University of Mary Washington students and alumni will travel, teach, and explore new cultures thanks to prestigious grants and scholarships.
Charlotte Johnson, a 2013 international affairs and German graduate, is the 14th student to receive a U.S. Fulbright grant in the university’s history. Her scholarship continues a tradition of Fulbright awards at UMW over the past seven years.
As a Fulbright scholar, Johnson will work for one year as an English teaching assistant in Germany. She will leave for her placement at the end of August.
“I spent a year in Germany as a high school exchange student, so I have been dying to go back ever since,” Johnson said. “I want to go back as a leader as opposed to a student. This time, I can bring what I’ve learned [at UMW].”
Johnson, a native of Tyaskin, Md., was very involved during her time at UMW, including as president of the club swim team, co-president of the German Club and a member of both the political science and foreign language honor societies.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the largest U.S. exchange program offering opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide. The program currently awards approximately 1,900 grants annually in all fields of study, and operates in more than 140 countries worldwide.
Shirley Martey, a 2014 political science graduate, received a Boren Scholarship for a program in China. Boren Scholarships are funded by the National Security Education Program, a major federal initiative designed to build a broader and more qualified pool of U.S. citizens with foreign language and international skills. NSEP’s Boren Awards program provides students with resources and encouragement to acquire language skills and experience in countries critical to the future security and stability of our nation. This year, 165 students were offered awards from a pool of 868 applications.
Earlier this year, she was awarded the Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship for an intensive language program at Suzhou University in China. She’ll spend two months in Suzhou after graduation, then travel to the Harbin Institute of Technology for nine months of study through the Boren Scholarship.
“As a Ghanaian American woman, I hope to be able to contribute a unique perspective to the conversation about U.S.-China relations, helping to develop a mutual understanding of the differences in each other’s policymaking structures and processes,” Martey said.
Shirley, a native of Centreville, Va., has served in leadership roles in multiple on-campus organizations, including as chapter president of the Pi Sigma Alpha and Mortar Board honor societies and as a peer mentor for underrepresented students.
Students Zaire Sprowal and Katherine Hansen have received the Gilman International Scholarship for their summer studies in Guyana and China, respectively. The scholarship provides awards to U.S. undergraduate students who are studying abroad and receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university.
Sprowal will study with the UMW Guyana program under the leadership of Laura Mentore to gain the unique experience of living in an indigenous community and rainforest environment while developing his qualitative research skills. Hansen will participate in a two-month internship in Shanghai, China through the College of Business led by Wei Chen.
Senior Michael Crawford will travel to Leipzig, Germany later this year thanks to a competitive scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Services, known as DAAD. Crawford will work alongside scientists to study how cow grazing affects plant biodiversity of grasslands.
Crawford will work from October 2014 until July 2015 at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in the Department of Ecological Modelling for a scientist named Volker Grimm. In working for Grimm, Crawford will work to simplify an existing ecological simulation that details how certain plants grow or do not grow in conjunction with cow grazing.
DAAD is the largest German support organization in the field of international academic cooperation, and is a private, federally and state funded, self-governing national agency of the institutions of higher education in Germany. The scholarship is a similar award to a Fulbright scholarship, but is only for Germany. The organization awards competitive, merit-based grants for use toward study and research in Germany at any of the accredited German institutions of higher education.