News | April 01, 2016

LearningResearch

FGCU recognizes first Fulbright grants for students

Two FGCU students are being recognized as the first students in the school’s history to be chosen for prestigious Fulbright grants to study or teach abroad.

Emilio Feijoo of Naples, who graduated from FGCU in December 2015 with bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and English, was selected for a Fulbright Study/Research Grant to pursue graduate studies in comparative literature at the University of Essex in Colchester, England.

Lori Boegershausen of Palm Harbor, an Honors Program senior who will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in history, was offered a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Grant to teach in Germany for a year.

Both were the first in their families to earn college degrees and completed their undergraduate programs with the help of FGCU Foundation scholarships. Their national recognition represents a new milestone in the academic development of FGCU, according to President Wilson G. Bradshaw.

“To have students chosen for the highly competitive Fulbright grants demonstrates that FGCU provides a comprehensive education and prepares students to excel at the highest levels.” Bradshaw said. “As Emilio and Lori go abroad, they will serve as outstanding ambassadors not only for FGCU but for their country.”

In addition to the two students’ awards, the university announced that several faculty members have just received Fulbright grants:

  • College of Education Associate Professor Mark Simpson, who will work with educators in Rwanda to enhance their teaching skills and success.
  • Jeanie Darnell, Associate Professor of Music and Head of Vocal Studies in the Bower School of Music & the Arts, who will do research in Peru.
  • William J. Mitsch, Everglades Wetland Research Park Director and Juliet C. Sproul Chair for Southwest Florida Habitat Restoration and Management, who received a Fulbright Senior Specialist award to Poland.

A reception, “The Fulbright Experience,” will be held 4:30-6 p.m. Tuesday, April 26 to recognize all new and former Fulbright fellows in Cohen Center Room 247.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards about 1,900 grants a year and operates in 140 countries. Fulbright is the U.S. government’s flagship educational exchange program funding opportunities for international research, study and teaching. Part of its mission also is to promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

Only a fraction of students applying for Fulbrights are accepted. In the research/study category in which Feijoo submitted his proposal, only 36 of 1,031 applicants for programs in England were offered grants last year. He and Boegershausen were the only FGCU students to apply this year.

“It is very difficult to get one Fulbright. The fact that our students received two in one year speaks volumes about the quality of our students, faculty, staff and administration,” said Interim Dean of Undergraduate Studies Sean Kelly. “Several years ago, Academic Affairs and the Honors Program began to invest the time, money and energy needed to help our students gain national recognition for academic excellence.  These two Fulbrights provide external evidence that our efforts paid off.”

  • FGCU360 will follow up with additional stories on our Fulbrights