The Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy has launched a new scholarship, and two BYU students were among the recipients in its inaugural year.
The UCCD launched the Global Leaders Scholarship Fund in 2020 to honor the legacy of the 2019 United Nations Civil Society conference, which was held in Salt Lake City. The scholarship fund covers travel expenses for recipients to attend a national or international conference; according to the scholarship’s website, it “works to empower Utah’s young people from different backgrounds to participate in critical global conversations with peers from around the world.”
Twelve recipients are selected each year. The plan is to send recipients to conferences in groups of six; the recipients’ interests help the organizers decide which events to attend. The COVID-19 pandemic has prevented the current cohort from traveling, but the UCCD hopes to send them out in spring of 2022; conferences currently being considered include the UN ECOSOC Youth Forum and the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference.
BYU students Isabella Errigo and Liam Smith were among the recipients in the scholarship fund’s first year.
Errigo did her undergraduate degree in Environmental Science, with a minor in International Development, at BYU; she’s now pursuing a master’s degree in Environmental Science and Sustainability, also at BYU. “My main interests lie at the intersection of environmental protection, human health/well-being, and policy,” she explains. “I think it is extremely important for scientists to communicate their findings with the general public and policymakers so everyone can make informed decisions that will reduce harm while effecting positive change.”
She appreciates the opportunities this scholarship will give her to find other researchers who share her interests. “As a Global Leaders Scholar,” she says, “I will have the opportunity to attend a United Nations conference, where I hope to meet potential mentors/collaborators who are also passionate about combining these three issues.”
Smith, who majored in American Studies and minored in Africana Studies at BYU, is now a joint-degree graduate student in the JD/MPA program at BYU, concurrently pursuing a law degree and a master’s degree in public administration. The scholarship falls in line with his future plans, he says: “I plan to work in international law for the U.S. government. The Global Leadership Scholarship has been a good indication of my interest in diplomacy and international relations.”
Though he, like the rest of the recipients, has not been able to travel yet, he’s appreciative of the current and future opportunities the scholarship presents: “I was able to attend an interesting event hosted by the U.S. Department of State, as well as connect with several individuals that work in this space. I also anticipate having a rich experience once we travel to an international conference. This will certainly yield interesting and beneficial networking opportunities.”
Errigo is also looking forward to her future travel opportunity and the benefits it will have in her professional life: “I will be able to witness firsthand how international organizations are run, giving me more insight into potential solutions to the environmental crisis we face today,” she says. “I am really excited for this opportunity and think it will have a big impact on how I will move forward in achieving my goals.”
Applications for this year’s Global Leaders Scholarship are due December 31, 2021. Click here to learn more.