Infusing leadership and global themes into the Colgate University experience, the Benton Scholars program creates 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 third 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 Australia to England. Their profiles below:
Taylor Mooney ’17
Hi, friends! I am a geology major from a lil’ ol’ town called Lowville in Upstate New York who consistently responds to the nickname “Princess,” and I am so incredibly excited to make memories in Wollongong, Australia this semester. I’m tremendously grateful to Colgate and my parents for allowing me this mind-blowing opportunity, and I can’t wait to share my experiences with all of you! An early thank you to all of those who follow this blog… let the shenanigans ensue!
Allison Zengilowski ’17
My name is Allison Zengilowski and I am a double major in Psychology and Peace and Conflict Studies from Hinesburg, Vermont. I’ll be spending my semester in Wollongong, Australia as part of one of Colgate’s Natural Sciences programs. While there I’ll have the opportunity to volunteer in a Psychology lab, study Australia’s biodiversity, and see a completely different set of stars (since I’ll be in the southern hemisphere!).
Ryan Hildebrandt ’17
I’m Ryan and I’m from Cape May, New Jersey. I’m a Junior currently studying Japanese and Psychology, and I studied abroad first semester sophomore year in Kyoto, Japan. It was a wonderful semester that helped me understand Japanese language and culture in a much deeper way than I was able to before, and I can’t wait to go back to the city I think of as my second home, Kyoto.
Danielle Norgren ’18
My name is Danielle Norgren. I grew up in Seattle but attended high school in New Hampshire and France. At Colgate, I am a French and International Relations double major. In my free time, I am on the rowing team and also tutor French at Hamilton Central School. I will be spending my sophomore spring abroad, in Dijon.
Erin Huiting ’17
I consider Evergreen, Colorado home, a small mountain town in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. However, I love to travel and will be studying biomedical sciences at Oxford (England) this spring, and biomedicine at the National Institute of Health ( Washington, DC) this fall. I’m majoring in Molecular Biology, and I hope to pursue a career in immunogenetics.
Mallory Keller ’17
Hi everyone! My name is Mallory Keller and I am a junior at Colgate University. I’m originally from Kansas City, Missouri and I spent the fall semester of my junior year in Florence, Italy. As an art history and educational studies double major, I spent my entire semester geeking out at pictures on walls and dragging everyone I know to museums and churches. When I was not staring at artwork, I was eating my way through Italy.
Sidhant (Sid) Wadhera ’17
Sid Wadhera, or Sidward as he is affectionately called, will be spending the first 5 months of 2016 not on the North American continent. The first 13 days will be spent in Chile, climbing up and studying volcanoes with the esteemed professor Karen Harpp. The rest of his time will be spent in London (mostly) studying Economics with Professor Don Waldman. Sid thoroughly enjoys blathering incessantly about topics and drawing erroneous conclusions from those topics; he also enjoys tangential ramblings. Essentially, TBS Abroad project is a perfect match for him. For more about his travel, visit his blog volcanicteatime.tumblr.com
Grace Western ’17
I am a junior at Colgate with a double major in Women’s Studies and Political Science. I am very involved with the Student Government Association — my most recent position being Speaker of the Senate. I am also a Community Leader, a member of FUSE Dance Company, an Illustrator at Admissions, and part of the Association of Critical Collegians. Last year, I was Assistant Director of the Vagina Monologues and also participated in Spaces Between Us: a movement piece to challenge structural oppression at Colgate. I am studying abroad in Cameroon with a focus on Social Pluralism and Development. Specifically we will be critiquing the narratives of development and who is “developed.” I look forward to interacting with the Benton Community, and the larger Colgate community, through my learning and reflection process abroad! It’ll be a nice change to escape the winter tundra of Hamilton for warm, 70 degree weather!
Laine Barrand ’17
Laine Barrand, from Southern California, is an Undergraduate student in Junior standing at Colgate University. She is studying International Relations and French. Laine is involved with music on campus and in the community; she plays viola in Colgate University Orchestra and Chamber Players, works for the Music Department and interns at the Hamilton Center for the Arts and the Broad Street Gallery. Laine also works sound equipment during various events on campus and hosts a weekly radio show called Biannual Sunflower Festival, during which she plays a variety of genres including indie, alternative, and psychedelic rock. Laine loves to snowboard and travel.
Quanzhi (Q) Guo ’18
Currently wandering in Wales, originally from China, and shaped by Singapore. Cold-bloodedly rational yet helplessly whimsical. Trying to major in something but has never been able to make up my mind. Interestingly self-contradictory and unexpectedly predictable to similar souls.