Bethany College Women Receive Vira Heinz Travel Awards

BETHANY, W.Va. — Two Bethany College sophomores have been selected to receive this year’s Vira I. Heinz Travel Awards, coordinated by the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for International Studies and designed to “prepare women leaders for tomorrow’s global challenges.”  

“Bethany College is deeply committed to enhancing classroom learning with real-world, international experiences, and the Vira Heinz program is an integral part of that mission,” stated Darin E. Fields, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty. “We are grateful to the University of Pittsburgh for facilitating this extraordinary opportunity for our students.”

The Vira I. Heinz Travel Awards are awarded on a competitive basis and presented annually to as many as three sophomore women who have submitted proposals expressing a desire to study abroad. Selection is based on which students have most distinguished themselves in the areas of leadership, character and scholarship and whose proposals show that travel to another country would significantly enhance their educational objectives.

The awards are part of the Vira I. Heinz Scholarship Program for Women in Global Leadership and are funded by the Vira I. Heinz Endowment. The late Vira I. Heinz was a Pittsburgh native who received an honorary Doctor of Religious Education degree from Bethany College in 1969.

The College is one of 16 institutions participating in the program. This year’s two Bethany recipients are Tiffany Henderson and Erin Scrimger.

Henderson is a social work major who is also pursuing a minor in creative writing. Known for her long-held passion for social justice, she has served as a volunteer at CASA (A Child’s Place), The Soup Kitchen of Greater Wheeling, Fusion Clinical Services and Heartland Hospice.

Henderson will travel to London, England, through the Vira Heinz program. Her occupational interests focus on gerontology, and she hopes to work to enable the elderly to flourish cognitively, physically and socially and emotionally. She plans to gain practical experience and broaden her scope of understanding in social work through her travel abroad experience by examining the similarities and differences in care and planning for an aging population.  

Scrimger is a history major who serves as vice president of the History Club and secretary of Independent Student Council. She also contributes to the German Club and a variety of cultural and educational activities on campus. She has extensive experience volunteering for Shrine of the Sacred Heart School in Baltimore, Md., and also works in the Bethany College archives.  

Scrimger will travel to London, England, as part of her Vira Heinz study abroad experience and focus on the relationship between history and education. She hopes to pursue a career working with museums and, particularly, facilitating a more productive and meaningful interaction between individuals and history.  

Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.