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2014 Passport and Scholarship Ceremony

The 2014 Scholarship Recipients

On May 5th, 2014, the Global Leadership Initiative conducted its first annual Passport and Scholarship ceremony to celebrate the accomplishments of GLI students, and to celebrate the GLI’s successful three-year run of global thinking and innovation at the University. UM President Royce Engstrom conducted the event with the help of Jeanne Loftus, GLI Director and Charles Janson, GLI Task Force Chair. The event culminated with President Engstrom presenting scholarship award letters to 16 students who will be pursuing their Beyond the Classroom Experience next year.

Throughout the course of the program’s three years, its participants have had much to be proud of. GLI Fellows have explored the world, from semesters at sea and treks across the coasts of Ireland to studying communities and ecosystems in rural Montana towns. They have published articles in magazines, attended national leadership conferences, and experienced the incipient years of a program truly unique to the University of Montana.

In recognition of their accomplishments in the program thus far, all sophomores and juniors at the event received University of Montana passport cases. All students within the GLI Program are eligible to receive a GLI-funded U.S. Passport, and the GLI hosts a Passport Day  each spring at which students can complete the passport application process. This unique benefit is not only practical, but symbolic, in that the passport acts as a bridge from Montana to the broader world.

GLI students enjoy each others' company during the ceremonyMany students plan on using their newly attained passports and scholarship money to study abroad over the summer or the upcoming Fall semester. Junior Rebecca Collins will embark on the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage route through southern France and northern Spain, as she studies nature writing, travel, spirituality, and literary quests and journeys in this 12-credit independent study. Sophomore Michelle Nemetcheck will intern this summer in Toronto, Ontario, Canada to study new methods of DNA sequencing. Sophomore Caelan Simeone will study during the next academic year in Concepcion, Chile to do research on the HydroAysen dam as part of his Global Topic: Consumption, Resources, and Sustainability. The GLI is proud to have these students and many more represent UM outside of Montana.

Following the event, National Humanities Medal winner Stanley Katz presented his lecture titled “The Global Century: Not Your Mother’s World.” Dr. Katz addressed the difficulty that American universities have experienced in moving from “international” education to “global” education. His concern is that in preparing undergraduate students for global citizenship it is necessary to move beyond a traditional focus on language study, study abroad and area studies.  All of those remain essential parts of a broader global education, but more needs to be done given the interconnectedness of our current world.

Next year, the Passport and Scholarship ceremony will include the recognition of senior Capstone Projects, as the first class of GLI students enters the ultimate stage of the GLI program.