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Colin Wallace – Rotary District 7570 Skelton/Jones Scholarship

Name: Colin Wallace

Class Year: 2017

Hometown: Charleston, SC

Major(s): Global Politics

Minors or Concentrations: Poverty and Human Capabilities

Opportunity and Year: Rotary Foundation Local Scholarships and Grants, 2017-2018

Project Summary: The Skelton-Jones Scholarship will allow me to pursue a Master’s degree in Development Studies at the University of Sydney. The program highlights challenges in achieving sustainable economic development on a local, national and global scale. I will spend 18 months specializing in topics related to international relations, the political economy, human rights, peace and conflict studies and public health both in an academic setting and participating in a research project at a community based-organization in Sydney.

How did W&L prepare you for this opportunity? My major and minor were incredibly helpful in preparing me for this opportunity. W&L fostered an environment where I was able to pursue my interests wholeheartedly—something I will be forever grateful for. Both my professors and peers encouraged me to delve deep into my studies, which also happen to be what I am most passionate and excited to learn about.

Why did you apply for this opportunity? The Skelton Jones scholarship was a great fit for both my interests and goals. Applicants for the scholarship must be planning studies that lead to sustainable, high-impact outcomes in one of the following six areas of focus: peace and conflict prevention/resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, economic and community development. While in Sydney, I will study sustainable economic development on both the domestic and international stage in order to reduce poverty, which strongly aligns with my concentration and Rotary International’s mission of economic growth and community development. More specifically, my focus will be on building sustainable economic growth through equal opportunity and access to educational and employment structures.

How will this opportunity help you achieve your goals? Upon completion of the graduate program, I plan to attend law school in the U.S., where I will focus on economic development and human rights-related issues. Afterwards, I hope to work at the World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UNICEF, or a similar organization with a strong focus in eradicating poverty through economic empowerment. The University of Sydney is inimitable in teaching students to apply academic studies into practice. Through its research project on community-based organizations in Sydney (such as the Australian Council for International Development, Coffey International Development, and GRM International) and its internship electives at international organizations (such as Oxfam, the United Nations, the World Bank, and World Wildlife Fund), the Master of Development Studies program would provide substantial stepping-stones towards achieving my future career goals.

Extracurricular Involvement:

Philanthropy Chair of Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority 2014-2017, Appalachian Adventure Outing Club leader, founder and Vice President of Rotaract Club at W&L, Fancy Dress Committee

Off-campus Experience:

I have travelled to India, Tanzania, Thailand, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Jamaica to work with children in primary schools and build housing and educational institutions. I also studied abroad in Johannesburg, South Africa and worked at the NISAA Institute for Women’s Development as a communications consultant with a spring term class at W&L.

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