Study abroad program sends FVSU student to Italy

August 29, 2012 – Next month, a Fort Valley State University student will cross the Atlantic Ocean to embark on an exciting adventure. The university’s Stanley E. Rutland Globetrotters Study Abroad Program chose Amber Nicole Williams to travel to Italy from Sept. 19 to 29. Once there, she’ll tour Rome’s palatial piazzas, travel by gondola through Venice’s lovely canals, and sample the finest cuisine from the country’s world-renown chefs. The adventurous senior majoring in mass communications will also visit the nation’s other top tourist destinations such as Milan, Florence, Sorrento, Pisa and Vatican City.

“I will work closely with Ms. Williams, and her advisor, Dr. Andrew Lee, to prepare her for this great learning adventure,” said Victora Dubriel, coordinator for the Stanley E. Rutland Globetrotters Program. “I must say that the young lady and her family were elated to learn of her selection.” The estimated cost of the tour is $3,875, but Williams is only responsible for a round-trip ticket from Atlanta to Los Angeles International Airport, her passport, insurance and other nominal costs. The travel company, Fantasy Tours, Inc., will pay for the rest of the journey.

In 2009, FVSU alumni Tommy and Gwendolyn McMullins, who own Fantasy Tours, Inc., donated $15,000 toward the creation of the Globetrotter Award (see earlier archive photos) in honor of Dr. Stanley E. Rutland, a former FVSU political sciences professor. They have continually donated to FVSU’s scholarship fund and provided opportunities for Wildcats to travel abroad.

At FVSU, Williams, a Columbus, Ga. native has excelled academically and in her extracurricular activities on campus. The student, who is a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, has a 3.6 GPA and has made the Dean’s List every semester since her freshman year. The scholar serves as a Student Government Association officer, an FVSU SGA Public Relations Committee member, a reporter forFVSU’s Peachite student newspaper and a writer for Voices in the Valley, a publication released by mass communications instructor Chata Spikes. She also interned with television channel WTVM. In her spare time, Williams volunteers for the Red Cross. She is also a student ambassador and a volunteer tutor.

For Williams, the trip was an unexpected blessing.

“Three years ago, I wanted to go to China,” said Williams, who applied for a Stanley E. Rutland Globetrotter Study Abroad trip to China several years ago. However, she was not contacted to travel. A few weeks ago, things changed.

“I had a medical scare, so I had to leave town,” said Williams. “I was down, because I was worried about my health. Then, I received this phone call from Ms. Dubriel. I was once a student in her class. She asked me if I had gotten my passport, and I said yes. Then, she asked me if I wanted to go to Italy.”

The good news immediately cheered Williams up. “I was so happy, so happy!” she said. Not only will the student enjoy a seven-city tour of Italy, she will also join 13 FVSUstudents traveling to New York City for the Thurgood Marshall Scholars Leadership Institute and Recruitment Fair in October.

According to Dubriel, Williams and other globetrotter participants, will tell other FVSUWildcats about their academic research and travels abroad during a program scheduled for April 2013. The registered students will also receive one to three-hour credits for the program.

After graduation, Williams plans to apply to Harvard University. She wants to become a producer and writer, and possibly land a dream job with Saturday Night Live, whose set she’s visited in the past.

For more information about the study abroad program, contact Dubriel at (478) 825-6380.


Christina D. Milton, writer
Office of Marketing and Communications
478) 825-6319, milto