GREENVILLE, PA – Three Thiel College women will have the opportunity to study abroad this summer after being awarded Vira I. Heinz Scholarships for Education Abroad for 2009 in December 2008. The three scholarship winners—sophomores Alivia Lapcevich of Masury, Ohio, Lisa Weatherly of Beaver Falls, and Victoria Woodard of Buxton, Maine—will each receive $5,000 to study abroad during the upcoming summer.
Lapcevich, a triple major in English, political science and pre-law, will use the award to study in London, England, at Kingston University. She plans on enrolling in two courses, “London and its Literature” and “British Culture & Society,” and will explore a great deal of London and the surrounding area.
“This trip will provide a springboard for future leadership,” says Lapcevich. “I hope to learn countless new things about myself and the world around me.”
Lapcevich, a 2007 graduate of Brookfield High School, is the daughter of Paul Lapcevich of Sharon, Pa., and Kim Swope of Masury, Ohio. She is a member of Lambda Sigma honor society; events editor for The Thielensian, Thiel’s student newspaper; and a member of the Thiel Players, the college’s student theatre troupe.
Weatherly, a biology major and a psychology, biochemistry and medical biology minor, will participate in Australearn’s “Tropical Marine Ecology” summer program, during which she will study tropical marine biology through formal lectures and practical field experiences around Queensland, Australia. She will have the opportunity to explore rainforests, the Outback and the Great Barrier Reef, among other activities.
“I wish to see, taste, smell and experience everything the world has to offer,” says Weatherly. “This experience is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will help me establish a beginning for the next chapter of my life.”
Weatherly is a 2007 graduate of Blackhawk High School in Beaver Falls. The daughter of John and Nancy Weatherly of Beaver Falls, she is a member of Thiel’s track and field team and Women’s Leadership organization.
Woodward, an accounting/business administration major, will use her scholarship to study at the University of Nicosia in Cyprus through the Global Learning Semesters program. This six-week long program will immerse her in the Cypriot culture and economy, which has emerged in recent years as a significant regional and international business center. She will have the opportunity to explore the island’s cultural and historical sites as well.
“This opportunity will give me the edge I need to set me apart from others in the business world,” says Woodward. “The more knowledge, experiences and wisdom that I gain, the more confident a leader I can become.”
Woodward, a 2007 graduate of Greater Portland Christian School in South Portland, Maine, is the daughter of Timothy and Constance Woodward of Buxton, Maine. She is a member of the Thiel College soccer team.
The Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership is funded by the Heinz Endowments. Each year, three women of sophomore status are selected from each of 15 regional colleges and universities to receive an award in the amount of $5,000 for summer study abroad. In addition, they participate in a series of retreats designed to cultivate leadership and intercultural skills. Ultimately, the goal of the program is to fully realize the motto of the Vira I. Heinz Scholarship for Women in Global Leadership, “Preparing women leaders for tomorrow’s global challenges,” and to increase its visibility on campus and in the community.
The Heinz Endowment supports efforts to make southwestern Pennsylvania a premier place to live and work, a center of learning and educational excellence, and a home to diversity and inclusion. Committed to helping its region thrive as a whole community—economically, ecologically, educationally and culturally, the Foundation works within Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the nation to develop solutions to challenges that are national and international in scope. One of the largest and most innovative independent philanthropic foundations in the country, the Endowments awarded more than $84 million in grants in 2007.
Thiel College, located in Greenville, Pa., is a liberal arts, sciences and professional studies college related to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.