Four Carlow University Students Named 2016 Vira I. Heinz Scholars

Four Carlow University students – three sophomores and a junior – have been named 2016 Vira I. Heinz Scholars and plan international studies.

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Three Sophomores and a Junior Will Study Abroad in Costa Rica or in South Korea

Pittsburgh, Pa. – Four Carlow University undergraduate students were named 2016 Vira I. Heinz Scholars and will study abroad this summer.

“As Vira I. Heinz scholars, our Carlow students are part of a global leadership program for women from 13 Pennsylvania colleges and universities,” said Barbara Johnson, the director of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, as well as the Vira I. Heinz program campus coordinator for Carlow.  “I am so excited for each of them.  As the first Carlow students selected for the Vira I. Heinz award, they will be trailblazers for Carlow University.”

The four students are:

Taylor Curtis, a sophomore nursing student from Twinsburg, Ohio, who will study abroad in San Jose, Costa Rica.   “Being able to have the chance to study the medical field in an area other than the United States will increase my knowledge about how other countries provide care,” she said.  “[It will be interesting] to compare the health systems and provide insight into differing approaches.”

Destiny Eames, a sophomore graphic design major from Altoona, Pa., will study abroad in Seoul, South Korea.  “I hope that I will be able to contribute a meaningful perspective that incorporates my own values and culture integrated with the culture of South Korea,” she said.  “By doing this, I hope to help broaden others’ global perspective and to impact the way they view the world and feel connected to others.”

Emily Hayes, a sophomore social work student from Bethel Park, Pa., will study in Puntarenas, Costa Rica.  “As a social work major, I know that my experience abroad will be immensely valuable in strengthening my cultural competence and my leadership skills; two essential parts to becoming a successful social worker,” she said.  “I am so excited to be a part of this program, and I can’t wait to share my experience with the Carlow community.”

Kara Murphy, a junior social work major from Columbia, Maryland, will study in Heredia, Costa Rica.  “My commitment to learning Spanish and the cultural practices of Costa Rican peoples will allow me to better assess goals and implement services for individuals and families from this background, should I encounter it in my future work as a licensed clinical social worker,” she said.  “It will also give me insight into inspiring young people to further themselves academically and globally.”

“This is a very prestigious scholarship funded by the Heinz Endowments,” said Ben Pilcher, director of the Center for Global Learning at Carlow, who, along with Johnson, assisted the students in selecting their study abroad program.   “This is a wonderful opportunity for our students.”

The Vira I. Heinz (VIH) Program for Women in Global Leadership prepares women for tomorrow’s global challenges by offering a unique opportunity for international experiences, leadership development and community service. Universities and colleges across Pennsylvania participate in the VIH Program.  The young women from each institution are admitted into the program and receive a scholarship of at least $5,000 to put toward the cost of an international experience of their choosing.

The VIH Program has three principal components: the international experience, the Community Engagement Experience and two weekend-long, intensive leadership development retreats. During the spring semester prior to and the fall semester following their international experiences, the awardees meet in Pittsburgh, PA. These trainings provide the awardees with a foundation of skills necessary to maximize cultural learnings while abroad and to engage their leadership skills in their own communities upon their return.  For more information, please visit

### About Carlow University
Carlow is a private, co-educational, Catholic university located in the heart of Pittsburgh’s “Tech, Ed, and Med” district. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy, Carlow’s graduates, curriculum, and partnerships reflect its strong commitment to social justice; ethical, forward-thinking and responsible leadership; and service to the community that has a meaningful impact. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered in three major areas: Health and Wellness, Leadership and Social Change, and Innovation and Learning. Carlow graduates are in demand for their professional expertise, in fields ranging from nursing, the sciences, and perfusion technology to counseling, education, and forensic accounting; their entrepreneurial spirit and creative mindset; and their ability to manage change.  Our student-athletes compete on eleven different teams, including men’s basketball and men’s and women’s golf—and our mascot is Shammy—the cute green shamrock that is a reflection of the university’s Irish heritage and roots.

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