Three Bradley Students Earn National Scholarships

Three Bradley students are among 25 students from across the country selected in a competitive process to attend the national conference of the World Affairs Councils of America. The three students represent multiple fields of study at Bradley, demonstrating that global education is a multi-disciplinary necessity in today’s world as we prepare for tomorrow’s needs.

The three students include Courtney White, Sports Communications and History; (Muhammad) Shayan Shahzad, Political Science& International Studies and Criminology; and Elijah Furuness, History, Philosophy and English. Their career plans include a wide range of goals for utilizing their studies and their understanding of world cultures. Their academic preparation at Bradley University positions them well to demonstrate their cultural competencies in their career fields.

The conference theme, “Building the World of Tomorrow,” featured diplomats, policymakers and think tank experts for a wide-ranging discussion of the most pressing issues facing our world. The students have sessions specifically dedicated to learning about internships and options for global careers. “This opportunity to connect and network with my peers gave me the opportunity to build my global knowledge and better understand how what is going on in the world affects us locally,” White said.

The students were sponsored by the Peoria Area World Affairs Council (PAWAC), a community partner of the Office of Global Studies and Initiatives. For more than 50 years, PAWAC has hosted a wide range of speakers for conversations about world events and how they affect us locally. This local council is one of 90 member councils of the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA) which supports, strengthens, and represents a national network of apolitical, nonpartisan organizations working to deepen their communities’ global perspective.

In their applications for this competitive scholarship, the students supplied personal statements. White wrote, “Sports … have the ability to bring people and countries together as we have seen in the Olympics time and again.” She added that while sports are universal, they cannot be separate from the politicis of the countries involved which is why we’ve seen boycotts at Olympic events. “To be fully emerged in sports and be able to successfully work in the sports industry, it is important to understand what is happening around the world.” 

Shayan Shahzad, an international student from Pakistan, plans to utilize his experiences volunteering in his home country and here at Bradley with non-profit organizations helping the needy as he pursues a law degree after Bradley.

“The connection to WACA would aid me in sharing a global perspective with the communities I will serve through the collection of literature and documents,” explained Furuness who will be pursuing a masters degree in library and information sciences and work in the assistantship program in acquisitions and cataloging the German language collection.  

This is the third year Bradley students have earned scholarships to this national conference. PAWAC and Bradley have grown a reputation for bringing strong students to this national program. They represent the best of Bradley and the global focus of campus.

by Angela Weck, Executive Director of the Peoria Area World Affairs Council & Affiliate Instructor and Global Education Coordinator, Bradley University

Bradley students (L to R) Courtney White, Shayan Shadhzad and Elijah Furuness, with Angela Weck (center).