BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Shannon O’Rourke ’07 has been selected as the Naohiro Tsuchiya
Endowed World Peace Scholarship - Rotary Peace Fellow for studies as part of the Rotary
Peace Centers Program. She will study at the Rotary Peace Center at Chulalongkorn
University in Bangkok, Thailand in early 2016.
Rotary Peace Fellowships are awarded to no more than 100 people across the globe every
year. The awards cover all expenses for the recipients to receive academic fellowships
at one of the internationally located Rotary Peace Centers. O’Rourke will be pursuing
a Professional Development Certificate for people seeking education to become leaders
for peace and conflict resolution. Up to 50 recipients of the fellowship are awarded
this certificate in annually. As the Naohiro Tsuchiya Endowed Scholar, O'Rourke's
fellowship is fully funded by Naohiro and Ayako Tsuchiya from Japan.
O’Rourke is excited to begin working with other Rotary Peace Fellows from around the
world. “I look forward to exchanging with them about their lives and their experiences,”
she said. Currently living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and working
for the Norwegian Refugee Council, O’Rourke also expressed excitement at the prospect
of moving to a different part of the world. “I’ve been living in a conflict-affected
country for the past four years,” said O’Rourke, who manages education programming
to provide children and youth in war-torn DRC with access to education. “I look forward
to studying peace full time to help me get a new perspective on my experience here
O’Rourke will engage in the program in Thailand from January through March 2016. She
previously visited Senegal on a Rotary Cultural Ambassador Scholarship to study French
and participated in a Rotary-sponsored Global Peace Forum in Hiroshima, Japan.
O’Rourke received her bachelor’s degree from IWU with a double major in political science and International Studies. She earned a master’s degree in International Development Studies from The George
Washington University in 2010.