Five students have received Atlantic Coast Conference International Academic Collaborative (ACC/IAC) scholarships to help underwrite the costs of their travel to and study in other countries.

The 2006 scholarships are the first awarded in an ongoing program under which each ACC university will receive $5,000 annually to support scholarships to help exceptional students develop an international dimension to their education.

The five Virginia Tech students selected for 2006 ACC education abroad scholarships are:

• Jennifer Crowell of Durham, N.C., a junior majoring in mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering, who is studying engineering and French in Metz, France.

• Christina Delgado of Ijamsville, Md., a first-year graduate student in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, who is studying architecture in Mendrisio, Switzerland.

• Pei Hung of Fairfax, Va., a junior studying business management and international studies in Pamplin College of Business, who is studying business and Chinese in Sydney, Australia this semeseter, followed by a program in Beijing, China during the spring 2007 semester.

• Travis Porter of Falls of Rough, Ky., a rising senior studying biological sciences in the College of Science, who is studying Japanese culture and language in Osaka, Japan.

• Grace Smith of Culpeper, Va., a rising junior studying political science and sociology in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, who is studying international politics in South Africa.

Although athletics brought them together initially, the presidents of ACC member universities decided to work together on initiatives that will strengthen the member institutions academically, not just in the sports arena. They formed a Working Group on International Academic Collaborations including chief representatives from each college or university with responsibility for international programs.

ACC/IAC initiatives, funded by a portion of the revenue from the ACC football championship and administered directly by the presidents, include a biennial conference (the first was held at Virginia Tech in 2005), honoring outstanding international programs, faculty, and students; creating an ACC/IAC website linking international gateways at ACC member institutions ; collaborating on existing education abroad opportunities and introducing new ACC multi-institutional initiatives; encouraging faculty collaboration through annual summer overseas missions; and initiating research to assess the effectiveness of international education programs.

Other ACC academic collaborative areas are Ph.D. student exchanges, a roundtable of chief technology officers, periodic conference calls among chief procurement officers, and an annual conference where undergraduate research projects are presented.

Virginia Tech students are invited to apply for two $1,000 fall, 2007 scholarships by completing an application form, a one-page essay, a one-page letter of reference from a Virginia Tech faculty, and complete transcripts (official or unofficial) by Friday, March 30, 2007. Students can access the application form at http://www.oired.vt.edu/Education/Study/scholarships_files/ACC_Scholarship_2007.pdf or outside the Education Abroad office, 1820 Litton Reaves Hall, on campus. Applications for the three available scholarships for spring 2007 are now under review and winners will be announced shortly.