Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Chicago

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Loyola University Chicago Announces 2016-2017 Ricci Scholars
Six Loyola Students Awarded Prestigious Study Abroad Scholarship

CHICAGO, February 9, 2016—Loyola University Chicago has selected its 2016–2017 Ricci Scholars, a program that offers a scholarship to highly qualified students who spend their junior year studying and conducting cross-cultural research at Loyola’s John Felice Rome Center and the Beijing Center for Chinese Studies. Students prepare their research proposals and apply for this unique scholarship as sophomores, conduct field research and travel as juniors, and complete their projects as seniors at Loyola.

Six Loyola sophomores have been chosen as the next group of Ricci Scholars: Marie Hofer, Addison McTague, Brenna Michel, Suraj “Neil” Sheth, Karisma Wilson, and Stephanie Wong. Each of these scholars has performed at the highest levels of their class academically and is supported by a faculty mentor. During their stays in Rome and Beijing, the students will participate in regular coursework 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 in two cultures within the span of nine months—Western European culture in Rome and East Asian culture in Beijing—and challenges them to integrate these experiences with culture in the United States. This triple cultural immersion is unparalleled by any other study abroad program and brings together the cultures of East and West in an educational context that reflects the complexities and opportunities of the 21st century.

2016–2017 Ricci Scholars:

Marie Hofer hails from Denver, Colorado, and is majoring in English and art history. She has been awarded a scholarship to illuminate contemporary perceptions of cultural heritage through an examination of the restoration and conservation of public art in Rome and Beijing. Hofer will focus on United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization world heritage sites that include religious entities, the former residences of wealthy patrons, and burial areas and tombs in the two cities.

Addison McTague, a double major in English and religious studies with a minor in the Arabic, is from Elmore, Ohio. Her research will look at the perception and expression of modesty among Muslim women in Rome and Beijing. Blending her intellectual interests and personal values, McTague’s timely project will use qualitative methods of observation and personal interviews to determine the relative roles of forms of dress, such as the hijab, and other behaviors to express modesty within largely non-Muslim societies. 

Brenna Michel, a member of the Honors Program from Kansas City, Missouri, is a double major in international studies and political science with a minor in Asian languages and literature. Inspired by the centrality of immigration as a topic of global conversation, Michel’s project explores the attitudes, policies, and practices in Italy and China toward legal immigrants and their impact on the processes of assimilation.

Suraj “Neil” Sheth, a Loyola Ignatian Scholar, Loyola Carbon Fellow, and Loyola Provost Fellow from Bolingbrook, Illinois, is majoring in biology with minor fields in neuroscience, bioethics, and international studies. As a pre-med student and an aspiring physician, he wants to learn more about a serious medical problem that is also a global health issue. In line with these objectives, Sheth will examine the cultural norms and societal expectations that shape tobacco smoking patterns in Italy and China.

Karisma Wilson is an international studies major and anthropology minor from Indianapolis, Indiana. Her project promises a comparative exploration of the experience of ethnic minorities in Rome and Beijing. Inspired by her own experience as a multiracial woman in the US, Wilson plans to use her year abroad to test how race is defined and discussed outside the American context.

Stephanie Wong, a member of the Honors Program from Naperville, Illinois, is majoring in classical studies and Spanish, with a minor in Latin. She has been awarded a Ricci Scholarship to provide a comparative study of the opera and operatic traditions in contemporary China and Italy. By interviewing key members of the opera scene in Rome and Beijing, Wong will explore how each opera house restyles and maintains Western operatic traditions to appeal to a modern audience while preserving classic stories, techniques, and music.

About Loyola University Chicago
Founded in 1870, Loyola University Chicago is one of the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic universities, with nearly 16,500 students. More than 11,000 undergraduates call Loyola home. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy, as well as course locations in Beijing, China; Saigon-Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Vernon Hills, Illinois (Cuneo Mansion and Gardens); and a Retreat and Ecology Campus in Woodstock, Illinois. The University features 11 schools and colleges, including the Quinlan School of Business, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Stritch School of Medicine, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Communication, School of Continuing and Professional Studies, School of Education, School of Law, School of Social Work, Graduate School, and Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago. Ranked a top 100 national university by U.S. News & World Report, Loyola is also among a select group of universities recognized for community service and engagement by prestigious national organizations like the Carnegie Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service. To learn more about Loyola, visit LUC.edu, “like” us at Facebook.com/LoyolaChicago, or follow us on Twitter via @LoyolaChicago or @LoyolaNewsroom.

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