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Expanding Vistas for Adventurous Spirits
Traveling abroad is something of a family tradition for Beverly Earle P ’12 and her husband, John Sloan, P ’12, MSFP ’14.
As a Bentley professor for nearly 33 years, Bev has taught in China and France, and lived in Paris for an academic year with her family. John, a retired architect, traveled in his graduate program and career. Their daughter, Molly, MBA ’12, has experienced the cultures of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, China and Costa Rica.
"Travel reinforces that learning is a lifelong activity," says Bev, the Adamian Professor of Law. "You meet people who may think differently and open yourself up to new viewpoints, not necessarily changing your opinion, but helping you appreciate multiple frameworks."
Their Earle and Sloan Travel Fellowship extends these benefits to current students. Its first recipient, Olyvia Leahy ’16, went to Iceland for a course led by Natural and Applied Science faculty members Robert Ackert and Thom Davis.
"I had never left the East Coast, never mind the country," says Leahy. "But I knew there was so much to see and do in the world."
How right she was. Leahy circumnavigated the country over the course of 14 days. During excursions that showcased the country’s many unique natural features, she observed the influence of hydrological and geo-thermal forces on Iceland’s landscape and socioeconomic conditions.
"I’ve learned about plenty of geological phenomena, but it was eye opening to experience things like glaciers, lava fields and geo-thermal pools in person," says Leahy, who credits the trip for solidifying connections between her Actuarial Science major and Liberal Studies major concentration in Earth, Environment and Global Sustainability. "Catastrophe modeling is one of the hottest topics for actuaries in property and casualty insurance companies. The more we know, the better we can prepare and plan."
Her observations speak to what inspired the fellowship donors. "Study and travel abroad helps students get beyond their own neighborhood," says Bev. "They are opened up to the vastness of the world and often find new motivation to study and work hard."
U.S. News & World Report ranked Bentley No. 2 among regional universities in New England and the Mid-Atlantic states, up from No. 3 last year, highlighting Bentley’s high-quality faculty and academic programs along with the strong value that students receive from a Bentley education.