Student eyes Mongolia studies with Lacey funds

December 8, 2016

Seth Clark ’18, a Saint Michael’s College junior political science major from Porter, Maine, is the spring semester recipient of the Brian Lacey International Fellowship in Social Justice Award.

He’ll use the funds for traveling to and living in Mongolia, where he aims to explore an “identity crisis” among members of a traditionally nomadic nation that is industrializing. He also hopes to find an internship to do humanitarian work while there.

The point, he wrote in his application for the scholarship, is to leave his “comfort zone,” given his belief that “personal growth can never be done from a place of security.”

“I want to be able to satisfy my interest in political science and my curious spirit,” Clark wrote.

But given a burdensome financial situation for his family, who live in small-town western Maine, a scholarship seemed like the only way to have such a dramatic and important growth experience, he said. He plans on using the Lacey funds to cover plane tickets, clothes and books along with “transportation, translators and unforeseen situations” once he is there.

A central theme of his studies will be to discover how industrialization and a world economy “are being welcomed – or resisted” in Mongolia. “To witness the consequences of the world economy in a less privileged country can bring about far more understanding than reading about it in a textbook,” he said.  The study program he is entering is administered by the Vermont-based School for International Training.

The Brian Lacey International Fellowship in Social Justice is designed to encourage and honor students who have demonstrated superior academic achievement as well as a dedication to a deeper understanding of issues and social-justice. This merit-and need-based award is intended to recognize students who show initiative, imagination and motivation to apply their academic skills to the betterment of humanity.

The fellowship is offered once each semester. They are funded through gifts from Brian Lacey ’72 — president of Lacey Entertainment, a New York-based worldwide television marketing, production and distribution company. Lacey is also founder and director of the Kilkea Foundation, a non-profit organization that encourages and honors excellence in the humanities, arts and sciences. This benefactor also has established the Henry G. Fairbanks Endowed Chair in the Humanities at Saint Michael’s through the Kilkea Foundation.

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