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UGA Awards student scholarships for Study Abroad in Sustainability

Nov. 23, 2013



Writer: Katie Dennison, klynnd92@uga.edu

Contact: Kevin Kirsche, kkirsche@uga.edu


The University of Georgia Office of Sustainability awarded scholarships to two undergraduate students for study abroad opportunities in sustainability. The awards are made possible by the Brittney Fox Watts Memorial Endowment established by the family of UGA alumnus Brittney Fox Watts to "honor her creative spirit, adventurous soul and loving heart and to empower individuals to address the health and well-being of people and communities around the globe."

Zack Holmes, a senior from Atlanta double-majoring in ecology and biology, plans to engage in a Maymester study abroad program through UGA Discover Abroad. The program will explore the north and south islands of New Zealand, focusing on sustaining human societies and the natural environment.

"I believe the New Zealand program will help to make clear what I can do and what I must do in order to close the intellectual gap and incite beneficial change in environmental policy and public involvement," said Holmes.

He plans on pursuing a Ph.D. in disease ecology with a focus on how climate change is driving the spread of ecologically related pathogens, and he believes that knowledge gained through this study abroad will help him to "narrow the gap between ecological science and sustainable practice."

Erin Lawless, a first-year graduate student from Cumming, Ga., in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences textiles, merchandising and interiors department, plans to participate in a China study abroad experience titled "Global Sourcing of Soft Goods."

Through enhanced understanding of current textile production methods, Lawless hopes to become better equipped to promote sustainable, fair-trade practices in the fashion industry. In an undergraduate study abroad, she had the opportunity to work with a master dressmaker in Ghana and learn from the craftspeople that developed the products.
"As part of my studies, I hope to travel to China to broaden my perspective and learn more about the trade practices that take place there," said Lawless. She plans to use this experience to "study the holistic perspective of the apparel and textile industry in China and the humanistic approach to sustainability in fashion."

The Brittney Fox Watts Endowment for Study Abroad in Sustainability provides support to students who share passions for travel, experiencing different cultures and embracing sustainable practices to address the health and well-being of individuals and communities around the globe. A $500 enhancement is provided to select UGA undergraduate and graduate students attending a UGA sponsored education abroad or exchange program focused on sustainability. These funds are provided through the generous support of family and friends of Brittney Fox Watts to the Brittney Fox Watts Memorial Fund.

Brittney Fox Watts Memorial Endowment
As a University of Georgia alumnus, Watts was an explorer of the world around her and was wholeheartedly dedicated to doing her best work, no matter the cause, newest hobby or challenge at hand. The family of Brittney Fox Watts joins with the Small Dreams Foundation Inc. to create a memorial fund to honor Brittney's creative spirit, adventurous soul and loving heart. It is their hope that this fund will provide financial support to students who share the same passions as Brittney-who loved traveling the world, experiencing different cultures and supporting sustainable practices. Their mission is to empower individuals to address the health and well-being of people and communities around the globe. For more, see the Small Dreams Foundation website at http://smalldreamsfoundation.org/.

UGA Discover Abroad
UGA Discover Abroad provides students with an engaging and experiential educational-travel opportunity to some of the world's most dramatic places. We focus on broad questions of how humans interact with the natural environment, with a view to understanding how we may live more sustainably. To learn more, please visit the UGA Discover Abroad website at http://discoverabroad.uga.edu/.

China Study Abroad in the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences
The University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences China study abroad program in textiles, merchandising and interiors allows students to gain firsthand experience of China's growing economy and the world's largest consumer market. To learn more, please visit the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences China Study Abroad website at http://www.fcs.uga.edu/ss/sa_china.html.

About the UGA Office of Sustainability
The Office of Sustainability coordinates, communicates and advances sustainability initiatives at the University of Georgia. To learn more, please visit the UGA Office of Sustainability website at http://sustainability.uga.edu/.

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