Assumption Senior Wins Prestigious Scholarship for Study Abroad

By Jessica Lynch '13

Megan Libbey, a senior at Assumption College, has won a prestigious national scholarship for study abroad through the Spanish Honor Society, Sigma Delta Pi. Libbey is one of only 20 students in the country to receive such an award through her superior academic record, outstanding character, and involvement in the honor society. She will be studying at the Sampere Language Institute in Alcala de Henares, Spain, in July.

A Norwood resident, Libbey is a double major in Spanish and computer science. She is treasurer of Sigma Delta Pi and head computer science tutor in Assumption's Academic Support Center.

“I am so unbelievably excited to be going to Spain," she said. "I have always wanted to go there, but never had the chance to study abroad because of my double major. This is an amazing opportunity. It’s exciting and a step toward independence because I will be living on my own in a whole new country. I will finally have a first-hand experience of Spain and its culture.”

Selected from a competitive pool of applicants, Libbey is the first student in Assumption’s Spanish Honor Society history to win the award.

Dona Kercher, professor and Sigma Delta Pi advisor, said, “I could not imagine a more serious and engaging student to send to a study abroad program. She participates fully in class, is absolutely responsible for her obligations, and has a positive attitude.”

Through her award, Libbey will be given the chance to study abroad for four weeks in July courtesy of the Instituto Franklin-Universidad de Alcala de Henares (UAH). Her award also includes free registration and tuition, UAH credits, access to all campus resources, and a $1,000 stipend for travel.

Introduced to Spanish at a young age by her father, Libbey’s decision to pursue it as a major came naturally. Starting in the sixth grade, Libbey says she just never stopped taking classes. Her path to her computer science major came naturally as well, with her mother encouraging her to take a programming class and enjoying it enough to continue taking classes. When asked how to combine the two majors, Libbey expressed that she has a job lined up in the fall at Java programming company Aware Manager. The company is looking to start a firm in Spain, which would allow Libbey to combine her two interests.

Attending Assumption College was the best decision for Libbey, who believes that the school helped her achieve the esteemed award.

“All four years here I have had such awesome professors and classmates," she said. "I owe so much to Assumption and its supportive family environment. I also give credit to my Spanish professors who make you truly learn the language.

“I have to give both of my parents credit for always encouraging me to do my best and teaching me about dedication," Libbey added. "It is such an honor to win this, and really nice to have such great support from my family, friends, and the Assumption community.”

Sigma Delta Pi is the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, which was founded in 1919 and is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies. Assumption’s chapter of the society, Phi Rho was founded in 2004 and is advised by Professor Kercher of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Cultures. There are 587 chapters of Sigma Delta Pi throughout 49 states, with more than 170,000 members.

Kimberly Dunbar, Director of Public Affairs, Assumption College @AssumptionNews