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CHASS Students Earn International Scholarships, Fellowships

A number of CHASS students earned prestigious international scholarships and fellowships this year.

More than 10,000 students applied for Fulbright scholarships this year. Among the four Fulbrights awarded to NC State students — a record for the university — two are CHASS majors: Kathleen Griffin earned an English Teaching Assistantship to South Korea. She is a 2011 graduate who majored in International Studies. She was a Park Scholar who was involved with the University Scholars Program. Jason Syphrett (International Studies, Business Administration, University Scholars Program) earned an English Teaching Assistantship to Bulgaria. Erin Adamson, who is earning a master’s degree in linguistics, is an alternate for an English Teaching Assistantship to Ecuador.

Boren Fellows Evan Gearino and Tara Di Cassio
Boren Fellows Evan Gearino and Tara Di Cassio

Boren Fellowships are sponsored by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), a major federal initiative designed to build a broader and more qualified pool of U.S. citizens with foreign language and international skills. Boren Awards provide U.S. undergraduate and graduate students with resources and encouragement to acquire language skills and experience in countries critical to the future security and stability of our nation. In exchange for funding, Boren award recipients agree to work in the federal government for a period of at least one year. This year, only 165 awards were offered from a pool of 868 applicants.

Evan Gearino (International Studies and Economics) earned an undergraduate scholarship. He will study Arabic in Jordan. Tara Di Cassio (International Studies) earned a graduate fellowship to study Arabic in Jordan. Both students expressed their gratitude to Arabic section coordinator and lecturer Jodi Khater for her dedication to teaching, her advice and counsel. They say she was instrumental in the application process, spent years cultivating their skills in Arabic, facilitated their study abroad in Jordan, and worked with each of them at length on their Boren applications. Andriy Shymonyak (History, Political Science, Park Scholar, University Honors Program) is an alternate Boren recipient. He hopes to study Russian in Russia.

Nationally competitive Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships are designed to enable undergraduates who receive Pell grants to study abroad. Six of the nine students who received summer scholarships are CHASS majors: Gibea Besana (International Studies) will study in Brazil; Ayana Mclemore (International Studies and Business Administration) will study in China; Social Work majors Geatha Pettress and Araca Wadsworth will study in Guatemala; Luisa Rodriguez (International Studies) will travel to Peru; and Viana Romero (Spanish Languages and Literatures) will study in Spain.

Jim Turner
Jim Turner

Three NC State students earned the Goldwater Scholarship for their outstanding research efforts, including Jim Turner, a double major in Spanish Languages and Literatures and Mechanical Engineering. Read about Turner’s research in the NC State Bulletin.

Both Fulbright winners, two of the Boren awardees, and one of the Gilman recipients are¬†International Studies¬†majors, a point of pride among faculty, staff and students in that interdisciplinary area of study. “For some years now, we have watched our very ambitious students do amazing things,” says outgoing International Studies Program Director Nora Haenn. “Our program was only established in 2006. In that short time, we have produced four Fulbright winners. Our students are also regular interns at Cisco, at the State Department, and elsewhere. They regularly go on to the Peace Corps, Americorps, consulting agencies, and to prestigious graduate programs. We have fantastic students and a dedicated teaching faculty.”

Congratulations to all those who are pursuing their passion and their education through international study. For the full list of NC State students who earned international scholarships and fellowships, read “Big Haul of Global Scholarships” in the NC State Bulletin.