UVU Students Earn Marshall Plan Scholarships in Vienna

Two Utah Valley University students received the Marshall Plan Scholarship at a ceremony in Vienna, Austria on June 6th. Peter Beard and Ashley Stephenson, both seniors in UVU’s Department of Digital Media, were the first two Americans to ever win the prestigious scholarship.

The newly appointed US ambassador to Austria, Trevor D. Traina, handed over the Marshall Plan Scholarships to Beard and Stephenson during the Marshall Plan Symposium. The scholarships are each valued between $4,000 and $5,000 euros.

UVU’s Department of Digital Media is a global exchange partner with St. Pölten University of Applied Science in Vienna. In turn, selected students from St. Pölten UAS come to UVU for summer study as exchange students. This is the third year that UVU students have gone to St. Pölten UAS.

“We look for exchanges with universities worldwide for our best students,” said Michael Harper, UVU Digital Media Associate Professor. “We seek out the best universities that align with us and our engaged learning methodology. St. Pölten UAS fit that mold perfectly.”

Beard, a senior from Nephi, Utah, and Stephenson, a senior from Boise, Idaho were each awarded a Marshall Plan Scholarship for their project work at St. Pölten during the summer semester 2018. Their projects included a significant amount of web game development and virtual reality design. 

Peter and Ashley attended the European Project Semester and, along with their project, also submitted a research paper which is a condition for receiving the scholarship.

‘The Marshall Plan Scholarship is a great financial help for Austrian and US students. We’re happy that so many students of our department benefited so far from this Scholarship, and we hope that even more will do so in the future”, said Alois Frotschnig, Head of the Department of Media and Digital Technologies at St. Pölten UAS.

To date, 22 students of St. Pölten UAS have received the scholarship. Peter and Ashley are the first two American Marshall Plan fellows.