Thirteen students and alumni from the College of William and Mary have been selected to receive 2010-11 scholarships from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, setting a new record for the College.
The awardees will use the scholarships in the coming academic year to teach or study in countries around the world including Switzerland, Germany, India, Russia and Morocco.
This year's large group of scholars continues a trend for William & Mary, which has seen greater numbers of its students and alumni selected for the Fulbright Program in recent years. Forty-three students and alumni applied for the scholarships this year and 21 of those were recommended by Institute of International Education (IIE) National Screening Committees in the U.S. for advancement to the in-country evaluation stage. Five students and alumni received full Fulbright grants and eight received Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Grants. Last year, eight students and alumni received Fulbright scholarships. Since 2000, more than 80 William & Mary students and alumni have been selected as Fulbright scholars.
"I am extremely pleased with the success our students have had in the Fulbright competition," said Lisa Grimes, William & Mary Fulbright Program Advisor. "This year's record-breaking number of student Fulbright recipients reflects well on both the caliber of our students and the quality of a William & Mary education as well as the dedication of the College's faculty and staff in preparing students for opportunities like this."
Here are the William & Mary selectees for full Fulbright grants in 2010-2011 along with their country and research project information:
Vivian Appler '97 will be travelling to Switzerland. "I will create a physical performance that explores Edwin A. Abbott's novel FLATLAND and String Theory using shadow puppets and Basel masks, the score for which I will document as a script for a new play. I am curious about the connections between movement patterns of subatomic particles, multiple dimensions, and human communication. I must travel to Switzerland to study particle physics at CERN and to study the origins of the Basel mask."
Christopher Consolino ‘10 will conduct research in Germany: "In examining the German Frakturstreit of the 19th century, my project aims to explore the roles of German typographers and printers as active participants in political culture through the use of their craft. Moreover, this project will consider how these previously overlooked political actors contributed to the formation of a German visual identity during some of the most ideologically formative years in modern Germany history."
Guy Evans ‘10 will use his Fulbright to do research in Morocco: "In Morocco, agricultural production, urbanization, and water supplies are linked in a process that promotes desertification. The proposed nine-month project will study demographic responses to hydrology, soil quality, and socio-economic conditions along the Oued Ziz between Errachadia and Tafilalt, where this phenomenon is quite clear. Such research would promote a cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary dialogue applicable to other limited resource areas."
Ed Pompeian, a Ph.D. candidate in history, will conduct a project in Venezuela: "This project proposes to study the early international relations of the United States and Venezuela by researching the lives and political and economic ideas of Venezuelan intellectuals, merchants, traders, reformers, and planters who were involved in cross-cultural exchanges with U.S. citizens between 1790 and 1823."
Jessica Spence ‘02 will study climate change impact in India: "Adaptation to impacts is an overlooked and underfunded approach to addressing the complex issue of global climate change. Although a rapidly developing nation, India contains many communities vulnerable to climate change impacts. This project will document climate change adaptation efforts in India, focusing on ecosystem-based adaptation to agriculture and wildlife impacts in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, two North-Central states."
The William & Mary students and alumni who received Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Grants for 2010-2011 are:
Katelyn Andell '10 will travel to Germany to teach and volunteer in the community: "I also plan to continue researching the German education system and the integration of immigrants in German society."
Sarah Argodale ‘10 will work as an English Teaching Assistant in Russia.
Peter Giannino ‘10 will teach and work on a project while located in Germany. "I will work on a side project regarding the portrayal of Russians in German cinema both before the fall of the Soviet Union and after the Reunification of Germany, which will be added to a repository of information held at the Earl Gregg Swem Library at the College of William and Mary for future use by history, German and film studies students and professors."
John Palenski ‘10 plans on also joining a local sports team while teaching in Germany. "In addition to teaching about and discussing American culture, I plan on joining a local sports team, furthering U.S.- German relations by participating in the Deutsche-Amerikanische Gesellschaft and taking advantage of the vast cultural events (Theatre, Films, etc.) that Germany has to offer."
Ariel Shah ‘10 will travel to Taiwan to teach. "I will help teachers in the classroom, with cultural projects, and with editing teaching materials. While dedicating my innovation and energy towards teaching I will also pursue the study of Mandarin through a critical language enhancement and through joining a university vocal music organization."
Julia Smart ‘09 plans on using a pragmatic approach while teaching English in Poland. "I hope to comfortably bring the Polish youth into English-speaking countries of today. Outside of the classroom, the community will be invited to join an English theatre troupe that will perform often and give the students confidence in common idioms, inflection and syntax. I will also organize a regular meeting to share my advice on how to safely and easily travel abroad."
Katherine Sumner ‘10 will teach in Germany, "where I will use ESL teaching methods and collaborate with school faculty to help students improve their English written, spoken, and cultural competency skills. In my spare time I intend to further support this purpose by organizing an extracurricular English language conversation club for students to practice their skills in a friendly environment."
Laura Tourtelotte ‘09 hopes her ETA to Russia I will "further cooperation and understanding between the United States and Russia. Acting as a steward of the Fulbright project's goals to increase the exchange of knowledge and skilled people, I offer my teaching abilities and passion for sharing the particularities of our two cultures. To the diverse peoples of Russia I will bring a more nuanced understanding of the melting pot of peoples that created America."
The students are among 1,500 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2010-2011 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.
According to a press release, the Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in over 155 countries worldwide. Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 300,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
Grimes said the application deadline for 2011-2012 awards is Sept. 22, 2010.
"I encourage any student - or alumnus - who is interested in applying to get in touch with me to discuss the application process," she said.
For further information about the Fulbright Program, please visit http://us.fulbrightonline.org/home.html. For more information on scholarships, fellowships and awards at William & Mary, visit http://www.wm.edu/scholarships.