By Breanne Smith
While one nationally competitive award is enough to make most scholars beam, Daniel McBrayer and Jeff Waters have earned additional recognition.
A graduate student in international development studies, McBrayer won a research Fulbright to the nation of Georgia for 2008-09, followed by a Critical Language Enhancement award. The CLEA is sponsored by the Department of State through the Fulbright Program, and its purpose is to cultivate language learning prior to and during the Fulbright grant period.
McBrayer originally became interested in Georgia through his work with the Peace Corps at Georgian peace camps for Abkhaz and Georgian youth, and he plans to return to study conflict transformation.
"I will be using (the CLEA) to study Russian so that I might be able to contact the Abkhaz, since they do not speak Georgian," he said, referring to the ethnic group living in Abkhazia, a de facto independent republic internationally recognized as part of Georgia. McBrayer is the first Ohio University student to receive a Fulbright to Georgia and also the first to receive the CLEA.
Waters, a junior geography/meteorology major with minors in physics and mathematics, is a Hollings Scholar conducting hurricane research at the Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Hawaii. He also received the American Meteorological Society Undergraduate Scholarship for $2,000.
"I was so grateful to be one of only a couple dozen AMS scholarship winners nationwide," Waters said. "It will just make me work harder in this field over the coming years because prestigious honors like this one symbolize and mean much more than their (monetary) value."
Waters is active in the Ohio Meteorology Club, serving as treasurer this year and president next year.
"Jeff's an outstanding forecaster," said Ron Isaac, director of the Scalia Laboratory for Atmospheric Analysis. "He was the winner of the Annual Winter Forecasting Contest as well as the spring one."