Ozarks students ready to head to Northern Ireland

Release Date: 4/7/2006

Biology and art major set to study for a year at Irish universities.

CLARKSVILLE, ARK. (April 7, 2006) -- University of the Ozarks students Katie Mobley and Kate Schoenhals have been selected for the Irish-American Scholar Program, which sends American college students to study at universities in Northern Ireland.

Schoenhals was accepted to study animal science at Queen's University in Belfast, while Mobley was accepted to study art at Belfast Institution of Further and Higher Education, said Arlene Torrens, spokesperson for the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities, which runs the scholarship program. The program is open to all students who attend participating universities.

Both will study for a year. "They're just going to be plunked down in Northern Ireland," said Elissa Heil, chairperson of the the study abroad committee at Ozarks, which nominated Mobley and Schoenhals. "It's going to be an adjustment, but they're up for it."

Mobley, a sophomore art major from Pottsville, Ark., said she's looking forward to finding inspiration for her painting all over the British Isles.

"It's so old and full of history," said Mobley, who plans to travel through England and the Scottish highlands, as well as Ireland. "There's like a magic surrounding it."

She will follow the tradition of past Ozarks students who have won the scholarship. "I got to travel to about nine different countries and see in person much of what I had initially learned in the classroom," recalled Jon Vance, a 2003 Ozarks graduate who studied at Queen's University, in an earlier interview.

Schoenhals, a junior biology major from Medford, Oregon, has twice been named Ozarks biology student of the year. She works in a veterinary clinic near campus, and hopes to pursue a degree in veterinary medicine after completing her Ozarks degree.

Schoenhals is traveling in Africa before returning later this month to the Ozarks campus.

The program also sends Irish students to study in the United States, including two who came to Ozarks this current school year.