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Meet the three new Ricci Scholars who will study abroad next year

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Loyola University Chicago has selected its 2014–2015 Ricci Scholars, students who will travel to Italy and China during their junior year to study, travel, and conduct cross-cultural research. The Ricci Scholars program offers a scholarship to highly qualified students who spend their junior year at Loyola’s John Felice Rome Center and the Beijing Center for Chinese Studies.

Students apply for this unique and prestigious scholarship as sophomores; prepare their research proposals, conduct field research, and travel as juniors; and then complete their projects as seniors at Loyola.

Three Loyola sophomores have been chosen as the next group of Ricci Scholars. The cohort includes: Gustavo Arreguin, Sanjana Kantayya, and Jacob Miller.

Each of these scholars has performed at the highest levels of their class academically, and each enjoys the support of a faculty mentor. During their stays in Rome and Beijing, they will participate in regular classes, in addition to carrying out their Ricci Scholars projects.

Launched in the fall of 2007, the Ricci Scholarship program is supported by the generous gift of a donor to Loyola University Chicago. The scholarship covers round-trip travel, language tutorials, program seminars, research expenses, and study travel.

Unlike other international experiences, the Ricci program allows students to engage two cultures within the span of nine months—Western European culture in Rome and East Asian culture in Beijing—and challenges them to integrate these experiences with a third culture, that of the United States. This triple cultural immersion, achieved through a coordinated effort linking Chicago, Rome, and Beijing, is currently unparalleled by any other study-abroad program. The Ricci Scholars program brings together the cultures of East and West in an educational context that reflects the complexities and opportunities of the 21st century.

Learn more about the program at the Ricci Scholars website.


Gustavo Arreguin

Gustavo Arreguin hails from Evanston, Illinois. He is an international studies and Spanish double major with minors in Catholic studies and political science. Arreguin has been awarded a scholarship to examine how the images and memories of the 20th-century dictators Mao Zedong and Benito Mussolini have been reconstructed, revised, and/or perpetuated in their respective countries in the early 21st-century. He will make use of a wide variety of sources, from architecture and public iconography, to the contents of museums and art exhibitions in Rome and Beijing in order to illuminate this topic. 


Sanjana Kantayya

Sanjana Kantayya is a member of Loyola’s honors program and is majoring in international studies, with a minor in Arabic language and culture. She hails from Rockford, Illinois. As the daughter of a medical missionary, she has had the opportunity to travel abroad to Nigeria and India and learn about their developing healthcare systems. For her cross-cultural project, Kantayya’s proposing to explore how religion shapes interconnections between culture and healthcare in Italy and China. She is especially interested in what Italians and Chinese see as defining, causing, and maintaining health and how these conceptions are shaped by their respective religious traditions. 


Jacob Miller 

Jacob Miller of Algonquin, Illinois, is another member of the honors program. He is pursuing a major in sociology and minors in English and women’s and gender studies. Miller’s project will look at the place currently occupied by Marx and Marxism in Italy’s post-industrial and China’s post-communist economies and societies. To address this larger question, he will examine how the classic works of Marx are currently interpreted and taught in institutions of higher learning in Rome and Beijing.