Timor-Leste Student to Begin Studies at Ashland University

1/6/12 ASHLAND, OH -- For the first time ever, Ashland University will be welcoming a student from Timor-Leste to campus as spring semester classes start on Jan. 9.

Davida Crescencia de Fatima Mesquita has received the Presidential International Scholarship from Ashland University and she will major in business at Ashland.

Prior to her departure for the U.S., Mesquita met with Judith R. Fergin, the United States Ambassador to Timor-Leste, who congratulated her on earning the International Presidential Scholarship at Ashland University.

"The Ashland University community welcomes Davida Mesquita," said Nathan Myers, executive director of International Programs. "She has been highly recommended, and we are excited about the contributions that Ms. Mesquita will make to our campus life and academic programs."

Myers said Timor-Leste is a developing country that has shown much promise by establishing democratic institutions that are governed by the rule of law. "Ashland University is proud to partner with Timor-Leste in developing future leaders like Ms. Mesquita, who will contribute to the civic life of her country for many decades," he said.

"I would encourage the entire Ashland community to seek out Ms. Mesquita and warmly welcome her," he continued. "Transitioning to living in a new culture is always a difficult thing --thankfully the faculty and staff at AU are very supportive of student needs."

Located just north of Australia and formerly known as East Timor, Timor-Leste became an independent nation in 2002. Nationwide in 2011, there were 48 students from Timor-Leste studying in the United States, which is a 1200 percent increase from four in less than a decade. Two students from Timor-Leste have studied at Ohio University in the past several years.

In addition to meeting with U.S. Ambassador Fergin, Mesquita's scholarship from Ashland and her photo with Fergin were highlighted on the Embassy's facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/USEmbassyDili.

Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report's National Universities category for 2012, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.