Announcing the Spring 2013 Presidential Scholars

In 2010, the Presidential Scholarship was created in an effort to facilitate activism of its participants, to synthesize and to support the goals and ambitions of future leaders, and to recruit students of all backgrounds. Recipients of this award receive a scholarship toward the cost of the program in exchange for a commitment to embodying the spirit of Semester at Sea’s mission as a Presidential Scholar. Thus, Presidential Scholars are called upon to lead the culmination and completion of an action plan that personifies the Semester at Sea mission of preparing students for an interdependent world.

Amidst hundreds of applicants, six outstanding students have been chosen for this award. The Spring 2013 voyage Presidential Scholars hold a collective GPA of 3.81, hail from four countries, and represent a number of disciplines. Already distinguished individuals in their own right, the awardees include presidents of student organizations, devotees to philanthropic causes, leaders of projects abroad, and more. These are diverse, ambitious individuals who openly illustrate both their zeal for leadership, as well as their diverse passion on a daily basis. It brings the Institute for Shipboard Education great pleasure to announce the Presidential Scholars of the Spring 2013 voyage.

Dana Drake

  • Hometown: Hope, New Jersey
  • Home University: Cabrini College
  • Major: Human Resources Major

Dana intends to examine the current orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) infrastructure of countries on the itinerary by meeting with OVC representatives. Dana will ultimately prepare a report that will be conducted at an Explorer Seminar and at the 2013 Cabrini College Research Symposium.

Laurabeth Goldsmith

  • Hometown: Sarasota, Florida
  • Home University: Emory University
  • Major:  Political Science

Laurabeth plans to focus on young-girl empowerment in various countries by using her Girl Scout connections in order to lead workshops and to conduct interviews with representatives from the World Association for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). Laurabeth ultimately aims to create a documentary and thesis on this topic.

Benjamin Kind

  • Hometown: Neillsville, Wisconsin
  • Home Institution: Neillsville High School
  • Major: Pre-Med Track

Benjamin aims to increase awareness of infectious diseases of the countries that we will be visiting by conducting pre and post port arrival interviews and informational sessions on these topics; additionally, he plans to visit medical facilities in Ghana and gauge their receptiveness to related programs implemented in the United States.

Mudi Liang

  • Hometown: Beijing City, China
  • Home University: Beihang University
  • Major: EconomicsBeihang University, China

Mudi plans to combine the Vicarious Voyage program with the Peer Experience Exchange Rostrum (PEER), a nonprofit that she led for three years. This nonprofit’s mission is to provide equal opportunities for high-quality education for secondary school students in rural China.

Amelia (Emma) May

  • Hometown: Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Home University: Nova Scotia College of Arts & Design
  • Major: Fine Arts

In each country, Emma plans to organize a group of individuals and instruct them to create a work of art according to the same set of directives; this will result in a work of a comparative nature, which poses and answers questions related to creativity and culture.

Angesom Teklu

  • Hometown: Asmara, Eritrea
  • Home University: Hamelmalo Agricultural College
  • Major: Land Resources and Environment

Angesom aims to increase environmental awareness and to promote sustainability by leading the student-led Semester at Sea Environmental Society (SASES), which will conduct workshops that focus on various environmental and energy issues around the globe. Ultimately, Angesom would like to create an energy-saving potential guideline for the MV Explorer.