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Fulbright Scholars add to ASU's global reach


May 16, 2007

In a strong confirmation of the university's increasing global presence, a record 17 ASU students have won Fulbright Scholarships to study abroad next year, and 15 will study overseas on National Security Education Program (NSEP) awards. Another has won a Phi Kappa Phi study-abroad grant.

This will be the largest number of national study-abroad awards in ASU's history. ASU ranks among the top public universities in the country for both Fulbright and NSEP awards.

Even more impressive is the number of finalists who received awards. Of 22 Fulbright finalists, all but three have been named awardees or alternates, and one is still waiting to receive word. ASU ranks among the top public universities in the country for both awards.

Janet Burke, associate dean of Barrett, the Honors College and director of the national scholarship advisement office, attributes ASU students' success to supportive faculty who involve students in cutting-edge research, increased attention to global studies, the emphasis on foreign language and word-of-mouth among students.

“Students have become more savvy about applying for Fulbrights, by talking with their friends and lab partners who have won major awards,” Burke says. “They come in with a clearer idea of what they want to do, where they want to go, and how they can make the right connections. Faculty members also tend to be very helpful to students in formulating their projects and establishing the necessary contacts overseas.

“The applications were just exceptional this year. We also had a lot more science and math and engineering students than we have had in the past, which is wonderful to see because we have such strong programs in those areas.

“I think we also are building a good foundation of national award winners in undergraduate scholarship competitions, and those students are more attractive because they have accomplished so much.”

Fulbright students apply for a particular country and find specialists who are willing to work with them on their chosen course of study, receiving full travel, living and academic expenses for an academic year. The NSEP awards provide up to $20,000 for a year's study in countries that are outside Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

The following students are Fulbright Scholars:

• Michael McIntyre, a master's candidate in political science, is going to Albania to research the country's post-communist defense behavior by analyzing government press releases and newspaper commentary.

• Erin Traeger, who earned a bachelor's degree in Russian and mathematics last December, will travel to Macedonia to study whether the reform of the basic tax structure of the country has impacted government revenue.

• Sherry Harlacher, a doctoral candidate in art history and theory, will go to Sri Lanka to examine 18th- to 20th-century Buddhist manuscript culture and book art. Harlacher won both a Fulbright award and a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship.

• Nathan Belois, who received a master's in teaching English as a second language in December, will go to Bosnia-Herzegovina to teach English as a teaching assistant at the University of Banja Luka.

• Damian Stamer, graduating with a bachelor's degree in painting and German, will go to Hungary to help build an English-speaking volunteer program at the Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art in Budapest.

• Ryan Donaghy, receiving a master's in intercultural communication, will be an English teaching assistant in Turkey and also plans to volunteer for the Turkish Red Crescent (Red Cross).

• Ben Walker, who is receiving a bachelor's degree in physics and mathematics, will travel to TRIUMF National Laboratory in Vancouver, B.C., to join a team of physicists on a particle physics experiment.

• Antonio Rubio, a doctoral candidate in applied mathematics and atmospheric sciences, is headed to Spain to work on a project to develop a fuller understanding of the dynamics of rotating convection.

• Shannon Fortin, who is receiving a bachelor's degree in biochemistry and computational mathematics, will perform brain cancer research in Belgium, in the lab of Robert Kiss at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles. Fortin has been doing research at TGen and was a Goldwater Scholar.

• Nguyen Ly, a doctoral candidate in electrical engineering, will go to Germany to advance a protein detection technology he has developed that speeds clinical processing time while improving disease detection and diagnosis.

• Bryant Jensen, a doctoral candidate in educational psychology, is going to Mexico where he will evaluate educational access and achievement for children in Mexico and compare them to results for children of Mexican descent in the United States.

• Naomi Goldenson, who is receiving her master's in geological sciences, will go to Spain to work in a Granada lab on atmospheric remote sensing of Mars. She has worked with ASU planetary geologist Phil Christensen.

• Jon Fortney, a doctoral candidate in mathematics, will study and work with experts in the Netherlands on an emerging mathematic approach to modeling interconnected physical and electrical systems.

Four other Fulbright award winners, announced in April, are Diana Park, a master's candidate in creative writing, who will write a collection of poems in Korea; Amelia Schubert, a senior in Asian history and economics who will teach English to Korean high school students; Samson Swanick, a senior in anthropology and global studies, teaching English in Indonesia; and linguistics doctoral student Bradley McDonnell, who will study the national language of Indonesia.

The NSEP award winners are all undergraduates. The aim of this program is to provide a base of future leaders for the United States who understand less-familiar languages and cultures.

The following students are NSEP scholars:

• Joseph Bodell, a junior in Eastern Europe and Russia area studies, will study history, politics and language in Macedonia, at the University of Ss. Kiril and Metodij.

• Kevin Cunagin, an economics junior, will study language, culture and economics in Poland at Adam Mickiewicz University.

• Malaya Fletcher, a senior in microbiology, will travel to the University of the Philippines to study public health and Filipino culture, as well as the Tagalog language.

• Jonathan Hovander, a political science junior, is going to Romania to become fluent in the Romanian language and to study the people and politics.

• Meagan King, a senior in Slavic languages and literature, will take intensive Russian and Tatar language instruction in Russia, at Kazan State University.

• Timothy Lee, Jr., a political science junior, will study language, history and international relations in Korea, at Yonsei University.

• Devin Mauney, a sophomore in economics, will study in Brazil, taking classes in Portuguese as well as economics, political science and international relations.

• Daniel McEwan, a junior in world religions, is going to Jordan to become fluent in Arabic, and to study literature and Muslim culture.

• Elizabeth Miller, a junior in government and art history, and Shaina Niedermeier, junior in international relations, will study language, politics and history in Albania, at the University of Tirana.

• Chris Person, a mathematics sophomore, and Nicole Rennell, junior in international health, are going to South Africa to study the Xhosa language. Both also will perform service, with Person acting as a math tutor and Rennell working in a public health clinic.

• Christopher Stiles, a junior in Chinese languages and literature, will study language and culture in Taiwan, at National Taiwan University.

• Charles Strauber, a sophomore in English and biochemistry, will study the Hindi language in India, as well as international development.

• Shirlene Yee, a sophomore in political science and international relations, is going to China to study the Mandarin language, as well as Chinese culture and history.

• A Phi Kappa Phi study-abroad grant has been awarded to Haley Van Erem, junior in social work, who will study in Spain.