Sophomore Joshua Coleman has been awarded a 2010-2011 Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship, a yearlong, $26,000 award, which he will use to study in Angers, France, at the L’universitie catholique de l’ouest. Coleman, of Guyton, is an English and French double major.
Coleman will be in France October 2010 through June 2011 and will study French language, culture and literature. In addition to his studies, Coleman will also volunteer with the Rotary Club and the local community, as well as speak to local Rotary Clubs and organizations about his ambassadorial experience.
“Through the knowledge I gain in France, I hope to be better prepared to teach others to look beyond the standing prejudices in this world and to recognize how beautiful we truly are in our humanity,” said Coleman, who plans to attend graduate school for English literature, with a concentration in cultural studies.
“In my education thus far, I have found that studying another language has been invaluable in illuminating the idiosyncrasies within my own humanity, as well as expressing the similarities and differences between cultures,” he said. “In essence, all of humanity is beautifully and uniquely inter-connected and, through the mirror of literature, one discovers how little difference there truly is between the inhabitants of this small planet.”
“Josh is culturally and intellectually motivated to learn about the world. An independent learner with a pioneering spirit, he is eager to tackle new academic and geographic terrain,” said Dr. Eric Spears, director of international education and assistant professor of geography. “Josh represents the exemplary Mercerian who wants to learn more about himself through others. I am enormously pleased that he has been given this Rotary scholarship. He will be a terrific ambassador and future leader.”
During his time at Mercer, Coleman has participated in Model United Nations, served as the minister of executive affairs for the Mercer Quiz Bowl, and worked as a peer advisor for underclassmen. He has also participated in the publication of The Dulcimer, a student-produced literary review, and he is a member of the Southeastern Writing Center Association and Omicron Delta Kappa, a leadership society.
The Rotary Foundation’s Ambassadorial Scholarships program, founded in 1947, is a highly selective, privately funded international scholarship program for university-level studies. The purpose of the program is to further international understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries and geographical areas. While abroad, scholars serve as goodwill ambassadors to the host country and give presentations about their homelands to Rotary Clubs and other groups.