Students garner prestigious scholarships, awards

It has been a noteworthy year for scholarships and awards at New College and it promises to keep getting better.

Thesis student Elizabeth Burger screamed when she heard the news. Burger is one of, so far, five Fulbright winners at New College along with fellow thesis-students Amelia Nordin, Claire Albiez, Seth Borden and Rosalia Maier-Katkin. Together they join the list of about 1,100 U.S. scholars who will travel abroad through the Fulbright Program in 2013.

Burger’s Fulbright award will allow her to be an English Teaching Assistant (ETA) in Germany for 10 months where she hopes to explore Jewish identity in the modern-day nation. Her thesis explores the lives of Jewish women in the Holocaust.

Applicants to the Fulbright ETA grant must submit a Statement of Grant Purpose – a one-page, single-spaced document outlining their project and interest in the host country – in addition to a personal statement of equal length. They are encouraged to be specific and creative with the two documents, which appear deceptively simple to anyone unfamiliar with the scholarship. Burger described the application process as “very rigorous” citing extensive drafts and revisions over the course of six months.

“It’s a very long process but you come out with something you’re really proud of,” Burger said.

Burger became aware of the Fulbright Program through a former roommate and 2012 Fulbright scholar, alum Kathleen McQueeney (’08), who encouraged her to apply.

“I decided to apply because I never got a chance to study abroad while I was here,” Burger said. “I knew I wanted to live abroad at some point but I wasn’t sure how I was going to make that happen.”

Third year Michael “Mike” Long was awarded a Truman Fellowship, making him the only recipient in Florida this year and the second in New College history to receive the coveted award.

“It’s a big surprise,” Long said. “I was shocked.”

The Truman Fellowship focuses on supporting students who intend to pursue careers in public service. Each recipient is awarded $30,000 towards graduate school in addition to opportunities for mentoring, summer programs, internships and a wide reaching network of fellow Truman scholars.

“I really love working with at-risk youth, that’s been my big passion these past couple years,” Long said. “I love sitting down and talking with kids and kind of figuring out how they got to where they are today and how we can do things to propel them forward to a better place in the future.”

Third-years Jonas Slackman and Timothy Duff are two of the five Goldwater Scholarship – awarded to students in the sciences, mathematics and engineering – recipients in the state of Florida this year and are among a prestigious list of only 271 Goldwater Scholars nationwide for 2013.

“I was ecstatic,” Slackman, a Biology AOC, said of his reaction to winning. “I was really surprised when I got [the scholarship].”

Slackman hopes the Goldwater will give him a leg up when applying to graduate programs to pursue his main interest, immunology, with the intent of becoming an infectious diseases doctor or researcher.

An accompanying $7,500 stipend will allow Slackman to support himself while he conducts research at an unpaid internship at Florida Atlantic University this summer.

Suzanne Janney, Special Assistant to the President and Assistant Secretary for the Board of Trustees wrote in an email that she is expecting more awards to stream in.

“The highly prestigious Truman and Goldwater scholarships make this a banner year for NCF,” Janney wrote.

She encouraged current students to take advantage of the NCF National Fellowship Team, dubbed the “dream team” by Long, which includes Janney as the senior member, Office of the President Coordinator Courtney Hughes, Office of Research Programs and Services Director Jeanne Viviani and Professor of German Language and Literature Glenn Cuomo.

“They can email us individually or reach us at,” Janney wrote.


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