Patricia Silveyra, PhD, 2008 Ambassadoral Scholar shares her experiences with the Rotary Club of Lebanon PA.

At its regular meeting on Tuesday, April 3, 2012, the Rotary Club of Lebanon Pa was visited by Patricia Silveyra, PhD.  A Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Pediatrics Department at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Patricia shared her experiences of her home in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as well as what it meant to her to receive a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship in 2008.

The Ambassadorial Scholarships program promotes international understanding and friendly relations among people of different parts of the world.  The scholarships sponsor undergraduate and graduate students, as well as qualified professionals pursuing vocational studies.  While abroad, scholars serve as goodwill ambassadors to the country where they study and give presentations about their own culture to Rotary clubs and other groups.  Back home, scholars share with Rotarians and others the experiences that deepened their understanding of another culture.  Since 1947, a total of $532 million has been awarded to 41,000 men and women.  Through their generous contributions, Rotarians worldwide show a continued faith that today's scholars will be tomorrow's community and world leaders.

After completing her undergraduate and master's degree programs in Argentina, Patricia wanted to pursue her doctoral in biomedical research but she would have to go to either the United States or Europe.  She received an offer for a Research Fellow position at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center; but the only way she could accept the position was to find the funding.  Through a Rotary Club in district 4890 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Patricia applied for and received the Ambassadorial Scholarship in 2008.  Since then, she has published many articles in relation to her biomedical research that includes advances in treating pulmonary diseases.

The Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship program will end in 2013.  Beginning in 2013-14, The Foundation will offer scholarship opportunities through district and global grants.  This new grant structure gives Rotarians greater flexibility in sponsoring the next generation of leaders.

Patricia is now a Faculty Member of the Penn State Hershey Medical Center and a member of the Hershey Rotary Club.