Fulbright Scholarships Awarded To Two Baylor Students

March 23, 2006

by Julie Carlson (254) 710-6681

Two Baylor University students have been named 2006 Fulbright Scholars.

Amelia Din, a senior from Alief, Texas, and Hannah Zdansky, a senior from Lyford, Texas, have received this prestigious award, which will enable them to study abroad during the 2006-2007 academic year. The scholarships will cover all expenses, including tuition, books, travel, room and board.

"I was ecstatic when I was notified," Din said. "I applied for the Fulbright in October and was notified in February that I had been recommended to my country. Last week, I received confirmation of the scholarship. So, it has been a long wait."

A political science major with a minor in criminal justice, Din will help teach English to high school students in Indonesia and will conduct research on the relationship between bilingualism and poverty. She also hopes to become fluent in Bahasa Indonesian, the main dialect of that country.

"I became interested in Indonesia when I took an international politics course," she said. "Also, my father is from Indonesia, but I don't know much about that side of my heritage."

"This is wonderful. It is an accomplishment of my dream," said Zdansky, a University Scholar, who will study in Ireland.

Studying at University College, Dublin, Zdansky will focus her research on early Irish language and literature, but also will take classes in history and archeology.

"I am interested in early Celtic culture and in learning old and medieval Irish, which came before modern day Gaelic," she said.

Zdansky plans to attend graduate school in the U.S. after her Fulbright year and eventually teach at the university level.

Professor Elizabeth Vardaman, acting representative for the Fulbright Program at Baylor, echoed the excitement the students have expressed.

"We are thrilled for Hannah and Amelia. The Fulbright awards will provide them unforgettable intellectual and personal experiences that will enrich the rest of their lives. We know they will be fine representatives of our university and of the United States during their time abroad."

The U.S. Congress created the Fulbright Program in 1946, immediately after World War II, to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges. Sen. J. William Fulbright, sponsor of the legislation, saw it as a step toward building an alternative to armed conflict. Today the Fulbright Program is the U.S. government's premier scholarship program, which sends graduating seniors, graduate students, faculty and professionals to study and conduct research in more than 100 countries.

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