Ambassador for integration and inclusion: Thomas Heinrich scholarship goes to severely visually impaired student

Selina Arna is the new Thomas Heinrich scholar. This was decided by the jury around the founding couple Alexandra Thom-Heinrich and Wolfgang Heinrich. The Frankfurt Macromedia student will spend the coming semester at Regent’s University in London.

The jury was particularly impressed with:

  • Selina’s passion for her International Relations and Business B.A. major,
  • Selina’s courage to go abroad alone as a severely visually impaired person,
  • the naturalness with which Selina stands up for others despite her own limitations

Alexandra Thom-Heinrich: “Interculturality is part of Selina’s life.”

“We got to know a young, very determined woman. As a German-Turkish, interculturality has always been part of Selina’s life. Now she has found her academic home in the study of international relations. She will probably also work in this field one day. This fits in perfectly with the spirit of the Thomas Heinrich Scholarship, which is dedicated to international understanding,” says Alexandra Thom-Heinrich.

That Selina chose London for her semester abroad is not by chance. “London is such a cosmopolitan city. I will not only get to know British culture there, but also many more,” says the 20-year-old. “There is no better environment to study international relations. I thank Mr. and Mrs. Heinrich so much for making this experience possible for me.”

Wolfgang Heinrich: “Questions of integration become questions of inclusion.”

Wolfgang Heinrich also highlights another aspect in the jury’s decision: “Due to her severe visual impairment, questions of integration also become questions of inclusion in Selina’s case. With her pragmatism and her openess, I find her to be a real encourager. She encourages people with disabilities to leave their comfort zone and people without disabilities to break down barriers. We couldn’t ask for a better candidate for the Thomas Heinrich Scholarship.”

Regent’s University: plenty of support for special needs.

Selina Arna will live in a dorm on the Regent’s University campus. She shares her room with an assistance dog named Attila, who will stay by her side during her daily study routine.

“Not all international partner universities allow assistance dogs on campus. Regent’s University is exemplary here, just like the Frankfurt Macromedia Campus, in many ways and has already helped me a lot in preparing for the semester. That feels really great that I’m getting so much support along the way.”

Selina Arna: “My experience is that people like to help.”

Because of her severely limited vision – she is blind before the law – Selina has certain requirements for university teaching. Printed materials don’t work for her; she relies on electronic materials. At Macromedia, Selina benefits from classroom organization via the Blackboard learning management system.

“I will see how teaching is organized at Regent’s University. If I have special needs, I will articulate those. My experience is that people are happy to help when I address them directly, and that very nice, positive experiences often result,” Selina Arna said.

Arthur Hofer: “Selina as an ambassador for tolerance and appreciation.”

Prof. Dr. Arthur Hofer, who oversees the scholarship award together with the university’s International Office and Academic Affairs Office, is also pleased with Selina.

“The jury was clearly in favor of Selina. She is a special candidate in many ways and a strong ambassador for tolerance and appreciation in our multi-national and multi-cultural societies. I look forward to her reports from Regent’s University,” said Arthur Hofer.