Robert Buckman Fellowships for Study Abroad Awarded for Spring 2018

group shot of five college students
(front l-r) Cody Stockton, Mary Cat Cleavinger, Ryan Rosenkrantz (back l-r) India Nikotich, Will Clinton

Rhodes is proud to announce the winners of the Robert Buckman Fellowships for Study Abroad for the spring 2018 semester. Established in 2003 by Robert Buckman and Joyce Mollerup, the fund provides $10,000 grants to selected Rhodes students to study abroad for a semester or year.  New recipients—all juniors— are Mary Cat Cleavinger, Will Clinton, India Nikotich, Ryan Rosenkrantz, and Cody Stockton.

“The process is extremely competitive, with an initial pool of 30 applicants, from which 10 are selected for an interview,” says Dr. Barron Boyd, director of Rhodes’ Buckman Center for International Education. “The entire selection committee was impressed by the students who applied and is gratified that Rhodes, thanks to the Buckman family’s generosity, can encourage these young men and women who are so full of promise as they pursue their passions on a global scale.” 

More about the scholarship winners:

Mary Cat Cleavinger
Hometown: Columbia, MO
Major: International Studies and Political Science
Country: Tunis, Tunisia, and Sicily, Italy
Subjects of Interest: Immigration Politics and Policy; Religion and Culture 

“Being selected as a Buckman Fellow is such an amazing opportunity, and the fellowship helps to facilitate experiential learning for students who are highly dedicated to their studies. Being able to travel to other regions of the world and live a life that’s so different from what I already know is exciting and will stimulate important cross-cultural conversations when discussing key political issues.”

Will Clinton
Hometown: Brownsville, TN
Major: Computer Science 
Country: Budapest, Hungary
Subject of Interest: Computer Science

“Becoming a Buckman Fellow is an amazing opportunity to further enhance what is already a dream come true for me. I hope that winning the fellowship will bring more visibility to my academic and cultural experiences in Hungary, which will translate into more Rhodes students—especially those in majors not traditionally associated with the study abroad experience—considering the benefits of going out of their comfort zone in the pursuit of knowledge.”

India Nikotich
Hometown: San Antonio, TX
Major: International Studies and History
Country: Valparaíso, Chile
Subjects of Interest: Twentieth-Century Poetry and Indigenous Communities 

“This scholarship is a life-changing opportunity. I’ve had my eye on it since I first came to Rhodes, and I am so thankful that our academic community is supporting me in my dream to study abroad in South America.”

Ryan Rosenkrantz
Hometown: Mandeville, LA
Major: Educational Studies (policy and reform track)
Country: Jyväskylä, Finland 
Subject of Interest: Education 

“I am incredibly honored and excited to have received the Buckman Fellowship. As an education major, Finland was a natural choice. The University of Jyväskylä was originally established as a teacher training college, so I knew this was the ideal place to further my educational studies. The Buckman funding will ideally allow me to travel Finland and explore the discipline and my focus on early childhood education. Last year, I emailed various professors in Finland that focused on early childhood education with the dream of spending a summer overseas conducting research.  I still have the contacts of these professors and want to ask them some of the same questions I have asked local Memphis administrators to explore not only the difference in discipline between Finland and Memphis, but also to explore the variation of Finnish discipline in practice overall. The fellowship, for me, will not only be a gateway to study, but will also give me the opportunity to continue my independent research and further impact realizations in education.”

Cody Stockton
Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
Major: History
Country: Havana, Cuba
Subject of Interest: Cuban History, Culture, and Spanish at Cuba’s Universidad de la Habana

“Being named a Buckman Fellow has not only made study abroad financially feasible, but also, it enables me to represent Rhodes as an informed global-minded citizen. I look forward to gaining a new cultural perspective of the world and helping shape a new opinion of Cuba based on first-hand experience. The Buckman Fellowship demonstrates the school’s commitment to student development in all facets of scholarship, and I am thankful that Rhodes supports our academic interests beyond the classroom.”