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Rollins students rake in scholarships

Every year, Rollins students are recipients of some of the most prestigious scholarships awarded nationally.  This year has been no exception, as our students’ stellar academic and extracurricular activities have been recognized once again.  Karina Barbesino ’18, Ben Wozniak ’17, and Alyssa DeLucia ’17 are just the newest additions to the ever-expanding pool of accomplished Rollins awardees.  Dr. Jay, who heads the Office of External and Competitive Scholarship Advisement, has continued to serve as a great resource and advisor to these and many more students throughout their Rollins careers.

These scholarships are incredibly competitive and can often serve as defining accomplishments well past one’s undergraduate career.  So, congratulations to these students! The recognition is well deserved.

Our students have unique and diverse backgrounds that serve to enrich the Rollins student experience. Wozniak describes himself through his music, saying, “I am in love with music. It was part of my upbringing, and it will always be present in my life. I have been playing guitar and singing since I was eight years old; writing and playing music is the best way for me to emote.” Wozniak will be serving as an English Teaching Assistant and a cultural ambassador in Germany, as a recipient of the Fulbright. He was encouraged to apply for the Fulbright by Dr. Decker in the German Department.Wozniak explained, “[My study abroad experince to Munich, Germany in Spring 2015] exposed me to the beauty of the world outside of my own community, and it was a huge influence in my decision to apply to the Fulbright Program. Getting accepted into the Fulbright Program has given me more confidence in my accomplishments and my work ethic. It has shown me that I am ready to be a cultural ambassador.”

Barbesino is an artist at heart and can often be found sitting outside of the library porch sketching, but she also has many passions.  Barbesino said of her future career goals, “I haven’t narrowed down on a single specific job yet but the dream jobs would be in the cyber security arena with a focus on policy for the CIA, a Foreign Service Officer, or a linguist in the Intelligence Community. In the more imminent future I hope to get my masters in security studies from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service.”

Karina Barbesino described her own application process: “I had never even heard of Boren until Dr. Jay mentioned it at a Fulbright information session last year. It had slipped my mind completely until I heard of other friends applying for it and decided to shape my study abroad around it. For such a small college, Rollins has vast resources and every faculty member wants to see you succeed so they go out of their way to help.”

As a recipient of the Boren Award, an undergraduate scholarship that funds study-abroad opportunities for undergraduates to areas crucial to American national security initiatives, Karina Barbesino will be studying abroad in China next semester and has committed to working in a federal national security job after graduation for at least one year.

Meanwhile, DeLucia is an accomplished chemistry major and the first Rollins recipient of a Goldwater Scholarship in the last five years.  The Goldwater Scholarship recognizes outstanding undergraduates who have clearly demonstrated an interest in pursuing a research career in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering.

Rollins continues to influence students to strive towards the ideals of global citizenship Rollins so highly values, even after alumni have already matriculated.  While DeLucia is incredibly invested in pursuing a PhD candidacy in the future and was unable to study abroad as an undergraduate, she is planning on applying for the Fulbright scholarship as well so that she can have the opportunity to do laboratory work in a foreign country more focused on green chemistry.

Rollins College continues to be an empowering source of support for our students, creating opportunities and helping students succeed. As Wozniak concluded, “I am excited to start this new chapter to my life, and I would like to thank the Rollins community for their unwavering support and encouragement.”

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