January 11, 2013
Shawnee State University student Brittany Hablitzel, daughter of Christy Hablitzel, of Piketon, Ohio, has received the Byrne-Coll scholarship for her trip to study abroad in Spain.
Hablitzel is a business administration major at SSU. She will be studying at Universitat Jaume I in Castellon, Spain during Spring Semester.
Frank Byrne, Ph.D. is a retired linguistics professor and his wife, Julia Coll, Ph.D. is a Spanish language and literature professor.
Byrne started the exchange program with the first students participating in 1998. In order to receive the scholarship, a student must be studying abroad in Spain.
"We want to encourage students to go to Spain and to travel," Coll said. "We know that expenses are a major problem for students to go abroad."
Coll was employed at two universities in South America and one in Arizona before coming to Shawnee State.
The scholarship will help Hablitzel with expenses as an exchange student during spring semester. She will also have an opportunity to travel Europe during breaks from school.
"The scholarship is meant to encourage international education and to give students a broader knowledge and appreciation of other peoples and cultures," Byrne said.
In his career, Byrne has been on the faculty of six universities abroad with four in Europe, one in South America and one in the Caribbean. Five of those were guest professorships.
"I have always wanted to travel abroad and get the full experience of how people live in other countries," said Hablitzel, "This is such an amazing opportunity and I am very thankful that Dr. Byrne and Dr. Coll have offered me this scholarship."