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The Benton Scholars Abroad: 2017

By Peter Tschirhart on January 31, 2017

Infusing leadership and global themes into the Colgate University experience, the Benton Scholars program cultivates an educational environment that asks students to adopt an informed and critical view of emerging political, cultural, environmental, and economic issues. Just as importantly, scholars are expected to be outwardly focused: to share their insights with people on campus and throughout the global community.

Like many Colgate students, Benton Scholars often choose to study off-campus during their junior year. Unlike others, however, they are expected to stay connected to the program and each other while abroad–sharing their insights, collaborating from different points on the globe–with the goal of bringing different cultural and geo-political perspectives to bear on shared problems.

The Benton Scholars: Abroad blog functions as the locus for this collaboration. Each Monday during the spring semester, students will be sent a brief topic, idea, or problem, one that has resonance throughout the world. Students are then asked to submit a response–preferably a picture, video, or brief essay–which will then be published on this site. Responses need not be obvious: they can be creative, insightful, even clever interpretations of each week’s theme.

Entering its fourth year, we hope The Benton Scholars: Abroad blog will provide unique insight into topics of discussion and issues of concern that we all share in common.

This year’s contributors are immersed in different countries around the world, from New Zealand to Geneva. Their profiles below:


Abe Benghiat

Abe is a Peace and Conflict Studies major and Economics minor from Lexington, Massachusetts studying abroad in Dunedin, New Zealand for the fall 2016 semester. He is an avid hiker and biker and will be doing many treks in the New Zealand wilderness while abroad in rain forests, deserts, alpine zones and avalanche zones.

Sean Corrigan 

 Sean is an Astro-Geophysics major studying abroad in Hong Kong. He comes from Portland, Oregon, and no one who spends any time around me forgets that.

Andrew DeFrank

Andrew is from Washington, D.C. He is studying in Buenos Aires, Argentina with SIT: Human Rights and Social Movements from February to June of 2017. He is a political science major and peace and conflict studies minor. On campus, he is involved with the Student Government Association, Link Staff, the Blue Diamond Society and the Office of Admission. Last summer, he interned at the headquarters of Hillary for America.

Sabrina Farmer 

Sabrina was born and raised in Burlington, Vermont, which is a location known for its rolling green mountains and plentiful maple syrup. Her experience in Vermont inspired her to be an outdoors-woman and environmentalist. At Colgate University, she is a student leader for Colgate Outdoor Education and is often off campus leading trips in the Adirondacks. She is majoring in biology and studied abroad in the fall of 2016 in South Africa on an ecology and conservation research course through the Organization for Tropical Studies, a Duke University program. Her semester was spent traveling to 8 different national parks and nature reserves in South Africa, where she was able to contribute to ongoing research projects and conduct many of my own.

Quanzhi Guo 

Q was born in China, went to school in Singapore for four years, and studied abroad in Wales before going to Geneva this semester. An avid explorer, she is now settled as an International Relations major but not settled in learning about everything.

Ben Kelsey

Ben is a Japanese and French double major studying abroad in Kyoto, Japan. He is most recently from Manlius, New York, but he lived in Belgium for 4 years and Italy for 5. He likes languages, hence is studying abroad. At Colgate, he is involved in (or runs) the majority of gaming-related student groups.

Danielle Norgren

Danielle is a junior at Colgate studying abroad in Geneva. She is an International Relations and French double major. In Geneva, she will have an internship while taking courses at the Graduate Institute. This will be her second semester abroad.

Regina Pimentel

Regina is really bad at starting “brief” bios. She is a Geology major and a Women’s Studies minor and will be studying in Dunedin, New Zealand. She has many places that she considers “home.” On Colgate’s campus, she spends her time being on Link Staff and a rugby player.

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