Two Fairfield University graduates win Fulbright Scholarships

Two Fairfield University graduates win Fulbright Scholarships

Two Fairfield University graduates have been chosen to receive Fulbright Scholarships for the 2005-2006 academic year. One will travel to Israel and the other to South Korea.

The Fulbright Grant, which is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE) National Screening Committee, 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 or teaching. A primary goal of the scholarship is to increase mutual understanding between peoples of the United States and other countries.

Thirty-five Fairfield University graduates have been awarded Fulbrights since 1993. Last year Fairfield University had four Fulbright scholars, ranking it number one among universities in its category, that is, universities that grant master's degrees. This year, four Fairfield University students had been recommended by the U.S. Fulbright Commission to receive the awards, a recommendation that is an honor in and of itself. One student was deemed an alternate, and two were awarded the scholarships.

"Our students continue to succeed in the very competitive Fulbright award program," said Dr. Orin Grossman, academic vice president at Fairfield University. "This success is a wonderful tribute both to the extraordinary students we have at Fairfield and to the administrators, faculty, and staff who work so hard with the students on their applications. Our participation in the Fulbright program is a major initiative within our international programs and I am delighted with our continued high achievement."

Miriam Gogol, Ph.D., associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, who spearheads the University's program, said: "The faculty committee is very demanding of the students. All the applicants who apply benefit from this educational process of learning to create independent intellectual projects, present themselves before faculty, and do international networking."

Image: Aaron Baker Aaron Baker , a native of Manchester, N.H. who currently residents in Norwalk, will go to Israel this fall to conduct research on post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in children. He hopes to catalogue some of the symptoms undergone by children who have witnessed violent events. Most of the existing research in this area focuses on adults, Baker said.

"I wanted to work with children who had dealt with severe problems," said Baker, who had majored in psychology at Fairfield with minors in Religious Studies, Judaic Studies, and Classical Studies. "I feel like a lot of research tends to overlook children in some areas."

Baker graduated from Fairfield University in 2004 and took a position as a psychophysiology researcher for the Yale University Psychiatry Department at the West Haven Veterans Affairs Hospital, where he measures body readings, such as heart rate and breathing, to determine anxiety levels.

In Israel, Baker will work with child victims of terrorism who are being treated at Hadassah University Hospital. He hopes his findings may be used for an article or book on the topic. Baker will conduct his research with Arieh Shalev, the top PTSD researcher outside of the United States, he said.

During his time at Fairfield, Baker was chairman of the Board of Governors of the Fairfield University Student Association, a resident assistant for two years, and president in his senior year of KADIMA, the Jewish student organization. Baker was also a member of Phi Beta Kappa; Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit Honor Society; and Psi Chi, the psychology honor society.

Image: Jessica Lynn Dolan Jessica Lynn Dolan of Holden, Mass. will spend next year in South Korea on a Fulbright grant as an English teaching assistant. Dolan, who graduated this May, spent a semester of her junior year doing similar work in Chile with Ingl├ęs Abre Puertas (English Opens Doors), a program through which she taught English as a second language to Chilean high school students. "I had a really great experience doing that," Dolan said. "The students were very responsive to me." Dolan, who majored in International Studies and Spanish and minored in Economics and Latin & Caribbean Studies at Fairfield University, wanted to build on her experiences in Chile.

Dolan also knew that South Korea currently has a high demand for English instructors.

"I wanted to branch out," Dolan said. "Asia is a fascinating region with a lot to offer and is becoming increasingly more globally important and this allows me the opportunity to explore a different part of the world while also contributing something."

Dolan was involved in several community service initiatives during her years at Fairfield, working for three years on the Fairfield University Community Service Board and all four years as the student coordinator of "Bridgeport Rescue Mission," a Christian non-profit mobile soup kitchen based out of Bridgeport, Conn. Dolan also worked for three years as a Fairfield University tour guide and a facilitator for the "Freshman Year Experience" program. She is a member of Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit Honor Society and Sigma Iota Rho, the International Studies honor society.

"The Fulbright program lends significant cooperation, shared learning and discovery, and cross-cultural synthesis of ideas to our still-developing world," said Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University. "All of us at Fairfield - from Dean Gogol and our dedicated faculty, who work with and recommend our students, to these visionary students themselves, many of whom have had their sights set on Fulbright for years - are proud to be associated with this fabulous program."

Posted On: 06-29-2005 10:06 AM

Volume: 37 Number: 291