Seven Faculty, Students Win Fulbright Honors

By Sean Smith
Staff Writer

The University has once again made a strong showing in the annual Fulbright Program competition. At press time, two faculty members had been named Fulbright grant recipients, four students were in line for fellowships, and another was selected as an alternate.

Flatley Professor of Catholic Theology David Hollenbach, SJ, will use his grant to do a project in Nairobi, Kenya on human rights issues. He will design and teach a course on human rights and communal solidarity at Hekima College of The Catholic University of Eastern Africa, and conduct research on African individual-communal conflicts as they relate to human rights.

Among those honored by the Fulbright Program are, from left: Mark Stansbury, Flatley Professor of Catholic Theology David Hollenbach, SJ, Bryan Castro, Michael Duffy, Grant Kaplan and James Bidwell. (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)
Assoc. Prof. Ronna Krozy (SON) will travel under a Fulbright grant next fall to Catholic University of Santiago in Ecuador, where she will assist in strengthening the university's nursing school.

The federally funded Fulbright Program provides annual grants for American faculty members to teach and conduct research abroad, and pre-doctoral fellowships for graduate students and graduating seniors to work on scholarly projects at foreign universities and colleges.

This year's federal budget crisis, however, left funding levels for many Fulbright programs, especially fellowships, uncertain. Although the budget dispute recently was settled, some finalists were still waiting for confirmation earlier this month as to whether their projects would be funded.

"The budget situation has made this an unusual year," said Assoc. Prof. Laurie Shepard (Romance Languages), interim chair of the University s Fellowship Program, which coordinates faculty and student participation in major research award programs. "But we did quite well, especially considering the competitiveness for undergraduate awards. We hope more faculty will be encouraged to assist students in applying for these opportunities."

Fulbright Fellowship recipients this year include Mark Stansbury, a graduate student in the History Department, and Grant Kaplan '96, a history and theology major. Stansbury will spend the next academic year based in Munster, Germany, where he will work on his dissertation in medieval history. He plans to study the manuscripts of medieval authors Cassiodorus, Gregory the Great, Isadore of Seville and Bede, which he said will require extensive travel.

Kaplan will be based at the renowned Tubingen School in Germany, where he will examine issues which surrounded the founding of the German Catholic university in the mid-19th century. At Tubingen, he will work with a prominent German theologian and explore the institution s archives.

Bryan Castro '96, a history major, hopes to pursue a "life-long interest" by journeying to Buenos Aires and compiling an oral and social history on the legacy of Argentinean leader Juan Peron. Castro -- whose mother grew up in Argentina during the Peron era -- would attend classes at the University of Buenos Aires, conduct research at the city s Library of Congress and travel through the countryside.

Michael Duffy '96, a major in history and Spanish, also plans to go to the University of Buenos Aires for his fellowship. His project involves studying the works of 19th century Argentinean president and intellectual Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, and how they have influenced the country s trade and foreign policy with the US.

The Fulbright Program also named James Bidwell, a graduate student in history, as an alternate for the fellowship program. Bidwell proposed a study of the formation of the German identity in the former ecclesiastical state of Munster during the 19th century.

Last year, eight Boston College students were finalists for Fulbright fellowships; three of them eventually won awards.

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