On Friday, April 29th the Department of International Languages and Cultures hosted their sixteenth annual Rosita Award Ceremony. The awards were held in Sunnen lounge and included many new additions. About seventy-five people attended the event, which consisted of an icebreaker, a catered dinner, student performances, and awards.
The Rosita Award recognizes students who embrace the spirit of multilingualism by continuing the study of language beyond the beginning level. In order to be eligible, students must be currently enrolled at Webster University and must have received a B or better in at least four language or culture classes. Each Rosita candidate receives a certificate and is entered into a drawing for a $250 scholarship. Twenty-seven students qualified for the drawing this year. At the ceremony, the Gorlok made a surprise appearance and conducted the drawing in which Emily Sharpe and Yan Su’s names were selected. Emily Sharpe was extremely excited and said that she would use her $250 award to help fund her summer study abroad trip to Geneva. Yan Su was so surprised that she wasn’t sure how she would use the scholarship.
This year, for the first time, The Center for International Education was a part of the ceremony. The Director, Debbie Pierce gave an inspiring introduction. Then, each of the seven International Distinction Recipients were given a certificate. The seven awardees were Anas Alzahrani, Manuel Leon Hoyos, Fredericka Louis Schmitendorf Brandt, Aaliyah Sekatawa, Laura Steele, Giang Tran, and Truong Minh Tuan. To be eligible for the International Distinction Award, students must have reached academic competence in a second language, studied abroad for at least one term, and have acquired international field experience. The International Distinction Award is also acknowledged on students’ diplomas.
The second addition was the “International Studies Global Citizen High School Essay Contest” awards. An announcement about the contest was sent to over 70 area high schools in which juniors and seniors were asked to answer the question, “What is a global citizen and why is it important to be one?” Once essays had been submitted, they were ranked by members of the International Studies Committee and the ILC. The Top Ten Finalists were invited to Webster University for an afternoon of enrichment. The students went on a campus tour, participated in a language table, attended a panel discussion, and engaged in a culture exchange. After their afternoon of activities, the ten high school students and their parents attended the Rosita Ceremony in which they received a certificate, a bag of Webster swag, and a book about studying abroad. The essay contests was launched in a hope to create a positive image of Webster University and International Studies in the community.
The Rosita Award is possible because of generous donations from faculty and staff. The original fund was put in place by, Consuelo Gallagher, who wanted to reward students for pursuing language study. Consuelo was a professor at Webster and has made many other contributions to the success of the university and its students.
This year’s event was better than ever! The ILC was glad to have the participation of the eCenter for International Education, the Centre Francophone, and English as a Second Language. The Department of International Languages and Cultures would also like to congratulate all of those who received an award!