By: Matt Kelly | University Communications
After two University of Virginia students graduate, they will continue their research, in battling cancer and preventing HIV/AIDS, in the United Kingdom with Rotary Global Grants.
Ashley Ferguson of Ashburn, a distinguished major in biology, will study at the Medical Research Council Cancer Unit of the University of Cambridge; and Sasheenie Moodley, of Johannesburg and Atlanta, who is completing a master’s in public health program, will pursue a Ph.D. in African studies, combined with social intervention, at the University of Oxford.
The candidates were nominated by the Rotary Club of Charlottesville and selected by a district committee. The scholarships, worth at least $30,000, are intended for students who do not already have an immediate or family connection to Rotary. Global grant scholars must be pursuing a career in one of six areas Rotary supports: peace and conflict prevention/resolution; disease prevention and treatment; water and sanitation; maternal and child health; basic education and literacy; or economic and community development.
Christopher L. W. Elliott, president of the Rotary Club of Charlottesville and assistant dean of global affairs and director of the Center for Global Commerce at UVA’s McIntire School of Commerce, said the two scholars are an inspiration to students committed to making an impact on their world.
“They represent the best of what these Rotary Global Grant Scholarships are intended to accomplish by funding graduate study for students committed to serving and improving the conditions of those around them,” Elliott said. “Sasheenie’s focus on HIV/AIDS prevention in South Africa and Ashley’s commitment to cancer research are excellent examples of students following their passion, and the Rotary Club of Charlottesville was thrilled to nominate them for this scholarship.”
He said the two scholars will connect with a wider global network of Rotarians in the communities where they will reside and continue their progress through graduate programs.
“Clearly Sasheenie and Ashley are directly contributing to one of Rotary’s six major causes: fighting disease,” said Andrus Ashoo, director of the Center of Undergraduate Excellence. “However, I think they were also competitive because they value community, personal and professional. Rotarians function as a global network of people dedicated to the public good, and Sasheenie and Ashley will be active participants in the Rotary community.”