclean Scholars have partnered with the University of Colombo, the American Cultural Center and Rainforest Rescue International to organize the event. For more information on the conference, visit www.leafsrilanka.org.

Eric Townsend,
11/18/2010 9:06 AM