Kathleen Bakarich of Clifton, N.J., awarded Fulbright Scholarship to Germany


One of a record-setting 9 Fulbrights at Fairfield University

Image: Kathleen BakarichKathleen Bakarich of Clifton, N.J., has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, the most prestigious international scholarship awarded by the U.S. government, to conduct research and study international accounting and European Union business in Frankfurt, Germany. Kathleen is one of nine recent Fairfield University graduates selected for the Fulbright, setting a record that nearly doubles the previous record of five. Before this stellar class, the university already held the most Fulbrights among master's granting universities across the country for two of the last three years.

Kathleen studied German for four years at Clifton High School, sparking an interest in the country and its culture. An accounting major at Fairfield, she began to consider applying for a Fulbright at the end of her sophomore year. "I have always been interested in the international side of business and accounting," she said, "so I thought this program would be ideal."

While Kathleen was studying in the Honors Program at Fairfield, the University introduced a Fulbright Tract in which students conducted the research for their Senior Honors Theses in their junior years, making it possible to use that research as a springboard for a Fulbright proposal.

Kathleen said, "The entire process was made easier because of the extended network of support provided by the faculty and staff of Fairfield," including her faculty advisor, Dr. Joan Van Hise, associate professor of accounting. Dr. Van Hise said Kathleen really stood out as someone who plans carefully, analyzes things well, recognized the opportunity the Fulbright offers, and had the drive to go for it.

Kathleen has deferred an offer from RSM McGladrey, a public accounting firm in New York City, until she returns from the Fulbright in the fall of 2009. She hopes to then obtain her Certified Public Accounting License and work in international accounting.

A six-week language course awaits Kathleen at the University of Marburg in Marburg, Germany, beginning in August. She will arrive in Frankfurt on the end of September to begin her research and studies.

The other Fairfield graduates awarded Fulbrights this year are:

Ceylan Conger, from Kensington, Md., a politics major and art history minor, who will do research in Turkey on The Role of Women in the Modern Art Movement;

Michael Davis, from Feeding Hills, Mass., who will conduct research in Brazil on the Environmental Impact of Ethanol Production;

Michael Meehan, from Holland, Pa., an economics major, who will research The Finance of Small Enterprises in Germany;

André Moraes, of Monroe, Conn., a finance major, who has an English Teaching Assistantship in Germany;

Courtney Pelletier, of Westminster, Mass., an art history major, who has an English Teaching Assistantship in Indonesia;

Matthew Ryder, of Hamden, Conn., a philosophy and individually designed major, who will be in China conducting research on "A Population's Chance for Assimilation Found within the Education of its Children";

Daniel Turco, from Upper Saddle River, N.J., an international studies/modern language (German) major, who has an English Teaching Assistantship in Germany; and

Alice Zapf, of Freehold, N.J., an international studies/German major, who will combine research into Austria's Role in International Politics with an English Teaching Assistantship.

Dr. Orin Grossman, academic vice president, said he couldn't be prouder of the students who set their goals high and then worked hard to achieve them. "These are very bright, inquisitive students who like a challenge. They are certainly a credit to our university." He also commended the faculty who so generously gave of their time and expertise as the students went through the demanding process and Associate Dean Miriam Gogol, who oversaw the Fulbright process on behalf of the University.

Fairfield University students have been awarded a total of 53 Fulbright Scholarships in the last 16 years.

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

Posted on July 28, 2008

Vol. 41, No. 9

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