New Shaklee scholarship supports study abroad journeys

Ron Shaklee, professor and chair of Geography and Urban-Regional Studies, pictured kneeling with YSU students in San Salvador, Bahamas. This week, Shaklee is in the Bahamas for his 31st study abroad trip to the island.

A faculty member who has introduced more than 1,000 Youngstown State University students to the physical environment and cultural setting of the Bahamas is helping future students study abroad.

Ron Shaklee, professor and chair of the department of Geography and Urban-Regional Studies, has established the Shaklee Honors Study Abroad Scholarship with the YSU Foundation.

“Travel study courses are an integral part of my teaching,” said Shaklee, who is in the Bahamas this week for his 31st annual student trip. “This award is one way to ensure students will continue to benefit from the experience.”

The endowment will be awarded annually, beginning Spring 2020, to a student in the Honors College participating in a study abroad program through YSU. Applicants must also be a sophomore or higher in class standing, and first preference is given to a student who is not receiving an honors scholarship. The application, which will soon be available through the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships website, is due Feb. 1.

“For more than 30 years students have benefitted from Dr. Shaklee’s teaching and generosity,” said Amy Cossentino, dean of the Honors College. “This is a fitting way to continue his great work beyond the San Salvador experience.”

Shaklee has taken YSU students to San Salvador, a small island in the Bahamas, every December since 1988, as part of an International Area Studies course. Currently, he also teaches a cross-listed honors Tropical Ecology course.

Shaklee’s long-standing relationship with the Bahamian community has resulted in an affiliation between YSU and the Gerace Research Centre, which is part of the University of the Bahamas. Shaklee, who conducts historical research on the island, has had multiple articles published in Bahamian professional publications.