Kelli Fleming is a Spanish Education major from Orville, Ohio. Max Ostrowski is a Criminal Justice major and Spanish minor from Mentor, Ohio. Both will study at Conversa Language School in Santa Ana for four weeks during the summer of 2013.
The scholarship is endowed in the name of Robert Schmidt, who unconditionally supported his daughter, Dr. Barbara Schmidt-Rinehart, Professor of Foreign Languages at Ashland University, in her international experiences and quest to understand other languages and cultures. He, himself, worked in the area of agricultural business, retiring from that career with the position of Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Landmark Inc., Columbus, Ohio.
In his retirement, Mr. Schmidt applied his expertise in agricultural cooperatives by working for VOCA (Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance), an organization that promotes broad-based economic growth and the development of civil society in emerging democracies and developing countries. VOCA’s vision, “a world in which people are empowered to succeed in the global economy” epitomizes Mr. Schmidt’s work in Panama, Sierra Leone, The Philippines, and the Czech Republic.
This scholarship honors both his dedication to his family as well as the host societies overseas that benefitted from VOCA’s commitment to establishing vibrant, sustainable communities and cooperatives.