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Loyola University Announces 2011 Ricci Scholars

CHICAGO, February 15, 2010 – Loyola University Chicago has selected its 2010-2011 Ricci Scholars, students who will travel to Italy and China during their junior year to study, travel, and conduct cross-cultural research. The Ricci Scholars program offers a scholarship to highly qualified students who spend their junior year at Loyola’s John Felice Rome Center and the Beijing Center for Chinese Studies. Students apply for this unique and prestigious scholarship as sophomores; prepare their research proposals, conduct field research, and travel as juniors; and then complete their projects as seniors at Loyola.

Eight Loyola sophomores have been chosen as the next group of Ricci Scholars. They are: Molly Burns, Jacob Dietz, Patricia Gawlas, Elizabeth Hagemayer, Samantha Kattalia, David Marrah, Elaina Polovick, and Sarah Shuel. Each of these scholars has performed at the highest levels of their class academically, and each enjoys the support of a faculty mentor. During their stays in Rome and Beijing, they will participate in regular classes, in addition to carrying out their Ricci Scholars projects.

Launched in the fall of 2007, the Ricci Scholarship program is supported by the generous gift of a donor to Loyola University Chicago. The scholarship covers round trip travel, language tutorials, program seminars, research expenses, and study travel. Unlike other international experiences, the Ricci Program allows students to engage two cultures within the space of nine months—Western European culture in Rome and East Asian culture in Beijing- and challenges them to integrate these experiences with a third culture, that of the United States. This triple cultural immersion, achieved through a coordinated effort linking Chicago, Rome, and Beijing, is currently unparalleled by any other study abroad program. The Ricci Scholar program brings together the cultures of East and West in an educational context that reflects the complexities and opportunities of the 21st century.

See list below for the chosen 2010-2011 Ricci Scholars:

Molly Burns, a member of the Interdisciplinary Honors Program from Omaha, Nebraska, is pursuing a major in International Studies, with a minor in Catholic Studies. For her project, she is proposing to explore how fundamental values of the two very different societies are communicated in Italian and Chinese children’s literature. In pursuit of this objective, she plans to analyze the stories themselves to illuminate the social values they impart. At the same time, she will visit local bookstores and libraries in the two cities and spend time in schools to see how reading is a part of the school day.

Jacob Dietz is an International Studies major from Greenwood, Indiana, with a minor in Photography, whose innovative project reflects these twin interests. He has been awarded a scholarship to study how Rome and Beijing’s urban planners have responded to the challenges and opportunities of urban modernization during the last century. His proposal combines a traditional academic research with a portfolio of photographs that will document the consequences of planning decisions on the two cities.

Patrica Gawlas is a Visual Communications major who hails from Forest Park, Illinois. For her project, she intends to study how modern visual design affects cultural perceptions in Italy and China. During her time in Rome and Beijing, she will focus on corporate advertisements that target college-age people with the goal of seeing how they shape young adult identity in the two countries. Through an analysis of corporate materials and promotions, as well as interviews with students, she will explore the impact of Italy and China’s long history and old art forms on current designs.

Elizabeth Hagemayer is an International Business and Economics major, with a minor in Asian Studies, from Canton, Michigan. She is proposing to do comparative research on the current business bankruptcy standards in Italy and China. Her very timely project will look at how standards, methods, and procedures for dealing with debt influence the business climate, capital markets, and competitiveness in the two countries. In the process, she will also examine the cultural significance of bankruptcy in the two societies, as well as the various solutions that have been advanced to address this problem.

Samantha Kattalia, a member of the Interdisciplinary Honors Program from Valparaiso, Indiana, is majoring in International Business and Marketing. She is planning to study the impact of conscious consumption, the movement away from patterns of conspicuous spending to more ethical, sustainable, and cause-driven purchases, on Italy’s well-established fashion industry and China’s emerging market for fashion. In pursuit of these objectives, she plans to look at the role of conscious consumption in consumer/producer relations within the two societies.

David Marrah, from Waterloo, Iowa, is also a member of the Interdisciplinary Honors Program and is a double major in Philosophy and English. For his project, he will carry out a comparative examination of the public primary education systems in Rome and Beijing with the goal of illuminating how they establish normative cultural values in their respective countries. By means of textual research, interviews, and classroom observation, he will study how the structure and dynamics of the two systems reflect the type of society that they aspire to forge.

Elaina Polovick, a Religious Studies major, with a minor in Catholic Studies, from South Bend, Indiana, has compiled a near perfect academic record in her first year. Her proposed exploration of religious worship spaces in Rome and Beijing builds on her academic interests. The two cities are home to some of the world’s greatest examples of sacred worship spaces for Catholics, Muslims, and Buddhists. Accordingly, her work will attempt to shed light on both the historical contexts in which faith has been practiced, and on the functions of these spaces in Rome and Beijing.

Sarah Shuel hails from Brighton, Colorado; she is pursuing a double major in Journalism and Political Science, along with a minor in Theater and Fine Arts. During her year abroad, she would like to pursue a comparative study of the role of the Internet, and blogging in particular, in contemporary Italy and China.

About the John Felice Rome Center
Established in 1962, the Loyola University Chicago John Felice Rome Center was founded on and maintains the philosophy that, in our increasingly global civilization, there is immeasurable value in studying abroad in an environment that places the academic classroom experience and direct experiences of the local culture in a dialectic relationship through travel and on-site courses. Students at the Rome Center are able to pursue more than 40 academic courses, with a focus on Rome and Italy in their Mediterranean and/or European contexts.

About the Beijing Center for Chinese Studies
The Beijing Center for Chinese Studies (TBC) was founded in 1998 by the China Province of the Jesuits. Students live on campus at the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) and take intensive language courses, classes, and seminars on topics of Chinese culture taught by senior professors from China’s top universities. In addition to lectures by leading Chinese authorities on business, politics, and culture, the TBC sponsors excursions to the far corners of China, during which student travel is carefully integrated with the academic program. The center is headed by a Jesuit, Ron Anton, S.J., who founded BiMBA, a Beijing-based MBA program, as well as this program. Father Anton has become a respected advocate of China study in both China and the West. Loyola University Chicago serves as the home campus in the United States for the TBC, which can accommodate more than 100 students.

About Loyola University Chicago
Committed to preparing people to lead extraordinary lives, Loyola University Chicago, founded in 1870, is the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic university. Enrollment is more than 15,800 students, which includes more than 10,000 undergraduates hailing from all 50 states and 82 countries. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy. Loyola also serves as the U.S. host university to The Beijing Center for Chinese Studies in Beijing, China. Loyola’s 10 schools and colleges include arts and sciences, business administration, communication, education, graduate studies, law, medicine, nursing, continuing and professional studies, and social work. Loyola offers 71 undergraduate majors, 71 undergraduate minors, 85 master’s degrees, and 31 doctoral degrees. Loyola is consistently ranked among the “top national universities” by U.S.News & World Report, and the University was named a “best value” in its 2010 rankings. In addition, Loyola is among a select group of universities recognized for community service and engagement by prestigious national organizations, such as the Carnegie Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service. For more information about Loyola, please visit LUC.edu.




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