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UT Tyler Senior Awarded Scholarship to Study in Belize

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May 15, 2012

Media Contact:  Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
Marketing and Communications
The University of Texas at Tyler
903.565.5769 or 903.539.7196 (cell)

May 15, 2012

La Donna Chase Novak of Troup, a senior at The University of Texas at Tyler, has received a scholarship to study Mayan culture in Belize, Dr. Jill Blondin, Center for Global Education director, announced.

Novak was awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship in the amount of $3,000.

The Gilman Scholarship Program offers awards for undergraduate study abroad and was established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000. More than 2,300 scholarships of up to $5,000 were awarded this academic year.

With the award, Novak will travel this summer to Belize where she and other student-scholars will assist excavation teams and collect data to further study the Mayan Indian history, culture and way of life.

“Participants are full members in an international, interdisciplinary team, which includes faculty and students from seven countries and more than 30 universities,” said Dr. Thomas Guderjan, assistant professor of anthropology, who will lead the UT Tyler group.

A United States-based non-profit organization, the Maya Research Program sponsors archaeological and ethnographic research in Meso-America. Each summer since 1992 the organization has sponsored archaeological fieldwork at the ancient Maya site of Blue Creek in northwestern Belize.

For more information about the Maya Research Program, email Guderjan, tguderjan@uttyler.edu, or visit the Maya Research Program website.

For additional information about the scholarship program, email cge@uttyler.edu or visit the program information webpage.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of almost 7,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.
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