By Jessica Steed
Daniel Colburn absorbed history and archeology as he studied thermodynamics and circuits during a study abroad program in London this summer.
Colburn, a junior at the University of Tennessee, was awarded a $2,000 Dr. Adrian R. Lawler Exchange Student Scholarship in the fall of 2014, which supported his participation in the five-week UT engineering program in London, his first experience abroad. In the Chancellor’s Honors Program, Colburn is majoring in mechanical engineering, with a minor in business and maintainability and reliability.
“We partnered those academic experiences with some real world experiences outside the classroom,” Colburn said of the London study abroad program.
While taking two classes, one in thermodynamics and another in circuits and electromechanical components, he immersed himself in the city’s history and culture and learned of the technological advances that originated there.
The British Museum of Science, Bletchley Park, where the Allies cracked the German Enigma code during World War II, and the Greenwich Royal Observatory, location of the Prime Meridian, were among highlights of his experiences outside the classroom. Colburn also had the opportunity to visit Rome, where he toured the Coliseum with an archeologist unearthing artifacts there.
The Lawler Scholarship supports international study programs and is administered by the Oak Ridge Public Schools Education Foundation. Lawler, an Oak Ridge High School graduate and the second student here to participate in an American Field Service international program in 1957, established the scholarship in 2008 to offer students here similar opportunities to gain tolerance and understanding of people from other cultures.
The Education Foundation is now accepting applications for the fall 2015 Lawler Scholarship. The deadline for applications is October 30. Applications are available through the Foundation’s website at www.orpsef.org, under the Lawler Scholarship tab, and should be returned to the Oak Ridge Public Schools Education Foundation, P.O. Box 117 MS-22, Oak Ridge, TN 37831.
Students with a B+ average attending Oak Ridge schools and graduates of Oak Ridge High School currently attending college are eligible for the scholarship. The scholarship will not usually provide total funding, but instead encourage students to earn part of their funding as a life lesson.
Colburn, a 2013 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, said he was inspired to study abroad after his experience hosting a Northern Irish teenager for a month as part of the Ulster Project during high school.
“Our new friend often had different expressions, tastes in food and clothes, and outlooks on life, but friendship and family ties were built,” he said of the experience, which helped him gain a curiosity and concern for global neighbors.
“My love for the international sport of soccer has also shown me that, although we may have different upbringings and cultures, common interests and pursuits can create a bond of friendship,” he added.
Colburn, the son of Scott and Julie Colburn, said he is undecided on where his degree will take him, although he is considering a masters in business administration to combine his engineering and business interests.
The Oak Ridge Public Schools Education Foundation invests in the Oak Ridge Public Schools beyond what public tax dollars can provide to ensure the highest quality of education for Oak Ridge students. The Foundation raises funds through grants and private donations. The Foundation then invests in enhanced educational programming, innovative technology, and state of the art facilities for teachers and students. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.orpsef.org or contact Jessica Steed at 241-3667.
Jessica Steed is executive director of the Oak Ridge Public Schools Education Foundation.
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