AUBURN – Lauren Hayes, a spring 2009 Auburn University graduate and former Student Government Association president, has won a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship to attend Cambridge University in the fall.
Hayes will pursue a master of philosophy degree in education with a focus on politics, development and democratic education. She will examine the charter school movement in the United States and the U.K.
“I feel extremely blessed and fortunate to have this experience ahead of me,” said Hayes. “I’m extremely thankful for the Rotary Club for this opportunity to study at Cambridge and for my friends, family, and Auburn professors and administrators who provided so much support and encouragement throughout this process.
“I believe my education at Auburn both in and out of the classroom prepared and inspired me to pursue Rotary Scholarship.”
As a student at Auburn, Lauren was elected the university’s second female SGA president and in that role spearheaded the successful effort to build a new student recreation and wellness center as well as helped to create the position of vice president for student affairs for the university. She graduated with a 3.93 grade point average in the College of Liberal Arts, majoring in public administration and German.
Because of her numerous academic and leadership accomplishments, Lauren was selected to the USA Today Academic All USA Second Team in the spring of 2009. Lauren currently serves as co-chair of the Honors College Development Council and on the College of Liberal Arts Women’s Leadership Institute Board of Advisors.
“Lauren Hayes is an embodiment of the Auburn Woman – a woman with true character,” said Paul Harris, associate director of the National Prestigious Scholarship Office at Auburn. “I am reminded of a quote on character which encompasses the person of Lauren Hayes: ‘What is character? Character can be described as someone who does the right thing, who works hard and doesn’t cut corners.’ Lauren is one of the hardest working students I know, always doing the right thing and never cutting corners.”
The primary purpose of the Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship is to further international understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries. The application process is lengthy requiring a 1,500-word research proposal/rationale for study, three letters of recommendation and an interview with the Rotary District Committee.
During the study period, scholars are expected to be outstanding ambassadors of goodwill to the people of the host country through both informal and formal appearances before Rotary clubs and districts, school and civic organizations and other forums. After study has been completed, scholars share their experiences with the people of their home countries and with the local Rotarians who sponsored their scholarship.
(Written by Mike Clardy.)