New Sarah Ramsey Initiatives Drive Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Champlain College!

The Sarah Ramsey Strong Fund team continues to honor the legacy of Sarah Ramsey, Champlain College Class of 2012. The latest initiative supports the newly formed Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, under the leadership of Dr. Kylie King, Center Director and Professor of Entrepreneurship. This campaign has set a goal to raise an additional $50K to inspire Champlain College students to pursue their goals and dreams.

Sarah Ramsey Fund bar chart showing $50k Fundraising Goal and total contribution to Champlain College.

Learn more about our Sarah Ramsey Fellows and the Flight Fund by visiting the Champlain College website.

Otago: An opportunity of a lifetime for marketing student

Since arriving in June, American student Lauren Buniva has been making friends and immersing herself in all that New Zealand has to offer. Photo: Sharron Bennett.

She won’t be here for long, but there’s little doubt that Lauren Buniva is making the most of her opportunity to study at the University of Otago.

It’s an opportunity that came about thanks to a scholarship she received from Champlain College back home in Vermont earlier this year.

In June, Ms Buniva was awarded the inaugural Sarah Ramsey Scholarship which provides financial support to a Champlain College marketing student wishing to study abroad.

Champlain College’s Study Abroad Director Noah Goldblatt says the scholarship, awarded annually, honours the memory of Champlain College student Sarah Ramsey who passed away last year.

“The goal of this scholarship is to enable a student to have a transformative experience abroad in much the same way that Sarah had with her own study-abroad experience.”

For Ms Buniva, the decision to travel over 15,000 km from home to study was a relatively easy one. Passionate about the outdoors and sports, she knew New Zealand would be a good fit.

“I plan on pursuing a career in outdoor/action sports marketing and this place seemed perfect for that culture,” she says. “I was also attracted by the tremendous amounts of travelling I’d be able to do. This, combined with stories I had heard of the country’s wonderful people and Dunedin being a college student’s heaven, made New Zealand and Otago my first and only selection.”

Since arriving in June she has been making friends and immersing herself in all that New Zealand has to offer. She says it’s tempting for international students to get caught up with typical tourist fare, but for her short stay, she wanted a more authentic Kiwi experience. She credits advice she received back home with helping to set her plans on the right track.

“Before arriving, I received valuable advice from friends who had previously studied in New Zealand that some of the most memorable experiences I’ll have are with the people and amongst the culture. Consequently, I made the conscious effort to spend my first month or so sticking around Dunedin to try and immerse myself in the culture and meet as many local Kiwis as possible.”

Just a few months into her time at Otago, it’s already feeling like home, she says.

“The more time I spend, people I meet, and places I travel, Dunedin, and the larger New Zealand, slowly has felt more and more like home.”

Though she is enjoying her time in Dunedin, she admits that Otago is quite different from the small private college she attends back home in Vermont.

“Otago’s size is exciting because there’s always new people to meet and things to do, but it doesn’t feel as intimidating as I thought a large university would feel. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the campus is beautiful, as well.”

Ms Buniva’s time at Otago comes to an end in November when she returns to Vermont to continue her studies at Champlain College. She already knows she’ll have a lot of people to thank for making this opportunity of a lifetime possible.

“Just a huge thank you to my family, friends, staff at Champlain and the family and friends of Sarah Ramsey for their incredible support and enabling me to make this dream a reality.

“I’m continuously amazed by all that this country has to offer and I can’t help but feel grateful for this opportunity.”

Article by University of Otago

Sarah Ramsey Strong Scholarship Award 2014

Congratulations to Lauren Buniva – Class of 2016, Champlain College
Inaugural Recipient, Sarah Ramsey Strong Scholarship Award 2014 

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There was an intense desire to create a legacy for the young woman who touched all of our lives so deeply in the brief time she was with us. And thus, the Sarah Ramsey Strong Scholarship was born to honor Sarah’s memory by providing financial support to a Champlain College marketing student who is planning on studying abroad. The goal is to enable that student to have a transformative experience, much in the same way her experiences in Peru and China affected Sarah.

The Stiller School is pleased to award the inaugural Sarah Ramsey Strong Scholarship to Lauren Buniva, who has impressed so many of the faculty, who has been involved in the Champlain Community, who has already been successful in an internship, and who has strived to learn and grow from her experiences – all with the single-minded focus of becoming a marketing professional in the outdoor industry.

Lauren was drawn to Champlain because of her love of Vermont, the outdoor lifestyle, and the hands-on marketing program. When Burton Snowboards urged Lauren to learn more about the industry during an informational interview, she took a job at Bolton Ski Mountain and Eastern Mountain Sports to immerse herself in the customer experiences.

Similar to Sarah, Lauren always goes the extra mile with enthusiasm and intellect. As a sophomore, winning this scholarship is an incredible achievement while maintaining a near perfect grade point average. Congratulations, Lauren!

-Stiller School of Business Faculty

I am so honored to be the first recipient of the Sarah Ramsey Strong scholarship. Being chosen for this award and having the opportunity to meet personally with some of those who knew Sarah best, I feel very grateful and humbled to carry on the legacy of a person who has so clearly impacted the lives of many.

Since first entering Champlain, I was motivated to pursue a career in the outdoor industry and I’ve worked hard to make my dreams a reality. This month, I will leave for New Zealand to study abroad at the University of Otago. I’ll also be working at a local marketing agency where I’m looking forward to gaining a global perspective during my internship while I take advantage of all that New Zealand’s natural environment offers. I’m excited about what’s ahead and I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences when I return to Champlain in November.

Receiving this scholarship has added an unexpected dimension to my study abroad experience. What I’ve learned about Sarah’s international internship experiences, as well as her passion for pursuing her dreams, has inspired me. Now as I plan and dream and study, I have Sarah’s dreams to accompany me. And I hope to do her proud!

-Lauren Buniva, Class of 2015