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CCU student Madison Scholar wins Rotary Global Grant to study in the UK

August 21, 2018
Coastal Carolina University student Madison Scholar has been awarded a Rotary Global Grant for up to $50,000 to study in the United Kingdom during the 2019-2020 academic year.

Coastal Carolina University student Madison Scholar has been awarded a Rotary Global Grant for up to $50,000 to study in the United Kingdom during the 2019-2020 academic year.

Scholar, a senior majoring in intelligence and national security studies from Marietta, Ga., will pursue a master’s degree in peace and conflict prevention/resolution at the University of Manchester.

The scholarship is funded through Rotary International and administered through an annual competition in Rotary’s District 7770. Applicants work through the CCU Rotary Global Grant Mentoring Committee, which includes a partnership between Myrtle Beach Rotary Club and Carolina Forest Sunrise Rotary Club, as well as CCU faculty and staff, to prepare an extensive written application. Applicants must be sponsored by a local Rotary Club to proceed to the district competition. Scholar was sponsored by the Myrtle Beach Rotary Club.

All applicants participated in a day of interviews on Saturday, Aug. 18, with Rotarian leadership from the district. Scholar was one of 12 applicants to reach the interview round this year, and one of three to receive the award this cycle.

“Coastal Carolina University strives to enhance the global perspective of our students,” said CCU President David DeCenzo. “Ms. Scholar’s award is a tribute to her work ethic, drive and commitment to learning about the world. The students in the intelligence and national security studies program here at CCU have many ways to get involved and enhance their ability to lead change. We congratulate Ms. Scholar on her achievement!”

Joining the Coast Guard when she was 18, Scholar was at that time the youngest person to graduate from the police academy at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Charleston, S.C. She was elected squad leader of the 21-person team, on which she was both the youngest and the only female. Scholar continues to be a member of the Coast Guard Reserve while studying full time for her degree at CCU. She volunteers with her local church as a part of the security and medical team, as well as its jail ministry. She also supports her veteran community through CCU’s Student Veterans Association and serves as chief of operations for the Chanticleer Intelligence Brief (CIB) at CCU, focusing on drug prevention.

“We are happy to lead a mentoring program for this Rotary Global Grant Program,” said Darla Domke-Damonte, associate provost for global initiatives at Coastal Carolina University, chair of the grant’s local mentoring group and a member of the Carolina Forest Sunrise Rotary Club. “This grant program provides scholarship support of up to $50,000 to sponsor a full academic year abroad for students whose academic and professional goals and service above self focus fit with one of Rotary’s six areas of focus, which include: peace and conflict resolution/prevention, basic education and literacy, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, and economic and community development. Ms. Scholar’s commitments to service above self and area of focus were clear fits with the grant purpose, and we are delighted to see her win this award."

Scholar’s studies will focus on the prevention and resolution of conflict through the reduction of drug trafficking.

“The Rotary Global Grant Scholarship gives me a chance to combine my academic knowledge and passion for leading through service toward a career aimed to making the world a safer place,” said Scholar.

Joseph Fitsanakis, associate professor of politics at CCU and one of Scholar’s mentors in the intelligence and national security studies program, said, “I have never encountered a more genuinely curious, serious and dedicated student. Her eagerness to learn about the world and to contribute to its betterment is absolutely unparalleled in my time as a teacher.”

CCU’s most recent past student to be awarded the Rotary Global Grant and complete her studies abroad was Victoria Livinski, who studied in London in 2009-2010. To learn more information about the Rotary Global Grant mentoring program at Coastal Carolina University, contact Domke-Damonte at 843-349-2129 or To learn more about the Rotary District 7770 global grant program, contact Lou Mello,