April 20, 2018
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Illinois Wesleyan University senior Zoe Bouras ’18 has been awarded the 2018 Technos International Prize, an annual award recognizing a student who has excelled academically and has contributed to broadening international awareness and understanding. The award is presented through the Tanaka Ikueikai Educational Trust in Japan and was created to improve international relations.
A double major in international studies and political science, Bouras has extensive experiences interning and studying abroad. A European immigrant herself from Sunderland, England, Bouras said her interest in global awareness stemmed from her experience as a high school junior, where she spent the year as a Rotary exchange student in Arequipa, Peru, and later returned to partake in an ESL Internship at Dunalastair Colegio Europeo. Since then, she has travelled to 25 countries, developing her ESL skills and broadening her global perspective through the opportunities offered at Illinois Wesleyan.
“International experience is the key to everything,” Bouras said. “It was as a Rotary student that I first became interested in human rights and development, and I saw what globalization really means. And, it was at Illinois Wesleyan that I was able to see how I could apply myself to make a difference.”
Selected as a 2016 IWU Freeman Asia Intern, Bouras spent eight weeks at the Institute of East and West Studies at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, where she further developed her ESL and marketing skills and conducted research on refugee flows from Pyeongchang, South Korea. Following this experience, Bouras studies politics, philosophy and economics as a junior at the University of Oxford through the IWU Pembroke program, an experience which “greatly enriched” her international studies education. In addition to these opportunities, Bouras, who is half Greek, spent a summer in Greece learning the language.
Bouras’ experiences abroad influenced her political science senior seminar project which involved researching anti-elite sentiment in individuals across 21 European nations. A member of Pi Sigma Alpha (PSA), the national political science honor society, Bouras shared her findings on this phenomena at the PSA National Research Conference at George Washington University in Washington D.C. in February.
The 2017 Outstanding Scholar for Fraternity & Sorority Life at IWU and a three-year recipient of the IWU Giving Circle Award for volunteerism, Bouras is a member of Kappa Delta Sorority and is the president of IWU Model United Nations on campus. She is also a member of multiple honor societies including: Mortar Board, Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Sigma Alpha, Phi Beta Delta and Alpha Lambda Delta.
“Although we had many outstanding applicants this year, Zoe's commitment to global issues and to internationalizing the IWU campus is truly a perfect match for the spirit of the Technos prize,” said Scott Sheridan, professor of French and Italian and director of the International Studies and Humanities programs.
Bouras will continue applying her international experience as she pursues her master’s degree in Latin American Studies at Oxford University in the fall.
“I am honored to be the recipient of this award, and I am so grateful for IWU and International Studies for their support and guidance over the last four years, particularly for professor Marina Balina for her engaging intro course that got me hooked and taught the basics, and for professor William Munro for always having an open door for questions,” Bouras said. “Their support has been invaluable, and I look forward to continuing my education in Area Studies at the University of Oxford in the fall.”
In conjunction with the Technos International Prize, this year's Illinois Wesleyan University Prize of Distinction at Technos College was awarded to Ryo Nakazawa, an Electrical and Electronic Engineering Course student of Tokyo Kogakuin College of Technology.
By Vi Kakares '20