Sarah Brady | June 15, 2017
Gaston College’s first Scholar of Global Distinction, Avalon Warren, graduated on Friday, May 12, 2017. Warren achieved this honor by taking globally-intensive courses, presenting a portfolio, contributing to global activities and committing herself to being a global scholar.
The North Carolina Global Distinction program is a collaboration between North Carolina community colleges and World View at UNC-Chapel Hill to globalize curriculum and increase faculty and student involvement in global issues, activities and dialogue.
Warren attributes much of her global viewpoint to her upbringing. “Since I was a child my parents exposed me to all sorts of intercultural experiences,” Warren said. “International travel wasn’t necessarily an option financially, but they believed that within our ‘melting pot’ of a country there was still much to discover, so they would take me all over the place throughout the U.S. . . . It gave me a sense of understanding, acceptance, and love for all people, no matter their background, race, gender or religion.”
Brian Bookout, a Gaston College instructor of history and sociology and the chair of the Global Imprints Team, first introduced Warren to the NC Global Distinction program and encouraged her to participate. “Avalon has been our most passionate student since the beginning and has really shown a willingness to expand her knowledge of globally-themed issues as is evidenced by her attendance and participation in most of the relevant events we have held over the past two semesters,” said Bookout.
Warren’s passion for the program is evident, and she recommends that anyone interested in different cultures apply to be a Scholar of Global Distinction. “Although becoming a Scholar of Global Distinction required a good bit of time, dedication and hard work, everything was so enjoyable and it felt more like entertainment than education,” she said. “I feel as though my understanding of the world around me and the social issues that follow has increased substantially.”
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