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Four CLAS Graduate Students Earn Fulbright Grants

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VILLANOVA, Pa. – Four graduate students in Villanova University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences earned a prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Grant for 2019-20. The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, offering students grants to conduct research, study and teach abroad.

This year, 31 Villanova students won Fulbright awards, marking the largest single-year number of awards in the University's history and surpassing the previous record of 16 winners set in 2018-19.

Read more about Villanova's Fulbright success.

The four CLAS graduate students earning Fulbright awards are: 

  • Alex Balawejder '19 MA, of Drexel Hill, Pa., will graduate this summer with a Master of Arts in History. Balawejder, a U.S. Army veteran, received his undergraduate degree from West Chester University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in History. He will spend a year as an English Teaching Assistant in the Slovak Republic where he will teach at a Technical School in Modra. Balawejder looks forward to experiencing the level of cultural and linguistic immersion from his time abroad and will pursue a PhD in History upon his return to the U.S

  • Devin Creed '19 MA, of Westford, Mass., will graduate this spring with a Master of Arts degree in History. He holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Economics and English from Hillsdale College. Devin will travel to Calcutta to complete intensive language training in Bengali through a separate award from the Critical Language Scholarship, and then will move on to New Delhi to conduct his Fulbright research on nineteenth century famine relief. Upon returning to the U.S., he will begin his PhD in History at Duke University.

  • Stephen Gironda ’19 MS, of Long Branch, N.J., will graduate with a Master of Science degree in Psychology. He is a UN representative for the non-government organization Pathways To Peace, Vice President of the Graduate Student Council, and graduate assistant in Dr. Benjamin Sach’s Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Behavior Laboratory. Gironda will spend his Fulbright Award year in Rome, Italy, where he will complete a research project exploring the effects of stress, diet, exercise, and novel experiences on addiction susceptibility at the Santa Lucia Foundation. Upon his return to the U.S., he will pursue a PhD in Neuroscience at Wake Forest University.
  • Katherine Sepulveda ’20 PhD, of Raymond, Maine, is a doctoral candidate in Philosophy who researches the phenomenology of the body and the encounter of phenomenology with religion including its relationship to healthcare ethics. Sepulveda received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bryn Mawr College and a Master’s in Theology from Boston College. She was a funded participant in the 2018 Mellon Mays-Social Science Research Council Proposal Writing and Dissertation Development Seminar. Sepulveda was previously awarded Mellon Mays-Social Science Research Council Predoctoral Research Grants in academic years 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 toward professional development and independent research.

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenged and changing world. With 39 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.