Valencia Alvarez Receives Stouffer Fellowship for Graduate Studies

May 20, 2020
Valencia Alvarez, class of 2020, is named the Elsie M. Stouffer 1924 Fellow.
Valencia Alvarez ’20, is named the Elsie M. Stouffer 1924 Fellow.

Valencia Alvarez ’20 has received the Elsie M. Stouffer 1924 Fellowship, which provides funding for graduate study leading to a career in public service in Latin America.

The $20,900 fellowship award is the result of a generous gift Stouffer made to Grinnell in 1982, four years before she died in 1986. The fellowship is open to senior women who are fluent in French, Spanish, or Portuguese and plan to pursue graduate studies and a career in public service in Latin America.

Alvarez, from Yucaipa, California, is a biology major with a Latin American studies concentration. She has native proficiency in Spanish and plans to study for a Master of Public Health degree in global epidemiology with a focus on migrant and other vulnerable populations.

“After my graduate school education, I will dedicate my career to public service in Latin America,” Alvarez said. “I want to use my education to support community health programs in Mexico and Chile, providing a network to legal services, health care, and education.”

Prior to her graduate school education, Alvarez will be an English teaching assistant in a Mexico community as a Fulbright U.S. Student Program grantee. While at Grinnell, Alvarez participated in the Global Learning Program and was an envoy leader with travel experiences in Spain, Greece, Germany, Costa Rica, Cuba, and Denmark; she also studied, researched and volunteered in Santiago, Chile, for one semester and summer.

On campus, Alvarez was the captain and member of the women’s soccer team, laboratory assistant, and QuestBridge scholar. When home in California, she was a volunteer with YouthHope Foundation and worked as a recreational leader with the city of Yucaipa.

“Valencia has committed herself to community and service along with immersing herself within the College’s globally informed curriculum,” said Ann Landstrom, assistant dean and director of global fellowships and awards. “Her education, experiences, and vibrant personality prepare her well for the next steps of her journey.”

“This is truly an amazing opportunity for me, because I have always been worried about the financial aspect of graduate school,” Alvarez said. With this fellowship, she is determined to get into a great program and advance her education to continue to serve the common good.

More than 40 alumni have received funding for graduate studies through the Elsie M. Stouffer 1924 Fellowship. The award is advised and administered by Global Fellowships and Awards program in Grinnell College Center for Careers, Life, and Service.

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