Fairfield University student wins federal David L. Boren scholarship to study in Chile this year
Gregory A. DiCamillo, a sophomore at Fairfield University, has been chosen by the National Security Education Program to receive a prestigious David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarship for study in Chile for the 2003-2004 academic year. DiCamillo leaves for the South American nation this July.
Created by the National Security Education Act of 1991, the prestigious scholarships are intended in part to increase Americans' understanding of less commonly taught languages and cultures. In the past five years Fairfield University students have garnered eight of the scholarships.
A double major in International Studies and Spanish, with minors in psychology and Latin American and Caribbean Studies, DiCamillo will study at both the University of Santiago and the University of Chile next year. His full course-load will include classes in U.S./Latin American relations, contemporary international politics, and Chilean public administration.
DiCamillo, a resident of Tomball, Texas, is considering a career in government when he graduates. Thanks to the scholarship, DiCamillo will get an opportunity to work in government for a short internship, which is a requirement for Boren recipients.
"I'd like to be able to make some positive changes in Latin America," said DiCamillo, who added that he is drawn to the region.
Prior to going to Chile, DiCamillo will spend a month in Honduras teaching English at a school in the town of Tela. He is raising some funds to help start a breakfast program for undernourished children at the school.
It will not be DiCamillo's first trip to Honduras. He had already visited the Central American nation on a mission volunteer trip in 1998. DiCamillo has also visited Mexico several times.
DiCamillo is seeking donations for the school in Tela, Escuela Jose Antonio Cuello, which serves about 700 children, ages 8 to 15. The school runs on about $100 a month, DiCamillo said, with another $100 per month for the combined salaries of the 27 teachers. From 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., the entire school day, the students lack even the basic necessity of running water. Plans are underway to install two water storage tanks at the school during DiCamillo's stay.
The stark differences between that reality and the high standard of living enjoyed in the United States have been cathartic for DiCamillo, who said his experiences in Latin America have greatly changed his outlook on life. DiCamillo was also among the first students to participate in the Ignatian Residential College, a Fairfield University initiative for sophomores that helps students study, live, seek, search, and explore life's deeper questions in the context of a community.
"Greg DiCamillo's mission and goals represent an honorable outcome of the merger of his intellect and passion with the many opportunities available to Fairfield students," said Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield. "Each of our programs in International Studies, Spanish, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and Psychology, along with our core curriculum, Campus Ministries, the Ignatian Residential College and the work of Fairfield's dedicated faculty and staff, have had a significant part in making the opportunities furthered by this scholarship a success."
Posted on May 15, 2003
Vol. 35, No. 295