Six members of the Class of 2020 have been awarded Fulbright grants to teach or conduct research abroad during the 2020-21 academic year. This year’s recipients are headed to Germany, the Czech Republic, India and Malaysia.
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 or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential.
Holy Cross has consistently been among the nation’s top producers of Fulbright students at the undergraduate level, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. Over the past five years alone, 34 graduates of the College have been awarded Fulbright grants to work and teach abroad.
“Holy Cross’ consistent placement among the top producers of Fulbright scholars in the country reflects the College’s commitment to educate global citizens who value human diversity and transnational connections, which is especially important in the world today,” said Anthony B. Cashman, director of the Office of Distinguished Fellowships and Graduate Studies at the College.
Each year, approximately 1,900 grants are awarded through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, which offers opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching in more than 140 countries worldwide.
This year’s recipients are:
Connor McManus ’20, a history major from Glastonbury, Connecticut, has received a Fulbright grant to serve as an English Teaching Assistant in the Czech Republic, teaching English at the secondary level in the town of Sedlčany.
“I applied for this opportunity because I intend to pursue a career in education and wanted to gain experience teaching in a secondary school,” said McManus. “I was not part of the education program, nor did I study abroad during my undergraduate career, so this was an excellent opportunity for me to expand my horizons while gaining first-hand experience in education.”
Following his Fulbright, McManus plans to complete the Teacher Certification Program for College Graduates and secure a position teaching secondary social studies.
Michael Melch ’20, of Potomac, Maryland, has received a Fulbright grant to serve as an English Teaching Assistant in Germany.
A double major in German and international studies, Melch decided to apply for this opportunity because of his German heritage from his maternal grandmother. “When I studied abroad in Bamberg during my junior year, I met, for the first time, some of my relatives who live outside of Munich,” said Melch.
Melch, who is most excited to assimilate into the community and become involved in local activities, hopes to attend law school following his Fulbright, with the goal of practicing international law, focusing on trade and business transactions between the United States and European Union.
Emily Rothmann ’20, a biology major from Andover, Massachusetts, has received the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grant, so starting in January, she will be teaching English at a nursing school in the Czech Republic.
“Before starting my time at Holy Cross, I did not plan on studying abroad for an entire year and anticipated applying to physician assistant or nurse practitioner school during my senior year,” said Rothmann. “However, after four years at Holy Cross, I have learned to always take the road less traveled in order to open my world to endless opportunities.”
Following her Fulbright, she plans on doing clinical research for a year or two before applying to direct-entry nurse practitioner programs.
MacKenzie Swain ’20, of Sterling, Virginia, has received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship grant to teach English in a German school with a large immigrant and/or minority background.
“I am most excited about connecting to my students in a classroom setting and creating an active dialogue and cultural exchange, especially with students who may have very minimal exposure to American culture and come with unique stories and backgrounds,” said Swain.
An economics and international studies double major with a German minor, Swain is hoping to pursue a law degree in international economic law and enter a career in foreign service after concluding her Fulbright experience.
Luke Wardour ’20, of Bethesda, Maryland, has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grant to Malaysia, where he will teach English in a low-performing high school. A history major, Wardour applied for this opportunity because it seemed like a union of two things that he loved: education and cultural immersion.
Wardour credits the College for helping him develop his critical thinking skills and cultivate a strong work ethic. “Holy Cross pushed me to consider questions of purpose, justice and meaning, and made me realize that my education is not for me alone, but calls me to be a person ‘for and with others.'”
Following his Fulbright, Wardour hopes to further explore the education sector, with a particular focus on educational policy or administration.
Máire White ’20, a Chinese and Asian Studies major from Dayton, Ohio, has been awarded a Fulbright Nehru Fellowship to conduct her own research project in India under the guidance of Professor A.R. Venkatachalapathy from the Madras Institute of Development Studies.
“I wanted to have the chance to carry out my own research in India, because my future studies will be about Hinduism,” said White. “Empirical experience is crucial to any study of religion, and it will provide me valuable connections for future projects.”
Once she returns from India, White will be heading to Harvard University to pursue a graduate program in Hinduism.
Holy Cross Ranks Among Top Undergraduate Fulbright Scholarship Producers
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