W&L’s Allie Stankewich ’23 Awarded Boren Scholarship Stankewich received a David L. Boren Scholarship from the National Security Education Program to study abroad in Tanzania in fall 2022.
Washington and Lee University’s Allie Stankewich ’23 received a David L. Boren Scholarship from the National Security Education Program to study abroad in Arusha, Tanzania. This summer, Stankewich will study the Swahili language domestically at the University of Florida. She will then spend the fall term abroad in Arusha, Tanzania, returning to W&L in December.
At W&L, Stankewich is double majoring in sociology and environmental studies, as well as minoring in Poverty and Human Capability Studies. She is a Guilford, Connecticut native and graduated from Guilford High School.
The Boren Scholarship is a program that supports American students’ study of critical languages that are deemed important to U.S. interests. The scholarship funds students to study in the language and culture of another country in preparation for their professional careers. The Boren Scholarship will fund up to $25,000 of a recipient’s study abroad plan.
“I am extremely humbled and grateful to be offered the Boren Scholarship,” said Stankewich. “If I have learned anything from a strong liberal arts background, it is that it has allowed me to explore such a wide spectrum of meaningful subject matters, academic departments, service experiences, people and places. Each moment, conversation and experience contributes abundantly to my perspective on the world and goals of my work.”
An active member of the W&L community, Stankewich is involved with W&L’s Shepherd Program for Poverty Studies as a work-study student and a member of the executive leadership teams for Campus Kitchen and Nabors Service League. This past year, she served as the strategic initiatives chair for Campus Kitchen, and she will be the organization’s vice president next academic year.
Stankewich has served on the leadership team for Student Environmental Action League and the student Compost Crew team for three years at W&L. An outdoors enthusiast, she has led App Adventure first-year pre-orientation backpacking trips and is a staff leader in W&L’s Outing Club. She is also an outreach liaison for WLUnite, a student organization focused on disability justice and inclusion.
Other activities include service ministry chair for Catholic Campus Ministry, an employee for Traveller, a recruitment and a community engagement chair for Leadership Education and Development and an activities chair and committee member for First-Year Orientation Committee. She also plays oboe in the Wind Ensemble and University Orchestra at W&L. She is a member of Kathekon, the student-alumni engagement chapter, and the Omicron Delta Kappa honor society.
Last summer, Stankewich spent two months in East Africa in Jinja, Uganda, as a public health intern, and took classes in introductory Swahili.
“My time in Uganda opened my eyes to many intersections of what I care about — food security, environmental justice and health equity,” said Stankewich. “The East Africa region, including Tanzania, currently has the fastest-growing population rate worldwide, some of the highest HIV rates, and is highly susceptible to changing climate affecting foodscapes and disease transmission. I hope to explore this emerging field of climate health and pathways of community empowerment, justice and sustainability through food. I believe language is an essential bridge to authentically understand the people and place of Tanzania, to build meaningful relationships and trust, and to foster dialogue with various stakeholders in the future of physical, social, political and economic well-being and global security.”
Jon Eastwood, professor of sociology at W&L, has been a mentor to Stankewich during her time on campus.
“Allie has long-standing and deep interests in issues at the nexus of society and the natural environment,” said Eastwood. “She pursues questions about how we can make a more equitable world in which people can flourish, especially with respect to health care and food systems, and how we might do so sustainably. To these interests, she applies both classroom brilliance and genuine leadership skills of the kind that can’t be taught. She has an ability to bring others together, forge connections and foster collaboration. Allie will make great use of the opportunities made available by the Boren Scholarship as she continues to pursue her goals.”
After graduation, Stankewich plans to look into positions with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the U.S. Agency for International Development that focus on climate change and global health in East Africa. She is also exploring post-graduate fellowships and considering graduate school for a master’s in public health and potentially a doctorate.
“At this point, I am embracing the one-step-at-a-time mentality and eager to allow my new and unexpected learning and relationships to guide me to what feels right,” said Stankewich. “I believe the doors that will open and pathways that emerge from my Boren experience will be valuable parts of my future goals. I believe this program will elevate my critical thinking, global mindedness and personal growth to better prepare me for graduate school, social science research and the professional world.”
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