Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership: Traveling Abroad

Issue Date: 
June 1, 2015

Eight University of Pittsburgh women will travel abroad for the first time this summer with the assistance of the Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership. The 2015 awardees are students in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. The program, developed and administered by Pitt, prepares women from Pennsylvania universities and colleges for tomorrow’s global challenges by offering a unique opportunity for international experiences, leadership development, and community service. The Heinz Endowments funds the program and sets its strategic goals. The awardees, who are from diverse backgrounds, will each use a scholarship of at least $5,000 to participate in an accredited international experience. A list of Pitt’s awardees follows. 

Aminah Baxter

Aminah Baxter of West Orange, N.J., is a senior majoring in math and minoring in Chinese. She will study health issues, culture, and the Swahili language through the Pitt in Tanzania program.

Alexsys Brown

Alexsys Brown of Easton, Pa., is a senior studying political science, history, and communication. She will travel to Seoul, South Korea, to learn about South Korean political and historical development and to study the Korean language.

Amanda Hopcroft

Amanda Hopcroft of Brick, N.J., is a junior majoring in psychology. She will visit Tanzania to study the Swahili language and health challenges of East Africa. Hopcroft also will visit local nongovernmental organizations, orphanages, and schools to work with children.

Abigail Meinen

Abigail Meinen of Mentor, Ohio, is a junior majoring in English writing with a concentration in poetry, minoring in studio arts, and pursuing a Certificate in Global Studies. She will travel to Rabat, Morocco, to study Moroccan art and writing, focusing on how art and writing give voice to women and minorities.

Amber Montgomery

Amber Montgomery of Pasadena, Md., is a junior pursuing a major in history with a concentration in the Middle East, minor in political theory, and certificates in Arabic language and linguistics and in global studies. In Amman, Jordan, she will attend classes in Modern Standard and Colloquial Arabic and participate in cultural excursions throughout Jordan.

Jessica PellandJessica Pelland of Voorhees, N.J., is a senior studying biology and psychology. She will study in the Indonesia: Community Nature Conservation in Bali program.

Elizabeth Schmele

Elizabeth Schmele of Hatboro, Pa., is a junior studying psychology and biology. She will travel to Madagascar, where she will explore traditional and allopathic health care systems.

Kaitlyn WadeKaitlyn Wade of Saint John, Ind., is a junior studying mathematics and neuroscience on the premedicine track who plans to complete a Certificate in Russian and East European Studies. She will attend the Summer Language Institute for Intermediate Russian, which includes classes in Pittsburgh and Moscow. 

Visit for more information about the Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership.