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Bill Silcock served as assistant dean for International Programs, the U.S. State Department’s Hubert H. Humphrey Fulbright Fellowship program curator and director of Cronkite Global Initiatives.
By Lisa Diethelm
Former Cronkite Assistant Dean B. William Silcock, affectionately known as Dr. Bill, isn’t quite done creating opportunities for students at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Silcock and his wife, Angela, have established a scholarship fund for students interested in international learning experiences. The Angela and Bill Silcock Global Experience Fund will provide financial support for Cronkite students to participate in study abroad programs or other professional opportunities, such as internships, abroad.
During the past decade, the Silcocks’ experience working with students in the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship program and study abroad programs helped shape their love for international travel and cultural exchanges.
The Silcocks, who often invited students into their home over the holidays, said they met many students who had to take out loans or work multiple jobs in order to travel abroad. That spurred them to establish the Global Experience Fund.
“I think that it will help lots of students, and I think it will help them be better reporters, and it will help us as a school to have a greater cultural awareness,” Bill Silcock said. “We talk a lot about emotional literacy or EQ, but there's a cultural quotient, too, about how culturally aware you are. And a part of that you just can't get out of a book or understand from listening to a great professor, no matter how good of a lecturer they are.”
Silcock also said that gaining new perspectives abroad helps students become better reporters, no matter what kind of stories they end up doing. “They're better reporters covering Black Lives Matter. They're better reporters covering COVID. They're certainly better reporters covering immigration issues if they've been overseas and have seen different ways societies are constructed,” he said.
Interim Dean Kristin Gilger said the new fund will help achieve the Silcocks’ goal of making international experiences available to a wide swath of students. “I can’t think of a better way to honor Bill than to make it possible for students to experience other countries and cultures,” she said. “If he had his way, every single Cronkite student would have that opportunity, and they would be better citizens of the world as a result.”
Lindsay Walker, the Cronkite School’s director of development, added, “We are grateful to Angela and Dr. Bill for making this scholarship available for deserving students who might otherwise not have the chance to embark upon such enriching learning opportunities.”
You can click here to make a donation to the Angela and Bill Silcock Global Experience Fund.