Elon senior & alumnus receive Princeton in Asia fellowships

Laura Sturdivant '15 and Alexander Ward '14 travel next fall to Myanmar and the Philippines, respectively, with support of a program aimed at promoting goodwill and the exchange of ideas between cultures of the East and West.

An Elon University senior and a graduate from the Class of 2014 have each received a Princeton in Asia award designed for recent college graduates to help serve various needs across Asia.

Founded in 1898, the Princeton in Asia fellowship program is funded by an independent, nonprofit organization affiliated with Princeton University with a stated mission to “educate Americans about Asia and to help Asian communities better understand the United States.”

Laura Sturdivant ‘15 and Alexander Ward ‘14 are two of approximately 150 fellowship recipients for next year.

Sturdivant is currently a marketing and finance double major from Pittsboro, North Carolina, who will work in Yangon, Myanmar, in the marketing department for the Myanmar Times. The Times is the largest English newspaper in the country and recently switched from a weekly to a daily print cycle with plans to launch a radio component in the next year.

At the same time, Myanmar is expected to hold its first democratic election and open a stock market, Sturdivant said in describing her own excitement at the opportunity to witness both historical events.

“I am so thankful and humbled by this fellowship and the support I have received from so many people here at Elon,” Sturdivant said. “This opportunity uniquely combines my marketing major and Asian studies minor with my growing interests in international development. I cannot wait to become completely immersed in a new culture and gain experience that will help to shape my future career and goals.”

In addition to working as a student assistant in the dean’s office of the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business, Sturdivant is an Elon Civic Engagement Scholar and a member of the Beta Alpha Psi business honor society.

She is the daughter of Mike and Margaret Sturdivant of Pittsboro, North Carolina.

Alexander Parish Ward was a psychology major and Honors Fellow from Raleigh, North Carolina, and the fellowship will support his contributions in the Hinrich Foundation in Manila, Philippines.

There he will help advance international development through export-led job creation, international trade policy research and trade-related education and training. Ward will oversee the foundation’s online presence, work with the foundation’s Export Assistance Program, and coordinate suppliers and manufacturers in the region.

“This fellowship is giving me the opportunity to push myself both personally and professionally, as I immerse myself in a totally novel culture that will present me with countless new opportunities,” Ward said. “I’m extremely excited for the chance to work with the Hinrich Foundation, where I will learn much about Asia, current trends in trade, and how proactive change in the global market can assist in improving quality of life for people around the world.”

At Elon, Ward was the recipient of both a Rawls Scholarship and a Presidential Scholarship. He was a program co-coordinator for the Life Entrepreneur Program, and he worked as an office assistant for the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life.

Ward also served on the executive council for his fraternity, as a Global Study Ambassador, and as a student representative for the university’s Study Abroad Committee. He has worked in past summers for Camp Easter Seals UCP in Virginia, a recreational site for children and adults with physical or mental impairments.

Ward is the son of Tricia Parish of Raleigh, North Carolina, and John Ward of Knightdale, North Carolina.

Elon University students and alumni interested in fellowships such as Princeton in Asia should contact the Office of National and International Fellowships at fellowships@elon.edu.


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