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Students Awarded International Fellowships, Honors

Fellowships & Student Research
May 14, 2019

Twenty-four Denison University students and alumni have been awarded prestigious international fellowships, scholarships, and awards. Students were recognized for their excellence at the college’s Academic Awards Convocation, on Friday, April 12, held in Denison’s iconic Swasey Chapel.

Denison Provost Kim Coplin noted, “These honors and scholarships are extremely competitive. Denison students are up against the best and brightest at institutions across the nation. The fact that our students are so successful in achieving these distinguished awards is indicative of Denison’s rigorous academics that prepare our students for the lives they want to lead.

These awards include:

Fulbright U.S. Student Program English Teaching Assistant (ETA) awards place candidates in classrooms abroad to assist local English teachers. ETAs teach English while serving as cultural ambassadors for the U.S. Denisonians awarded ETAs include Rachel Abbott ‘19 and Saddan Genao-Lizardo ’17 to Germany, Emmaline Harms ’19 to Argentina, Sarah Hunter ’15 to Jordan, Madina Khudaynazar ‘19 to Turkey, Julia Laden ’19 to Spain, Andrea Vallejo ’19 to Mexico, Kaitlyn Weiss-Silvestri ’19 to Indonesia, and Andrea Weyneth ’19 to Ukraine. Denison Fulbright ETA alternates are Kristen Ago ’19 to Colombia, Rachel Dyl ’18 to Argentina, and Emma Goldner-DeBeer ’19 to South Africa. Denison University has been named a Fulbright “Top Producing Institution” by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for three of the last four years.

Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarships enable students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, thereby gaining skills critical to national security and economic competitiveness. Jaley Bruursema ’20, Autumn Goodrum-Davis ’20, Kimberly Gutierrez ’20, Elizabeth Jaffy ‘19, and Fiona McNichols ’20 were awarded Gilman Scholarships to study abroad in 2018-19.

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) is an intensive overseas language and cultural summer immersion program for American students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities. Summer institutes provide intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains. CLS grantees include Jimmy Fennessey ’19 to Morocco and Nolan Kelemen ‘21 to Brazil. Madina Khudaynazar ‘19 is a CLS alternate.

The Goldwater Scholarship Program, one of the oldest and most prestigious national scholarships in the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics in the United States, seeks to identify and support college sophomores and juniors who show exceptional promise of becoming this Nation’s next generation of research leaders in these fields. Hayley LeBlanc ’20 and Harper “Hoke” Wallace ’21 were awarded Goldwater Scholarships.

Boren Scholarships and Fellowships are an initiative of the National Security Education Program. They provide unique funding opportunities for U.S. undergraduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad. Jimmy Fennessey ’19 was granted a Boren Scholarship and will spend next year studying Arabic in Jordan. Jasmine Passa ’15, currently a graduate student at Notre Dame University, was granted a Boren Fellowship for study in Jerusalem.

DAAD-RISE offers summer STEM research internships in Germany to undergraduate students who are carefully matched with doctoral students whom they assist and who serve as their mentors. Hayley LeBlanc ’20 and Rowan Sharkey ‘21were granted these research internships.

The Austrian Government U.S. Teaching Assistant program places Americans in teaching assistant jobs in Austria. The program’s objective is to expose young Austrians to native speakers and to arouse their interest in other cultures based on cross-cultural dialogue and personal contacts. Rachel Abbott ’19 was offered an Austrian US teaching assistantship; Sam Rice ’19 is an alternate.

The Davis Projects for Peace program awards $10,000 grants to undergraduates at the American colleges and universities in the Davis United World College Scholars Program for grassroots projects that they will implement during the summer. Fatoumata Kaba ’19 will travel this summer to Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania, to carry out her project, “Shield Our Watoto (Shield Our Children).”

The Fulbright United Kingdom (U.K.) Summer Institutes are three-to-four-week programs for U.S. undergraduate students to explore the culture, heritage, and history of the U.K. while experiencing higher education at a U.K. university. Lucas Unver ’22 will attend a Fulbright U.K. Summer Institute in Aberystwyth, Wales.

The MENAR Fellowship Program fosters a new generation of leaders with real-world experience with the culture, language, and politics of the Middle East and North Africa. Laura Robinson ’19 was awarded a MENAR fellowship to Morocco.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions. Four Denison alumni received NSF Graduate Research fellowships: Jane Bright ’18, Amanda Jack ’17, Jack Sundberg ‘17, and Melissa Zarate ’16.