May 23, 2012
Fulbright Grant Winners 2012
For the 12th consecutive year, the University of South Carolina will be represented abroad by Fulbright Scholars conducting research, studying, and serving as English Teaching Assistants. This year’s 12
Fulbright recipients break the earlier USC record of nine, set in 2008. Among those twelve recipients is SCHC’s Jacqueline Cantwell, Matthew Casedonte, Warren Durrett, Christina Galardi, Sarah Nell Lader,
Payal Patel, and Laura Smentek. Together they bring the total number of USC Fulbright winners to 70 since the establishment of the Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs in 1994. These students are among the 1,700 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2012-2013 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.” With this goal as a starting point, the Fulbright Program provides participants—chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential — with the opportunity to study, teach or conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns in over 155 countries. Fulbright scholars at the University this past academic year represented a variety of countries, including Finland, Germany, Guatemala, Haiti, Pakistan, Turkey, and Vietnam.
Dr. Jeff Persels, Professor of Languages, Literatures and Cultures and chair of European Studies, and Ms. Margaret Perkins, retired Fellowship Coordinator in the Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs (http://sc.edu/ofsp), served as the University’s Fulbright Program Advisors this past year. They worked closely with many of this year’s pool of candidates as they crafted their winning applications.
is a 2012 graduate of the South Carolina Honors College, with a major in Chemistry and minor in French. A McNair Scholar, she is also the recipient of the Lieber and National Merit Scholarships, the Allen Scholarship for Excellence in Chemistry, and was named an NSF Honorable Mention in 2012 and a Goldwater Honorable Mention in 2011. She received a Magellan grant for her undergraduate research in chemistry, spent the summer of 2011 in Germany on a DAAD RISE internship, is a member of Sigma Alpha Lambda, Alpha Lambda Delta, NSCS, Golden Key and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa as a junior. Cantwell played alto saxophone in the marching band and basketball pep band, and was part of Carolina Science Outreach. She will spend her Fulbright year researching multiferroic materials at the CRISMAT laboratory in Caen, France. Upon her return, she will pursue a PhD in Chemistry at Northwestern University.Casedonte
graduated from the South Carolina Honors College in 2012 with a BSBA degree in Management (Entrepreneurship track) and International Business, as well as a minor in
Russian Language and Culture. The Jennifer M. and Mack I. Whittle Carolina Scholar and a Palmetto Fellow, he was the recipient of a Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study Russian in 2010. While at USC he served as President of Russian Club, was a member of the International Business Student Advisory Board his junior year, volunteered as a Russian tutor since 2010, and completed a thesis translating poems by Boris Leonidovich Pasternak into English. He will be spending his Fulbright year teaching English in Samara, Russia.Durrett
is a 2012 graduate of the South Carolina Honors College, where he has earned his degree in International Studies. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, he is the recipient of the Confucius Institute Chinese Ambassador Award. On campus, he has been active with the English Tutoring Program, as well as the Professional Society of International Studies. For the past 3 years, he has participated in relief work in Chinese Earthquake Zones. Durrett plans to earn his PhD in International Relations and Political Economy at the University of Washington, hoping to eventually work for the Treasury Department and obtain a research position at a university. He will use his Fulbright year to begin work on his dissertation research in China.Galardi
is a 2012 graduate of the South Carolina Honors College and the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, with a major in Public Relations. The Mary Meech and Michael J. Mungo Carolina Scholar, she is also the recipient of the Lieber Scholarship, National Merit Scholarship, and is a Palmetto Fellow. Named USC’s Outstanding Woman of the Year in 2012, she was also awarded the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award in 2012. Galardi served on the Carolina Service Council as president, director of MLK Day of Service, and Director of Special Programs. Active with Lutheran Campus Ministry, she also was a Peer Health Educator, and a member of Omicron Delta Kappa and Mortar Board. Following her year teaching English in South Korea, she will pursue a Masters in Public
Health at UNC-Chapel Hill.Lader
is a 2012 graduate of the South Carolina Honors College, with majors in both Experimental Psychology and German. Recipient of both the Dean’s Scholarship and the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, she is a member of Delta Phi Alpha German Honor Society, and has been recognized for her work in German by earning both the Award for Excellence in German and the Gerda Jordan Award. She spent a month during 2010 with the Checkpoint Charlie program, which placed her as a classroom assistant in a German school. Outside of her coursework, Lader was active with Sustainable Carolina, Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands, and Pastafarians at USC. Part of her research time was spent in the Sexually Violent Predators lab. Following her year teaching in Germany, she will begin a Master’s degree in speech/language pathology as she pursues her career goal of working in therapy for autistic children.Patel
is a 2012 graduate of the South Carolina Honors College, with a major in Public Health. A Palmetto Fellows Scholarship recipient, she is also a member of the Golden Key Honor Society and Omega Phi Alpha. She was active with Indian Cultural Exchange and the Consortium of Latino Immigration, and served as a community service intern with Community Service Programs. Her community involvement included volunteering with the Waverly Afterschool Program, and serving as an English conversation partner through EPI. Patel interned abroad in Ghana’s hospital system, and worked as a research assistant for both Dr. Caryn Outten and Dr. Myriam Torres. Following her year
teaching English in South Korea, Patel plans to pursue an MD/MPH.Smentek
is a South Carolina Honors College graduate of 2012, with a major in International Studies and a minor in Chinese Studies. The recipient of the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, the Dean’s Leadership Scholarship, and the Patricia Ann Tangney Dumiak Honors College Scholarship for Political Science, she is also a member of Sigma Iota Rho and Phi Beta Kappa. She was awarded a Critical Languages Scholarship for studying Chinese in 2011, and tutored students in English both in China and through USC’s EPI program. A student worker in the Honors College, she also spent several months as an intern with the Conservation Voters of South Carolina. Following her year in Taiwan teaching English, Smentek plans to attend law school and pursue a career in international law, environmental policy, and US-Chinese relations.
These students and others seeking national fellowships were assisted by the Office of Fellowships & Scholar Programs. For more information about the Fulbright Program, contact the Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs at 777-0958, or visit us online at www.sc.edu/ofsp.
Fulbright recipients are among over 40,000 individuals participating in U.S. Department of State exchange programs each year. For more than sixty years, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
has funded and supported programs that seek to promote mutual understanding and respect between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is administered by the Institute of International Education.
Back to List of News