Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

May 12, 2003

Whitworth Student Wins Prestigious Scholarship to Study in Hong Kong

Sophomore chemistry and pre-med major Erik Lystad, of University Place, Wash., recently won a U.S. Government National Security Education Program David L. Boren Scholarship. The $12,400 award will allow Lystad to study in Hong Kong for the 2003-04 academic year. One of 183 undergraduate students chosen from an applicant pool of 760, Lystad will continue his studies in chemistry and Chinese language and culture at the University of Hong Kong.

The National Security Education Program was designed to help students acquire the international competence needed to communicate effectively across borders, to understand other cultural perspectives, and to analyze increasingly fluid economic and political realities in countries and areas of the world critical to the future security of the United States.

"This scholarship is a very competitive and prestigious award," says Professor of Political Studies John Yoder. "Erik is one of the very best students I have encountered in the last several years. His level of intellectual energy is obvious, genuine and contagious. Even more impressive than Erik's intellectual promise is his motivation, maturity and self-reliance."

While in Hong Kong, Lystad hopes to become involved in the Chinese medical field while learning the culture and language. His future plans include attending medical school in the United States while participating in a medical graduate-school exchange program with China.

"We are very proud of Erik and know that this experience will enrich his academic experience and help to prepare him for his goal of being a doctor in China," says Sue Jackson, Whitworth's National Security Education Program campus representative.

"Ever since I was little I knew I would be a medical missionary; I just didn't know where," Lystad says. Having studied Mandarin Chinese for the last year, Lystad is looking at Western China as his medical-ministry destination.

"God has been opening up my heart to serve China and then this study opportunity opened," says Lystad, who is now waiting for the U.S. government travel warning concerning SARS to be lifted. "The scholarship is definitely a blessing; I would not have been able to go without it."

Contacts:

Sue Jackson, National Security Education Program campus representative, director of off-campus studies, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4596 or sjackson@whitworth.edu.

John Yoder, professor of political studies, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4432 or johnyoder@whitworth.edu.

Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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