Mary Ellen Bess, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Morgantown, was recently awarded a 2002-2003 Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship to study at the University of Hertfordshire (Hatfield, England) this fall.

A senior at West Virginia University, Bess is majoring in political science and philosophy. She has been a member of the award-winning WVU Debate Team and currently serves as coach of the first-year debaters. She has held offices in the Debate and Forensics Association, Pre-Law Society, Pi Sigma Sigma and Pi Sigma Alpha (political science honoraries), ACLU -WVU and Mortarboard (public service senior national honorary).

Bess is from Richwood and is the daughter of Karen and William Bess and the granddaughter of Goldie Bess.

As a graduate student, Bess plans to study the operation of government and political and social ideology of Great Britain.

“For my entire undergraduate career, I have examined the function of government primarily from the viewpoint of the United States,”Bess said.”Considering the interconnected nature of world governments, better knowledge of a foreign government will aid in superior understanding of the U.S. political system. Furthermore, this experience will advance my long-term aspirations of attaining a doctorate and teaching future generations about laws and governments.”

Bess will receive funding to cover round-trip transportation, tuition and fees, room, board and necessary education supplies for one academic year, up to a maximum of $25,000.

Bess is one of approximately 1,200 students worldwide to receive a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship this year. Designed to promote international understanding and goodwill, the scholarships give students the opportunity to study in more than 160 countries where Rotary clubs are located and some non-Rotary countries, such as China and Vietnam.

While abroad, Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholars speak to Rotary clubs and districts, schools, civic organizations and other forums where they act as”ambassadors of goodwill.”

The Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarships program is the worlds largest privately sponsored international scholarship program. Focused on humanitarian service, personal diplomacy and academic excellence, the program has sponsored more than 30,000 Rotary Scholars abroad since it began in 1947.

For more information and an application for the Academic-Year Scholarship, contact William E. Collins, 8 Alicia Ave., Morgantown, WV 26501 -4102, phone 304-292-1275 or email wcollins@wvu.edu .Interested students and club committee chairs may also consult the Rotary Web site at http://www.rotary.org/newsandinfo/downloadcenter/pdfs/139en.pdf where the application may be downloaded in English.