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Kellogg receives Coca-Cola grant

Kate Antonacci | Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Coca-Cola Foundation recently awarded Notre Dame a $290,000 grant to support two distinguished programs at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, the University announced Monday.

The funds will go toward the Notre Dame Prize for Distinguished Public Service in Latin America and will expand the Kellogg Institute Internship Program, which will benefit 20 students during the next two summers.

The Coca-Cola Foundation – which has given more than $155 million to educational issues over the last 10 years – focuses on improving quality of life in different communities and enhancing individual opportunity through education.

“Our programs support scholarships for aspiring students; encourage and motivate young people to stay in school; and foster cultural understanding,” according to the Coca-Cola Foundation Web site.

Nearly $180,000 of the grant will go toward the Notre Dame Prize, which is awarded to some of the leading political, civil and religious figures in Latin America. The money will provide three years of support for the prize, according to a press release.

The Notre Dame Prize for Distinguished Public Service in Latin America was established in 2000 and is given annually to an individual from that region who has effectively and substantively furthered the public good in one or more countries of the region. The award focuses on an individual’s accomplishments in areas like government, religion, education and media.

“[The Notre Dame Prize] is the only award of its kind to recognize the efforts of public figures to enhance the region’s welfare by strengthening democracy and improving the well being of its citizens,” the press release said.

The award carries a cash prize of $10,000, with an equal sum to be given to a Latin American charitable organization chosen by the recipient.

The inaugural award was given in 2000 to Enrique V. Iglesias, president of the Inter-American Development Bank. Other recipients include former Chilean President Patricio Aylwin Azócar, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Latin American Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga.

The remaining $110,000 of the grant will go toward supporting 20 students participating in the Kellogg Institute’s international internship program for the next two summers.

The Institute’s internship program gives “undergraduates opportunities to gain hands-on experience with international policy institutes, non-governmental organizations and businesses, including micro-finance groups in Uganda, U.S. embassies in Argentina and Chile, small farming operations in Mexico, and healthcare facilities in the Dominican Republic,” the press release said.

Though the program already sends students to different locations in Asia and Africa, the grant will help to expand the programs on those continents.

Other international sites include Lima, Peru, where there are internships in theatre, education and music; Mexico City, Mexico, for the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service; Asia or Latin America, with the Foundation for Sustainable Development; and Leogane, Haiti, at the Hopital Sainte Croiz.

Domestic sites for Kellogg Institute internships include Minneapolis with the Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights and Washington, D.C. with the Secretariat for Latin America for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Kellogg Institute focuses its academic and research activities around the themes of democratization and the quality of democracy, growth and democracy, public policies for social justice, religion and society, and social movements and organized civil society.

The internships share these same goals, as senior Claire McArdle said about her 2006 summer internship with the Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights.

“We didn’t necessarily work on issues of democratization or religion specifically, but we focused more on social justice issues, specifically for refugees and immigrants from other countries,” McArdle said. “They sought political asylum because of issues with lack of democracy or religious persecution so that connected back very well to the goals of the Kellogg Institute.”

McArdle said the Kellogg Institute gave her a grant that was deposited directly into her Notre Dame Federal Credit Union account and left her in charge of lodging, transportation, food and any other costs for her summer.

The internship, McArdle said, gave her insight into what she wants to do in the future working in immigration services.

“Especially with all the emphasis that the University is putting on international issues and original research, this type of grant is very beneficial to the University as a whole, to the Kellogg and the undergraduate student body,” McArdle said.