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Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

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BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Grant opens doors for dreams

The opportunity to put the imaginations and passions of two University students to the test is now underway.

Seniors Martina Hanulova and Betsy Kovar were the first two recipients of the Stuart R. Givens Fellowship, which allows students to go anywhere in the world. Students propose an idea to faculty about where they want to go and what they hope to accomplish, given a $6,000 budget.

Hanulova and Kovar have different plans, but similar passions.

Hanulova will be working in a Liberian Refugee Camp in Ghana, West Africa where she will stay for four months next fall.

“I will be working for a non-government organization that is based on peace and education,” Hanulova said.

Hanulova already has experience in Africa and has since held a great passion for it.

“I spent last summer teaching in Africa and it became so much clearer for me as to what goals I wanted to achieve,” she said.

In a country of violence, these development projects help to teach the Liberian people the idea of peace and education.

“Anywhere from basic education such as math and English to even helping mothers raise their children – this non-government organization works with the community,” Hanulova said.

Hanulova is excited about the opportunity and the knowledge she will come home with.

“I consider it as the opportunity of a lifetime to see how people suffer and have so little but to still see how happy they are, it’s a concept I want to bring home,” she said.

Kovar looks forward to traveling to India where she will be given the opportunity to study “Ashtanga” also known as Yoga.

The teachings are based on a philosophy known as Ayuvedic, the philosophy of healing and curing diseases naturally.

The class is taught using a system known as Gurukul where the students spend hours with their Guru or Master in order to learn the theories and practices.

Kovar, who has dealt with problems such as stress throughout her life, looks forward to the program.

“I’ve always had stress so I feel it would be a good way for me to reach my dream of owning my own yoga studio and learning to heal my stress naturally,” Kovar said.

After six months of teaching, Kovar will receive a certificate that entitles her to teach in North America and Europe.

Kovar also looks forward to the cultural experience and the lessons she will take away from it.

“I’m really excited to learn a lot about myself through personal growth and through Yoga, growing mentally, spiritually and physically,” Kovar said.

The Fellowship was founded by Christopher and Ellen Dalton, both faculty members at the University.

The idea came from a similar scholarship established at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

Ellen Dalton, budget coordinator of the College of Musical Arts, said she and her husband hoped to find something unique to give back to the University.

“We had been thinking for awhile and once we read about North Carolina’s program in the Chronicle of Higher Education we were instantly struck by the idea,” she said.

The scholarship was established in honor of Stuart R. Givens, who was a member of BG’s faculty for 45 years.

The Daltons also felt very strong about leaving the scholarship open to all undergraduates, not limited to students of the College of Arts and Sciences.

After the applicants were accepted last semester, various faculty members on the scholarship’s committee chose its recipients.

Simon Morgan-Russell, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences knew it was not going to be an easy decision.

“All the projects were very different but the committee’s ultimate decider was the deep sense of passion and creativity the recipients had,” he said.

“We are very excited about the first two recipients and look forward to hearing how it changed their lives.”

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