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Students awarded Rotary Global Grant for Study in South Africa, Britain

Two University of South Carolina students, Ryan Anderson and Rachel Lunsford, have been named recipients of the Rotary Global Grant to pursue a Masters of Public Health at University of Cape Town, South Africa, and a Masters of International Business at the University of Cambridge, UK, respectively. Anderson is sponsored by the Five Points Rotary Club, while Lunsford is sponsored by the Spring Valley Rotary Club, both of which are in Rotary District 7770.

The Rotary is the world's largest privately funded international scholarship program whose scholars further international understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries and geographical areas by encouraging person-to-person diplomacy. Rotary Global Grants are valued at over $30,000, provide one year of graduate study abroad, and encourage recipients to engage in community service work.

Anderson is a senior at the University of South Carolina graduating in May of 2018, where he is majoring in public health. After graduation, Anderson will pursue a Masters of Public Health and an MD, with goals to work for an international health and policy organization to eradicate disease and preventable medical disparities. Notably, Anderson founded the Relearn Foundation in 2012, which collects and distributes school supplies to students in need globally. He served as Assistant Director of Pivotal Directions, Inc., a foundation focused on increasing discussion on global poverty and developing leaders in service. With Pivotal Directions, he co-produced the documentary "10 Dollar Perspective," which gives voice to the hope and resilience that exists in global poverty and was selected into the Sarasota Film Festival. He is a co-founder of Han'Go International, which collects and distributes medical supplies to low-income communities, and he is an Eagle Scout. As a student, Anderson is a member of Phi Delta Epsilon Pre-Medical Fraternity. He served as a USC Student Government Senator, where he was the chair of the student services committee and the vice chair of the rules committee. Anderson also founded the Preston Residential College Book Club.

Anderson is a University Woodrow Scholar, and was 1 of 10 recipients out of 35,000 applicants nationwide of the Kohl's Cares National scholarship for his undergraduate studies. He also received the Robert Haack Diamond scholarship and was recognized on the Dean's list for five consecutive semesters and on the President’s list three times. Anderson's further recognitions include the Outstanding Leadership Award, Pivotal Directions; the Good Citizenship Award, Marine Corps League; the Preston Service Award; and the Student Government Leadership Pin.

Anderson's studies and experiences encompass Disease Prevention and Treatment, one of Rotary's six areas of focus. His academic work on public health at the University of Cape Town will continue to support fighting preventable medical disparities and further his understanding of social determinants of health worldwide. While in South Africa, Anderson also plans to travel to low-income communities to gain insight on policy and clinic needs. Upon completion of his Masters, Anderson will pursue medical school, with plans to specialize in infectious disease.

Lunsford earned her Bachelor's degree in May of 2017, with majors in International Business and Finance and a minor in Spanish. Currently, Lunsford is pursuing a Masters of International Business at the Darla Moore School of Business, and hopes to continue on to law school in order to impact core societal issues and promote long-term peace and stability. As an undergraduate student at Carolina, Lunsford served as the president of Carolina Rotaract and on USC Student Government. She also interned with the Senate Judiciary Committee and lobbied South Carolina congressmen in Washington, D.C. Lunsford completed study abroad terms in San Jose, Costa Rica, and Madrid, Spain, where she expanded her perspective and supplemented her classroom learning. She was a member of the Carolina Band and a singer in USC's gospel choir.

Lunsford is a McNair Scholar, which is the highest academic award offered to out-of-state students at USC. She is a Finance Scholar and a recipient of the Gold Presidential Service Award. Lunsford was also a member of a team that earned First Place at the UNICC International Case Competition in Navarra, Spain.

Lunsford's proposed studies encompass Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution, one of Rotary's six areas of focus. Her degree in international relations at the University of Cambridge will further prepare her to work in business and law in that field. While in the UK, Lunsford plans to research the rise of nationalist parties across Europe, educate the community about politically unstable cultures, and participate in law organizations such as mock trial or case competition teams. After completing the program, Lunsford will pursue law school, with hopes to practice law internationally.

Anderson and Lunsford bring the university's total of Rotary Scholars to 87 since the 1994 establishment of the Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs (OFSP), which assists students as they prepare applications for national fellowship competitions. To learn more about such competitions and view a complete list of the University's Rotary Scholars, visit


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