BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Sept. 15, 2016) — Two University of Kentucky students are among 28 students from Southeastern Conference universities who will study abroad during the 2016-17 academic year, the result of a contribution to the league by Dr Pepper. In 2015, the SEC corporate sponsor allocated $100,000 to the conference to provide study abroad opportunities for SEC students who excel in the classroom, demonstrate financial need and represent nontraditional study abroad participants.
Shazia Olivares, a sophomore poltical science major from Fort Knox, Kentucky, and Jevincio Tooson, a dietetics major from Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, are the UK recipients of the awards. Olivares plans to study in Spain and Tooson will study in Italy.
“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 of 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 an exchange partnership with the Politecnico di Torino which gives SEC engineering students the opportunity to study in Torino, Italy, each spring and Italian students opportunities at several SEC universities.
Below is the list of SEC students, their universities, majors and destinations abroad.
Student Major Destination
Christopher Chirino, University of Alabama Education Europe
Kristin Hardy, University of Alabama Political Science Germany
Maria Andreatta, University of Arkansas International Relations Spain
Brandon Stienke, University of Arkansas Classical Studies Italy
Charles Branch, Auburn University Special Education South Korea
Madison Gohlke, Auburn University Animal Science Swaziland
Daniel Bertak, University of Florida Computer Engineering Russia
Cynthia Joseph, University of Florida Political Science France
Shara Cherniak, University of Georgia Education Ghana
Austin Hayes, University of Georgia Computer Science Sweden
Shazia Olivares, University of Kentucky Political Science Spain
Jevincio Tooson, University of Kentucky Dietetics Italy
Giovanni Coakley, Louisiana State University Architecture Italy
Morgan Crier, Louisiana State University International Studies Canada
Cellas Hayes, University of Mississippi Classics Italy
Chelsey Helman, University of Mississippi Psychology Tanzania
Ruth Fowler, Mississippi State University Physics Europe
Ryan Matijevich, Mississippi State University Mechanical Engineering Russia
Jeffery Chininis, University of Missouri Bioengineering Rwanda
Summer Elyse Schacht, University of Missouri Biological Science Turkey
Cho-Fei Huang, University of South Carolina Business Economics England
Cindy Son, University of South Carolina Business Hong Kong
Kristy Hatcher, University of Tennessee Animal Science Jamaica
Timothy Herman, University of Tennessee Biological Sciences Germany
Courtney Kuehner, Texas A&M University Landscape Architecture Germany
Tung Nguyen, Texas A&M University Environmental Design Italy
Ahmed El-Sadek, Vanderbilt University Neuroscience France
Samuel Sarfo Edwards, Vanderbilt University Medicine, Health & Society France
About Dr Pepper
Dr Pepper, a brand of Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE: DPS), is the oldest major soft drink in the United States. Since 1885, the 23 flavors of Dr Pepper have earned legions of fans. DPS is a leading producer of flavored beverages, marketing Dr Pepper and 50-plus other beverage brands across North America and the Caribbean. For more information, visit DrPepper.com or DrPepperSnapple.com. For the brand's latest news and updates, follow Dr Pepper at Facebook.com/DrPepper or Twitter.com/DrPepper.
Using its SECU academic initiative, the Southeastern Conference sponsors, supports and promotes collaborative higher education programs and activities involving administrators, faculty and students at its fourteen member universities. The goals of the SECU initiative include highlighting the endeavors and achievements of SEC faculty and universities; advancing the merit and reputation of SEC universities outside of the traditional SEC region; identifying and preparing future leaders for high-level service in academia; increasing the amount and type of education abroad opportunities available to SEC students; and providing opportunities for collaboration among SEC university personnel. To connect with SECU, visit the academic initiative online – www.TheSECU.com; on Facebook – TheSECU; on Twitter – @TheSECU; on Instagram – @TheSECUniversity; and on You Tube – SECUniversity.
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