Holy Cross Produces Record Number of Fulbright Scholars

14 alumni to teach and conduct research in Indonesia, Malaysia, Russia, Sri Lanka, more
July 25th, 2013 by 


Photo by: Patrick O’Connor

Fourteen recent graduates from the College of the Holy Cross have been awarded Fulbright grants to work and teach abroad during the 2013-14 academic year. This marks a record high number of Fulbrights awarded in a single year for the College. Since 2004, Holy Cross has received a total of 64 Fulbrights, and has consistently been among the nation’s top producers of Fulbright students at the undergraduate level.

The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, is widely recognized as the most prestigious international exchange program in the world. The highly competitive grants are awarded on the basis of academic merit and professional promise.

This year’s recipients are headed to Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Russia, Spain, Sri Lanka and Turkey.

“In this year’s Fulbright competition we had 28 finalists, and now 14 of our students will have unforgettable experiences that will further their academic and professional careers,” says Anthony B. Cashman, director of Distinguished Fellowships and Graduate Studies at the College. “The cultural exchange and the friendships that our students will form are some of the most important parts of the Fulbright award. There is nothing like living on your own in a foreign country to learn more about yourself.”

Cashman also adds that the College has tripled the number of applicants over the past five years. “In 2008-09, we had only 24 applicants and this year we had 63 applicants,” he says.

Each year approximately 1,700 U.S. college students are awarded grants through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. The Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship program in international educational exchange, awards grants to U.S. citizens and nationals of other countries for a variety of educational activities, primarily university lecturing, advanced research, graduate study and teaching in elementary and secondary schools. Since the program’s inception in 1946, more than 300,000 participants — selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential — have had the opportunity to observe each other’s political, economic and cultural institutions. The program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.

This year’s recipients are:

Matthew Burke

Matthew Burke ’13, of Westwood, Mass., has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Turkey where he will teach English to Turkish college students during the 2013-14 academic year. He will also take music lessons in Turkey. A music major with an anthropology minor, he plans to enroll in a Ph.D. program in ethnomusicology to continue to explore music’s ability to express cultural identities and create possibilities for cross-cultural exchange. His ultimate goal is to become a professor of enthnomusicology.
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Kelly Casey

Kelly Casey ’13, of Wethersfield, Conn., has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Nepal where she will teach English to elementary and middle school students in Nepal during the 2013-14 academic year. An English major with a peace and conflict studies concentration in the College Honors Program, she hopes to enter a graduate program for international development, and focus on women’s rights, education or human trafficking. Other plans include possibly studying law, teaching, or working for an international organization that focuses on human rights issues.
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Alex Clavering

Alex Clavering ’13, of Dix Hills, N.Y., has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Malaysia, where he will teach English to Malaysian high school students from January to October 2014. A political science major, Clavering hopes to attend either law school or get a master’s from a school in the Washington, D.C., area that offers an emphasis on economics, international relations and global distributive justice. He plans to work in the intelligence community or foreign service.
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Robin Cumella

Robin Cumella ’11, of Larchmont, N.Y., has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Indonesia, where she will teach English to Indonesian high school students during the 2013-14 academic year. An English major with an Asian studies concentration, she also intends to volunteer her skills outside the classroom, such as at an orphanage or health clinic, in an effort to further her understanding of Indonesian culture. She is considering going into psychological counseling, teaching, international relations, or the chaplaincy.
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Drew Cumming

Drew Cumming ’13, of Calgary, Alberta, has received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Russia, where he will teach English to Russian high school students during the 2013-14 academic year. The biology major, Russian minor, with a premed concentration, plans to attend medical school.
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Paul Fontelo

Paul Fontelo ’13, of Potomac, Md., has received a Fulbright grant to study classical music composition from leading Filipino composers and musicians at the University of the Philippines College of Music during the 2013-14 academic year. A Filipino-American, Fontelo is also interested in forming youth orchestras in the Philippines modeled after the famous Venezuelan El Sistema youth orchestra system. A music and history double major, he is considering graduate school for music or a career in the foreign service, and hopes his Fulbright experience helps discern his vocation.
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Sophia Grammenos

Sophia Grammenos ’09, of Gardner, Mass., has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Greece where she will teach English to Greek high school students during the 2013-14 academic year. She was an economics and Spanish double major at Holy Cross. Earning the Fulbright is a dream come true, says Grammenos, because it combines two of her passions, Greek culture and teaching languages. She plans to work within her community in various capacities by either teaching or starting her own business.
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Julia Hamilton

Julia Hamilton ’12, of South Windsor, Conn., has been awarded a Fulbright grant to pursue a Master of Arts degree in 18th century studies at the University of Southampton in Britain during the 2013-14 academic year. Hamilton was a double major in music and English at Holy Cross. During her year at Southampton, Hamilton will apply for Ph.D. programs in musicology, with plans to become a music history professor.
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Lauren Keuhn

Lauren Kuehn ’13, of Northport, N.Y., has received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Germany, where she will teach English to German high school students during the 2013-14 academic year. The political science and German double major will attend Notre Dame Law School and study international law and policy.
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Sean McFadden

Sean McFadden ’10, of Oriental, N.C., has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Brazil where he will teach English to Brazilian undergraduate college students during the 2014 calendar year. A Spanish major at Holy Cross, he will also conduct research on the work of highly regarded and influential Argentine poet and anthropologist Nestor Perlongher during his years of exile in Brazil.
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Erin McMahon

Erin McMahon ’13, of Pembroke, N.H., has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Spain, where she will teach English to Spanish high school students during the 2013-14 academic year. A She was a Spanish and theatre double major with a minor in French. She hopes to earn a master’s and a Ph.D. in Spanish and French linguistics or literature, and teach Spanish.
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Malik Neal

Malik Neal ’13, of Philadelphia, has been awarded a Fulbright research grant for the 2013-14 academic year to study the role of education in post-war Sri Lanka. He was a history major with an Asian studies concentration. Neal will explore how secondary schools teach and discuss the war and the various groups involved.
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Alex Regan

Alexandra Regan ’12, of Medford, Mass., has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Sri Lanka where she will teach English to Sri Lankan students during the 2013-14 academic year. She also hopes to study Sinhalese literature and see how it relates to modernism, which she studied during her undergraduate career at Holy Cross. She self-designed her major, which was titled A Study of European Modernism. She has always dreamed of becoming an English professor with a focus on comparative literature, and plans to continue her studies of Sri Lankan literature and philosophy to develop comparisons between Eastern and Western culture.
Read more »

Kelsi Sullivan

Kelsi Sullivan ’13, of Mexico City, has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Sri Lanka, where she will teach English to Sri Lankan high school students during the 2013-14 academic year. Sullivan was a religious studies major with a concentration in Asian studies. She also plans to conduct research on Ayurveda medicine, a form of alternative medicine that originated in India. She plans to enroll in graduate school for public health or divinity school. Sullivan was a religious studies major with a concentration in Asian studies.
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