Five graduating seniors have been named Fulbright Scholars for the 2008-09 academic year. Christine Kenison, Emily Lyman Benjamin Schmitt, Rebekah Porter and Ashley Van Vechten will spend next year studying and researching across the globe. The number ties a record for UR undergraduates.

The Fulbright Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, is designed to foster cultural awareness and growth through teaching and researching abroad. Scholars design their own programs, while the Fulbright Fund covers the expenses and provides a monthly stipend.

A total of 21 students and recent alumni applied for nomination for the scholarship last fall.

“We’ve never had that many applicants in a single year,” Assistant Director of the College Center for Academic Support Belinda Redden said. “Also, a record 10 applicants from The College advanced to the international round of the competition.”

Kenison, a German and French double major, will spend her year in Poland researching 1950s Polish literature. Porter, a linguistics major with a double minor, will be spending it in Taiwan as an English Teaching Assistant.

The other scholars – Van Vechten, a German and history major, and Schmitt, a triple major in physics and astronomy, math and German – will be heading off to Germany for their studies.

Member of the nominating committee and history professor William Hauser commented on the application factors that were heavily considered.

“Most important are the personal and academic qualities reflected in the application materials and the support they receive from their faculty recommenders,” he said.

Willis is a member of the class of 2011.

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