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Alum Launches Scholarship to Help Students Access Study Abroad Experience

lucho rossman study abroad scholarhip
Pictured: Dr. Charles Rossman, left, Marcela Rossman, Dr. Lucho Rossman, Dr. Jessica Rossman.

15 April 2013

IN 1991, DR. LUCHO ROSSMAN was a Plan II Honors Liberal Arts major at The University of Texas at Austin with plans to go to medical school.  While his parents often talked about their post-college Peace Corps experience, Rossman had never really thought about studying abroad. However, his interest piqued when he learned that the university offered a summer program in Seville, Spain. Rossman had lived in France for a semester when his father was a visiting professor, and his parents encouraged him to think about returning to the region that held such great memories for their family.

Having learned of the program from the International Office, Rossman made his decision when he received a $1,000 scholarship from The University of Texas at Austin.

“At the time I thought, ‘The university is endorsing this, so studying abroad must be important,’” said Rossman, who graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 1993.

Today, the International Office offers a variety of scholarships to help fund students’ participation in study abroad programs. Financial support is one reason why the university is currently ranked No. 5 in the nation for total number of students studying abroad each year, according to the Institute for International Education.

Like many other students able to access the study abroad experience, Rossman shares that the lessons he learned in Seville exceeded his expectations.

“Beyond the formal learning, the experience taught me so much about different parts of the world," Rossman, now a radiologist at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, said. "I realized that I actually have much in common with people who at first seemed different from me."

Rossman added that his experience in Seville ignited a lifelong interest in travel. He has traveled to the Far East, South America and many other international destinations. Perhaps his most meaningful trip was to Portugal in 2012, where he and his wife Jessica were married.

In addition to their shared love of travel, the Rossman family has deep roots with the University. Lucho’s father, Dr. Charles Rossman, was an English professor at The University of Texas at Austin for 41 years before retiring in 2009.

Along with the family milestones of celebrating Charles and his wife Marcela's 50th wedding anniversary and the expecting of Lucho and Jessica's first child this year, the Rossman’s combined their desire to provide students with the same kind of help he received. So they called the International office.

“I want to help other students access the experience of studying abroad,” Rossman said. “I am also incredibly proud to honor my father’s UT legacy in a way that acknowledges his passion for education and the University of Texas.”

The Charles and Marcela Rossman Scholarship for Study Abroad will be given to an undergraduate student enrolled in a university-sponsored study abroad program. The scholarship will be funded by an annual gift from Lucho and Jessica Rossman.

Darcy McGillicuddy, director of External Relations for the International Office, explains that the Rossman family’s support for study abroad means a lot for students at The University of Texas at Austin.

“Study abroad has become an integral part of undergraduate education, exposing students to a global community and economy,” she said. “We know this scholarship will put study abroad within reach for students who are initially hesitant due to their limited financial resources. We are so thankful to the Rossman family for their generosity and partnership.”

International travel has been an important part in the lives of Rossman and his wife. As they prepare to welcome a child into the family, he is eager to give back to the University and give this kind of opportunity to other students.

"My wife Jessica and I are honored to be able to encourage and facilitate the experience of studying abroad. Traveling as a student is an integral part of a well-rounded college education. ”

Story by Angie Pastorek
Photography by Darcy McGillicuddy

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