Michael Meehan of Holland, Pa., awarded Fulbright to Germany


 

One of a record-setting 9 Fulbrights at Fairfield University

Image: Michael MeehanMichael Meehan of Holland, Pa., has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, the most prestigious international scholarship awarded by the U.S. government, to conduct research in Germany on economic development. Michael is one of nine recent Fairfield University graduates selected for the Fulbright, setting a record that nearly doubles the school's 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.

Michael said he is honored that he will be working with Dr. Alexander Kritikos, a professor at the Private Hanseatic University located in Rostock, Germany, who developed the first pilot project on microfinance in Germany. Michael says he is interested in "really looking at how to improve people's lives by giving them the means to become self-employed, means they otherwise wouldn't be given."

It was while Michael was studying abroad in Germany during his junior year that he received an e-mail from Fairfield about information sessions on Fulbrights. "I thought this was an opportunity for another adventure," he said. "When I looked into it more, I was very attracted to the intellectual freedom of the program." He said he liked that the program allowed him to design his own experiences based on his interests and curiosities.

Germany, he says, "provides a very unique environment in which to live and do research. There are still the echoes of the Second World War and the subsequent separation of East and West. However, Germany has developed into a very progressive and open society and has now become a large player in European and world affairs." Michael says his family heritage is partly German and since he could speak the language, "it seemed like the perfect fit."

Michael spent this past spring interning for Evaluation Associates Inc., a consulting firm, where he worked on developing their Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) capability, a sector he says is growing and which he finds attractive. He is considering a career in law or finance when he returns from his Fulbright in July, 2009.

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;

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 August 6, 2008

Vol. 41, No. 11