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WIPL awards scholarships for two CCU students for internships

May 13, 2013

Women in Philanthropy and Leadership for Coastal Carolina University has selected two students to attend the Washington Internship Institute’s (WII) prestigious new Global Women’s Leadership Development program. Anastasia Rhodes and Alana Thornton, both political science majors, will each receive a $5,000 scholarship, funded by a private donor, to offset expenses for the semester-long internship in Washington, D.C.

Rhodes and Thornton were selected through a competitive interview process to attend WII in Fall 2013 and Spring 2014, respectively. Both students plan to graduate from Coastal Carolina University in May 2014.

Rhodes is studying political science with a focus on intelligence and national security. Prior to enrolling at CCU, she earned a degree in education and international relations from Voronezh State Pedagogical University in her native Russia, and she has also lived in the Dominican Republic. She plans to attend law school and pursue a career in international relations or diplomacy, and she hopes to “become a significant representative and voice in the international arena in an effort to facilitate better and more peaceful relationships between states.” Her goal is to become an active advocate for international rights and equality, especially in developing countries, and to engage and encourage women to become leaders and voices in their communities.

Thornton, of Greer, S.C., is majoring in political science with a minor in communication, and she plans to study law. The WII Global Women's Leadership Development program will allow her the opportunity to work with international and national nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), governmental agencies, and women’s political and advocacy groups to improve the conditions of equality and women’s rights, as well as to support women’s leadership in political and corporate positions. She hopes the experience will “be a gateway for me to help women become stronger leaders and impact the world to be a more equally balanced place.”

The Global Women's Leadership Development program focuses on the key issues facing women in the U.S. and around the world -- such as health, education, gender and family, entrepreneurship, and universal legal and human rights -- as well as domestic and international policy topics that affect women in leadership. The seminar-style classes and professional experiences focus on dialogue, discussion and debate, shaping ideas and critical thinking skills. For example, Rhodes will have the opportunity to attend a symposium in September on the status of women in Afghanistan. This high-profile event will be held at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars.

Coastal Carolina University students have participated in the WII program for a number of years, although the Global Women's Leadership Development track was launched in spring 2013. Other WII tracks are Environmental and Sustainability Policy Studies, Inside Washington, and International and Foreign Policy Studies. The WII experience supports CCU’s commitment to experiential learning for all students. The WIPL scholarships are the first donor-supported scholarships for WII. For more information about WII, please visit