Global Perspective Characterizes 2007 Scholarship Winners

Posted: May 4, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Dave Andrews

Some of Mason’s best and brightest students, along with their parents, professors and administrators, gathered in the Center for the Arts last week to highlight the academic achievements of those who were nominated for or won nationally competitive fellowships and scholarships in the past year.

The celebration marked the second year of the Postgraduate Fellowships and Scholarships Program, coordinated by Deirdre Moloney.

“Since the program began, there has been a major increase in the quality and quantity of scholarship applications, especially with international scholarships,” Moloney says. “Their popularity has surged among both graduates and undergraduates.”

scholarship winners
Some of this year’s scholarship and fellowship winnners were honored at a luncheon held at the Center for the Arts last week. Front row, from left: Alex Antram, Toka Nusairet, Ada Valaitis, Jasmine Wilson, Mona Singh, and Katarina Doctor. Back row, from left: Jennifer Mockler, Lindsay Irvine, Kyle Munkittrick, John “Beau” Cribbs, and Ryan Hubbard.
Photo by Nicolas Tan

The global perspective of this year’s group was evident in the number of students who earned scholarships to study abroad.

Two students were awarded Fulbright fellowships: Caterina Au, who will be traveling to China to study, and Ada Valaitis, who will be going to Lithuania.

Another two students were awarded graduate fellowships with the National Security Education Program (NSEP) to go abroad to study another country’s language and culture: Vanessa Brown, who will study in Morocco, and Lindsay Irvine who is going to Yemen. Michael Morris was just awarded an NSEP undergraduate scholarship to study in Turkey.

Two more students will benefit from a fully-funded language immersion program with scholarships from the State Department Critical Needs Language Summer: Alexander Bucaj will be learning Russian, and Akita Ranjbar will learn Persian.

As the keynote speaker of the recognition program, Provost Peter Stearns remarked on the global nature of the various scholarships.

“You scholars will have the great opportunity to enhance over time the international reputation of George Mason University,” Stearns said. “This is your chance to share your knowledge and talents with other countries.

“International scholarships are a two-way street, though,” Stearns continued. “You can never know enough. There will always be more to learn, especially in a foreign country.”

Other notable scholars recognized during the celebration were Alexis Antram, a finalist for the Marshall Scholarship, Katarina Doctor, Mason’s first Morris K. Udall Scholarship winner, and Mona Singh, winner of the Truman Scholarship. Some programs have not yet announced their award winners for the year.

“Our applicants not only have the academic credentials, but they are also very involved in campus and community roles,” Moloney says. “Scholarship committees are always looking for multidimensional and engaged students. Our students fit that description perfectly.”

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