Siloam Springs, Ark. (March 10, 2004) - Sophomore Nichole Chaffey of Richardson, Tex. is the first recipient of John Brown University’s Shirley Forbes Thomas International Studies Scholarship. The award of $500 will be applied toward Chaffey’s expenses to attend JBU’s Puebla Studies program this summer. Chaffey is a member of the 2004 Puebla Studies team. She is currently studying early childhood education. She will join approximately ten JBU students and travel to Puebla, Mexico June 7 - July 18 where they will complete nine credit hours over a six-week period. The Puebla Studies started last summer and was led by Mr. Scott Lloyd, instructor of history. Lloyd will lead the team again this summer. During the trip, students are immersed in the culture by taking in museums, archeological digs, monuments, bullfights and many other experiential learning opportunities. Reading assignments and traditional coursework complements these experiences. Students will earn credit for American Studies, Foundations and Practice of the Christian Life, and Visual and Aural Arts. If students have previously completed any of the courses offered, alternate credit is offered through independent study. JBU faculty as well as local instructors in Puebla will teach the courses. Dr. Shirley Forbes Thomas, former director of the honors scholars program and retired dean of undergraduate studies, was instrumental in founding the study abroad programs at JBU. Because of Dr. Forbes Thomas’ devotion to education at JBU, her colleagues decided to contribute money to begin a scholarship fund in her name. In addition to the Puebla Studies Program, JBU also offers an Irish Studies Program. The Irish Studies program began in 1998 and was the first study abroad program at JBU. JBU plans to add German Studies and Middle East Studies Programs in the next two years. John Brown University is a top-tier private university, ranked 11th by U.S. News & World Report in the Southern Region. JBU enrolls more than 1,800 students from 42 states and 42 countries. JBU is a member of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.