BENNINGTON -- A Bennington resident will continue her studies overseas thanks to a scholarship from Rotary International.

Jordan Shapiro, who graduated from Dorset's Long Trail School in 2010 and the University of Rochester in 2014, will return to Wales to study international relations at Aberystwyth University in the town of the same name. Shapiro spent six weeks in Wales in the summer of 2011 at Cardiff University, Bangor University, and Aberystwyth, thanks to a US-UK Fulbright Commission Scholarship.

This time, Shapiro will work to earn her master's degree in international relations thanks to a Rotary Global Grant Scholarship. The global grant program helps to fund humanitarian projects, vocational training teams, and graduate-level academic studies around the world. Rotary International has 1.2 million members across six continents, and began as the Rotary Club of Chicago in 1905. Since 1947, the organization has donated over $532 million to such causes.

Shapiro, who majored in international relations and history at Rochester, plans to write her thesis on the 1998 Devolution Referendum, according to a release from Rochester. That resolution asked the people of Wales, "Do you agree that there should be a Welsh Assembly, as proposed by the Government." The resolution passed by only 7,000 votes, 50.3 percent to 49.7 percent, and led to the passing of the Government of Wales Act in 1998, which formed the National Assembly of Wales. Shapiro plans to use primary source documents in the National Libraries of Wales as part of her research.


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While in Wales, Shapiro will teach a seminar on elections, voting, and political advocacy at the Ysgol Penglais School in Aberystwyth. "I'm excited to work with Penglais, as encouraging political advocacy in young people helps them not only feel confident in their ability to make a difference, but creates the active citizenship essential to democracy," she said.

Shapiro was the first Rochester student to be selected as a US-UK Fulbright Summer Institute Participant, and will now be the first alumnus to receive the Rotary Global Grant Scholarship.

Before traveling to Wales for the first time in 2011, Shapiro spoke with the Bennington Banner about her hopes for her studies. "One of the things I'm looking forward to," she said, "is that Welsh history and English history is closely tied to American history, obviously, and I know in New England we have a lot of people with Welsh descent. The Granville slate mines were started by the Welsh, so it will be very interesting for me to correlate the two histories as well as the people, and to better understand Americans through the Welsh."

Derek Carson can be reached for comment at dcarson@benningtonbanner.com. Follow him on Twitter @DerekCarsonBB