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Chinese Flagship Program 中文领航

Student Spotlights

 

Alex Hezik: Fifth Year Student, 2016-2017 Capstone Year in Nanjing

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Hezik, a self-designed Sustainable Agriculture major, has participated in eight study abroad programs, including the Intensive Chinese Language summer program in Harbin, China through the University of Oregon, a conservation program in the British Virgin Islands and five WKU faculty-led programs located in Ecuador, China, Iceland, and Northern Europe.  A recipient of the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship for International Study, the U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship, the Environmental Protection Agency Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowship, and a Truman finalist, Hezik plans to pursue a career in international food security after completing her Capstone Year.

 

Megan Laffoon: Fifth Year Student, 2016-2017 Capstone Year in Nanjing

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Laffoon, a Biology major with an Agriculture minor, was the only U.S. undergraduate to attend the workshop with UNESCO’s International Research Center on Karst in Guilin, China, has studied at the International Chinese Language Program at National Taiwan University, and was named Student of the Year in 2015 by the WKU Biology Department.  A 2014 winner of the Goldwater Scholarship and a Boren Scholarship recipient, she is currently working on her thesis concerning karst rocky desertification and the potential application of a permaculture variation. Laffoon plans to continue her studies of ecology and sustainable agriculture during her Capstone year in China and then pursue a PhD in Food Systems.  

 

Sarah Cook: Fourth Year Student, 2016-2017 Capstone Year in Beijing

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Sarah, a major in International Affairs and Asian Religions and Cultures, has done an excellent job of balancing her major coursework, Flagship studies, and off-campus employment as she prepares for Capstone Year.  Cook has been intentional in linking her Chinese language skills with her majors, and consistently produces quality academic research combining the two.  Sarah, Boren Scholarship recipient, has examined improving ethnic relations between Han Chinese and Uyghurs, China’s veto on the United Nations Security Council resolution, and China’s Hukou system.  After completing Capstone Year, Cook plans to cultivate an international career in translation.  

 

Mackenzie Donoghue: Fourth Year Student, 2016-2017 Capstone Year in Beijing

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Donoghue, an Asian Religions and Cultures and Chinese major, was raised in Seoul, South Korea.  While living in Seoul, Donoghue extensively traveled throughout Asia, and developed a deep appreciation for other cultures.  Her experiences in South Korea inspired her journey towards service as a global humanitarian.  As a Flagship scholar, Donoghue received a Critical Language Scholarship and a Boren Scholarship Award.  She previously studied at the Princeton in Beijing program, and, locally, she was selected to represent Flagship at a National Confucius Institute conference where she recited Chinese poetry, conducted research on the spread of Christianity in China and presented her findings at the Chinese Flagship Research Forum at WKU, and serves as a volunteer Chinese tutor at a local elementary school.

 

Kelly Tursic: Fourth Year Student, 2016-2017 Capstone Year in Beijing

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Tursic, a Department of State Critical Language Scholarship and a Boren Scholarship recipient, is majoring in International Affairs, Asian Religions and Culture, and Spanish.  Tursic has successfully connected her classroom and out of class experiences through study abroad programs and research.  During the 2016 Winter Term, she interviewed Taiwanese residents about the upcoming elections, and is currently working with International Affairs faculty to analysis this and other related data.  As a research assistant and translator on the project, Tursic is serving in a role typically given to graduate students due to her academic abilities and personal maturity.  Because of her academic success, she has been awarded for Outstanding Achievement in International Affairs (2014-2015) and named the Most Outstanding Junior in International Affairs (2013-2014), by the faculty in her department.       

 

Dalton Harshbarger: Third Year Student, Anticipated Capstone Year 2018-2019

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Harschbarger, an International Business and Spanish major, is a graduate of LeaderShape who enthusiastically engages with the campus community.  Harschbarger, representing Sigma Phi Epsilon, serves as the Academic Director for the WKU Interfraternity Council, and is active with Hilltoppers Organization for Latin American Students, HOLAS.  Harschbarger is a Critical Language Scholarship finalist and has studied at the Princeton in Beijing summer program.

 

Kate Hart: Third Year Student, Anticipated Capstone Year 2018-2019

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Hart, a proud of alum of Kentucky’s Governor’s Scholars Program, is majoring in International Affairs, Spanish, and Asian Religions and Cultures.  Hart, a Freeman Asia Scholarship Award recipient, has a passion for public service, which she demonstrates through her service as a Senator with the Student Government Association.  As an SGA Senator, Hart serves as the Academic Affairs Committee Chair, the student representative to the University Budget Council, and as the student representative on the University Senate Academic Quality Committee.  She is also involved with Hilltopper Organization of Latin American Students, HOLAS, Phi Mu Fraternity, and is serving as the Resident Assistant for the Chinese Language Immersion House.  Hart is a Critical Language Scholarship finalist and studied at the Princeton in Beijing program.  After graduation she hopes join the Peace Corps or apply for a Fulbright Research Fellowship before beginning a career in public service.

 

Brian Anderson: Second Year Student, Anticipated Capstone Year 2019-2020

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Anderson, an Economics, International Affairs and Asian Religions and Cultures major, is part of the internationally ranked WKU Forensics team with a specialization in preparation speaking and debate events.  As a first-year student, Anderson is a member of the WKU Student Senate serving on the Legislative Research Council, a member of College Youth In Government, the Golden Key Society, and Americans for Informed Democracy.  Anderson received a Department of State Critical Language Scholarship as a first year student, and is focusing his research on U.S., Chinese, and Taiwanese relations.

 

Ashleigh Cleary: Second Year Student, Anticipated Capstone Year 2019-2020

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Cleary, an International Affairs and Spanish major, is a President’s List scholar and heavily involved on-campus with the Horticulture Club, Toppers United for Feminism, and Americans for Informed Democracy.  Clearly also serves in a leadership role with the Chinese Culture Club for the 2016-2017 academic year.  Beyond college, Cleary fell in love with Taiwan during her Winter Term Study Abroad trip, and plans to spend her post-graduation years enjoying the people and culture of Taiwan.  

 

Andi Dahmer: Second Year Student, Anticipated Capstone Year 2019-2020

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Dahmer, a Cherry Presidential Scholar and National Merit Finalist, is currently pursuing majors in Economics, International Affairs, Spanish, and Asian Religions and Cultures in conjunction with her Chinese Flagship curriculum.  Dahmer carries this level of involvement and commitment outside of the classroom, as well.  As a first year student, she is involved on-campus as a freshman senator in the Student Government Association, the Co-President of Americans for Informed Democracy, the Chief of Staff for the WKU chapter of YMCA College Youth in Government, a student advocate for the ONE Campaign, as well as a member of both the Hilltopper Organization of Latin American Students (HOLAS) and Omega Phi Alpha, a service sorority.  Dahmer, who was selected to participate in the Taiwan United States Sister Relations Ambassador Alliance study abroad program, has also served in a distinctly Kentucky role as one of five Kentucky Derby Festival Princesses for 2016. 

 

Eric Finn: Second Year Student, Anticipated Capstone Year 2020-2021

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Finn, a Spirit Makes the Master scholarship recipient, is majoring in Computer Science and Asian Religions and Cultures.  As a first-year student, Finn has done an excellent job transitioning to college and succeeding in 200 level Flagship coursework both at WKU and at Indiana University’s intensive language program, FCI.  In addition to his academic commitments, Finn is involved on campus with his fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon.   

 

Jared Long: Second Year Student, Anticipated Capstone Year 2019-2020

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Long, a 1906 Founders scholarship and Centre Fellow recipient, is majoring in Arabic and Chinese.  Long has a definite love of languages and exploring other cultures!  He currently works as an English tutor and considers teaching English as a second language post-graduation.  In addition to his linguistic pursuits, Long is a member of WKU’s Symphonic Band, Campus Crusade for Christ, and the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity.

 

Francis Wilson: Second Year Student, Anticipated Capstone Year 2019-2020

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Wilson, an International Affairs and Photojournalism major, joined the Flagship in 2015 after a deferred admission to spend a year studying in China with the NSLI-Y program.  Since arriving at WKU, Wilson has excelled in his upper-division Flagship coursework and already left his mark by helping to found a WKU Project Pengyou Chapter and serve as its first president.  In addition, Wilson serves as an Ambassador with the 100,000 Strong organization, a Senator for WKU’s Student Government Association, and was selected to participate in the 2016 Strait Talk Symposium at U.C. Berkley and serve as the photographer with the Confucius Institute during their Spring Break program in Biejing. 

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 Last Modified 6/21/17