Samantha Spagnoli ’15, a Global Studies and English major, has been selected to participate in the International Youth Leadership Program, hosted by Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China, Summer 2015.
Born and raised in France, Spagnoli will receive her BA from Hofstra this August. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, having maintained a GPA of 3.96. She spent the spring 2014 semester studying abroad in South Korea. She subsequently completed an Honors Dissertation titled “Comparative Analysis of Subways and Commuter Rails in Three major World Cities: Paris, New York and Seoul.” This project, which was awarded High Honors, increased her interest in the obstacles facing local transportation policies on a global scale. It is her intention to return to live in New York following completion of her studies in China.
The International Youth Leadership Program is a three-week course taking place on both Beijing Normal University’s Southern Zhuhai campus and its Northern Beijing campus. During their stay in China, international students attend lectures given by a distinguished academic faculty on various topics such as leadership training, cross-cultural communication, modern Chinese politics, issues and strategies of Chinese social organizations. Students from different backgrounds are grouped together to partake in workshops and fieldtrips. These activities allow students to develop a research topic that they must present at the end of the program. Topics range from the country’s issues regarding social work, rural-urban migration, child welfare, social inequality, environment and development, and NGO leadership. This program is funded by BNU, and Hofstra has awarded Spagnoli a grant to cover her airfare to Beijing.
Dr. Grant Saff, chair of the Global Studies and Geography Department, praised Spagnoli’s acceptance into the program. “Samantha is a truly outstanding student and will be wonderful ambassador for Hofstra and our department. She is fully deserving of this honor.”