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Two UW-Eau Claire Students Headed to Asia
After Receiving Prestigious Scholarships

RELEASED: Aug. 21, 2008

Jennifer Morvak Helen Glover
Jennifer Morvak
Helen Glover

EAU CLAIRE — Two University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students will study in Asia this fall thanks to scholarships they have been awarded through two prestigious education programs.

Jennifer Morvak and Helen Glover will receive Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships in the amount of $4,500 and $4,000, respectively. Glover also was awarded a $7,000 Freeman-ASIA Award (Freeman Awards for Study in Asia) from the Freeman Foundation.

Morvak, a senior music therapy major from Manitowoc, is finishing her degree with a six-month internship in Cambodia. She will be working at an aftercare facility run by World Hope International, providing music therapy services to young girls victimized by human sex trafficking and rescued from brothels in Phnom Penh and surrounding areas.

"Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and the exploitation of humans, in many cases kids, is one form," said Morvak, who first learned about the issue a few years ago from another music therapy major. She said she made a short trip to Cambodia last November and got the chance to meet many of the young girls in the aftercare facilities and spend time in the rural villages.

"I think that it is our responsibility to use the blessing of our education to make an impact in our world for the better," Morvak said. "The issue of human trafficking is extremely prevalent in Cambodia, although it's an issue around the world, and music therapy can make a huge difference in a traumatized child's ability to rehabilitate."

Glover, a nontraditional student originally from Missouri but now living in Chetek, is majoring in history with a minor in Japanese. She will study at Kansai Gaidai University in Japan for the entire 2008-09 academic year, taking courses in speaking and writing Japanese, history, body language and communication, popular media and culture, literature, religion and art. She said she will also continue her volunteer work for Habitat for Humanity with the organization's Japanese branch.

"Receiving the Freeman-ASIA and Gilman scholarships has been an amazing gift," said Glover. "I will be able to focus on my education and experiencing what Japan has to offer without worrying about placing a financial burden on my husband back at home. I hope that I can be an example to other nontraditional students who think that studying abroad is out of their reach by showing them there is help out there for us to make the most of our education."

Glover has been married for eight years and has worked as a waitress at Lehman's Supper Club in Rice Lake. She said that after completing her history degree, she hopes to work toward a doctoral degree in Japanese and would like to do some kind of translation work.

"I think it's quite impressive that Helen was awarded two national scholarships for study abroad," said Colleen Marchwick, a study abroad coordinator in UW-Eau Claire's Center for International Education.

"These are both competitive programs, so it speaks very well of our students that we've had multiple award winners," added Cheryl Lochner-Wright, another CIE study-abroad coordinator. "We're seeing more and more of our students apply for and receive these kinds of scholarships. That's great for the individual students and for our campus."

The Gilman International Scholarship Program, established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000, provides awards that allow American undergraduate students who receive federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to participate in study-abroad programs worldwide. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is administered by the Institute of International Education through its Southern Regional Center in Houston.

The Freeman-ASIA Awards, administered by the Institute of International Education, support American undergraduates with demonstrated financial need who plan to study overseas in East or Southeast Asia. The awards are funded by the Freeman Foundation, a private philanthropic foundation dedicated to augmenting international understanding between the United States and the nations of East Asia, principally through educational grants.

For more information, visit the Freeman-ASIA Awards and the Gilman International Scholarship Program Web sites.

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NW

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