University of South Carolina

Senior wins Rotary grant to study in Argentina

By Megan Sexton,, 803-777-1421

University of South Carolina senior Rachel Despres has been awarded the Rotary Global Grant to obtain her master’s in international relations at the University of Belgrano in Buenos Aires, Argentina, during the 2013‐14 academic year.

Despres is pursuing a double major in international studies and Spanish in the South Carolina Honors College. She holds the Chris Vlahoplus Carolina Scholarship. She was named the 2012 International Studies Outstanding Junior, is a member of Sigma Delta Pi (Spanish honors society) and Sigma Iota Rho (international relations honor society), and has been named to the president’s list five times.

Along with her studies in Buenos Aires, Despres will take on a service project to promote a cultural exchange between an elementary school in Argentina and one in Forest Acres, S.C. The project will relate to peace and conflict prevention/resolution, one of the Rotary’s six areas of focus.

“There is nothing quite like the feeling of receiving a grant of this magnitude. I feel simultaneously both incredibly excited and extremely blessed,” she said.

Despres is the daughter of Lisa and Adrian Despres of Blythewood, S.C., and is a graduate of Ben Lippen High School in Columbia. She is sponsored by the Forest Acres Rotary Club in Columbia, which is in Rotary District 7770.

Rotary is the world's largest privately funded international scholarship program whose scholars further international understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries and geographical areas by encouraging person‐to‐person diplomacy. Rotary Global Grants are valued at $30,000, provide nine months of study abroad and encourage recipients to engage in community service work.

Despres brings the university’s total of Rotary Scholars to 82 since the 1994 establishment of the Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs, which assists students as they prepare applications for national fellowship competitions.

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Posted: 11/20/12 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 11/20/12 @ 10:11 AM | Permalink



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