Sandra Bitler's love of language began when she started studying Spanish in the 9th grade. As a student at the University of Nevada, Reno Sandra continued her language studies, majoring in Spanish. She fulfilled her dream and spent her junior year abroad in Madrid. She loved it so much that she spent most of the next three and a half years living in Spain and teaching English. Sandra went on to earn a Master's in Hispanic Literature from New York University and years later, a second Master's in International Management from Thunderbird American Graduate School of International Management. Sandra spent the majority of her professional career in Washington, D.C., holding positions at the Library of Congress, the World Bank, the U.S. Department of State and finally the U.S. Office of Government Ethics. Sandra believes firmly that studying languages and learning about the cultures of the people who speak those languages can open individuals' eyes to the ways in which folks have much in common while at the same time having unique ways of living. In establishing this scholarship, Sandra elected to name it in honor of the pinecone, which is a symbol of growth, enlightenment and awakening in many cultures throughout the world. Sandra hopes that this scholarship will give students an opportunity to learn at least one language and use it to advance their careers and engage more deeply with the world.
Awarded on a rotation basis; odd years: Spanish; even years: French
- Majoring in a foreign language or a graduate student in a foreign language
- Fulltime students (undergraduate students: minimum 12 units per semester; graduate students: minimum 6 units per semester)
- Preference given to students who meet one or more of the following criteria: students with demonstrated involvement in campus or community organizations or clubs; or first-generation students
- Minimum GPA: 3.1