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Eleven William and Mary students receive Fulbrights

Eleven students and alumni from the College of William and Mary will study or teach abroad on Fulbright U.S. Student scholarships during the coming academic year.

The scholars will work in countries around the world including Oman, Germany, Taiwan, Poland and Hungary. Many of the scholars will work as part of English-teaching assistantships, while others will conduct research on topics ranging from cross-cultural interchange through mathematics to musical connections across the Mediterranean.

In recent years, greater numbers of William and Mary students have been selected for the Fulbright program. Since 2000, 50 William and Mary students and alumni have been selected as Fulbright scholars. To keep that number growing, the College implemented a new pre-application process for students applying this year. The Fulbright scholars received help in pursuing the scholarships through the College’s Peer Scholarship Advisor program. Peer advisors held weekly office hours in the College’s Charles Center and helped students put together applications, write essays and prepare for interviews.

“This is the second year that all of the grantees have worked with Peer Scholarship Advisors,” said Lisa Grimes, director of fellowships and associate director of the Charles Center. “I believe that in doing so they were able to improve the quality of their applications a great deal.”

The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. It operates in more than 150 countries across the globe and supports building mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the rest of the world. The scholarships fund one year of study or teaching for each of the scholars. Scholars are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement as well as on demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. This year more than 1,300 U.S. citizens will travel abroad for the 2007-2008 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

The scholars from William and Mary are: Chuck Abbott, Amy Benoit, Will Dolive, Helen Wong, Neah Monteiro, Amanda Norris, Jean Rose, Hakan Seyalioglu, Laura Smith, Catherine Williams and Aisa Martinez.

This year’s scholars will explore a wide range of global issues. For example, Martinez ('06) will be traveling to Oman and studying the activities of the Omani Women's Association throughout the country.

“Oman as a country is quite diverse in people and region, so I'm really looking forward to traveling around the country and learning as much as I can,” Martinez said. “At William and Mary, I've gotten the chance to study the Middle East. Now it's time for me to go and actually live it, which is very, very exciting.”