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Spring 2014

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Best Of Both Worlds

John Powell

By Walter Villa

Students from around the globe are drawn to Barry to pursue their dreams.

Barry takes great pride in its international students, who invigorate the campus with their world views and experiences. Two students, John Powell and Daniella Murray, share several things in common besides their overseas origins, keen intellects, impressive work ethic, and a great appreciation for the opportunities afforded to them by their university.

International Affairs

He is only a freshman, but Jamaican native John Powell, 20, has already accomplished a great deal at Barry University.

He arrived at Barry as a recipient of the prestigious Stamps Leadership Scholarship – the first international student to earn the scholarship. While at Barry, Powell has compiled a 3.74 GPA and has immersed himself in campus life.

Among the causes he has championed was to re-start the Model United Nations, a service club that had been dormant until Powell helped register 10 members. He is now the president of the organization, which is the youth arm of the United Nations.

Powell said Barack Obama’s election to the U.S. presidency in 2008 helped convince him to apply for the Stamps scholarship, which recognizes the most promising future leaders and demonstrates Barry’s commitment to attracting and cultivating top students from around the world.

“It showed me that if you work hard and are dedicated, you can achieve anything you put your mind to,” Powell said. “Meritocracy is not dead.”

The Stamps scholarship provides Powell with tuition for four years, room and board, and funds for study abroad, undergraduate research, and other learning experiences. Powell is majoring in international studies with a minor in French. This summer, he plans to extend his education by attending Yale University for several weeks to serve as a resident advisor and program assistant.

“I’ve always had an interest in global affairs,” said Powell, who has been to a number of United Nations-affiliated conferences in places such as Paris, France, and Vienna, Austria.

Powell, who wants to become an international commercial lawyer, has made it his mission to promote equality throughout the world.

He admits he has an affinity for languages and is fluent in English, French, and Spanish. He is conversational in Italian and speaks the dialect of Jamaican Creole.

He is interested in becoming a translator and appreciates the diversity he has found at Barry.

“As a citizen of the world, it’s not only what I can do for myself but also for the people with whom I interact,” he said. “I don’t believe one should go to school just to succeed academically but also to develop and learn life skills that will help one to compete globally. To me, education is about teaching character more than it is what one is able to read off a piece of paper.”

Powell said Barry is the perfect place for someone with his world view.

“I love the environment at Barry,” he said. “The professors are so helpful and dedicated. “Because it’s a relatively small school, I’ve had the chance to interact with our diverse enrollment. That has helped me to develop intercultural dialogues.”

“As a citizen of the world, it’s not only what I can do for myself but also for the people with whom I interact."

Daniela Murray

Par For The Course

It would be hard to find a student who embodies Barry University’s international identity more than Daniela Murray, who was born in Germany, has dual citizenship from Ireland and Austria and lived in Brazil and Mexico before coming to the U.S.

Murray, who has a 3.9 GPA, is majoring in sport management with a minor in business.

The junior is also a standout on Barry’s golf team, helping the Buccaneers finish third in the 2013 NCAA Division II National Championships. Murray was also named a Scholar All-American.

Murray’s dual citizenship comes from the fact that her mother, Elisabeth, was born in Austria and her father, David, hails from Ireland. Because of her father’s job as a finance director, the family moved to Brazil when Murray was two years old and then to Mexico when she was eight.

For her ninth birthday, her father bought her golf clubs, which was perfect since they lived adjacent to a course in Mexico.

A year later, the family moved back to Brazil, where Murray began playing junior tournaments. She got so serious about golf that she decided to move – on her own – to Austria, where she spent four years of high school living in a dorm and playing her favorite sport.

“There were about 40 kids there who were also golfers,” Murray said.

When it came time for college, Murray sought out the advice of two golfers she knew from Brazil – Daniel Stapf and his sister Isadora, highly decorated golfers at Barry. Both recommended Barry and she came to the school, in part, because of its diversity.

“In Miami, you have people from all over the world come together,” Murray said. “I also wanted a school that was small enough that I could get to know the professors and students. The professors at Barry have shown a real curiosity to know their students and let us know them.”

Murray soon made a recommendation of her own – to her younger brother Patrick, who is now a freshman on Barry’s men’s golf team.

At 23, Murray is the oldest golfer on the women’s team, but she feels it’s an advantage.

“This is my seventh year living on my own,” she said. “I have better time-management skills, which helps me focus more on my studies.”

As proof of that, Murray is working on her master’s degree at the same time she is earning credits for her bachelor’s.

When her playing career is over, Murray ultimately wants to own a company that helps organize events on a pro golf tour such as the PGA or LPGA.

“I want to work on tournament operations,” she said, “and stay as close as possible to the sport I love.”

And, since the golf tours have stops all over the world, Murray will feel right at home with international travel.