HATTIESBURG - A
recent graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi has been
awarded the Rotary Ambassadorial Fellowship by the Rotary Foundation
of Rotary International.
Katie McGee of Hattiesburg will use the $25,000 scholarship
to study for one year at the University of Manchester in England.
McGee, who graduated from Southern Miss in May, will pursue a master's
degree in audiology at Manchester.
McGee said she fell in love with the speech and hearing
sciences after a mission trip to Honduras, where she fitted children
with hearing aids at a school for the deaf.
"It was such an amazing experience, and I was
so touched by it that I decided this is what I want to do for the
rest of my life," said McGee, who departs for England Sept.
To win the Rotary award, one of two given to Hattiesburg
college students this year, McGee had to complete written essays
and conduct an interview with nine Rotarians from the New Orleans
district. McGee's grade point average of 3.9 was also an important
factor in her selection.
"First, a club has to meet her and to agree to
sponsor her," said one of McGee's undergraduate speech and
hearing professors at Southern Miss, Dr. Margaret Carlin. "Then
she got the application. Katie was up against many others and the
competition was stiff."
In addition to being active in mission trips to Honduras
and Russia, McGee, who received a bachelor's degree in speech pathology
and audiology, has worked with a sign language group at Southern
Miss. She also participated in student government while an undergraduate.
When she returns home, McGee is required to speak
at Rotary clubs about her experiences abroad. She said the scholarship
will provided her an opportunity to spread cultural goodwill, as
well as to get an excellent education.
After getting her master's, McGee hopes to achieve
certification in her field and land a job in the Hattiesburg area.