Villanovans Honored with Prestigious Fellowships and Awards

VILLANOVA, Pa., May 26, 2010 – Five members of Villanova University’s 2010 graduating class, along with one upperclassman, have been chosen to receive nationally-recognized awards including Fulbright Teaching Assistantships, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships and an Udall Scholarship.

Villanova University has become a strong presence in the national fellowship competition arena. Since 1993, 218 Villanova students have been named finalists for national fellowships, with 120 receiving awards. This year’s recipients, detailed below, carry on this proud tradition and will use their Villanova educations to inspire change and innovation in their chosen career paths.

Fulbright Teaching Assistantships

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the largest U.S. exchange program offering opportunities for students to pursue international graduate study, advanced research and teaching. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State to promote international good will through the exchange of students in the fields of education, culture and science. Fulbright Teachers teach English in schools and universities in their host countries while becoming fully integrated into the fabric of the local community.

"Each of these students will be serving international communities as ambassadors of the United States and Villanova University,” said Jane Morris, Director of Villanova's Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. “I can't imagine having better representatives than our 2010 Villanova Fulbright Scholars."

Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) Recipients:

  • Kent Grosh (’10, B.S. Mechanical Engineering), a Villanova University Presidential Scholar, has been awarded one of only two Fulbright ETA’s to Nepal in 2010. Grosh plans to share his love of math and science through after-school tutoring in addition to his teaching assignment. After his Fulbright year, he hopes to pursue graduate study in sustainable technology and international development.
  • David Ederer (’10, B.S Biology, B.A. Philosophy) has been awarded a Fulbright ETA to South Korea. Ederer wants to set up an after-school soccer program in the community where he will be teaching as a way to bridge cultures. He plans to pursue a Master’s in International Public Health after his Fulbright year.
  • Shreya Trivedi (’10, B.S. Biology, Honors) has been awarded a Fulbright ETA to South Korea. Trivedi is a Villanova University Presidential Scholar and a Villanova Undergraduate Research Fellow whose work on uterine tissue remodeling has been published and presented at national conferences. She plans to spend her non-teaching hours in Korea as a volunteer at a medical clinic in preparation for her career in medicine.

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships

The National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees in the U.S. and abroad.

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Recipients:

  • Matthew Bandelt (’10, B.S. Civil & Environmental Engineering) will pursue an M.S. degree in Civil Engineering at Villanova University to be completed in May 2011, during which he will be working on a research study on the Girder-Slab System, a composite steel and precast concrete flooring system. Bandelt will also be looking into PhD programs where he plans to use the NSF funding to study the structural performance of bio-based composite materials.
  • Jessica Shaw (’10, B.A. Physics, B.S. Civil & Environmental Engineering) plans to pursue a PhD in Electrical Engineering at the University of California at Los Angeles with Professor Chan Joshi in the Center for High Frequency Electronics, focusing her research in laser-plasma interactions. Shaw, a Villanova University Presidential Scholar, was an intern last summer at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab working at the National Ignition Facility. In addition to the NSF Fellowship, Jessica was also awarded the National Defense Science Engineering Graduate Fellowship and Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration Stewardship Science Graduate Fellowship to support her post-graduate studies.

Udall Scholarship

The Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation selects scholars based on their commitment to careers in the environment, health care or tribal public policy; leadership potential; and academic achievement. The scholarship provides up to $5,000 for the recipient's junior or senior year.

  • Adrienne Donaghue (’11, Civil and Environmental Engineering), a rising senior and 2009 recipient of a Villanova Undergraduate Research Fellows grant, conducted research last summer under the direction of Dr. John Komlos on water quality in Goose Creek, a local stream in Chester County. Donaghue plans to pursue a M.S. in Environmental Engineering specializing in water resources upon graduation.

Villanova University, a co-educational Roman Catholic institution, was founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. A premier institution of higher education, Villanova provides a comprehensive education rooted in the liberal arts; a shared commitment to the Augustinian ideals of truth, unity and love; and a community dedicated to service to others. A wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered through the University’s four colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering and the College of Nursing, as well as the Villanova School of Law. With a total enrollment that surpasses 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students, Villanova is the oldest and largest Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.