Three Honors Students Selected as Fulbright Semi-Finalists


School News

February 14, 2019

After completing a rigorous application process, three Walsh Honors students are celebrating their selection as 2019 Fulbright U.S. Student Grant Semi-Finalists. The Fulbright Award is one of the most competitive and prestigious honors in higher education.

"One of the key initiatives in the Honors Program over the past few years has been to partner with other campus stakeholders to build an infrastructure that will help Walsh University students be competitive for national and international major awards," said Director of the Honors Program Ty Hawkins, Ph.D. "These three Fulbright Semi-Finalists represent the first major proof that our work with Honors students in this area has been well-placed."

Walsh University Fulbright Semi-Finalists:

Nicholas Beaver, Senior English and Professional Writing Major, Fulbright Semi-Finalist for an English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Grant to Poland. Nick’s long term goal is to become a grant writer for an international organization that supports funding for medical resources in third-world countries.

"I have a passion for writing and in conjunction with that, I’m really interested in studying geo-political issues and history. The Fulbright ETA is the perfect union for all of my interests," said Nick. "When I first came to Walsh as a freshman, I was extremely shy and cautious. One of the things that helped me get out of my comfort zone was Walsh’s global learning program. Traveling to Italy my junior year helped me to conceive of options such as the Fulbright program that I had never before considered."

Treasure Byrge, Senior Psychology, Pre-Occupational Therapy Major, Fulbright Semi-Finalist for a Research Grant in Romania. Treasure’s research will be an extension of her Honor’s Thesis focused on a cross-cultural analysis on the development of intimacy attitudes in young adults. Treasure hopes to go into public health in some capacity after returning from her Fulbright experience.

"Romania has a very rich history that was compelling to me in looking at the different types of variables in my research. With Romania’s history under communist leadership, it was a great fit to extend my research," said Treasure. "It’s interesting to reflect on how Walsh has truly led me in this direction. Through my Walsh experience, I gained the confidence and global competency to even consider applying for a Fulbright grant."

Philip Kopatz, Senior History and Psychology Major, Fulbright Semi-Finalist for an English Teaching Assistant Grant to Ukraine. With the long term goal to teach Eastern European History at the collegiate level, Phil spent six weeks in Kyiv, Ukraine, during the summer of 2018, interning with America House Kyiv.

"Walsh’s Director of Career and Experiential Education Abby Poeske, Dr. Ty Hawkins and and Dr. Rachel Constance were all very influential in helping me through this process," said Phil. "They gave me honest feedback and helped me to grow through the application process. This experience really challenged me to reflect on my goals and think about my future in a different way."

If selected, each Fulbright will spend 10 months in their respective country, beginning in fall 2019. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers research, study, and teaching opportunities in more than 140 countries to recent graduates and graduate students. During 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.

"We are so proud of Nick, Treasure, and Phil; likewise, we are very thankful for our partners across campus. These Honors students represent the best of the core ingredients of our program: intellectual curiosity, the development of interdisciplinary interests and skills, excellence in undergraduate research, leadership, and global awareness and competency," said Dr. Hawkins. "We can’t wait to hear the next round of good news!"

Final award selection will be made by the supervising agency in the host country and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Semi-Finalists will be notified of their final status in the spring.