Students, Professors Convene to Celebrate Fellowship and Scholarship Winners

Posted: May 5, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Nicholas Zinzer

Dozens of George Mason students, parents, professors and administrators gathered in the lobby of the Center for the Arts last week to highlight the academic achievements of students who were nominated for or won national fellowships and scholarships in the past year.

Hosted by Deirdre Moloney, coordinator of postgraduate fellowships and scholarships, the event included a keynote address and recognition ceremony for the students.

Among the notables were three students who were awarded fellowships with the National Security Education Program/David L. Boren program, which is part of the Institute of International Education. Emmaline Gayk, a junior majoring in foreign language; Patrick Rumley, a sophomore who is an undeclared major; and Jason Smart, a junior Russian studies major, will travel to Morocco, Armenia and Russia, respectively, to study. The recipients will leave before the fall to correspond with their respective country’s 2006–07 academic calendars.

Emmaline Gayk and family
Emmaline Gayk with her parents, Leslie and Ted Gayk.

Rebecca Struwe, a junior majoring in global affairs, won a Pickering Fellowship with the U.S. Department of State. Struwe has agreed to work for the State Department for four years postgraduation in exchange for having the federal government pay for her junior and senior undergraduate tuition at Mason as well as tuition for her first year of graduate school.

Struwe says she waited anxiously after she applied for the fellowship. “It’s a long process of anticipation, so it feels like you accomplished something.”

Kyle Munkittrick was nominated by John Paden, Robinson Professor of International Affairs, for the USA Today All-USA College Academic Team. “He was impressed by my work,” says Munkittrick. The junior English major took Paden’s Honors 230 Cross-Cultural Perspectives class.

The keynote speaker was Roger Wilkins, Robinson Professor of History and American Culture. Wilkins, a Pulitzer Prize winner who served as assistant attorney general in the administration of President Lyndon Johnson, encouraged students to find their unique ability and exploit it.

“Believe in yourself and your ability to affect the world. In the process of taking yourself seriously … you’ll be conscious of the growth you’re experiencing,” said Wilkins.

Jason Smart
Fellowship winner Jason Smart
Creative Services photos

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