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~Two Wellesley College Students Win Awards for Study Abroad~

For immediate release:
April 26, 2004

Arlie Corday,

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Two Wellesley College students have been awarded 2004 Gilman Scholarships for study abroad. They are two of the 173 winners of 990 applicants for the spring term awards.

Julia Meade of Tiffin, Iowa, and the daughter of James and Hannelore Meade, is a junior double majoring in French and biology. Meade won her award for study in the Wellesley Aix-en-Provence in France program. She is studying French culture and history as well as the development of French medicine.

"I want to work with multinational groups such as the World Health Organization or Doctors without Borders to provide medical relief all over the world," said Meade, noting that travel abroad helps build language and other skills. "Studying in France also fulfills my personal goal of better understanding other cultures. I want to learn how to interact with people who don't automatically hold the same beliefs I do."

This summer, Meade's international study continues. She has received a service opportunity stipend from Wellesley to work in India, volunteering at an orphanage in Chennai. She also has earned a Wellesley Club of France scholarship for thesis research on parallels in diseases throughout history, specifically how AIDS and tuberculosis are seen, stereotyped and treated.

Mona Williams, a junior from Memphis, Tenn., and the daughter of Landu Williams, is using her Gilman Scholarship in a spring term program in Senegal, Africa, focusing on the country's arts and culture. She also will continue her study abroad in Senegal this summer, though the Balch Internship from the Wellesley Peace and Justice studies program.

"I have always had a strong desire to travel to Africa," Williams said. "My mother is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and she has told me stories about her country and Africa for some time. … (But) as strong as my mother is, she could not preserve nor could she replace the part of my culture that is perhaps the most important: the people."

Through the School for International Training, Williams lives alongside the Senegalese people. SIT seminars are teaching her the social and political history of Senegal, "thus widening the lens through which I view politics and the role that it plays in the development of a nation."

Her goals include living and working abroad in the future, possibly in a French-speaking country like Senegal. At Wellesley, she has been political action chair of the student group Ethos, through which she organized a trip to the March for Affirmative Action to Washington in April for 40 Wellesley students. President of Nubian, another student group, she has a strong interest, she said, "in serving the community of African descent at Wellesley and outside Wellesley."

Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal-arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 68 countries. For more information, go to


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  • Date Modified: April 26, 2004
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