University Garners a Record 13 Fulbrights for 2003-04

University Garners a Record 13 Fulbrights for 2003-04

By Mark Sullivan
Staff Writer

A Salvadoran housecleaner's daughter who learned English as a second language and became fluent in Bulgarian in college is the first student from the Options Through Education program to win a Fulbright, and one of a school-record 13 winners to date of the coveted grant for a year's post-baccalaureate study abroad.

Marta Villacorta '03, an immigrant from El Salvador who entered BC through the OTE enrichment program for disadvantaged students, will go to Sofia University in Bulgaria to study interaction between young people and the Orthodox Church. [See related story]

She is among a BC Fulbright class this spring that includes 11 graduating seniors, one graduate student, and one 2002 alumna. As of last Friday, another five BC finalists remained on the wait list.
"As for who can take credit for BC's fine showing this year, I think there's enough credit to be distributed across the board," said the University's Fulbright coordinator, Assoc. Prof. Margaret Thomas (Slavic and Eastern Languages).

"A wide array of destinations and disciplines is represented," she said. "We have a chemist going to France; a political scientist to Japan; an economist to El Salvador; a philosopher, an organist, and three teachers going to Germany; a student of urban development and planning on her way to China, a student of international relations on her way to Bulgaria, and more."

The Fulbright Program, funded by the US State Department, was established at the end of World War II to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries, through the exchange of persons, knowledge, and skills.

A look at the 2003 BC Fulbright winners, their future study and career plans, and faculty members they identify as having particularly inspired their scholarship:

John Beierle '03, of Rockford, Ill, a chemistry major, heads to the University of Strasbourg in France to study supramolecular chemistry. On his return he will enter the doctoral program in organic chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute. Faculty influences: Vanderslice Professor of Chemistry T. Ross Kelly, Assoc. Prof. Margaret Thomas (Slavic and Eastern Languages).

Heather Broberg '03, of Roslindale, Mass., a German major, heads to Mainz, Germany, to serve as a teaching assistant at a high school there. She is considering attending law school on her return. Faculty influence: Prof. Michael Resler (German Studies).

Douglas Campbell '03, of Indianapolis, who has majored in management and economics and minored in Asian studies, will go to Japan to study the work of non-governmental organizations in the area of consumer rights. He plans on his return to pursue graduate studies in economics or international studies. Faculty influences: Prof. Donald Hafner (Political Science), Assoc. Prof. Margaret Thomas (Slavic and Eastern Languages).

Sandra Caraballo '03, Germany, teaching English as a foreign language.

Heather Haas, of Claremont, Calif., a student in the Connell School of Nursing's Master's Entry program, will travel to Utrecht, Netherlands, to perform a comparative study of childbirth experiences in hospital and home settings. She plans a career as an OB/GYN nurse-practitioner. Faculty influences: Prof. Joellen Hawkins (CSON), CSON Graduate Assistant Ann Dylis.

Brett Huneycutt '03, of Scottsdale, Ariz., a Presidential Scholar who has majored in economics and minored in Latin American studies, travels to El Salvador to study the extent to which small business there relies on money sent from migrant relatives in the United States. He also will work with Catholic Relief Services as a consultant to Salvadoran small-business owners. The winner of the American Academy of Political and Social Science Undergraduate Research Award, Huneycutt plans to apply for a Rhodes or a Marshall scholarship, and eventually to pursue a doctorate in economics. Faculty influences: Assoc. Prof. Douglas Marcouiller, SJ (Economics), Assoc. Prof. Jennie Purnell (Political Science), Prof. Donald Cox (Economics).

Jessica Jenkins '03, of Spring, Tex., a political science major, heads to Warsaw to study Poland's entrance into the European Union. She plans on her return to pursue graduate studies in international policy. Faculty influence: Prof. Donald Hafner (Political Science).

Sarah Kuchinos '03, of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., who has majored in international studies and minored in Asian studies, and spent a semester abroad in Beijing as a junior, is going to China to study urban development and planning in the industrial city of Harbin. She plans on her return to pursue a master's degree in economic development or development studies, in the hope of a career with the United Nations Development Program. Faculty influences: Adj. Assoc. Prof. Li Zhuqing (Slavic and Eastern Languages), Prof. Robert Ross (Political Science), Assoc. Prof. David Deese (Political Science), Assoc. Prof. Douglas Marcouiller, SJ (Economics).

Jonathan Kucskar CSOM '03, of Amherst, NY, will teach English in Germany during his year abroad.

Raymond Pavicich '03, of Lackawanna, NY, a philosophy major, will do research in Weimar, Germany, on Friedrich Nietzsche's impact on 20th century East German writers and artists, and study at the University of Jena. He plans on his return to pursue graduate studies in German and Slavic literature and culture. Faculty influences: Adj. Asst. Prof. Susan Michalczyk (A&S Honors Program), Assoc. Prof. Charles Hefling (Theology), Adj. Asst. Prof. Thomas Epstein (A&S Honors Program), A&S Honors Program Director Mark O'Connor, Prof. Michael Resler (German Studies).

Daniel Sanez '03, of Hollywood, Calif., a music major with a minor in German, will go to Leipzig, Germany, to study with Ullrich Boehme, organist of St. Thomas Church, where Bach played. He will also attend the Hochschule fuer Musik, established in Leipzig by Felix Mendelssohn. He hopes on his return to attend Oberlin Conservatory for a graduate degree in historical performance, concentrating on organ and harpsichord. Faculty influences: Senior Lect. John Finney (Music), Prof. T. Frank Kennedy, SJ (Music), Prof. Michael Resler (German Studies).

Rosarie Tucci '02, working this year at the United Nations after having graduated from BC with a double major in political science and communication, travels to Bulgaria to study the human-rights work of non-governmental organizations. Future goals include graduate studies in human rights and conflict resolution, or working at a think-tank. Influential faculty: Adj. Asst. Prof. Mariela Dakova (Slavic and Eastern Languages), Adj. Assoc. Prof. Paul Christensen (Political Science), Assoc. Prof. Ann Marie Barry (Communication), Assoc. Prof. Margaret Thomas (Slavic and Eastern Languages).

Marta Villacorta '03, of Bay Shore, NY. .

In other fellowship-related news, Pasha Mirazimi '03, working with Assoc. Prof. Udayan Mohanty (Chemistry), has been awarded the Norris/Richards Undergraduate Summer Research Scholarship from the Northeast Section of the American Chemical Society.

Alexander Demidov '04 has received a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, the premier undergraduate award in math, engineering and the sciences. Demidov plans to pursue a doctorate in theoretical physics, possibly specializing in superconductivity.

Kevin Hoskins '04 has won a $32,000 Beinecke Scholarship, which is awarded to "young men and women of exceptional promise" for graduate study.

Daetwan Williams '02, completing his first year at University of Louisville Medical School, has won a National Medical Fellowship to carry out research in the lab of Prof. Thomas Chiles (Biology).


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