Siena Heights University student Rebecca Seitz was only one of 10 in the nation to receive a full tuition Clinton Scholarship to study at the American University of Dubai next semester.
Seitz, a junior art major from Lathrup Village, Mich., was chosen by the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation for her academic excellence and leadership abilities. She is a member of Habitat for Humanity and is president of the SHU’s Visual Artists Society. In addition, Seitz serves as a mentor for Student Support Services and also is active in student government on campus.
“Siena Heights should be very proud of Rebecca,” said SHU Director of International Studies Dr. Jennifer Hanson, who helped guide Seitz through the application process. “The Clinton Scholarships are highly competitive, and only 25 students per year are chosen to participate in this study abroad experience. Rebecca brings honor to not only herself, but to the entire Siena community. This is a first for Siena Heights.”
According to the Clinton Foundation, Clinton scholars help strengthen the capacity of people in the United States and throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence. In partnership with the American University in Dubai, the program provides U.S.-based students the opportunity to expand their educational and cultural horizons by studying in the Arab world. Preference is given to students who show interest in being exposed to the Middle Eastern and Islamic cultures for the first time.
“Rebecca has demonstrated strong leadership skills and a cosmopolitan interest in world cultures,” said her academic advisor, SHU Professor of Art History Peter Barr, PhD. “She has been able to assuage some of her yearning to see the world by joining mission trips to Jamaica and Florida, where her photographic skills have provided opportunities to connect with the local people.”
Seitz said she completed an Arabic language class last year, and has studied the Islamic culture for a number of years because one of her childhood friends is Muslim. She said she is excited about the opportunity to study in Dubai.
“I really want to be a part of it. I want to feel it and experience it,” said Seitz, who participated in service trips to Jamaica and Florida within the past year. “I really like talking with people and meeting new people and traveling.”
Seitz will begin classes in Dubai on Jan. 11, 2009, and will return to the U.S. in April.