Following her desire to learn and constant encouragement, Ann Mecca Unsworth CLAS ’16 has become a scholar of many continents. The double Spanish and Latin American Studies Major has had the unique opportunity to study abroad three times during her undergraduate career.
She studied in Valparaíso, Chile during the summer of 2013 and Cochabamba, Bolivia during the spring semester of 2014. Ann is currently studying as a Boren Scholar in Maputo, Mozambique for her Ron Cruse Fellowship.
“This program is helping me to immerse myself into my host country on various levels,” Ann said about her time in Maputo. “When I’m not in class, I spend time with my host family, wander the city with Mozambican friends, and travel with my program to get to know sites outside of the city as well. Each day presents opportunities to learn something new about this culturally diverse country and its ever-welcoming people.”
Throughout this immersive Boren Scholarship program, funded by the National Security Education Program, Ann is currently taking language, culture and history classes at the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in addition to staying with a Mozambican host family.
As part of the program’s mission to cultivate diverse language skills and unique cultural knowledge, all of Ann’s intensive 90-minute classes are taught exclusively in Portuguese.
“When I return, I will seek out career opportunities in both Foreign Service and domestic rings,” Ann said. Boren Scholarship awardees incur a federal service requirement in return for their funding. “I hope to find a government position that allows me to use my language skills and my cultural knowledge to facilitate peaceful and just international relations between the U.S. and the rest of the global community.”
Ann attributes much of her yearning to learn to experiences with the Center for Peace and Justice Education as well as the Office of Education Abroad where she works as an office assistant.
“I would not have made it abroad, nor earned the Cruse International Fellowship, if not for the interactions I’ve had with these brilliant people,” Ann said. “On a large scale, I attribute much of my insatiable thirst for knowledge to my professors and peers at Villanova who have always pushed me to know more, to always ask more questions.”
During her time at Villanova Ann Unsworth is involved in the Villanova Student Musical Theatre, Villanova Gospel Choir, Campus Ministry Retreats, Blue Key Society, Villanova Ambassadors, volunteering as a Global Key Ambassador for study abroad and as a Catholic Relief Services Ambassador.