By Bryant Welbourne
(Sept. 14, 2015) — Twenty-eight students representing each Southeastern Conference university will study abroad during the 2015-16 academic year, the result of a contribution to the league by Dr Pepper. The longtime SEC corporate sponsor allocated $100,000 to the conference to provide study abroad opportunities for high achieving SEC students with demonstrated financial need who represent nontraditional study abroad participants.
Two students from each university are recipients. From the University of Kentucky, Adam Creamer, an environmental science major, will travel to Costa Rica, and Rockia Harris, a gender and women's studies major, will travel to South Africa.
“We are enthused to expand upon the SEC’s commitment to education by giving deserving students a chance to study abroad through the SECU academic initiative,” Jaxie Alt, senior vice president of marketing for Dr Pepper said when the program was established. “Dr Pepper has continued to fund one-of-a-kind dreams since 2008 through our tuition giveaway program, and now we are able to support the great work the SEC is doing.”
Each SEC university identified two students to participate in a faculty-led program occurring during either the summer, fall or spring terms. Funds will also be provided to selected students for the 2016-17 academic year.
“Increasing the amount and type of education abroad opportunities available to SEC students has been an SECU goal for more than a decade,” said Torie Johnson, executive director of the SECU Academic Initiative. “It’s exciting to know that thanks to Dr Pepper’s generosity, more SEC students than ever will have a life-changing experience in another part of the world.”
SECU was established in 2005 as the SEC Academic Consortium, and one of its original focal points was education abroad. In response, the consortium secured an Institute for Study Abroad Foundation grant to provide scholarships for SEC students to study at Queen’s University in Belfast, Ireland. In addition, by utilizing a cooperative agreement, students from SEC universities now have access to programs offered at other SEC universities. Finally, the SEC also has a partnership with the Politecnico di Torino which gives SEC engineering students the opportunity to study in Torino, Italy, each spring.
Below is the list of SEC students, their universities, majors and destinations abroad.
Student Major Destination
Brittany Groves, University of Alabama History Germany
Joshua Harvey, University of Alabama Interdisciplinary Studies Semester at Sea
Britney Washington, University of Arkansas Chemical Engineering Belize
Tevin Whitney, University of Arkansas Social Work France
Isabella Premont, Auburn University Engineering China
James Sims, Auburn University Psychology Spain
Pearl Hanna, University of Florida Interior Design Czech Republic
Claudia Lievano, University of Florida Telecommunication India
Aaron Kask, University of Georgia International Affairs Germany
Attiyya Skeete, University of Georgia Biology Japan
Adam Creamer, University of Kentucky Environmental Science Costa Rica
Rockia Harris, University of Kentucky Gender & Women’s Studies South Africa
Jaude’ Petrie, Louisiana State University Biological Sciences France
Nelson Williams, Louisiana State University Classical Civilizations Netherlands
Kenedi Hobson, University of Mississippi Communication DisordersTanzania
Austin Powell, University of Mississippi Public Policy & Leadership Spain
Brandon Baxter, Mississippi State University Chemical Engineering Germany
Karissa Logan, Mississippi State University Human Sciences Italy
Stevie Winingear, University of Missouri Anthropology Greece
Kenny Yang, University of Missouri Elementary Education India
Sidney Cutter, University of South Carolina International Studies South Korea
Harrison Howell, University of South Carolina Computer Science Japan
William Burks, University of Tennessee Biological Sciences Spain
Nichole Stevens, University of Tennessee Communication England
Mitchell Parma, Texas A&M University Biomedical Sciences Costa Rica
Kayla Villarreal, Texas A&M University Visualization Italy
Jason Miller, Vanderbilt University Biomedical Engineering Australia
Hannah Stack, Vanderbilt University Latin American Studies Chile