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GENESEO – SUNY Geneseo has received a record-breaking four Fulbright honorees, three grant recipients and one alternate, of six student applications. All recipients received English teaching assistantships (ETA) and will be teaching English part-time to non-native English-speakers, while also completing projects of the own part-time and serving as cultural ambassadors for the United States.
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Winners are John Carlson, a psychology major and philosophy minor who graduated ‘summa cum laude’ in December and will serve in Poland; Becca Miller from Fabius, N.Y., a English literature major and Edgar Fellow with minors in Black Studies and also a Edgar Fellow, who will serve in Senegal; and Hannah Pruch from Bolivar, N.Y., an English literature major, who will serve in Turkey. Selected as an alternate for service in the Czech Republic is Christina Mortellaro, an English and communication major and an Edgar Fellow, from Batavia, N.Y.
“I am so thrilled and honored to have received the Fulbright, and I know that it is exactly the first step I want to take in my post-grad career,” said Pruch. “The grant will allow me to combine my English degree and interest in global literature with the adventure of teaching abroad. I’m excited to immerse myself in a new culture and so thankful to my supportive professors for the confidence they have had in me.”
Fulbrights are among the most competitive grants or scholarships in the country, conferred through the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship international exchange program, designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and people of other countries. The awards are granted only to students who have completed their undergraduate degrees.
About 1,500 U.S. students receive Fulbrights each year. The awards bring the number of Geneseo graduates who have been Fulbright awardees or alternates in the past three years to the number seven.
Melanie Blood, professor of English and music at Geneseo, has been advising Geneseo students seeking Fulbright grants and other nationally competitive awards for four years. She will return to full-time teaching next year after spending half of her time advising students involved in the awards programs.
“It has been a treat for me to work with outstanding students across the curriculum, many of whom I would not have met otherwise,” said Blood. “As a faculty member, I know how bright, passionate, and motivated our students are. It is very gratifying to see Fulbright recognize so many of them. It is one of several tangible measures of the excellence of our student body.”
PHOTO CAPTION: (L-R) Hannah Pruch, Christina Mortellaro, and Becca Miller. John Carlson not pictured.