Malone graduate featured in Black and Global Week
In the fall semester of 2019, Kiera Conkle ’20 had the opportunity to study abroad in Lithuania and Russia after winning a Gilman Scholarship, a grant that allows students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad. The time she spent learning and helping others in different countries was an experience that kept on giving, as she recently participated in the first Black and Global Week.
Black and Global Week, in early September, was an online movement dedicated to highlighting black scholars and demonstrating to African American and minority students that working globally is a dream within reach. Conkle served as a panelist for an online discussion where she shared her study abroad experience. Each panelist was a part of the planning committee and were all recipients of prestigious global scholarships.
“I was selected to be a part of this committee through social media,” Conkle said. “The founder, Chiamaka Ukachukwu, found me through my study abroad experience at LCC International University and on the Gilman alumni page. A majority of the work we did was outreach engagement with high school and college students who have an interest in working or studying abroad but did not know where to begin.”
The panelists shared their firsthand experiences and best advice.
“We provided students with information about searching for flights, converting money, changing phone plans, and suggested apps for travel in different countries, as well as giving them advice on what to bring with them,” Conkle said. “Most importantly, we reinforced for them that learning about the culture and learning basic language skills in advance is extremely beneficial.”
Currently, Conkle is working with the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Franklin County as a Guardian ad Litem and volunteer on cases, with the majority of cases directed towards human trafficking. She is in the process of moving abroad in December to live in Germany and will be assisting with a volunteer non-profit program to teach English to children. Additionally, Conkle was recently accepted into the Master’s in Social Work program at Case Western Reserve University. She will start that program in January of 2022.
“My desire and interest in serving internationally has expanded my knowledge of other countries and has allowed me to have a great appreciation for their languages, customs, and cultures,” said Conkle.