Fairfield University Announces 2018-19 Fulbright Scholars

Fairfield University Announces 2018-19 Fulbright Scholars

Fulbright award recipient and sociology and anthropology professor Dr. Terry-Ann Jones takes a moment from her research to visit Nirox Sculpture Park outside of Johannesburg, South Africa.

Sociology and Anthropology Professor Terry-Ann Jones, PhD, and alumni Iancu Bica ’16 and Timothy Cobau ’17 are among this year’s prestigious award winners.

We are very proud that the 2018-2019 Fulbright awardees are continuing the long tradition of Fairfield University students and faculty who have been recipients of Fulbright awards over the years.

— Mary Frances Malone, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs

Since its inception in 1946, the U.S. government’s Fulbright Program has provided more than 370,000 high-achieving scholars with the opportunity to travel to countries around the world to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Awardees are chosen from an extremely competitive national pool, and this year, three of Fairfield University’s own were among the elite group of national scholars to be awarded this prestigious distinction. 

“We are very proud that the 2018-2019 Fulbright awardees are continuing the long tradition of Fairfield University students and faculty who have been recipients of Fulbright awards over the years,” said Mary Frances Malone, associate vice president for Academic Affairs. “Their projects reflect exemplary scholarship, deep engagement with important global issues, and a willingness to serve in international communities that clearly align with our Catholic, Jesuit mission of academic excellence in the global sphere.”

Faculty recipient Dr. Terry-Ann Jones, associate professor of sociology and anthropology, was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to conduct a comprehensive migration study on the public perception, reception, and attitude toward Sub-Saharan African immigrants in South Africa. The 10-month study will begin in January 2019 and will be conducted with The African Center for Migration and Society at the University of Witwatersrand, a globally recognized, research-focused institution in Johannesburg, South Africa, revered as the continent’s foremost academic establishment for teaching and research on human mobility.

Her proposed study, which will be conducted through qualitative interviews with a broad sample of South African constituents, will investigate the cause of violence and hostility toward Sub-Saharan African immigrants in South Africa and will seek to prove her hypothesis that historic and political factors play a far greater role in these incidences than populism.

“South Africa has long been a receiving country for migrants from Europe and Asia, and is a dominant destination country for international migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa,” Dr. Jones explained. “As an interdisciplinary scholar of migration with research that is grounded in the social sciences, I am drawn to the wealth of knowledge and lessons to be learned through studying migration in the South African context.”

In addition to Dr. Jones, Fairfield alumni Iancu Bica ‘16 and Timothy Cobau ’17 were also among the list of this year's Fulbright scholarship recipients. Bica, a finance and information systems double major, was awarded a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship to work as an English teaching assistant in his family’s home country of Romania. In addition to helping develop students’ English and promoting intercultural understanding, he also intends to organize professional development opportunities for college students, including mock job interviews that will prepare them for the future and grow their conversational skills.

“As a passionate student of languages, I have always believed that learning a foreign language is an eye-opening journey,” Bicu stated. “I would like to give back to the nation that I have such strong connections to and inspire them to empower themselves using English and education to contribute to future generations in Romania.”

Nearly 2,000 miles west of Romania, Timothy Cobau ’17 will be utilizing his Fulbright scholarship to research the rapidly growing financial technology and digital payments industries in Spain. The finance major will be conducting research with FUNCAS, a non-profit organization based in Madrid dedicated to research and studies on economic and social issues. He will also be taking classes at the Colegio Universitario de Estudios Financieros, the business school associated with Complutense University of Madrid, the alma mater of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits.

Cobau first became interested in researching this subject after studying abroad in 2015. “During my junior year at Fairfield, I fell in love with Madrid. I read all about the Spanish banking system and became very interested in the financial technology startup scene,” he said. “Being able to research what is happening in the digital payments and financial technology sector of Spain and seeing what these banks and entrepreneurs are doing today is something I am truly passionate about.”

Cobau, Bica, and Dr. Jones are just three of over 1,9000 U.S. citizens who will conduct research, teach English, and provide expertise abroad for the 2018-19 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Recipients of the Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievements, as well as their records of service and leadership potential in their respective fields.

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Last modified: 08-30-18 12:00 AM

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