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Tuesday, December 2, 2003
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A league of contenders

A League of Contenders (from Ohio Today)Part three

In the realm of highly coveted national and international scholarships, the Ivy schools have dominated the winners' circles. But Ohio University is gaining ground by nurturing students to exceed even their own expectations.

By Jennifer Kirksey Smith

Making connections

In addition to building relationships with faculty, the awards process and students' other experiences offer them the chance to make a multitude of new contacts. DeMuria was able to get those connections for the Fulbright while studying in Indonesia, where her host family father is an entomologist at Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia's largest university.

"None of it is possible by yourself," DeMuria says. "Harvey gives me an idea and is nice enough to share it. And then (Director of Southeast Asian Studies) Elizabeth Collins says, 'Here, apply for this scholarship.' Then, the people with that scholarship say, 'Hey, you're what Fulbright is looking for.'"

Ann Brown and Beth ClodfelterThe networks are invaluable, Clodfelter says, both at Ohio University and in the countries to which Fulbright candidates are applying.

"It works out very well for the students if they are able to make contacts abroad during the application process," she says. That way, students already have connections in their chosen country who know them and are willing to help. June graduate Kris Imbrigotta, who earned two bachelor of arts degrees after majoring in both German and European studies, sees the Fulbright as an important tool for enhancing international relations. This month, he begins work as a teaching assistant in Hamburg, Germany, where he knows to expect questions about United States policies and similar topics.

"That's one of the major things that this award offers," Imbrigotta says. "With international relations, it's not government-to-government contact but human, one-on-one contact."

Clodfelter says Ohio University students' interest in Fulbright experiences is up -- the six they earned this year is the most since the mid-1990s -- although it's hard to say how many will apply from year to year.

"We should not make specific predictions," she says, "but I do think that the future is bright."

To be continued
This is the third segment of this article, which is from the Fall 2003 edition of Ohio Today. Watch for the final segment in the coming weeks.

Jennifer Kirksey Smith is acting editor of Outlook.

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