Davis Academy sixth graders gain exposure to student life in Portugal, Romania, Hungary, and Russia through an international exchange hosted by The International Association of School Librarianship’s Bookmark Exchange Project. For this project, Davis Academy students send and receive bookmarks and letters from their assigned European partner schools.

As Davis Academy students participate in this project, they make connections and establish relationships in other cultures. These connections help students learn about customs different from theirs, give students the opportunity to teach international peers about their background and the English language, and ultimately, provide a chance to discover the many similarities we share across international school communities, regardless of distance. Not only is the project an avenue through which Davis students identify with students around the globe, but it also draws international school communities closer together, further strengthening our global community.

When asked why she selected this project for her students, sixth grade Language Arts and Digital Studio teacher, Missy Stein stated: “Our world has become globally connected. It has become more important that we help our students to understand there is no ‘us and them.’ There is only we. Students in other countries, with other cultures are just that…students…people…human. As we get to know one another as individuals, we see that only by working on the human level can we hope to change the world.”

For more information on The Davis Academy, visit davisacademy.org.


The University of Georgia’s Elizabeth Hardister and Gaby Pierre will continue their studies in China next fall as two of 142 students selected internationally as Schwarzman Scholars, a program designed to prepare the next generation of leaders with an understanding of China’s role in global trends. 

The addition of Hardister and Pierre brings the total number of UGA Schwarzman Scholars to three. The incoming class was narrowed down from a pool of 4,042 international candidates and is comprised of students from 39 countries and 97 universities. This marks the third group of Schwarzman Scholars since the highly competitive program opened to applicants in 2015. 

The fully funded, yearlong master’s program in global affairs is offered at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Students live and learn on the Schwarzman College campus and focus their studies on public policy, economics and business, or international studies. 

Hardister, from Dunwoody, is completing a bachelor’s degree in international affairs and a master’s in public health with a focus on disaster management.  

A CURO Honors Scholar, Hardister studies issues related to emergency response and weapons of mass destruction nonproliferation and plans to pursue a career in consequence management. 

To further her knowledge of international security, she interned for the U.S. Department of State, the UGA Center for International Trade and Security and TradeSecure LLC. Hardister gained emergency management experience working for Counterterrorism Operations Support in Las Vegas, Nevada; the Greater New York Hospital Association in New York City; the American Red Cross of Georgia in Atlanta; and, at UGA, the Institute for Disaster Management, Carl Vinson Institute of Government, Office of Emergency Preparedness, UGA Red Cross, UGA Medical Reserve Corps Field Medical Team, and UGA Campus Emergency Response Team. 

Through her work for the State Department, Hardister was selected to attend and produce summary reports for the international nonproliferation trade controls conference in Prague hosted by the U.S., Canada and Czech Republic, and a subsequent regional seminar in Marrakech, Morocco, hosted by the U.S. and Morocco. 

She is a reading tutor in Athens at Barrow Elementary School and was a teaching assistant for the Honors Program and a service ambassador for ServeUGA. She is a member of the Palladia Women’s Honor Society and Sigma Iota Rho, an honor society for international studies. 

As a Schwarzman Scholar, Hardister will concentrate in international studies to learn more about China’s emergency management system, nuclear safety and security culture, and contributions to international nonproliferation regimes. 

For more information on the Schwarzman Scholars, visit schwarzmanscholars.org.

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