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Monday, June 5, 2023

Rotary Scholarship: Creating Life-Changing Opportunities

Written by Cristina Hernandez

Since 2002, the San Diego/Imperial Counties Rotary District 5340 has supported life-changing scholarships for international students to pursue their masters degrees at the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies.

Rotary International, a global network of 1.4 million volunteers, is driven by many of the same goals as the Kroc School, such as providing service to others, addressing community needs, promoting peace and understanding, and bridging cultural gaps.

This year’s Rotary Scholarship was awarded to Nurjamal Shadieva, a student from Kyrgyzstan. Nurjamal graduated last month with her Master of Science in Conflict Management and Resolution. She plans to return to her home country and work for the government, hoping to make a substantial impact by applying the knowledge and skills she has gained from the Kroc School. 


The 2023 Master of Science in Conflict Management & Resolution cohort with faculty advisor Prof. Sarah Federman and Dean Patricia Márquez

Nurjamal is the most recent of a long line of Rotary Scholars at the Kroc School. Past Rotary Scholars include students from Kenya, Brazil, Uganda, China, South Africa, Afghanistan, Ecuador, Pakistan, Tanzania, Lebanon, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Puerto Rico, Mexico and more – 21 countries in all. Each of them completed their degrees. Many of these alumni now work in government for their home countries, for the United Nations, for NGOs, and for universities. One has founded a human rights law clinic. Seeing the work these Kroc graduates are pursuing truly showcases how this scholarship has made a ripple effect across the world. 


Steve Brown, Nurjamal Shadieva, and Dr. Cynthia Villis

It is important to note that the Rotary Scholarship would not exist without the visionary leadership of Rotary District 5340, of Steve Brown, a past trustee of The Rotary Foundation, and of Dr. Cynthia Villis, retired Assistant Provost at the University of San Diego. Together they worked tirelessly to ensure funding for deserving students and to create a welcoming environment for them when they arrive in San Diego.

If you are interested in changing a student’s life and creating a named scholarship fund, please contact Cristina Hernandez at cahernandez@sandiego.edu or 619-260-4146.

Cristina Hernandez

About the Author

Cristina Hernandez

Cristina Hernandez is the Assistant Director of Development at the Kroc School.