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Five Fulbright Scholars Selected

Aug. 21, 2007

Baylor University has added five more Fulbright Scholars to its growing number of students who have received the prestigious honor. The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, designed to "increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries." Baylor boasts 12 Fulbright Scholars since 2001.

"The application process is intense and the competition nationwide is formidable," said Elizabeth Vardaman, associate dean for special programs in the College of Arts and Sciences. "We are proud to see our Baylor graduates recognized for these prestigious grants. They will make outstanding contributions this year in South Korea, France, England, Finland and Uruguay."

The five new Fulbright Scholars will all be working overseas during the next academic year. They are:

Joy McCullough, a Spring '07 University Scholar graduate from Los Alamos, N.M., will study aquatic toxicology in Finland beginning this fall on a Fulbright Scholarship. McCullough will analyze sediment and examine how the composition of soil influences the availability of chemicals to damage ecosystems.

"The Fulbright is a perfect opportunity to immerse myself in a new culture while performing the research I enjoy," said McCullough, whose interdisciplinary studies at Baylor focused on environmental chemistry.

Brittany May, a spring '07 graduate who was a University Scholars major from Dallas. May is teaching English in South Korea; she began in July.

Meghan Merchant, an international studies/

journalism major from Plano, is also a spring '07 graduate. Merchant was selected for the prominent Alistair Cooke Award in Journalism and will study international communications at the University of Leeds in England, beginning in September.

Ashley Peterson, a spring '07 graduate from Wichita, Kan., majored in applied music. She will teach English in France, beginning in October.

Ana Thomson, a Woodway resident and '06 Baylor graduate with a bachelor's degree in international studies and Spanish, will teach English in Uruguay, where she was born before moving to the United States at age 4. She will begin the program in 2008.

"We are happy for these students and happy for the host countries to which they are going, because we know each of these young women will represent the U.S. and Baylor in exciting and positive ways," Vardaman said. "The three Fulbright Scholars from Baylor for the 2006-07 academic year [Victor Chavez, Jr., Amelia Din and Hannah Zdansky], who studied or served in Indonesia, Ireland and France, have been exemplary citizens, scholars and ambassadors. We know the students selected this year will follow in the tradition that has been set by the Baylor Fulbright winners from the past."

The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by then-Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State sponsors the program.

The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, composed of 12 educational and public leaders appointed by the President of the United States, formulates policies for the administration of the program, establishes criteria for the selection of candidates and approves candidates nominated for awards.

The Fulbright Program has provided more than 273,000 participants chosen for their leadership potential with the opportunity to observe each other's political, economic, educational and cultural institutions, to exchange ideas and to embark on joint ventures of importance to the general welfare of the world. The program awards approximately 6,000 new grants annually and operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.

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