Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

David Love Memorial Fund Fellowship Finances Student-Led Study Away Research Projects

Every semester, the David Love Memorial Fund Fellowship grants $1,500 to Oberlin students. These funds support an academic research project to be completed during the student’s study abroad program. 

Created by former Professor of Biology Yolanda Cruz in 2002, the fellowship honors Cruz’s late husband, David Love. Love was an instructor of Philosophy, associate provost, director of Sponsored Programs, and associate vice president for research and development over his years at Oberlin. A founder of the Oberlin-in-London Program, Love was a strong advocate for study away opportunities. Cruz said that Love’s passion for study away was the driving force behind the creation of the fellowship. 

“I wanted to keep David’s memory alive,” Cruz said. “He was very committed to encouraging study abroad experiences.” 

The fellowship is open to any student studying abroad in any discipline or location, with the stipulation that after returning to Oberlin, they must give a presentation of their research. The research project is completely student-designed and directed, and the application for the grant includes a completed project proposal. Over the 20-year course of the fellowship, students have completed projects in all disciplines ranging from examining advertising in Formula 1 racing to working to expand the public transport system in Bolivia. 

College fourth-year Cameron Montague was one of two fellowship recipients for the spring 2023 semester. After completing a comparative study abroad program in Vietnam, South Africa, and Argentina, Montague used the fellowship to support a research project in Colombia examining the way that internationally-funded non-governmental organizations responded to the Venezuelan refugee crisis. 

“I looked at public health and NGO responses in Northern Colombia with Venezuelan refugees,” Montague said. “I was specifically interested in the efficacy and ethicality of internationally financed NGOs responding to these sorts of crises.” 

Montague mentioned that her research project gave her invaluable experience and helped her deepen her understanding of the complicated systems that are involved in immigration. 

“I do hope to pursue immigration studies and refugee studies as a career, so it was really helpful for me to understand and be on the front lines of something like that,” Montague said. 

She added that the fellowship helped her to think critically about how her summer research and study abroad experience could tie back to her classes at Oberlin. 

“I already had the internship, but the fellowship really helped me explore it more broadly and tie it more concretely to my academic experience and pull it into what I do at Oberlin,” Montague said. 

Cruz discussed the ways in which learning during  a study abroad experience is different from learning in a classroom in Oberlin. She mentioned that the value of that form of learning was one of the primary reasons Love wanted to support study abroad, and consequently, why she organized the fund in his name.  

“I know from firsthand experience that you learn a lot of intangible things [studying abroad],” Cruz said. “It expands your head in a way that you cannot do otherwise. You can read all you want, you can look at all the videos you want, but unless you’re actually there, I mean just being in a place … kind of seeps into you. You learn little things that you’ve never expected.”

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