Three Elon University alumni have been named recipients of Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarships to help fund graduate studies overseas. Their recent selection brings to six the number of Elon students or alumni chosen for the prestigious award since 2006.
Ambassadorial Scholarships were founded in 1947 and help fund degree-oriented study in another country. The foundation provides up to $26,000 for each scholarship.
Alumni recipients are:
Amie Ritchie ‘07
International Studies and French
Hometown: Sebastian, Florida
Ritchie, whose research interests lay within human rights and development of areas in conflict, will use her award to travel to New Zealand in 2011. The former Periclean Scholar graduated summa cum laude having been an Honors Fellow and a Perito Scholarship recipient at the university.
Ritchie involved herself in the Student Government Association, Students for Peace and Justice, and intramural soccer outside of her studies. Currently living in Toronto, she plans to pursue graduate degrees in West African development – a field she chose after her experience volunteering for Tostan, a Senegal-based nonprofit organization.
“This generous award is going to play an integral part in both my academic and professional careers,” Ritchie said. “I am honored and thrilled to be joining the many Ambassadorial scholars studying around the world. Participating within the Rotary community in New Zealand will be an undeniably life-changing experience.”
Ritchie is the daughter of Michael and Brenda Ritchie of Sebastian, Fla.
Christina Anne Orangio ‘09
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
Orangio describes her research interests as “finding a balance between science and society” to help eradicate poverty around the globe through environmental education and management. She travels to South Africa as the next stage in that pursuit.
At Elon, Orangio served as vice president of the Sierra Club and as director of the Service Learning Community. She was also a member of Epsilon Sigma Alpha. Currently working for Montana Campus Compact in Missoula, she volunteers with the Watershed Education Network and the Flagship after-school program in her community.
“This award would allow me to perform research in Southern Africa while continuing my commitment to service and forming relationships globally,” Orangio said. “Not only would I be able to study conservation in rich and diverse ecosystems but my research would help support communities that can benefit from resources in protected areas.”
Orangio is the daughter of Guy and Patricia Orangio of Atlanta.
Rebecca Lauren Watts ‘09
Spanish and International Studies
Hometown: Ellicott City, Md.
Watts, who graduated magna cum laude from Elon, has focused her research on globalization and migration/immigration in Latin America. The former Elon Honors Fellow presented her scholarship three times last year at a national, regional and undergraduate conference, and she plans to pursue a master’s program in Latin American Studies in Mexico beginning in Fall 2010.
Watts was a member of the Periclean Scholars Class of 2009. She served as vice president of Sigma Delta Pi and also took part in the Alpha Chi Omega sorority. Off campus, Watts spent time as an ESL class assistant through Alamance Community College.
“I am thrilled by the opportunity Rotary has awarded me to learn and grow through an academic program, service, and immersion in a different culture and language, all while sharing my experiences with others,” said Watts, who today works as the site coordinator for Education Based Latino Outreach in Baltimore.
Watts is the daughter of Thomas and Tara Watts of Ellicott City, Md.