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College considering applicants for prestigious Vira I. Heinz scholarship program

College considering applicants for prestigious Vira I. Heinz scholarship program

GREENVILLE, Pa.—Thiel College, a leading liberal arts college in northwestern Pennsylvania, is considering applicants for the annual Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership.

A dinner for 2018 applicants and presentations by the 2017 scholarship winners was held recently. The College selects up to three women to receive scholarships for The Vira I. Heinz Women in Global Leadership scholarship.

The international study experience is often considered the cornerstone of the program, but recipients also participate in two intensive retreat weekends, plan and implement a community engagement project to share the knowledge gained during their international experience, and write detailed reports to process the travel and community engagement experience.

Thiel’s 2017 scholarship winners were Isabella Bungo ’19, of Pittsburgh Pa.; Crystal Durachko ’18, of Clarion, Pa.; and Kristyn Kinner ’19,of Alba, Pa. Each received a $5,000 scholarship from the Heinz Endowments to fund their study abroad during the summer of 2017. Bungo, a 2015 graduate of Fox Chapel High School, traveled to Germany. Durachko, a 2014 graduate of Clarion-Limestone High School, went to South Korea, and Kinner, a 2015 graduate of Troy Senior High School, journeyed to Costa Rica. Each woman presented on their trip and the leadership opportunity or civic engagement the experience during the trip during the recent dinner.

“Thiel College is honored to be one of only 15 institutions selected to participate in the Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership. Each year we can award three scholarships to outstanding young women who are interested in studying abroad, developing their leadership skills, and who are interested in giving back to the community through service.” Professor of Sociology and Study Abroad Coordinator Cynthia Sutton, Ph.D., said, “while the centerpiece of the program is the extensive study abroad experience during the summer months, the program also includes both pre- and post-travel workshops to help establish goals and to debrief upon return. For many of the recipients, the most impactful aspect of the scholarship is the Community Engagement Experience where the recipients share some aspect of their collective experiences with the larger Thiel and Greenville community.”

Funded by the Heinz Endowments, the Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership prepares women for tomorrow’s global challenges by offering a unique opportunity for international experiences, leadership development and community service. Each year, Thiel College is awarded three scholarships of at least $5,000 a piece to support student participation in this program. Three women of sophomore or junior status are selected from each of 15 regional colleges and universities and admitted to the two-year leadership program. 

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About Thiel College

Thiel College is a private liberal arts institution founded in the Lutheran tradition. Located in Greenville, Pa., the College offers 60 majors and minors, 25 varsity sports, and an 11:1 student-faculty ratio to more than 900 students. A dedicated faculty paired with dynamic research and internship opportunities produce numerous graduate school and job placements. Coeducational from its beginnings, the College celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2016 and remains committed to combining tradition with innovation.


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