Every year, Clark students earn prestigious fellowships and awards in recognition of their achievements — and 2022 is no exception. This spring, a dozen students and one alum received awards to support their research, teaching, and work abroad.
Four students were honored by the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.
Alexandre (Alex) Nazaire ’22, received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant award to support his work in Yilan, Taiwan. Nazaire, a combined languages major from Ellicott City, Maryland, also won his second Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) from the U.S. Department of State this year.
Jessica Bane Robert, director of the Office of Prestigious Fellowships and Scholarships, said she was thrilled to learn of Nazaire’s awards. “Alex has won awards like the Boren and CLS but has yet to go abroad to study language and culture. This August, he will finally make it to Tiawan, after years of trying and being thwarted by the pandemic,” Bane Robert said.
Andrew Vontzalides ’21, M.A. ’22, was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to sponsor his future work in Colombia. During the pandemic, Vontzalides, who majored in political science and Spanish as an undergraduate and earned his master’s in international development, served as a virtual English-language tutor for students in Spain. He also studied abroad in Costa Rica as an undergraduate.
Lili Wurfl ’19, who majored in biochemistry and molecular biology at Clark, received a Fulbright Study Research Award. She will return to Slovakia, where she studied for a year in high school, to conduct research on tick-borne infectious diseases.
Bane Robert said she is always thrilled to support Clark alumni who are applying for prestigious awards. “It was such a pleasure working with Lili,” she added.
Jessa Sinnott, a doctoral student in the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, was named an alternate for a Fulbright Study Research Award. She also received a fellowship from the American Councils Title VIII Combined Research and Language Training Program, and will travel to Poland to research the narratives of the Polish-Jewish experience. Sinnott is from Secaucus, New Jersey.
Bane Robert said this year, there were fewer students applying for the international awards due to the constraints of the ongoing pandemic — yet out of nine Fulbright applicants, five became semifinalists and three were award winners, as well as one alternate.
The Fulbright Program works to increase the understanding of culture, values, and life between U.S. citizens and people of other countries.
“Fulbright is for everyone, I like to say,” said Bane Robert.
For U.S. citizens, Fulbright fully funds a post-graduation year, during which the recipient can get an advanced degree, conduct a project or research, or become an English teaching assistant in one of approximately 140 counties around the globe. A person can apply for a Fulbright every year, but can only apply for one country and one type of award (English Teaching Assistant or Study/Research).
“I would love to see more Clark students applying for a Fulbright,” Bane Robert said.
Prestigious academic scholarship and award recipients
Master’s student William Sanders is an alternate for a Critical Language Scholarship. If granted the award, he’ll be able to study Portuguese through the Critical Language Scholarship Program, a summer study abroad program run by the U.S. Department of State to help American college students learn languages that are essential to the country’s engagement with the rest of the world.
William Westgard-Cruice, a doctoral researcher in the Graduate School of Geography, won a One-Year Research Grant for Doctoral Candidates from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to conduct research in Germany. Westgard-Cruice also will be a visiting researcher at the Institute of Geography at the University of Bremen.
Ilaria Fiorenza ’22 received a Davis Projects for Peace Award; she will use her $10,000 grant to continue her work with the Pintag Amaru youth in Ecuador to establish a sense of indigenous pride through ancestral knowledge and arts-based pedagogy. Fiorenza was a double major in psychology and community, youth, and education studies, and hails from San Salvatore, Italy.
Davis Projects for Peace is an initiative for all undergraduate students currently enrolled at one of the Davis United World College Scholars Program partner schools to design grassroots projects that promote peace and address the root causes of conflict.
Heran Abiy ’21, M.A. ’22, received a Princeton in Africa Fellowship to focus on work in Lusaka, Zambia. Abiy majored in sociology with a minor in global environmental studies and concentration in comparative race and ethnic studies, and earned her master’s in community development and planning through the International Development, Community, and Environment Department.
The Princeton in Africa Fellowships program places approximately 46 fellows in 34 African countries for a paid year of service.
Students receive Gilman Scholarships to study abroad
Seven Clark students received Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships to support their study abroad experiences.
Sadie Price-Elliott ’24, an international development and social change major and Spanish minor, received a Gilman scholarship for the full 2022–23 academic year. She will attend NOLS Baja this fall and will travel to Ecuador to participate in the Pachaysana Rehearsing Change Program in the spring.
Naomi George-Edward ’24 will attend the London School of Economics for the 2022-23 academic year with her Gilman scholarship. George-Edward is from Maryland and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; she majors in international development and social change.
Kiara Ramirez Lopez ’23, a Spanish and management major with a concentration in health, science, and society, received funding to study in Barcelona, Spain.
Nicole Buckley ’23, a native of Hazlet, New Jersey, majoring in environmental science, is studying in Turks and Caicos this summer with the support of her Gilman Scholarship.
Olivia Eccleston-Murdock ’24 received the Gilman-DAAD Germany award and will travel to Berlin, Germany, this fall; she also received the Fund for Education Abroad award, a highly competitive award presented to underrepresented students who are studying abroad. Eccleston-Murdock majors in psychology and German studies.
Reyna Rosales ’23 and Amelia Legato ’23 each studied abroad during the spring 2022 semester with the help of Gilman awards — Rosales in Seville, Spain, and Legato in Cameroon.
Bane Robert encourages students who are interested in applying for prestigious awards to contact her to learn about the application process, which begins in August.