Scholar Spotlight: Elizabeth Folkers
School: University of Iowa || Major: Ethics & Public Policy
Elizabeth majors in Ethics and Public Policy (Specialization in Sexuality and Gender in Social Systems), Spanish, Latina/o/x Studies Minor, and is on the Pre-Law track. Elizabeth has studied abroad and traveled to many Spanish speaking places. She also took her favorite class while studying abroad. Scroll to find out what her favorite class was and more about Elizabeth!
What opportunities or experiences have you been able to take part in that you might not have been able to without the scholarship?
Thanks to the scholarship, I was able to study abroad. As a Spanish major, traveling to a Spanish-speaking country is vital to solidify fluency and learn about the country’s culture. I stayed for eight weeks in Santiago, Chile, one week in San Pedro de la Atacama (in northern Chile) and spent weekends in Valparaíso (on the coast), and Punta Arenas (which is in southern Chile and near Tierra del Fuego). I also had an opportunity to visit Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Without the Bright Scholarship, I would never have been able to save enough to finance these additional learning opportunities. Studying in Chile was my first and only experience (thus far) outside the United States. My mom always tells me how lucky I am to travel more than the rest of my family, and I am very grateful to the Bright Foundation for the opportunity.
What is your favorite class and why?
My favorite class so far has been Dances of Latin America, which I took while studying abroad. This class introduced me to salsa dancing and bachata, which I continued when I came back to Iowa through the Iowa City Salsa Practice Group, our college’s salsa club, and by attending dancing events around town. It gave me a new hobby and a way to meet people. I’m sure it will continue to bring me joy long after I graduate.
What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?
Find a community that you can grow in and a place where you can seek comfort, validation and acceptance. For me, this meant surrounding myself with other first-generation students in both TRiO and my sorority, alpha Kappa Delta Phi, International Sorority, Inc. These organizations reminded me of home and helped me gain understanding from people with similar backgrounds about my experiences at the University of Iowa.
What’s the best food on campus?
My favorite food on campus is the potato soup at Burge Residence Hall. It reminds me of the potato soup my dad makes at home in the wintertime.