Rotary sponsors Morristown High grad to study in London

Lee Mottola


From the Morristown Rotary Club:

By Sophia Mazurowski

The Morristown Rotary Club is proud to sponsor Lee Mottola, from Morristown, to pursue a master’s degree in Conflict, Security and Development at King’s College in London, UK. Mottola graduated from Morristown High School in 2014.

After graduating from Dickinson’s College in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in German and International Relations, Rotary Scholar Lee Mottola has been planning for the future.

Deciding to pursue a master’s degree in International Relations, he began a search for scholarships and grants. His former college advisor recommended that he contact his hometown Rotary Club.

“It was very much like other scholarship or grant applications that I had done before,” Mottola says, recalling his application for a Fulbright Scholarship, that funded his stay in Germany between 2018 and 2019 to teach English.

After meeting with local members from the the Rotary Club, writing a mission statement, and refining his resume in December 2019, this impressive scholar began his work preparing the application, which he submitted in January. Six months later, Mottola was awarded the Rotary Global Grant Scholarship to fund his schooling in England.

“Global grant scholars plan to pursue a career in an area of focus required by Rotary International,” explained global grant coordinator and Mottola’s grant advisor, Pia Reich, of the Morristown Rotary.

“We must ensure that a candidate’s previous work or volunteer experience, academics, and career plans are strongly aligned with one of six areas of focus,” Reich added.

These areas include, but are not limited to: Peacebuilding and conflict prevention/resolution, disease prevention and treatment, and maternal and child health.

This scholarship is hard to get. The candidates are evaluated and approved first by the Rotary District, sponsored by Morristown and a London Club, and finally the grant is approved by the International Rotary Foundation.

Luckily for Mottola, his plans, experience, and academic align perfectly with Rotarian values world-wide. According to Reich, the scholar has demonstrated “excellent leadership skills, a proven record of success in his academic field, a commitment to community service, well-defined and realistic goals, and concrete ideas for advancing within his chosen field.”

The $30,000 grant will cover his university tuition at King’s College London. All that’s left is to complete the grueling visa application process, and then study to earn his degree.

“They have some amazing programs for international relations,” Mottola says. “The Master’s I’ll be doing, Conflict, Security and Development, would prepare me to look at the root causes of modern conflicts, both international and intranational, and security concerns that derive from them, and how to successfully redevelop countries in a more stable manner,” he notes.

Mottola would love to work in the “transatlantic cooperation or diplomacy area” — possibly NATO, the Eurpoean Union, or multinational corporations connected to the U.S. and Europe.

“Thankfully I had a really good advisor, Pia Reich, who had plenty of feedback that really put me in a good place to be a great candidate for the scholarship,” Mottola says.

He is scheduled to start his studies in early September.

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