Student and Academic Life

Three International Students Receive Scholarship for Cross-Cultural Understanding

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Viji Jeganathan Scholarship for Cross-Cultural Understanding
Viji Jeganathan Scholarship for Cross-Cultural Understanding
Viji Jeganathan Scholarship for Cross-Cultural Understanding

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 25, 2018) — Three international students have been awarded the University of Kentucky 2018 Viji Jeganathan Scholarship for Cross-Cultural Understanding for their dedication to promoting cultural diversity and inclusivity through involvement at UK.

The $1,000 scholarship recognizes students who demonstrate leadership on campus and a strong ability to bridge cultural differences at UK and within the Lexington community.

The Viji Jeganathan Scholarship is awarded annually in memory of Viji Jeganathan, an outstanding student from Sri Lanka who lost her battle with cancer while attending UK. When she was diagnosed, the university rallied around her raising funds for a transplant. Though she was unable to receive the transplant, her family wanted to honor her memory by setting up this scholarship fund with money raised by the community.

Three students were chosen as the 2018 recipients:

Ana de la Serna

Serna, a graduate student from Mexico, is working to bring both international and domestic students together. She sees a need for more support and understanding for international students. Through teaching intercultural communication, Serna has provided students with a greater understanding of different cultures and has given them the ability to respect various viewpoints.

Beeson Shin

Shin, a psychology student from South Korea, is working as a resident advisor. She is also a member of the International Student Leadership Team. Shin is passionate about bringing U.S. and international students together to gain new insights.

“The meaning of the Viji scholarship is about building relationships across cultures. Receiving this award inspires me to continue to contribute to diversity and inclusion on our campus,” Shin said.

Kai Zhang

Zhang, a pharmacy student from China, has been working to develop a program called "Welcome Home," which aims to help international students find housing in Lexington. Zhang has also been recognized for his leadership in the UK Student Government Association (SGA), where he encouraged more international students to become involved with SGA. 

International and domestic students are eligible to apply for the Viji Jeganathan Award for Cross-Cultural Understanding. For more information about the scholarship click here.

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue