USF World News


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Fulbrights, Gilmans and More
May 3, 2011

This spring, we congratulate three USF faculty members and an unprecedented number of USF students who are the proud recipients of some of the most competitive recognitions in academia. These include Fulbright grants, Gilman Scholarship awards, department of State Internship Programs and other honors that will spread Bull pride across the globe.

The Fulbright Recipients

USF scholars have been receiving grants from the Fulbright program for over 20 years to teach, study and conduct research in areas of cross-cultural interest. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the purpose behind the Fulbright Program is to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and people of other countries” through education.

Dr. Stefan Frisch, Associate Professor in the department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, will visit the University of Cardiff in Wales where he will study the organization of the mental dictionary. Titled ‘Phonological Similarity in the Mental Lexicon’, Dr. Frisch will work with fellow researchers at Cardiff combining his knowledge of language science with their expertise in cognitive psychology. “By putting our knowledge together, we think we can tackle a much larger and more complicated part of the mental dictionary than has previously been examined in research,” says Dr. Frisch. In preparation of the project over the last two years, he has been communicating with two fellow researchers to formulate a plan of approach. “It’s very exciting to be on the verge of having these plans come to fruition.  I feel very lucky that my research was chosen for funding by the Fulbright Commission.” His research will tackle the more complex words in the mental dictionary leading to possible implications in other areas of study.

Also traveling to the UK as a USF Fulbright recipient is Thomas Bernard. Bernard is in the Environmental and Occupational Health department and his project will be looking at ‘What to do about the Clothing in Heat Stress Assessment.’

Another recipient of a Fulbright Grant is Dr. Sarah Kruse in the Geology department. Dr. Kruse will travel to Central America where she will conduct faculty development activities and assist in the development of a geophysics degree program at the University of El Salvador. In addition, Dr. Kruse will also pursue new opportunities to extend her research on the use of near-surface geophysical tools to image and understand explosive volcanic deposits, landslides, debris flows and related hazardous phenomena in this segment of the Central American volcanic arc. Dr. Kruse anticipates continuing her collaborative research following the period of the Fulbright stay.

Honors College senior and History major, Ryan Walsh will travel to South Korea on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship. Working in a high school for forty hours a week, Ryan will teach English and maintain a presence on campus engaging with students at different age and language levels. Living with a host family, Ryan’s goal while in South Korea is to teach himself the native language. Ryan says his interest in Korea began when he first visited China as an exchange student at Nankai University, where he and his Korean roommates tried to communicate with each other in broken Chinese. Talking about their individual cultures, Ryan was introduced to Korean television shows, cuisine and other aspects of the culture. Apart from the experience, a Fulbright grant will provide a significant advantage to Ryan’s resume. “It gives you a fighting chance and makes your application stand out,” says Ryan.

The Gilman Recipients

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program offers deserving students with limited financial needs monetary assistance to travel and study abroad. This year the program is providing undergraduate students who are U.S. citizens over 2,300 scholarships of up to $5,000. Of these, 6 scholarships have been awarded to students at the University of South Florida.

Gilman award recipient Lazaro Navarro who will travel to Argentina for a month on the language program plans to take full advantage of his accomplishment. “Thanks to the money I’m receiving I will get to travel an extra week around Argentina. The program’s in Buenos Aires, but I’m going to visit a few other places like Machu Pichu and maybe, Uruguay.” A sign language interpreter, Lazaro says he is always up to seeing how language programs are taught.

Other award winners varied in discipline and destination are listed below:

Name College/Dept. Destination Country
Farah Britto College of Arts & Sciences, Mass Communications Ghana
Tina Danh College of Arts & Sciences, Biology China
Michael Keelen College of Education, English Education Spain
Silvia Monroy College of Business, International Business China
Lazaro Navarro College of Behavioral & Community Sciences, Interdisciplinary Social Sciences & Criminology Argentina
Crystal Rodgers College of Business, Finance China

 And More…

Apart from the Fulbrights and the Gilmans, students at USF are exploring their options to gain an international learning experience.  Recently receiving security clearance, Tamara Simunovic, a junior International Studies major will be heading to Zagreb, Croatia, to intern in the United States Embassy through the Department of State Internship program this summer.

International Affairs & Economics major, Lauren Richardson, named a 2011 Yuva for SEWA Fellow will spend 10 weeks this summer working with a local NGO in Pune, India. Learning of the internship from a lecture hosted by the Center for India Studies, Lauren says India is somewhere she always wanted to go. Simultaneously documenting and analyzing the social process of empowerment in children in Pune city, Lauren will work with members of the NGO and the local community, teach in study rooms, interact with children, and visit the homes of women in the slums in the area. Through her project, Lauren hopes to provide the host NGO with an assessment that will help them improve or replicate their methods. “It’s a totally different world from what I’m used to,” she says. “I’m as prepared as I can be.” Paying for all expenses except airfare, the fellowship will give Lauren her first step toward accumulating the work experience she needs to apply for a graduate program in International Development Studies.

Congratulations to all!