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Fordham Increases Prestigious Fellowship Awards


New Initiatives Boost Prestigious Fellowships

Conflict resolution in Bosnia, biocultural research in Mexico, hosting a national radio program and linguistics training at Oxford are just some of the unique experiences made possible this year to Fordham University’s prestigious fellowship winners.

Thus far, 17 students have won research awards, including a British Marshall scholarship, a National Science Foundation grant, an Eisenhower fellowship and two Clare Booth Luce scholarships, thanks to new initiatives of the University’s Saint Edmund Campion Institute for the Advancement of Intellectual Excellence.

“The fever to apply for fellowships is catching on,” said John R. Kezel, Ph.D., University director of prestigious fellowships, who heads the institute. “Part of the reason for our continued success is the involvement of the deans and so many others at the University, who are referring talented students to us and mentoring them through the application process.”

In the last 10 years, more than 100 Fordham students have been awarded prestigious fellowships, and Kezel said that he and his colleagues at the institute continue to enhance their efforts to prepare students to compete for such awards.

For example, the Matteo Ricci Society, an undergraduate honors group, launched a summer fellowship program last year that allows students to work with faculty on special research projects in exchange for a stipend and free housing on the Rose Hill or Lincoln Center campuses.

This summer, 42 students have taken advantage of summer fellowships, including Connor Grew, a Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) junior, who will serve as a press intern under the deputy communications director in the Manhattan office of former President Bill Clinton.

Two other summer fellowship recipients, Aelia Shusterman and Andrew Mitton, will travel to Bosnia as part of Education for Peace, an international program dedicated to furthering peace initiatives throughout the world. Shusterman, a Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) senior, and Mitton, an FCLC junior, will study conflict resolution techniques and work on projects to create understanding among battling ethnic groups in that region.

This spring, the Campion Institute established the Campion Scholarship, a University-funded award for graduate study introduced to commemorate the renaming of the Institute. Michel Paradis, a 2001 FCLC graduate and 2004 graduate of Fordham Law School, was awarded the first Campion Scholarship, which will allow him to pursue a two-year master’s degree in linguistics at the University of Oxford, Balliol College.

Other prestigious fellowship winners include political science major Caitlin Dourmashkin, the first Fordham College of Liberal Studies (FCLS) student to win a prestigious fellowship since the institute was established six years ago. Dourmashkin, a graduating senior, will work in an administrative office for the City of New York as a New York City Urban Fellow.

Vince Evans, an FCLC philosophy major, was awarded the British Marshall scholarship. Evans, who graduates this year, will enroll in the Philosophy, Politics and Economics program at Balliol College at Oxford University.

Melissa Karl-Lam, a school psychology doctoral student in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, was awarded the James C. Ross Fellowship, a $20,000 prize that will fund her dissertation research on first-generation college students. Her work focuses on resiliency factors that the students use to overcome obstacles and achieve success.

Ricardo Martinez, an FCRH junior, won a National Science Foundation grant. Martinez, an international political economy major with a minor in Latin American and Latino studies, will spend eight weeks in Mexico conducting interdisciplinary, biocultural research about health and nutrition among Mexicans since the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement was enacted.

Jon Vigliotti, an FCRH senior, was one of five students in the nation to win the National Public Radio (NPR) Next Generation Award. He attended an NPR reporter training session and was the only award winner selected to host NPR’s Next Generation Radio, a half-hour news magazine show. Vigliotti, a media studies major, works at Fordham’s WFUV (90.7 FM), an NPR affiliate.

Michelle Yee, a mathematics major, and Brittany Kwait, a computer science major, both FCLC sophomores, were awarded the Clare Booth Luce Undergraduate Scholarship for women in science, technology and mathematics.

Nine students are awaiting word on their fellowship applications, including Fulbright scholarships to Morocco and Italy.

— Megan O’Hare

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