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Fourteen Undergraduate Fulbrights Among Fellowship Honors

Fulbright Scholarship winners (L-R) Katelyn Jones, Emily McCormick, Sebastian Agredo, Samuel Han, Kelly McCartney, Theresa Lengauer, Lauren Blodgett, Anna Kozlowski, Elizabeth Muller, Madeline McSherry, Lake Coreth and David Tapia. (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

By Office of News & Public Affairs |

Published: May 26, 2011

Boston College seniors amassed an impressive trove of post-graduate fellowships and scholarships during the now completed 2010-11 academic year, highlighted by 14 Fulbrights. The prestigious grants — which support a year’s post-baccalaureate study abroad — have become a regular, and welcome, feature of the University’s academic achievements.  

In addition to the 14 graduating seniors who have formally received Fulbrights, at press time one other was selected as an alternate, awaiting confirmation of funding for their projects. Several Boston College alumni and graduate students also were selected as Fulbright recipients or alternates this year. [Graduating senior John Kost and Lynch School of Education graduate student Sarah Ash were awarded Fulbrights but declined to accept.]   

This year’s crop of BC Fulbright scholars will trek to such countries as Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Germany, Korea, Nepal, Spain and Vietnam. Many will teach English, and all look forward to sharing aspects of American culture even as they learn about their host countries’ language and culture. BC grads also will study Poland’s efforts to halt human trafficking, explore Spain’s arts communities, and learn about perceptions of immigration and ethnic heritage in Argentina, among other projects.     

Soumia Aitelhaj ’10 (Alternate)  
HOMETOWN: Revere, Mass.  
PROJECT: Travel through Moroccan villages to record elder women who compose Amazigh poetry, then work with part-time English faculty member Kimberly Garcia to translate into English and publish as a book.  
PLANS: Pending additional funding, would continue the project by producing a documentary of Amazigh poetry and culture.     

NAME: Sebastian Agredo  
HOMETOWN: Rego Park, NY  
PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship  
PLANS: Work for a private emergency medical services company to gain experience in the medical field; afterwards, continue education in medical school, or pursue graduate studies with an eye toward career in philosophy.   

“For me, the Fulbright Program and the opportunity to teach in Germany will open new paths for cultural and personal growth.  It represents the steps I have taken throughout my academic career to establish a lasting relationship with the country in which I was born, and it will offer me new insights into the German identity, thus giving me a greater appreciation and understanding for the similarities and differences between the American and German cultures.”      

NAME: Lauren Blodgett   
HOMETOWN: Peabody, Mass.   
DESTINATION: Austria    
PROJECT: Work in conjunction with a professor at the University of Innsbruck to examine global implications of US non-participation in the International Criminal Court.   
PLANS: Attend law school, work for Habitat for Humanity International.   

“With my 100-page senior thesis as a springboard for my Fulbright study, I will utilize the resources in Innsbruck to contribute to the scholarly material on this relatively new institution.”      

NAME: Leigh Cameron ’09 (Alternate)  
HOMETOWN: Bedford, NH  
DESTINATION: New Zealand  
PROJECT: Through Lincoln University, will research and write case studies on initiatives in Lincoln and Christchurch to determine how the Transition Towns movement, as well as the permaculture principles it embodies, can help communities transition to social and ecological sustainability.   
PLANS: To advance community sustainability efforts in the US either through government work or as an educator.       

NAME: Lake Coreth  
HOMETOWN: Mount Kisco, NY  
DESTINATION: Argentina  
PROJECT: By teaching English to future teachers, Coreth hopes to learn more about how immigration, ethnic heritage and foreign-language learning is viewed and accepted in another culture.   
PLANS: Pursue a master’s degree in Latin American studies and public policy with the goal of entering a career in the public or non-profit sector.   

“Learning a foreign language and living abroad have been two of the highlights of my Boston College career. Receiving the Fulbright is an opportunity to pursue academic studies in an educational and cultural environment completely different than our own – and I am ecstatic to have received the opportunity. As a student interested in migration studies, Argentina is the perfect place to study the diaspora of Europeans, Africans and Latin Americans in another country.”     

NAME: Kelly Dalla Tezza  
HOMETOWN: Baltimore, MD  
PROJECT: Conduct analysis of the social and economic factors that have fostered women’s success in Bahraini politics, and examine the prospects for this trend elsewhere in the region.  
PLANS: Pursue graduate degree in Middle Eastern studies or attend law school; possible future career in foreign service or international organization.      

NAME: Patrick Feeney  
HOMETOWN: Washington, DC   
PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship in a German secondary school.    
PLANS: Pursue employment opportunities in the international and/or educational arenas before possibly obtaining a graduate degree in preparation for a career in the foreign service or in academe.     

“I am thrilled to travel to Germany as an ambassador for the United States. Boston College, particularly the German [Studies] Department, has equipped me with skills that I am eager to employ as I work with young students next year. Personally, I haven't been convinced that I want to become a teacher yet, but teaching next year will certainly be an enriching experience and provide many lifelong benefits.”     

NAME: Drew Firmender '10
HOMETOWN: Roxbury, Conn.  
PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship at Federal University of Rio De Janeiro  
PLANS: Work for a Brazilian-American company.  

“Fulbright is the realization of serving others abroad as an American, and opening a discourse which seeks to improve other cultures. I have chosen Brazil because I have a deep affection for the country and its people, and wish to further engage through language and education.”     

NAME: Samuel Han  
HOMETOWN: Irvine, Calif.  
DESTINATION: South Korea  
PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship  
PLANS: Law school, followed by a career focused on international social justice and human rights   

“I hope that this blessed experience will expand my knowledge of the Korean culture so that I am well equipped with the language and cultural skills that would allow me to pursue my aspirations of working with Korea on the international level.”  

NAME: Katelyn Jones  
St. Louis, MO  
PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship.   
PLANS: To pursue a doctorate in German studies or religion and politics, seek career opportunities in the international sector of government and eventually teach at the university level.   

“The ETA Fulbright grant will be an opportunity for me to bring what I've learned at Boston College to my students in Germany.  A year in Germany will give me the chance to be completely immersed in the German culture — without the protective blanket of a study abroad program or the guidance of a home university.  I believe that this year will be one of personal growth and help to guide me in my professional and academic future.”   

NAME: Anna Kozlowski  
HOMETOWN: Ansonia, Conn.  
PROJECT: To study and evaluate the efforts of the government of Poland to combat human trafficking as caused by globalization, growing economic disparities and stringent migration laws.  
PLANS: Law school, concentrating on human rights law.   

“As the child of Polish immigrants, I’ve always been interested in the Polish language, culture and history. Although my [BC] thesis is over, I feel as though my research has just begun. I hope to study at the University of Warsaw and slowly form connections that will give me the opportunity to interview politicians, judges and lawyers on the subject of human trafficking legislation and consequent trends. I truly believe that this year of research abroad will give me a greater depth of knowledge and a better perspective on this terrible crime of modern slavery.”  

NAME: Theresa Lengauer  
PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship  
PLANS: Work as elementary school teacher.  

“Teaching in a German school will offer insight into a different academic setting and the chance to teach on the international level. It will add to my passion for teaching and my interest in German culture. I can provide the perspective and enthusiasm of a student teacher, an Ultimate Frisbee player, and an American student.”     

NAME: Kelly McCartney    
HOMETOWN: Ellicott City, Md.  
PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship.    
PLANS: Earn a master’s degree in education while teaching in an urban school after her return, followed by business school to earn an MBA in non-profit management. Long-term goal is to combine her educational experiences for a career in education NGOs.   

“I feel that the opportunity to pursue an English Teaching Assistantship is the perfect culmination to my undergraduate career at BC. It merges my academic interest in linguistics with my volunteer experience in tutoring and gives me the opportunity to travel and experience a new culture. It is also a testament to the remarkable work and influence of [Slavic and Eastern Languages and Literatures] Professor Margaret Thomas, the Undergraduate Fulbright Program Director, who piqued my interest in the Vietnamese language through her Linguistic Field Methods course. I feel truly blessed to have had her as a mentor throughout my undergraduate career.”     

NAME: Emily McCormick  
HOMETOWN: New Vernon, NJ  
PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship at an elementary school in Kaohsiung  
PLANS: Work with Jesuit Volunteer Corps, either internationally or in the Northwest Pacific Region, followed by graduate/professional school for international relations and law.   

“I am thrilled about the opportunity to teach elementary school children in Taiwan, to become immersed in Taiwanese culture and to increase my proficiency in Mandarin Chinese.  With this experience, I hope to improve cross-cultural relations between the United States and Taiwan.”     

NAME: Madeline McSherry  
HOMETOWN: Red Hook, NY  
PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship; explore Spanish arts communities and literary traditions.  
PLANS: Enroll in master’s degree program for bilingual education or translation and interpretation.   

“I feel fortunate and excited to be working for an organization that depends on and promotes cooperation between nations. The Fulbright grant will prepare me to better communicate as both an educator and a translator in this multicultural world.”     

NAME: Elizabeth Muller  
HOMETOWN: Minneapolis, MN   
PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship  
PLANS: Graduate school for a degree in secondary education or community development.   

“My undergraduate experiences have led me to the firm conclusion that the education of youth is vital for successful and sustainable community development. As an English teacher, I will use my passion and commitment to education to alert Nepali youth to their potential as community agents to create a sustainable future.”     

NAME: Colin Powers  
HOMETOWN: Hastings, NY  
DESTINATION: Bulgaria   
PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship   
PLANS: Graduate school in international education, international conflict resolution or Middle East Studies.   

“I applied for an ETA program to improve my skills as an educator, to learn from and interact with a fascinating population, to represent our country with dignity, and to conduct independent research in a country that is dynamically and vibrantly redefining itself.”  

NAME: Caitlin Rowe  
HOMETOWN: Watchung, NJ  
PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship North Rhine-Westphalia  
PLANS: Undecided   

“I am excited for the opportunity to give back to one German community by igniting teenage students’ passion for English and the United States.  I hope to help elevate my classes' comprehension of English by teaching them expressions and manners of speaking not found in grammar books.  It is an honor and a privilege to be embarking on this new journey in the fall, and I hope that upon my return I will have taken away just as much from the program as I have taught inside the classroom. ”    

NAME: Natalie Stokes ‘06   
HOMETOWN: Wrentham, Mass. 
DESTINATION: United Kingdom  
PROJECT: Undertake a gender study titled “Sexual Assault Awareness as a Preventative Force.” She will complete a one-year master’s degree program in “Gender, Violence and Conflict” at the University of York. 
PLANS: Attend medical school in the fall of 2012 and pursue a career focused on combating gender discrimination and inequities in health care, incorporating clinical practice with research.   

“The focus of my research will be on resiliency resources for prevention of sexual assault in an adolescent population. I will be working with local resources to establish a hotline and peer support group for survivors of sexual assault. Upon completion of my Fulbright year, I am planning to attend medical school. I am interested in practicing primary care medicine with a focus on women's health.”      

NAME: David Tapia (Alternate)  
HOMETOWN: North Andover, Mass.  
PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship  
PLANS: Obtain doctoral degree in political science through the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University; pursue a career in academia and continue to pursue research that will benefit global society.   

“I aim to enhance my teaching skills, share my passion for American cinema and immerse myself in the German language and culture, which will be instrumental in my graduate research on European energy security issues.”      

In addition, Fulbrights have been awarded to: Nicholas Courtney ’09, currently working for Teach for America in Hawaii, who will go to South Africa to study the effects of apartheid on educational achievement and the solutions that are presently being tried; Jerome Veith, a doctoral student in philosophy, who will pursue research at the University of Freiburg in Germany for his dissertation on the philosopher Georg Gadamer; and Lynch School of Education 2011 master’s degree recipient Agatha Wozniak, who will be teaching English in Poland.      

Other 2011 fellowship-winning seniors include:  

•Amanda Rothschild, a Rhodes Scholarship finalist who was one of 40 students nationwide selected for the Hertog Political Studies Program, which combines guided study of seminal texts such as the Federalist Papers, Plato’s Republic and Exodus with focused research and discussion on one of three major issues: Iran, health care and bioethics. The program also includes discussions with master teachers, policy analysts and guest speakers, including Antonin Scalia, William Kristol, Juan Williams, Charles Krauthammer, Michael Barone, Eliot Cohen, Elliott Abrams and William Galston.    

•Isabel Protasowicki and Alison O'Connell, who were chosen for the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX), a year-long, federally-funded fellowship for study and work in Germany. Through CBYX, the pair will attend a two-month intensive German language course, study at a German university or professional school for four months, and complete a five-month internship with a German company in their career fields. Participants are placed throughout Germany and have the opportunity to learn about everyday German life from a variety of perspectives.   

•John Maloy has been awarded an NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship, which recognizes a student's athletic and academic achievements, as well as campus involvement, community service, volunteer activities and demonstrated leadership. An honors student in the College of Arts and Sciences and an officer of the BC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Maloy is BC Men's Swimming all-time leader in wins (172) and in points scored (2024.75), and holds six of the Eagles' individual team records. He will attend Georgetown University Law Center next year.  

•Anne Kornahrens, a Presidential Scholar who — after receiving a Goldwater Scholarship and a National Science Foundation grant — became the first BC student to earn a Skaggs-Oxford award for post-graduate study at The Scripps Research Institute and the University of Oxford.       

Amanda Rothschild, back; Alison O’Connell, left, and Isabel Protaswicki. (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)