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Fordham Students Earn Prestigious Awards



As the 2012-13 academic year comes to a close, news of academic, cultural, and service-oriented awards continues to pour into the Office of Prestigious Fellowships. As of June 26, Fordham students earned 161 national and international awards, including 12 Fulbright fellowships, a Boren Scholarship, a Lilly Graduate Fellowship, and a James Madison Memorial Fellowship.

Leah Jerome, FCRH ’07, GSE ’09, is the recipient of the first James Madison Memorial Fellowship to be awarded to a Fordham student or alumnus in more than a decade. The fellowship allows current teachers to obtain graduate degrees geared toward teaching American history, American government, the Constitution, and/or social studies on the secondary education level.

Jerome plans to attend Drew University to study early American history and the Constitution.

“As a teacher, I feel I’m always learning through teaching, and teaching through learning,” said Jerome, who teaches social studies at Pascack Valley High School in New Jersey. “Going back to school is valuable to me, and also valuable to my students, because I become more of an expert in my field.”

As a fellow, Jerome will attend a four-week Summer Institute on the Constitution taught by constitutional scholars at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Other award highlights include:

  • a Boren Scholarship to Ian Grotton, FCRH ’15, to China;
  • a Lilly Graduate Fellowship to Marian Rogers, FCRH’ 13;
  • a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship to Navena Chaitoo, FCRH ’13, who will begin a master’s of science in public policy and management at Carnegie-Mellon University in the fall;
  • 12 Fulbrights as of June 26, awarded so far to Asmaa Awad-Farid, GSE ’13, to Israel; Jayson Browder, PCS ’13, to Turkey; Anne Buckel, FCRH ’13, to Vietnam; Lucy Barnhouse, GSAS ’16, to Germany; Matthew Briel, GSAS ’15, to Austria; Sean Cox, GSAS ’13, to Guatemala;Nusrat Jahan, FCLC ’13, to Bangladesh; Sara Lynch, FRCH ’11, to Colombia; Kelly O’Brien, FCRH ’13, to Canada; Andrew Palomo, GSS ’16, to Guatemala; AnnaMaria Shaker, FCRH ’13, to Morocco; and Anjanae Wilson, GSS ’13, to Brazil.

Like Jerome, outgoing President of the United Student Government Stephen Erdman, FCRH ’13, will put his award to use on a local level. Erdman has been accepted into the NYC Urban Fellows Program, a nine-month fellowship designed to expose participants to urban issues and public policy work in city agencies.

“Studying in the Bronx and New York City has taught me that good urban planning can promote the development of vibrant, sustainable communities,” said Erdman, who is graduating with a double major in urban studies and visual arts. “I hope to enter the planning field so I can help positively shape struggling communities.”

Other award recipients are meanwhile preparing to venture abroad. Anjanae Wilson, GSS ’13, is one of nine Fordham students who won Fulbright Fellowships. She will travel to Brazil for her English Teaching Assistantship, offering English as a Foreign Language instruction at a public university.

“I learned Portuguese as an undergraduate and volunteered in Brazil for a summer,” said Wilson, who plans to work in the field of international social work. “It was a unique experience for me as an African-American to be able to share my experience with Afro-Brazilians and engage in cultural exchange. I fell in love with the country, its culture and people, and I was determined to go back and to make a difference.”

Nicholas Espinoza, FCLC ’13, won a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship. The scholarship, which offers intensive summer language institutes in 13 critical foreign languages, will fund Espinoza’s study of Urdu in Lucknow, India and his research on cyber security.

Espinoza hopes to apply his linguistic and cultural immersion experience toward government work with a focus on U.S.-South Asia relations.

“I believe the U.S.-Pakistan-India relationship could benefit from more efficient and precise intergovernmental communication,” said the Pasadena, Calif. native. “The Critical Language Scholarship can help me learn the lingua franca of India and Pakistan to work toward a greater understanding between these states.”

Other prestigious scholarships won this year include:

  • a Baltic-American Freedom Foundation Scholarship to Maris Krumins, GSAS ’14;
  • an English teaching assistantship to Austria through the Fulbright program and the Austrian-American Educational Commission to Kathleen Glatthaar, FCRH ’12, GSE ’13;
  • three Catholic Relief Services (CRS) International Development Fellowships to Oliver Hughes, GSAS ’11, to Burkina Faso; Erin Lewis, GSAS ’13, to Burundi; and Michelle Virgin, GSAS ’13, to Haiti;
  • four Critical Language Scholarships to Nicholas Espinoza, FCLC ’13, to study Urdu in India;Asmaa Awad-Farid, GSE ’13, to study Arabic in Morocco; Dorothy Goehring, FCLC ’13, for Turkish language study in Turkey; and Devon Ressner, FCLC ’16, to study Arabic in Morocco;
  • three Clare Boothe Luce Foundation research scholarships to Molly Clemens, FCLC’ 14; Bridget Mulroe, FCRH ’16; and Jessica Timko, FCRH ’16;
  • a Phi Beta Kappa scholarship to AnnaMaria Shaker, FCRH ’13, in honor of the 50th anniversary of Fordham’s TAU chaper; and
  • a University College Dublin (UCD) Global Excellence Scholarship to Megan Curran, FCRH ’05, to fully fund her pusuit of a graduate degree in public policy at UCD.

John Ryle Kezel, Ph.D., director of prestigious fellowships, noted an uptick in prestigious awards won by graduate students.

“While our primary source of scholarship applicants still come from the undergraduate schools, we have all been gratified to see increasing numbers of graduate and professional students seeking our services,” Kezel said. “This healthy situation is leading to greater recognition of Fordham students as serious contenders in fellowship competitions nationally and internationally.”

Fordham also had several prestigious award finalists, including Erik Angamarca, FCRH’ 14, and Sama Habib, GSB ’14, who were named as alternates for the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship, and Evangelos Razis, FCLC ’13, who was named as a Fulbright alternate to Singapore.


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