Travel Grants


Learning Hindi and Experiencing Culture In Kolkata (Kolkata, West Bengal) 

The Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics funded my one month stay in Kolkata, West Bengal, where I improved my Hindi, learned from the teaching style of a Kolkata-based independent teacher, and wrote about the 2019 Lok Sahba Federal Election. For a few hours a day, I would study Hindi in a formal setting. Then we would take what I learned to the streets, where I’d speak with vendors at the bazaars throughout Kolkata. This experience in Kolkata, and an extended six weeks in Delhi through a separate grant, helped rapidly increase my language skills. Also during the day, I’d sit in on this independent teacher’s courses and learn from his teaching style. This summer’s Sunday course focused on the nature and purpose of stories. We asked questions such as, “Why do we enjoy stories? Why are we able to relate to the characters so well? Why do we care so much, even if we know the story is constructed? Why do stories affect us?” These discussions lent insight into ways I’d structure my classroom if I become a teacher. Discussions such as these also gave me a window through which to view Bengali culture. Bengalis are intellectuals, and the level of deep thinking I experienced was admirable. This summer, I also experienced an election in the world’s largest democracy -- India’s 2019 Lok Sabha election. As I walked Kolkata’s streets in the days leading up to the election, I heard the crinkling of newspapers as people from all walks of life flipped pages, preparing for the final polls. Political invocations appeared more open, less taboo, something that America could learn from. India’s high voter participation rate, too, is something to commend.

Colin Phelan '20

Volunteering at Learning Enterprises (Republic of Mauritius)

The Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics funded my five week stay teaching English in the Republic of Mauritius with Learning Enterprises, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to "connect volunteer teachers and underserved host communities around the world in order to foster cross-cultural exchange and empower young leaders." The sea-side village that I was assigned to was Flic-en-Flac, a non-industrial part of Mauritius that was teeming with tourists and locals alike. Throughout my time there, I was able to build meaningful relationships with the students that I taught English to for a few hours a day and work diligently to increase their English comprehension during their winter holiday, as most students only spoke Creole and French. Along with a partner teacher, I helped establish a series of workshops for students aged five to twelve that incorporated educational learning through the arts, and held specific projects that incorporated Mauritian culture and themes of conservation, as climate change heavily impacts the coral reefs and shores there. Through this program, I was able to develop my global competency skills and apply my academic background in education, psychology, and English to understand the complex ways in which the various bio-ecological systems impact the educational structure and makeup of the community. In addition, I was able to attend the historic Indian Ocean Island Games, a multi-sport event held every four years that gather the island nations including Seychelles, Comoros, Madagascar, and Réunion, meet with the U.S. embassy and discuss the work that LE does there, and serve as a panelist for a presentation for Mauritian students hoping to attend American universities. This was truly an experience that pushed me to go outside of my comfort zone and become a better global citizen.

Chloe Zhou '21 

29th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

With the support of the Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics, I had the privilege of attending the 29th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease. The congress brings together more than 13,000 professionals in clinical microbiology and infectious disease from over 125 countries, among them representatives from Georgia where I spent the summer prior as an intern for the National Center for Disease Control. The NCDC in Georgia is leading one of the world’s first elimination programs for viral hepatitis, and during my summer I was exposed to the strategic thinking and on-the-ground interventions that went into designing and executing the effort. I had also conducted background research that aimed to review the potential vulnerability of the country’s internally displaced population who live in compact settlements where housing unintended for the long-term persists as a primary shelter. Taking my experience with me to the conference, I not only got to hear from global leaders in public health about new research on migrant/refugee health and hepatitis, but also got to share what I learned about new technology in hepatitis surveillance, strategies for elimination, and identifying high-risk groups. The conference was an invaluable and humbling experience in learning to communicate and exchange within a profoundly global public health community. Now as a researcher in Georgia working to dovetail IDPs into the elimination program, the lessons from the ECCMID have helped me sharpen my project and work alongside a team of Georgian peers.

Joshua Elbaz '19

American Society for Bioethics and Humanities Conference (Anaheim, CA) 

I had the privilege of attending the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities Conference in California. This year’s conference theme was “The Future is Now.” Professionals from many disciplines, including medicine, philosophy, law, and theology, presented their research and opinions on emerging issues in bioethics. This included gene editing and the use of artificial intelligence to determine who receives an organ transplant. The conference also explored consciousness and brain injuries, whether religion and medicine are competing or complementary viewpoints, and feminist approaches to Bioethics. Regardless of the topic, it was encouraging to see that professionals with extremely different opinions and backgrounds were able to respectfully consider and discuss conflicting viewpoints. It became apparent that everyone shared the same goal of improving healthcare and society, which is increasingly important in today’s polarized society.  I hope to bring this discussion back to BC and encourage other students to explore these complex issues.

Angela McCarthy '21

Observing the Portrayal of Inequality in Society and in Film (Rome, Italy) 

This summer I had the fortunate experience of studying abroad in Italy and seeing how homelessness affects the community.  Within the city of Rome, people are seen on the side of the street begging for money, or just looking for ways in which someone can show them small acts of kindness.   Once, I was able to give a women on the side of the street some of my pizza, a small token she was able to appreciate.  Within the community, there is much beauty in the city and many areas for tourists to gather and appreciate the scenery.  However, in Rome, there is evidence of a two faced aspect of the society.  While there is much beauty, there is brokenness with the amount of people that are in poverty.  This aspect can't always be seen as Rome is associated with ancient history.  However, it must be remembered that the past and the present collide.

Emily Kraus '21

Effects of Armed Conflict on Civilian Health (Geneva, Switzerland)

With support from the Winston Center, I was able to conduct research in Geneva, Switzerland – a hub of influential diplomacy – into the effects of armed conflict on civilian health outcomes. I spent a month engaging in conversation with members of the international community, international relations scholars, and global health experts with headquarters or offices in Geneva, many of which were global health focused. What I learned from these conversations has given me great insight into how the international community views their role in health care crises as well as the extent to which conflict can affect health outcomes in civilian populations. I was introduced to new areas of the global conflict arena that I previously was not aware of, and I saw how the concepts of human rights and international justice are employed and appreciated in many international organizations. I will spend this upcoming academic year extending my findings and exploring the intricacies and important details that this research exposed through a Senior Thesis.

Zoe Fanning '20 

Consortium of Universities for Global Health Annual Conference (Chicago, IL)

This year, I attended the Consortium of Universities for Global Health annual conference.  This conference was a great opportunity to gain exposure to the most recent developments in global health research and projects. As someone with an interest in both health and the environment, to experience sessions shaped by the theme of climate change and health was important. This conference also showcased graduate programs, fellowships, and internships in global health. As I look for career and academic opportunities, to have gained this exposure to national and international programs will benefit me by allowing me to make informed decisions. I also met with students at the conference, and asked them about their experiences being part of different programs.  This feedback provided will serve me well as I make decisions about my career path. I also saw many people of color, women, and women of color participants.  This was not something I had thought about before attending, but it did leave an impression on me.  As a woman of color living in a predominantly white area, it was important to see minority groups represented at the conference since it means these groups make up a great proportion of global health leaders.  Global Health is a field that requires people from different disciplines and backgrounds to work together in order to make this world more equitable. This experience allowed me gain exposure to the myriad different types of careers that exist in global health, ways in which to actualize those careers though career, academic, and interest-based programs, and connected me to like-minded students and professionals. Thank you for this opportunity to grow. 

Kiran Khosla '20