Fulbright scholars named

Egyptian, Fairfield Faculty Share Academic Philsophies Under Fulbright Grant

Fifteen visiting faculty from three Egyptian universities were on campus recently for a five-week residential program as a result of a prestigious international Fulbright grant awarded to the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions.

The Binational Fulbright Commission based in Cairo awarded a competitive grant to the graduate school to work with the visiting faculty to develop a curriculum for teachers of English enrolled in Egyptian colleges of education.

The visiting faculty were from Alexandria University, the Fayoum branch of Cairo University and Helwan University in Cairo.

The program involved Fairfield faculty as well as education experts from local communities. The program is addressing issues of curriculum design, pedagogy and assessment of region language acquisition, current trends in instructional technologies and their applications in foreign language teaching, cooperative learning, and research opportunities in foreign language acquisition.

Fairfield University Professor Receives Fulbright-Hayes Grant For Indian And Tibetan Research

Dr. Ronald Davidson, associate professor of religious studies, has been awarded a Fulbright-Hayes Senior Research Fellowship to conduct research starting this fall in India. The fellowship was created by Congress to foster understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges and is recognized as one of the U.S.'s most prestigious programs for overseas research.

Dr. Davidson's project -- entitled "Indian Siddhas and Tibet Renaissance: Virupa's Hagiography and Sa-skya Praxis" -- involves translating texts and studying religious practices constructed around Indian saints. These sects assisted the 11th century renaissance of Tibetan culture and led to the 13th century dominion of the Sa-skya sect under the patronage of Kubilai Khan who ruled the largest empire in history.

The grant to Dr. Davidson will benefit Fairfield students, when he returns to the classroom, by providing them with the most current research in the field while continuing to encourage them to consider similar experiences. As a result, one of his students conducted research last summer in Nepal, and there has been an increase in the number of Fairfield graduates who have gone to Asia to pursue career opportunities.

This is Dr. Davidson's second Fulbright Fellowship. In 1983, as a doctoral student at the University of California at Berkeley, he received a grant to study Sanskrit and Tibetan Buddhist texts at Sampuranand Sanskrit University in Benares, India.

At Fairfield, he teaches courses in Buddhism, Hinduism, Asian Studies Seminar, Religions of China and Japan, and North Pacific Tribal Religion and is the outgoing director of the Program in Asian Studies.

Two Fairfield University Students Receive Fulbright Scholarships

Two Fairfield University undergraduates have been selected to receive the prestigious J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarships for study and research abroad. The students and their host countries are: Jennifer Adonizio of West Pittston, Pa., who will study in South Korea, and Michael Allison, of Rockaway Park, N.Y., to study in El Salvador.

With these selections, Fairfield University has now had eight students named as Fulbright Scholars in the past four years.

Two other Fairfield students were also nominated for Fulbright Scholarships by the U.S. Selection Committee. However, Stefany Shaheen, of Madbury, N.H., withdrew in order to assist her mother who is the Democratic candidate for governor in New Hampshire. She will apply again next year for study in Belize. Kristen Cleary, of Yonkers, N.Y., was nominated to study in New Zealand but did not receive final approval because of federal budget cuts.

Previously, Fairfield students have been awarded Fulbright Scholarships for study and research in Sri Lanka, Hungary, Bolivia, Morocco, Malta, and the Solomon Islands.

Dr. Beverly Kahn, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and advisor to Fulbright candidates, said, "It is gratifying to know we have such outstanding students and supportive faculty. Our students are being recognized and rewarded for their excellence."

The Fulbright Program was created by Congress in 1946 to foster understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges and is recognized as one of the nation's most prestigious programs for overseas research.

As a Fulbright Scholar, Jennifer Adonizio, who had a double major in English and philosophy, has set as her eventual goal becoming a professor of philosophy. She explained, "By teaching (English) in Korea, I will gain the experience and the insight to shatter the boundaries of localized philosophy." She added that as a student of the West, she wants to understand the East by studying Confucianism and Buddhism or else "my future students would be bound by my own limitations and would lose ages of wisdom and worlds of ideas."

At Fairfield, she has been active as the chairperson of the Student Environmental Association; the Italian Club; as a member of the staff of "The Sound," the literary magazine; as an orientation volunteer and a facilitator for first year students; as an editorial assistant at "E," an environmental magazine published in Norwalk; and a research intern for the Office of the District Attorney in Scranton, Pa., primarily within the juvenile court system. She has studied overseas in the Villanova University summer program in Siena and Fairfield University's semester abroad in Florence, Italy, and traveled extensively in Europe.

Michael Allison plans to go to El Salvador and study at the Universidad Centroamericana, concentrating on how political parties function, as preparation for pursuing a Ph.D. in comparative politics of Latin America and then teach at a university. During his junior year, he studied at the Universidad del Salvador in Argentina and witnessed a democratic election which featured street demonstrations that would have been prohibited 10 years ago. Similarly he sees El Salvador as "an excellent case where civilian government is establishing legitimacy as a viable alternative to military rule."

A graduate of Regis High School in New York, Michael is a politics major at Fairfield with a minor in Latin American Caribbean Studies, a member of the Politics Honors Society and a Dean's List student. He is seriously involved in community service having served with the Multicultural Task Force; a Mission Volunteer to Kingston, Jamaica, where he was a volunteer at a home for abandoned boys from dysfunctional families and in a similar role in Oaxaca, Mexico.

He returned to Jamaica as a volunteer for the Mustard Seed Community, a home for children with mental and physical disabilities, and was treasurer of the Appalachia Volunteer Corps helping the needy in Kentucky and Tennessee during spring breaks. He was also vice president of the College Democrats, a floor governor in Residence Hall Government, a member of the Spanish American Latino Student Association and the International Relations Club, the Campus Urban Experience which conducts a community outreach program in Bridgeport, and a volunteer preparing dinners at Prospect House, a shelter and kitchen for the homeless.

As advisor to the Fulbright students, Dr. Kahn called them "excellent representatives for the United States." She said that in addition to their academic achievements, they offer such personal qualities as interacting well with others, adventurous attitudes, professionalism, independence and poise as well as caring individuals.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on September 1, 1996

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