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Fulbright Announces Five Mount St. Mary’s Students as Semifinalists

Donna Klinger

Mount St. Mary's campus

Five Mount St. Mary’s University seniors have been named semifinalists for the highly competitive 2022-23 Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Rebekah Balick, Paige Buchanan, Betsy Busch, Anne Frederick and Jenna Lewaren are one step away from attaining a grant that would allow them to continue their academic pursuits in Spain, Ireland, Bulgaria, Italy and Germany, respectively.

“This is our highest number of semi-finalists ever as well as the highest number of study/research applicants from our university that have reached semi-finalist status in the same year. These excellent students all have been very involved in Mount activities and two are NCAA DI athletes,” said Jamie Gianoutsos, Ph.D., associate professor of history and director of the Office of Competitive Fellowships. “Through Fulbright, students have the opportunity to further their education, conduct research and immerse themselves in a new culture.”

Fulbright offers exceptional students the opportunity to further their education, conduct research and immerse themselves in a new culture. Balick, Buchanan and Frederick applied for a Research/Study Grant through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, while Busch and Lewaren applied for the English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Program.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is designed to provide research, study and teaching opportunities through grants in over 160 countries to recent undergraduates and graduate students. The Research/Study Grant allows recent college graduates and young professionals to develop and execute a unique research project for a specific country. The ETA programs enable award winners to join local English teachers in their respective countries to provide assistance through teaching the English language as well as communicating and representing American culture.

rebekkah-balick---ropke-fellow.jpgRebekah Balick, a double major in international studies and history with a minor in Spanish, seeks to pursue a Master’s in global and international studies with a concentration in nationalism and conflict management at the University of Salamanca in Salamanca, Spain. Last year, Balick was named a Röpke-Wojtyla Fellow at Catholic University. She has interned for the Heritage Foundation and Northrop Grumman. Currently, she serves as an editor of Moorings humanities journal and on the AEI Executive Council. Balick, an Honors student, is grateful to Assistant Professor of World Languages and Cultures Elaini Tsoukatos, Ph.D.; Associate Professor of Economics Alejandro Cañadas, Ph.D.; and Professor of Philosophy Joshua Hochschild, Ph.D., for writing recommendation letters in support of her application.

Balick’s sister Veronica, C’20, spent 2020-21 as a Fulbright student studying antibody and vaccine cancer therapies and exploring the immunology of the tumor interface at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom.

Paige Buchanan hopes to pursue a Master’s of Science in renewable energy and environmental finance at University College Dublin in Ireland. A business major with minors in Spanish, business analytics, and philosophy, Buchanan has been honored by the Mount with the William McGowan Award for paige-buchanan_headshot-preferred-in-text.jpgOutstanding Junior in Business and the Dustin Bauer Memorial Award for Leadership in the School of Business. She also is an Honors student. In addition to serving as president of the Asian Culture Club and treasurer of the Environmental Club, Buchanan is an NCAA Division I track and field athlete in the javelin. Last summer she worked as a fixed income strategy summer analyst at BlackRock. She is thankful for letters of recommendation from Michael Driscoll, Ed.D., former dean of the Richard J. Bolte, Sr. School of Business; Associate Professor Cañadas; and Associate Professor of Economics Michael Barry, Ph.D.

Through the Fulbright-LUISS award, Anne Frederick would pursue a Master’s in international relations with a major in security at Luiss (Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli) in Rome. A double major in philosophy, politics and economics (PPE) and Italian, with a minor in Theology, as well as an Honors student, Frederick was named a Charles B. Rangel Scholar through the U.S. Department of State last year. She serves as an editorial intern for the Journal of Moral Theology and has interned with the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy in annefrederick_headshot-uncropped.jpgWashington DC. Frederick also has experience as a congressional intern in the U.S. House of Representatives and serving as a campaign field director for a Maryland state senate campaign. She is grateful to Associate Professor of Theology Barrett Turner, Ph.D.; Assistant Professor of Political Science William Christiansen, Ph.D.; and Associate Professor Cañadas for writing recommendation letters, and to Professor and Chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures Marco Roman, Ph.D., for serving as her Italian language evaluator.

Elizabeth (Betsy) Busch, an English, French and music major and Honors student, is seeking the Fulbright/America for Bulgaria Foundation English Teaching Assistantship award. If successful, she would be one of 30 ETAs placed in one of 25 cities across Bulgaria. Busch is a natural teacher and mentor, not only as a university-certified peer tutor for her three majors, but also as fiction editor for Lighted Corners, as editor-in-chief for Moorings, and in her leadership roles on the Mount Music Society. She is also an award-winning and published short-story writer, and she has been active in delivering meals to quarantined students on betsy-busch_headshot.jpgcampus. Busch appreciates the recommendation letters written by Associate Professor of English Tom Bligh, Ph.D.; Professor and Chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures Marco Roman; and Kristin Sites, associate director of learning and success.

Jenna Lewaren’s long-held affection for Germany and the German language was fueled by an exchange program in high school. If successful, the elementary education and German major would work closely with a German teacher of English while engaging with the local German community through club rugby. In addition to balancing two majors, and two education internships during a pandemic, Lewaren is a member of the women’s NCAA Division I Rugby Team. She is grateful for the lewaren_jenna_cropped.jpgrecommendation letters from Professor of World Languages and Cultures Susann Samples, Ph.D.; Director of Teacher Education Stacey Brown-Hobbs, Ph.D.; and Assistant Women’s Rugby Team Coach Lance Connelly.

The Competitive Fellowships Committee, comprised of faculty members Director Jamie Gianoutsos, Ph.D., Associate Director Christine Blackshaw, Ph.D., Josey Chacko, Ph.D., Angy Kallarackal, Ph.D., Michelle Ohanian, Ph.D., and Garth Patterson, Ph.D., oversaw these applications and conducted the Fulbright on-campus interviews. The Career Center also provided interview support.

According to Fulbright, applicants who reach this stage will be notified if they have been selected, designated as an alternate or not selected between early March and late May, with dates to vary by country.

Donna Klinger