Two Elizabethtown College seniors were awarded Fulbright Scholarships recently.
Victoria Edwards, an international business and Japanese double major with a specialization in political science, plans to conduct research in Japan and proposed affiliation at Sophia University and Waseda University. Melissa Germano, a Spanish education (pre-K through 12) major, will use her teaching assistant grant and teach English to elementary students in Spain for nine months.
“I am honored to have come this far, but I am even more eager to begin my work abroad and complete a project worthy of the bestowed honors,” said Edwards who also studied abroad in Japan in 2017. “This award will enable me to return to Japan and devote myself to a project that capitalizes on my passions, strengths, and aspirations.”
Edwards, of Bear, Del., will focus her research project on examining polarization among contemporary Japanese youth activists and nonparticipants, and the changing landscape of youth political participation. She also will study comparative developments in former generations’ political behavior over time.
“Being able to engage with individuals and events firsthand, rather than from behind a computer screen, imparts a deep sense of importance to my work,” Edwards said. “I look forward to listening to the stories of those I meet and understanding their role with respect to larger social trends.”
Edwards plans to digitally archive her findings, providing descriptions in English and Japanese.
Germano, of Columbus, N.J., is an Honors student at Elizabethtown College.
“Fulbright is one of the most competitive and prestigious scholarships in the United States and internationally,” Germano said. “To be bestowed such an honor demonstrates that hard work pays off, and that you really can achieve something if you put your mind to it.”
Germano had previously studied abroad in Valladolid, Spain, for a semester teaching English to third- and fifth-grade students.
“I am most excited to be returning to the classroom setting in which I feel most comfortable and enjoy,” Germano said. “I also look forward to meeting the locals, continuing to build my Spanish skills, and learning more about their rich and vibrant culture.”
Elizabethtown College professors provide guidance and mentorships to students to pursue prestigious scholarships and fellowships, like the Fulbright program. Scholarships and fellowships can range from short-term summer courses to multi-year graduate programs through- out the world.
The Fulbright Program is devoted to increasing mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Fulbright is the world’s largest and most diverse international educational exchange program. Fulbright alumni include 59 Nobel Laureates, 82 Pulitzer Prize winners, 72 MacArthur Fellows, 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, and thousands of leaders across the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Since its inception in 1946, more than 390,000 “Fulbrighters” have participated in the program.