Daniel Turco of Upper Saddle River, N.J., awarded Fulbright Scholarship to Germany


One of a record-setting 9 Fulbrights at Fairfield University

Image: Daniel TurcoDaniel Turco, of Upper Saddle River, N.J., has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, the most prestigious international scholarship awarded by the U.S. government, for an English Teaching Assistantship in Germany. Daniel 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.

A graduate of Northern Highlands Regional High School in Allendale, Daniel Turco went on to earn a double major in International studies and German at Fairfield. He studied in Germany during the spring semester of his junior year, which led to his interest in applying for a Fulbright there.

He said family ties to Germany also spurred an interest in learning more about the culture and history of the country where he will spend the next year teaching junior high school students in Essen. "I thought it would be a great opportunity to teach in Germany," he says. "I am especially looking forward to immersing myself in the culture again."

Dr. Eileen Wilkinson, one of two German language professors who recommended him for the Fulbright, said Dan is a natural teacher who is able to connect with the students he tutors. "While studying in Germany through our Baden-Württemberg-Exchange, he helped a German teenager improve his English by combining guitar lessons with the singing of current English-language songs, making the English more appealing while introducing the student to some colloquial expressions."

During his final semester at Fairfield, he did an independent study with Dr. Bork-Goldfield on Gastarbeiterliteratur and its Use for the Teaching of German, expected to be published soon. He is a member the national honor societies, Alpha Mu Gamma for foreign languages, and Sigma Iota Rho for international studies. A Dean's List student from 2005 to 2008, he received the German Consulate Award this spring for "outstanding achievement in the study of the German language and literature."

Daniel will leave for Germany in early September and return in June, 2009.

After the Fulbright, he plans to teach for two years in an inner city or a rural school district through the Teach for America program.

The other Fairfield graduates awarded Fulbrights this year are:

Kathleen Bakarich, of Clifton, N.J., an accounting major, who will conduct research and take classes in international accounting and European Union business in Frankfurt, Germany;

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"; 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. 20

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