Do you know students who have a passion for Rotary’s values and whose dreams are to complete graduate degrees abroad to further those dreams?  If you do, follow Rotarian Dean Dickinson’s lead from the La Crosse After Hours Club and search the District 6250 website under Global Grants to find out more about two programs that might just help students accomplish those dreams.  The programs are: Global Scholars Grants and Peace Fellows.  Dean followed up, and now Tierney Ray Hall visited the After Hours Club whose members are acting as the sponsor (US side) club for her Master’s Degree at the University of Oxford, UK, where she is studying International Relations. 
Tierney graduated from UW-Madison with a degree in Political Science/International Studies and then worked for two years in health initiatives with Afghan refugees in Wisconsin at Fort McCoy and also as the member of a Wisconsin Travel Health Team.  She is the kind of person who is a stellar example of someone who wants to do good in the world and values “Service Above Self.”  She is the District 6250 Global Scholar Grant recipient for 2023-24. 
So what is a Global Scholar?  Each year District 6250 asks for applications for scholarships for graduate study abroad from students who have completed undergraduate degrees and have a relationship with District 6250 through living here, working here, or studying here.
Applications are due February 10 for the following year and a district committee interviews applicants at the end of February or early March.  After the committee has chosen a scholar, the Global Scholar Chair and the applicant write a Rotary International Foundation Grant.  When RI approves the grant, the student receives a scholarship totaling $30,000 for the academic year funded jointly by the District Foundation and Rotary International.  Given the costs of international tuition, this substantial amount often doesn’t fully cover even tuition, let alone living costs, visas, or health insurance.  Still, it can make the difference between a student being able to follow a dream or not. 
To demonstrate the activities of some of the impressive recent past Global Scholars from the district, let’s look at Katrina Kalcic who completed a degree at Oxford University after having worked for the United Nations in Uganda.  She is currently working as a consultant on the African continent helping struggling nations apply for and implement grants from organizations such as USAID and the World Health Organization.  Another scholar, Cerise Siamof, who completed a Master’s Degree at Cambridge University, worked in genetic health research in the UK and is now completing a Medical Degree at Washington University.  Our most recent scholar, Karissa Bjornstad, will be completing her Master’s Degree this fall.  Every one of them will make a difference in the world.
Peace Fellows is another program supported by District 6250.  These students complete a year of fully paid post undergraduate Rotary-approved study at one of six Peace Centers in the world:
  • Duke University & University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, US
  • International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan
  • University of Bradford, Bradford, England
  • University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
  • Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
  • Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
Unlike Global Scholars, District 6250 accepts applications year round from anywhere in the world and then mentors these students through the highly competitive RI process.  Fifty students are chosen worldwide for these programs each year.  Though the District does not contribute funds to this process, it does contribute time and support for the students.  Chris Smith ( is the current Peace Fellows chair for the District.
For more information, and if you should happen to be looking for a speaker on Global Scholars, please contact your District 6250 Global Scholars Chair, Lois Smith ( and let her know!