Photo of Clara Sherwood '22 taking dance lessons during her study abroad trip to Sevilla, Spain.

W&J Senior Goes Global with Study Abroad Trips

Created: January 21, 2022  |  Last Updated: April 8, 2022  |  Category:   |  Tagged: , , , , ,

WASHINGTON, PA (January 21, 2022) – Clara Sherwood ’22 is founding her professional future one country at a time.

Sherwood – a triple major in music and conflict resolution, international studies, and Spanish – recently won the James G. Stemler Study Abroad Scholarship from the Alpha Lambda Delta (ALD) honor society. Sherwood used the scholarship in fall 2021 to complete a semester abroad experience independently from W&J’s study abroad programs, which were affected by the pandemic. Sherwood studied at the Pablo de Olavide University in Sevilla, Spain.

“Studying abroad was crucial to my goals in Spanish language fluency and becoming a future international public servant,” Sherwood said. “In addition to taking courses at [Pablo de Olavide], I also pursued flamenco voice and dance lessons and visited numerous countries in Western Europe.”

She is sincerely grateful to Dr. Leslie Dunn, Associate Professor of Economics, and Dr. Susan Vdovichenko, Assistant Professor of Russian, for their guidance throughout her educational career.

“I must thank Dr. Dunn for helping me perfect my ALD scholarship before submission, as well as Dr. Vdovichenko for consistently providing me with support for every scholarship and fellowship that I apply for,” Sherwood said. “I would highly recommend taking Dr. Vdovichenko’s JayTerm class on writing applications for prestigious awards because this course helped me develop into a successful scholarship applicant.”

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Sherwood also studied abroad in Morocco, The Gambia, Senegal, and Czech Republic. She believes these experiences were instrumental to her success as a student.

“A major factor in my choice of W&J for my undergraduate degree was its commitment to global citizenship, displayed through travel courses and the Magellan Project,” she said. “As a first-year student, I was awarded a Magellan to study in Morocco and Spain, during which I explored migration policies and migrant experiences through interviews and conference presentations.”

Sherwood credits W&J’s liberal arts philosophy for the experiential learning opportunities that it offered in her pursuit of global citizenship.

“The point of a liberal arts education is not necessarily to become proficient in every subject, but instead to learn how to learn,” she said. “I believe this philosophy of intellectual pursuit and curiosity has helped shape my educational path here at W&J and will help me have a successful career after graduation.”

After graduation, Sherwood plans to attend graduate school in Washington, D.C., with a focus on foreign policy and international development in the Middle East or Latin America.


About Washington & Jefferson College 
Washington & Jefferson College, proudly located in Washington, Pa., is a historic liberal arts college founded in 1781 that values ethical leadership, professional readiness, and inclusive communities. Our highly customized and intellectually engaging student experience develops professionals of uncommon integrity to lead in an ever-changing world. For more information about W&J, visit, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.