Fulbright Scholars on the Rise at St. Edward's University
St. Edward’s is tied for second in master’s granting institutions in the nation to receive Fulbrights. Since 2004, 13 Fulbrights — a highly selective scholarship sponsored by the U.S. Department of State — have been awarded to St. Edward’s University students to study in the following countries: Brazil, Costa Rica, Germany, Mongolia Thailand and Turkey.
This summer, St. Edward’s attained another Fulbright record. St. Edward’s is the only university to have students selected each of the last two years for the UK Fulbright Summer Institutes.
Leeroy Cienega, a sophomore pre-med chemistry major, was awarded a place at the UK Fulbright Summer Institute at Newcastle University in Tyne, England, this summer. A College Assistant Migrant Program (CAMP) student, he is the second consecutive St. Edward’s University student to be awarded such a fellowship. Last year, senior Leslie de la Rosa also went to Newcastle.
Cienega, along with eight other American students, participated in one of Newcastle’s five-week summer programs from July 3 to Aug. 8. The students spent the first two weeks getting settled in and exploring England’s culture, heritage and history by visiting museums, galleries, parks, castles and islands. They also participated in "taster" sessions to determine academic courses they wanted to participate in for summer school. Cienega enrolled in "The Science of Medicine" course at the university’s medical school, and for the next three weeks, focused primarily on the function of the kidney, the eye and anti-psychotics/anti-depressants.
“I immersed myself in their research, science, medicine and technology a little more in-depth than anything else, simply because science is what intrigues me the most,” he said. “Ultimately, I learned that both countries, the U.S. and U.K., are working towards a better future and environment for our Earth.”
Cienega documented his experience through a blog entitled “Fish ‘N’ Chips! Cheers Mate!” during his stay in England.
“This experience ultimately made me the person I am today,” Cienega reflected. “I learned to be more appreciative, adaptable and aware of cultural differences, world issues (such as sustainability and international affairs), and different levels and styles of education.”
Not only was Cienega able to meet people from different countries and experience life as a student in the U.K., he developed his research, learning and communication skills.
“This is definitely an experience in which I have grown as an individual,” he said. “I now carry knowledge that individuals can only get by immersing themselves in another culture.”
He wishes more students could have the opportunity he did. “It's one of the best ways to experience new cultures and develop many social and academic skills,” Cienega said. “And, you establish great relationships with people from around the world.”
He also offers some advice for fellow students. “Travel and take in everything you see,” Cienega said. “Don't capture the world in a glimpse or in a blink of an eye, but explore and indulge in the beauty of this world.”
Cienega plans to attend medical school and specialize in psychiatry. His research interests include mental diseases, anti-psychotics and anti-depressants.
Apply for a Fulbright — Deadline Sept. 23
The campus deadline to apply for the 2012–2013 Fulbright awards is Sept. 23, in order to conduct interviews in advance of the national deadline on Oct. 17. Please talk to Caroline Morris, director of Fellowships, firstname.lastname@example.org, immediately if you are interested in applying.