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Catawba College names Cross-Cultural Experience award winners

SALISBURY — Two Catawba College students are recipients of 2017 Cross-Cultural Experience Awards.

Junior Austin Collins of Mooresville and senior Shannon Morton of Millington, Maryland, each received $1,000 awards.

The Cross-Cultural Experience Awards were established in 2016 with an endowment gift funded by Catawba alumna Anne Esterline Fogg of Durham, Class of 1969. Fogg wanted to assure that members of the Catawba community – students, faculty and staff – could have life-changing, cross-cultural experiences like she had as an undergraduate and later while living abroad for 25 years.

Collins, a history major with a French minor, will share his 2016 summer experience of traveling through Europe in a talk open to the college community. He will provide photos, fun stories and historic facts about how he and his best friend, a young Hungarian named Janos, traversed Hungary, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Austria and enjoy many experiences despite travel delays, missed flights and weather dilemmas.

Morton, who is double-majoring in accounting and economics and finance, plans to graduate with honors, which will require her to complete a thesis. Her thesis about microfinance and economic development is based on a six-week winter break experience this year volunteering with a microfinance organization in Cambodia. Morton has written weekly posts about the experience with Farmer’s Livelihood Development on a blog posted on the college website. That experience will be the topic of her thesis that she will present at both Catawba College and the Southeast Honors Research Consortium conference in Asheville this spring.

Although the 2017 cross-cultural award recipients’ projects are international in nature, Esterline Fogg has stressed that cross-cultural experiences do not necessarily have to be international experiences. Her goal when she decided to establish the award was to celebrate the influence that other cultures can make on a person and to recognize that all cultures have defining elements to celebrate and embrace.

Applications for Catawba’s Cross-cultural Experience Awards are accepted during the fall semester each year. Catawba faculty, staff and students are eligible to apply.

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