Fairfield University announces a record six Fulbrights

Fairfield University announces that a record six members of the Class of 2000 have been selected for Fulbright Scholarships. The six graduates will spend the next year in study, research and teaching in the United Kingdom, France, Japan, Germany, Australia and Poland. In all, eight Fairfield University students were nominated by the U.S. Selection Committee for the Fulbright. A seventh graduate has been designated an alternate for Canada.

The Fulbright Grant is the most prestigious scholarship awarded by the U.S. Government. The grant funds students to go abroad for one year after graduation to engage in independent research, study, and work. A primary goal of this scholarship is to increase mutual understanding between peoples of the United States and other countries.

Fairfield students have done exceptionally well in garnering Fulbrights - there have been 15 in the last four years and 23 since 1994. Still, "for a school of Fairfield's size to be awarded six is extraordinary," says Dr. Beverly Kahn, acting dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, who initiated interest on campus which resulted in the first student Fulbright in 1994. "I knew we had very capable and talented students," she explains. "Our responsibility as educators is to make possibilities available to them and to encourage them."

Still, even she is impressed by the stellar performance of this year's class, which was guided through the final phase of the process by Dr. Katherine Kidd, director of the International Studies Program, and the faculty advisory committee, while Dr. Kahn took over the duties of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Four Connecticut residents are among the six receiving Fulbrights and their destinations are Lawrence J. Dunn, III of Southington, to the United Kingdom; Bryan T. Fitzgerald of New Canaan, to Germany; Danielle M. Liubicich of Brookfield, to Australia; and Thomas Mozdzer of Shelton, to Poland. The other two awardees are Kristen D. Dalbec of Plymouth, Mass., to France; and Suzanne M. Logan of Mundelein, Ill., to Japan.

Lawrence J. Dunn, III of Southington, will spend the next academic year doing independent research at the International Accounting Standards Committee and studying toward a master's degree in finance at City University in London.

Dunn interned with the Governmental Accounting Standards Board in Norwalk and was selected as a McGowan Scholar for his senior year, a full-tuition scholarship program which honors the memory of the late William G. McGowan, founder and chairman of MCI Communications Corporation.

A double major in accounting and information systems with a minor in mathematics, Dunn was awarded the Bellarmine medal at commencement for having the highest four-year academic average. His studies at Fairfield included a one-week intensive study program in Limerick, Ireland, during which he began an independent study on the Euro and its effects on the European information system.

Active in Campus Ministry, he served as a Mission Volunteer in Duran, Ecuador and Morehead, Ky., a religious education instructor at Holy Family Church in Fairfield, and the coordinator of lectors. He was a member of the Fairfield University Glee Club and a featured soloist.

Bryan T. Fitzgerald of New Canaan, will participate in the Fulbright Teaching Assistant Program in Germany. Fitzgerald spent an academic year studying at Heidelberg University in Germany through Fairfield's Baden-Wurtemburg Exchange Program. The winner of a scholarship in German, he has been an Oral Practice Session assistant teacher in German this year at Fairfield.

A double major in International Studies and German, Fitzgerald worked extensively with the HAM Channel, Fairfield University's on-campus television station.

Following his year in Germany, Fitzgerald plans to pursue graduate studies in German and hopes to work in international relations.

Danielle M. Liubicich of Brookfield, will be conducting research on the developmental genetics of marine sponges and working toward a post bachelor's research degree in Australia. Her research builds on the summer research she did at Fairfield University with Dr. April Hill, assistant professor of biology. Liubicich has conducted research since her sophomore year, obtaining highly competitive research grants from Pfizer Inc., and the Council on Undergraduate Research.

Liubicich was awarded the Biology Department Award for Academic Excellence at Fairfield, where she was also a member of the ski team and served as a First Year Orientation leader and facilitator.

She will enter a doctoral program at the University of Chicago when she returns from Australia.

Thomas Mozdzer of Shelton, a biology major, studied at Jagellonian University in Krakow, Poland, during his junior year. He returns with the Fulbright to Jagellonian University to carry out research on ecotoxicology with a team of Polish scientists.

Mozdzer has already received two research grants for his ecology research from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Georgia. Research he conducted with Dr. Randy Chambers, associate professor of biology at Fairfield, was published in Aquatic Botany, an international science journal, in 1998. A second article is pending and will be published in the Georgia Journal of Science.

Mozdzer's parents are Polish, but his father's family was deported to Siberia by the Russians at the beginning of World War II. They fled through Iran and India, finally settling in Africa where Mozdzer's father, Miroslaw, was born. Within a few years the family immigrated to the United States. Mozdzer's mother, Alfreda, came to the United States from Poland when she was 16. His parents encouraged a respect for the family homeland and its traditions and taught their son to speak Polish as a child.

Mozdzer is a member of Phi Beta Kappa; Alpha Sigma Nu, the national Jesuit honor society; and Alpha Epsilon Delta, a National Premedical Honor Society. He was active in Mission Volunteers and Peer Tutors and served as a resident assistant.

Kristen D. Dalbec of Plymouth, Mass., will teach English in France next year. Dalbec studied at the Sorbonne in Paris during her junior year and has been an Oral Practice Session French teacher at Fairfield.

A double major in International Studies and French, Dalbec completed her Senior Thesis on how language policies are affecting African educational systems. After her Fulbright year in France, she hopes to spend at least one year in Francophone Africa, working on educational and economic development.

At Fairfield, Dalbec was awarded the Croteau Scholarship and the Kolakowski Scholarship from the Modern Languages Department for her excellence in French and the International Studies Award for Academic Excellence.

She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa; Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit honor society; Alpha Mu Gamma, the foreign language honor society with double membership for French and Japanese; and Sigma Iota Rho, the international studies honor society. She was also active in Campus Ministry, the ski team and student government.

Suzanne Logan of Mundelein, Ill., will spend this next year studying Japanese history, language and culture and working on an independent research project on Japan's role in nuclear non-proliferation. Logan studied in Japan her junior year in Fairfield's exchange program at Doshisha Women's College in Kyoto.

Logan came to Fairfield on a volleyball scholarship and played on the varsity team for one year. She worked the last year-and-a-half as an intern at the International Institute in Bridgeport on a program that assists immigrants seeking U.S. citizenship. An advocate for human rights, Logan helped reactivate Fairfield's Amnesty International chapter.

A history major, Logan received the Asian Studies Award. Her final paper on Asian masculine stereotypes for the capstone seminar provided an innovative analysis of Asian Diasporic fiction.

Following her year in Japan, Logan plans to earn a degree in international law and pursue an international career.

Also nominated by the U.S. Selection Committee for the Fulbright were Christopher J. Faricelli of Tabernacle, N.J., who is an alternate to Canada; and Daniel J. Vaccaro of Jefferson, Valley, N.Y., who was recommended for the Philippines.

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

Posted on June 10, 2000

Vol. 32, No. 298

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