VILLANOVA, Pa. – Thirteen Villanovans have been selected to receive 2016-2017 Fulbright U.S. Student Grants as a part of The Fulbright Program, a prestigious international education exchange program sponsored by the United States government. These grants will allow the Fulbright recipients to serve as international cultural ambassadors by performing research or teaching English in foreign countries. Among the nation’s top producers of Fulbright Students by the Fulbright Program, Villanova has had at least one student selected for the coveted scholarships each year since 1994.
This year’s Fulbright recipients include Villanovans from each of the University’s four undergraduate colleges—the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), College of Engineering (COE), College of Nursing (CON) and the Villanova School of Business (VSB).
“Once again, Villanova has an impressive number of students receiving Fulbright scholarships,” said Patrick G. Maggitti, PhD, Villanova University Provost. “The consistent success of Villanovans in this prestigious, national program speaks volumes about the strength of our academic programs and highlights the emphasis we place on successful student outcomes. We congratulate all of our scholarship recipients.”
Villanova’s 2016-17 Fulbright recipients include:
- Enmanuel Almonte ’16 COE, was awarded a Fulbright research grant and will study the development of computer vision capabilities for assistive robotic applications at the Universidad de Chile.
- Rishi Chauhan ’16 CLAS, received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Award to teach English in South Korea.
- Aisha Chughtai ’15 CLAS, received a Fulbright ETA to teach English at a university in Turkey.
- James DiGregorio ’16 CLAS, received a Fulbright ETA to teach English at a university in Turkey.
- Andrew Moffa ’16 CLAS, received a Fulbright ETA to teach English in South Korea.
- Lauren Rutherford ’13 CLAS, was awarded a Fulbright research grant to study the medical implementation of Colombian Constitutional Court Ruling C-355/2006.
- Joseph Schaadt ’15 COE, was awarded a Fulbright research grant and will study the fundamentals of evaporation in microchannels at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland.
- Cherisse Smith ’14 CLAS, received a Fulbright ETA to teach English in Macau.
- Patrick Smith ’16 CON, was awarded a Fulbright research grant and will study community understanding and perceptions of Lesotho’s national health reform initiatives.
- Thomas Trainer ’15 CLAS, was awarded a Fulbright research grant and will study the intersection of the performance arts and political processes in Jamaica.
- Mary Trotter ’16 CLAS, received a Fulbright ETA to teach English in Malaysia.
- Adam Vincent ’16 CLAS, received a Fulbright ETA to teach English at a university in Turkey.
- Stephen Wemple ’16 VSB, received a Fulbright ETA to teach English in Vietnam.
During the course of their grants, Fulbright recipients meet, work, live with and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences. The program facilitates cultural exchange through direct interaction on an individual basis in the classroom, field, home, and in routine tasks, allowing the grantee to gain an appreciation of others’ viewpoints and beliefs, the way they do things, and the way they think. For more on the program, click here.
Villanova’s Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CURF), housed within the Office of the Provost, supports students in the application processes for numerous nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships. Earlier this year, Villanova engineering student Brandon Wesley ‘16 was selected as a 2016 Gates Cambridge Scholar and will pursue a PhD in Surgery at the University of Cambridge, England. For more on CURF and the scholarship and fellowship opportunities, click here.
Below are short biographies on each of the University’s 2016-17 recipients:
Enmanuel Almonte, of Willimantic, Conn., will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering. Almonte received the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship to study at the National University of Singapore and was involved in volunteer programs in Cambodia and Panama. A resident assistant and tutor at the Center for Multicultural Affairs, Almonte has served as president of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and participated in Special Olympics and the Latin American Student Organization. For his Research Fulbright, he will be studying the development of computer vision capabilities for assistive robotic applications at the Universidad de Chile.
Rishi Chauhan, of Voorhees, N.J., will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry. A St. Martin de Porres Scholar, Chauhan has served as a tutor for the Ivy League Experience, the Center for Multicultural Affairs, and the Biology Department. He has been involved in the leadership of the Villanova Cycling Club and the South Asian Students Association and has volunteered as a mentor at ESF Dream Camp for the last three years. Chauhan received the Fulbright ETA to teach English in South Korea.
Aisha Chughtai, of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in English. She is currently serving as a patient advocate through the AmeriCorps program. At Villanova, Chughtai was founder and president of the Muslim Student Association and wrote for The Villanovan. She worked as a tutor in the Villanova Writing Center and with the RUIBAL service program and was active in the Service Break Experience program and on the English Majors Advising Committee. For her Fulbright ETA, Chughtai will teach English at a university in Turkey.
James DiGregorio, of Norwell, Mass., will graduate with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Arab and Islamic Studies and Economics. DiGregorio studied in Istanbul, Turkey, where he volunteered for the Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants. He also played on the club rugby team. A Global Key Ambassador, DiGregorio has served as a tutor and program leader at the North Light Community Center in Philadelphia. He will be serving as a Fulbright ETA at a university in Turkey.
Andrew Moffa, of Linwood, N.J., will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication. A resident assistant, he studied abroad in Denmark in 2015 and participated in a summer program through the Department of Communication in Ghana in 2013. Moffa served as a facilitator for Villanova’s Freshman Leadership Program, mentored with the student organization LeVel, wrote for The Villanovan, and tutored at Cristo Rey High School in Philadelphia. He was a team manager for the Men’s Basketball Team from 2012-14. Moffa served as co-writer for the documentary In Transition: Tony Chennault, which was a finalist for a Student Academy Award. As a Fulbright ETA, he will teach English in South Korea.
Lauren Rutherford, of Columbia, Md., graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. A Villanova University Presidential Scholar, Rutherford currently works as a legal assistant for Google in Mountain View, Calif. Immediately after graduation, she served as an intern for the United States House of Representatives and Habitat for Humanity. Rutherford was co-president of Villanova’s chapter of Habitat, founded the Villanova CARE program, and was involved in Polis and Urban Bridges. She also studied abroad for a semester in Spain, where she worked as an intern for Women’s Link Worldwide. Rutherford has been awarded a Fulbright research grant to study the medical implementation of Colombian Constitutional Court Ruling C-355/2006.
Joseph Schaadt, of Sunnyvale, Calif., received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2015. A member of WXVU Villanova Radio and the Men’s Water Polo team, Schaadt received wide recognition for his undergraduate research achievements, including Falvey Scholars and awards from Sigma Xi and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Schaadt currently works as a thermal engineer at Electronic Cooling Solutions in Santa Clara, Calif. For his research Fulbright, he will be studying the fundamentals of evaporation in microchannels at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland.
Cherisse Smith, of Brooklyn, N.Y., received her Bachelor of Arts degree in History in 2014. She currently works as a college preparation advisor for New York Cares. At Villanova, Smith was involved in Phi Alpha Theta and Phi Sigma Pi and participated extensively in Villanova Student Musical Theatre. Smith is proficient in French, Japanese, and Korean. She will serve as a Fulbright ETA in Macau.
Patrick Smith, of Melrose, Mass., will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. A Villanova University Presidential Scholar, Smith has served as the chair of Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week for the last two years. A Cruse Fellowship recipient, he spent the summer of 2015 in Accra, Ghana, volunteering and researching with Unite for Sight. At Villanova, Smith has also been involved in Catholic Relief Services and the Student Nurses Association of Pennsylvania. For his research Fulbright, Smith will be studying community understanding and perceptions of Lesotho’s national health reform initiatives.
Thomas Trainer, of Havertown, Pa., is currently enrolled in the Political Science Master’s degree program. Trainer is a 2015 graduate of Villanova University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Trainer competes on the Villanova Track and Field team, where he was named to the Big East Conference All-Academic Team three consecutive years. He was involved in the Association for Change and Transformation, wrote for The Villanovan, and participated in Villanova Student Theater. Trainer will be studying the intersection of the performance arts and political processes on a research Fulbright in Jamaica.
Mary Trotter, of Los Alamitos, Calif., will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and Classics. A member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority, Trotter studied abroad in the Netherlands and South Korea. Throughout her time at Villanova, she has been involved in extensive mentoring and tutoring activities, including the Best Buddies, LeVel and RUIBAL programs. After her Fulbright experience, Trotter plans to pursue a career in English Language education. As a Fulbright ETA, she will teach English in Malaysia.
Adam Vincent, of Morristown, N.J., will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities and Communication. A Villanova University Presidential Scholar, Vincent was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa as a junior. He studied abroad in Chile and Italy, where he served as a communications intern for the International Fund for Agricultural Development. Vincent was an Arts Senator in the Student Government Association, Co-Chair for the Presidential Scholar Executive Board, writer for The Villanovan and theprospect.net, and founder and president of Tolle Lege Literary Society. Vincent will be serving as a Fulbright ETA at a university in Turkey.
Stephen Wemple, of Lafayette, Calif., will graduate with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Economics and Finance. The Vice President of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity, Wemple spent a semester studying abroad in Denmark. He has been actively involved in the Service and Justice Experience Program at Villanova, leading a trip to Camden, N.J., this year. He has volunteered as an English as a Second Language tutor for Vietnamese immigrants at the St. Thomas Aquinas Center for the last two years. Wemple will serve as a Fulbright ETA in Vietnam.
In addition to the 13 recipients named 2016-2017 Fulbright recipients, Kimberly Tower ’15 ’16 CLAS received a Fulbright ETA in South Korea and declined. The following six students were named Fulbright alternates: Caroline Franchino ’16 COE, Fulbright ETA in Poland; Emma Pettit ’16 CLAS, Fulbright ETA in Turkey; Alyssa Sbarra ’16 CLAS, Research Fulbright in New Zealand; Christina Sebastiao ’16 CLAS, Fulbright ETA in Brazil; Daniel Shea ’16 CLAS, Research Fulbright in Argentina; and, Ciara Sprance ’15 ’16 CLAS, Fulbright ETA in Montenegro.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the largest U.S. exchange program offering opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program currently awards approximately 1,900 grants annually in all fields of study, and operates in more than 140 countries worldwide. Fulbright U.S. Student alumni populate a range of professions and include ambassadors, members of Congress, judges, heads of corporations, university presidents, journalists, artists, professors, and teachers. Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 340,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit www.villanova.edu.