Inspired Cohorts Return from President’s Award Journeys with Broadened Perspectives
From talking with garment workers on factory floors in India to building solar panels in the Galápagos Islands to addressing American and British academic racism, the President’s Award for Global Learning continues to provide perspective-changing experiences to students and faculty from The University of Texas at Austin.
“I can say this with 100 percent confidence: This is one of the most impactful experiences of my entire life. … If you want to go out of the country and are looking for a fun way to do it while also conducting research, [this program] is the perfect opportunity for you—besides the fact that it didn’t cost a thing.”
As the signature program of the university’s International Board of Advisors, the President’s Award annually contributes funding and resources to students and faculty, who form interdisciplinary teams to develop and implement research programs around the world. With their travel fully funded, in addition to an honorarium for faculty and an implementation budget, awardees are tasked with identifying issues in various regions of the world and proposing solutions on a global scale through program-based collaborations alongside their international partners.
This year’s three teams, representing more than a dozen colleges and disciplines, focused their programs on the following topics: protecting the fragile ecosystem of the Galápagos Islands; exploring and addressing racism within academia in the United Kingdom and United States; and discovering how fashion companies strive to achieve ecological sustainability and social justice across production nodes in Sweden and India.
For Jayelon Evans, a U.S. Navy veteran and senior studying kinesiology in the College of Education, traveling to London was already on his bucket list. The President’s Award helped pave the route to make that happen, providing him with the unique opportunity to lead conversations on race at some of the most prestigious institutions in the U.K.
“I can say this with 100 percent confidence: This is one of the most impactful experiences of my entire life,” said Evans. “Any student who is considering [the President’s Award] needs to apply. Just apply! If you haven’t been out of the country, or if you want to go out of the country and are looking for a fun way to do it while also conducting research, [this program] is the perfect opportunity for you—besides the fact that it didn’t cost a thing.”
Texas Global is proud to amplify the stories of three exceptional UT Austin students, one from each of the 2021-2022 teams of the President’s Award for Global Learning. They have all returned to campus seeing through a new lens, one trained not only on their studies but also on the various corners of the world that hosted them and benefited from their research.
For the full story, please visit the Texas Global website.