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Seattle University


Meriting Honors

Written by Mike Thee
June 3, 2013

Nineteen SU students and alumni were honored at the eighth annual Spring Scholar Dinner on May 28. The honorees included four Fulbright Scholars and recipients of other prestigious merit-based awards, as well as alternates, finalists and nominees for awards.

"It was an honor to work with such an outstanding group of students and alumni this year," Luke Green, director of the Office of Fellowships. "These young scholars represent the very best about our university and our best hope for the future."

(L. to r.) President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., Casey Pinckney, Christina Pate, Sophia Sanders, Shandra Benito, Chris Clem, Andrew Battaglia, Olivia Gibbons, Conor Fitzpatrick, Matt Chesnut, Andrea Edwards, Halla Ahmad and Provost Isiaah Crawford. (Not pictured: Guadalupe Briseno, Natalie Bold, Eric Chalmers, Katrina Herzog, John Simpson, Matisse Fletcher, Kelly Glenn and Sarah Vaira.)

Since its founding eight years ago, the Office of Fellowships has helped raise more than $3 million in merit-based academic awards.

SU will graduate its 32nd Fulbright Scholar this year, with 24 of the scholarships having been awarded in just the past eight years. This is the 11th consecutive year that SU has had at least one Fulbright recipient.

SU had its first-ever finalist for the highly competitive Marshall Scholarship this year and its first finalist for the Truman Scholarship in the past three years. Bridget Hiedemann of the Albers School of Business and Economics, who serves as SU's Truman Faculty Representative, was recognized at the dinner as "Mentor of the Year."

Here's more about this year's recipients, alternates, finalists and nominees.

Andrew Battaglia: Fulbright Scholar (Germany)

Battaglia is a senior philosophy and English literature major. As a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, he will assist in the German equivalent of a junior high or high school. He plans to attend graduate school in philosophy, Germanics, English literature or comparative literature. 

Conor Michael Fitzpatrick: Fulbright Scholar (Germany)

Fitzpatrick will graduate this year with a bachelor's degree in History and a minor in German. Through Fulbright he will assist in the English language instruction of German students, and he hopes to work as a history intern in a museum. After Fulbright he plans to pursue a master's degree in education and teach history to high school students.  

Olivia Gibbons: Fulbright Scholar (Mexico) 

Gibbons is a senior Spanish and International Studies major. As a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, she will facilitate classes in English and American cultural perspectives at a Mexican university. She has also received the Root-Tilden-Kern Public Service Scholarship to attend New York University School of Law. 

Sophia Sanders: Fulbright Scholar (Kenya)

Sanders graduated in 2011 with a degree in Humanities for Teaching and a specialization in International Economic Development. Through Fulbright she will teach English, coach debate and work with community-based organizations in Kenya. 

Natalie Bold: Carnegie Fellowship for the Advancement of Teaching

Bold graduated in 2012 with a double major in philosophy and English literature. As a Post-Baccalaureate Fellow, she supports a class being taught in 43 schools in 10 states that is helping community college students become math literate and transfer eligible. 

Matthew Chesnut: David L. Boren (NSEP) Scholar 

Chesnut is a sophomore international studies and economics major and Women Studies minor. Through Boren he will attend a Swahili language program in Zanzibar, Tanzania and an urbanization, health and human rights program in Nairobi, Kenya. 

Casey Pinckney: NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates

Pinckney is a junior mathematics major. She will conduct research in groups and geometry at the University of Portland through the Willamette Valley Mathematics Research Consortium. She aspires to become a mathematics professor and conduct research in pure mathematics. 

Guadalupe Briseño: Gilman and Freeman-ASIA Scholar 

Briseño is a junior International Business major. As a Gilman and Freeman-ASIA Scholar, she will continue her undergraduate business and Japanese studies at Sophia University in Tokyo. In addition, she will conduct research on Tokyo's waste-management system. 

Andrea L. Edwards: Gilman Scholar

Edwards is a junior photography major. Through Gilman she will study Indian art and art history as they relate to the country's national identity through lectures, site visits, living with a homestay family and conducting a personal independent study project. 

Fulbright Alternates: Katrina Herzog,  BFA, photography, 2010; and John Simpson,  MEd, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, 2013 

Fulbright Finalists: Halla Ahmad, BA, international studies, 2013; Matisse Fletcher,  BA, international studies and Chinese, 2010; and Kelly Glenn, BA, international studies and Latin American Studies, 2010 

Marshall Finalist: Christina Pate, alumna, business economics and marketing 

Truman Finalist:  Shandra Benito, junior, social work 

Truman Nominees:   Eric Chalmers, junior, political science and economics; and Christopher Clem, junior, economics and international studies 

Udall Nominee:  Sarah Vaira, sophomore, Humanities for Leadership and environmental studies