South Korea is among the prospective host countries for BC winners of student Fulbright awards. (U.S. Department of State)

Ten members of the Class of 2021 and two recent BC alumni have been awarded Fulbright Scholarships, which support a year’s post-baccalaureate study abroad. Recipients—chosen on the basis of academic merit and leadership potential—typically pursue research in various disciplines, or serve an English Teaching Assistantship, through which they teach English language and provide insights about American culture.

Winners of Fulbright open study/research awards and their prospective host countries are Sophie Frushell ’21 (Dominican Republic), Luke Murphy ’20 (Peru), Jaehun Lee ’21 (South Korea), and Austin Bodetti ’18 (Morocco). English Teaching Assistantships were awarded to 2021 grads Brianna Stonick (Cote d’Ivoire), Elizabeth Davis (Germany), Holly-Anne Grell (Germany), Suzanna Diehl (Kyrgystan), Alexia Kovatsis (Netherlands), Grace Cavanagh (Spain), Catherine Passarello (Spain), and Jennifer Liao (Taiwan).

In addition, the following Class of 2021 members have been designated as Fulbright alternates, pending confirmation of funding for their projects: Chloe Zhou (Malaysia), Rachel Vatelia (France), Jasmine Schmidt (Germany), Darren Zheng (Germany), Albert Ha (Bulgaria), and Jacob McErlean (Hungary).

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program, operated by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Institute of International Education, announced in March that “the decision to allow in-person exchanges to resume is based on the operating status of the host institutions, the administrative resources in place at the U.S. Embassy or Fulbright Commission to support participants while on their program, the availability of international travel and visa services, and the capacity of local facilities to protect public health.”

With efforts to halt the pandemic making headway in the United States and other countries, organizations in the U.S. and abroad that administer the fellowships are cautiously optimistic that most programs will go ahead, although in some cases they may be offered as hybrid courses or at different dates and locations than originally planned.

Three new alumni and two undergraduates are recipients of Critical Language Scholarships, enabling them to participate in an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for American students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities. Most of the CLS institutes will be held in virtual format.  

Boston College School of Social Work 2021 graduate Bridget Sakowski will study Arabic, as will new Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences graduates Sofia Marino and Keegan Coppola; Morrissey College students Rigas Rigopoulos ’23 and Isaiah Brown ’24 will study Russian. In addition, Morrissey College rising sophomore Vincent Sablich was chosen as an alternate to study Russian.

Nine BC undergraduates—out of 10 overall who applied—were selected for the U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, which enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, providing them with skills critical to American national security and economic prosperity.

Three Morrissey College students were selected for awards to fund summer studies: Ashmini Weerakoon ’22 in France, Jax Cai ’23 in the Czech Republic, and Mark Darko ’24 in Italy.

Ireland is the planned destination for Morrissey College rising junior Madison Cabrera, who received a Gilman Scholarship for the 2021-2022 academic year. Also expecting to study in Ireland are two other rising juniors, Jacqueline Rojas of the Connell School of Nursing and Noleen Smith of the Lynch School of Education and Human Development, who were awarded funding for the spring 2022 semester.

Two Carroll School of Management rising juniors are among the Gilman recipients: Andy Bonilla, who seeks to go to Spain this fall, and Abel Yohannes, who would study in Australia next spring.

Another prospective Gilman Scholar for spring of 2022 is Morrissey College rising junior Baris Tezel (Netherlands).

In addition, two BC undergrads awarded Gilman Scholarships during the previous cycle of funding, Gabriella Knox ’24 of Morrissey College (France) and Connell School rising senior Jamarii Johnson (Switzerland), are looking to pursue studies this summer.

Amarlyis Valentin ’23, a Morrissey College student, was approved for study this fall at the American College of Greece in Athens with the support of the Fund for Education Abroad, a program that aims to make the demographics of American undergraduates studying abroad reflect the rich diversity of the U.S. population.  

Morrissey College rising junior David Kim plans to spend the 2021-2022 academic year at Waseda University in Japan as a Boren Scholar. Boren Scholarships and Fellowships are awarded to those undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate commitment to long-term, overseas immersive language study and to public service. In exchange, they agree to utilize those skills within the government by seeking and securing federal employment for at least one year.

Kim is also one of two BC students to win a Freeman-ASIA Award, which provides need-based funding to defray the cost of the study-abroad program and related expenses, including airfare, basic living costs, local transportation, and books. Connell School student Michelle Li ’23 is the other winner.

Office of International Programs Associate Director Christina Hatzipetros said her office is planning for fall and spring academic programs to resume for the 2021-2022 academic year, pending further confirmation from the University. BC-sponsored grants and scholarships that support study abroad through the OIP, including the McGillycuddy-Logue Travel grants and the Fung Fellows Program awards, are contingent upon BC programs running.

“The health and safety of our students, staff, partners, and host communities are our top priority as we continue to monitor conditions in BC program sites regularly,” she said. “I am optimistic that BC students will again be able to leave a meaningful mark in all places of the world, as I am very hopeful that many programs will be able to resume safely this fall.

“Regardless of whether or not students are able to participate in their programs as planned, it is a great achievement and honor to have been selected. The work students put in to apply for these highly respected programs was worthwhile, because the application challenged them to discern their goals and make fundamental decisions about the directions of their academic and future careers.”


University Communications | May 2021