Students in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences received many prestigious scholarships, fellowships and awards announced in the spring of 2019. Read more about what’s in store for some of our exceptional students:
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. The program currently awards approximately 2,000 grants annually in all fields of study, and operates in more than 140 countries worldwide.
Jenna Nelson, a senior hearing and speech sciences major, was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Scholarship for the 2019-2020 school year. Nelson will be teaching English to children in the La Rioja region of Spain. While in Spain, she will also be working on a community engagement project involving mental health advocacy and awareness.
Shelby Hickman, a doctoral student in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, will be working with federal judge and professor Dr. Carlos Haddad to study the effect of an anti-trafficking law clinic in Minas Gerais on successful prosecution of human trafficking cases and to identify factors associated with successfully prosecuted cases. She will also conduct focus groups, interviews, and observations to identify important characteristics of implementation of the law clinic. The project will take place between March-November 2020.
Peggy McWeeney, a PhD candidate in the Department of Government and Politics, has been awarded a 2019-20 Fulbright for research in the Philippines. will investigate why the Filipino Government has negotiated with major rebel groups in the Philippines who represent the Moro claims for autonomy. After tracing the history of rebel and government interactions, she will interview government officials, Filipino academics, and law enforcement officials to gain first-person insight on challenges, obstacles, and successes in modern conflict resolution. While in the Philippines, she will publish her findings in Kasarinlan, a journal of the Third World Studies Center. She will carry out her project with the support of Dr. Enrique Nino P. Leviste of Ateneo de Manila University and Dr. Richard Jose of the Third World Studies Center at the University of the Philippines.
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based Master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.
Erika Exton, a PhD student in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, has earned a five-year NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. This is a highly prestigious fellowship, funded for three years by NSF. Exton’s broad research interests relate to how linguistic experience (including bilingualism, language learning, foreign accent experience, listening in noise, and other individual differences) affects language processing and perception. Her main project studies people’s detection of code-switches when listening to a speaker of two unfamiliar languages and the factors that may influence how these switches are detected. Exton’s research background involved using electrophysiological measures to study aspects of adult language processing in a second language. She is a member of the Language Development and Perception Lab and works closely with advisor Dr. Rochelle Newman.
2019 Undergraduate Researchers of the Year
This award is given annually to five undergraduate researchers whose work has represented an outstanding and exceptional contribution to their academic field of study.
Shereen Ashai, a senior psychology major, has been named one of Maryland’s “Undergraduate Researchers of the Year.” She conducted research through the Department of Psychology for an individual honors thesis on complicated grief and posttraumatic growth in international populations. She has also recently defended a team honors thesis through the Gemstone Honors Program on investigating methods of blood pressure measurement. In addition, Ashai has conducted a plethora of other research through the Counseling Psychology Research Lab, the SAFE Center for Human Trafficking Survivors, the Child Development Lab and the Johns Hopkins Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
2019 Winston Family Honors Writing Awards
Established by University of Maryland alumni Roger and Karen Winston, the annual Winston Family Honors Writing Awards recognize the best short essay, research paper, and thesis written by University of Maryland Honors College students.
Rianna Jha, a senior government and politics major in the Honors College, won the 2019 Winston Family Honors Writing Awards for her Honor thesis “Ladylike Legislation: A study of women-centric cosponsorship in the 115th Congress.” It will also be published in the Columbia University Journal of Politics and Society.
Mario Franco Sto. Domingo, a sophomore government and politics major, won a Winston Family Honors Writing Award for the Best Short Essay category. His essay, "The Case for the Minimum Wage and the Earned Income Tax Credit," was submitted for the Spring 2018 Honors Seminar "Have and Have Nots: The Economics and Politics of Inequality" which was taught by Dr. Ethan Kaplan. The essay is an opinion paper that argues in favor of expanding two policy remedies of American economic inequality and poverty: the minimum wage and the Earned Income Tax Credit. It explains the concept of the minimum wage and the Earned Income Tax Credit, provides empirical evidence showing their effectiveness and discusses how the two policies work better together due to their complementary relationship.
The Boren Scholarship program provides up to $20,000 for two semesters of critical language study, and is a part of the Department of Defense's National Security Education Program (NSEP). In exchange for funding, Boren Award recipients agree to work in the federal government for a period of at least one year.
Madison Meyer, who designed her own Individual Studies major in International Relations and Security Studies and also majors in Arabic Studies, is a member of the Arabic Flagship Program. She has interned with the US Department of State, with the Office of Congresswoman Robin Kelly, and served as a student researcher for the Kahlil Gibran Chair for Values and Peace at Maryland. Madison has participated in the Honors Humanities Program of the Honors College and the Global Fellows Program, and lives in the Arabic Cluster of Language House.
Jacqueline Stomski, a senior Arabic Studies major, is a member of Maryland's Arabic Flagship Program. She has interned with the US Department of State's Bureau of Populations, Refugees and Migration, with the International Organization for Migration in Cairo, Egypt, and as a policy and advocacy intern for Mercy Corps. She has participated in the Global Fellows Program at Maryland and served a a member of the ARHU Dean's Advisory Board. Jacqueline participated in the University Honors Program of the Honors College.
Joanna Wolfgram, a government and Arabic Studies major, has participated in the Global Fellows Program. She has had internships with the National Defense University as well as with the Montgomery County Family Justice Center and participated in the UMD Speaking Partners Program as well as in the Paper Airplanes English Tutoring Program and Alternative Spring Breaks. She is a member of the University Honors Program of the Honors College.
Ryan Garfinkel, a senior government and politics major with minors in global terrorism and international development and conflict management, serves as a Fellow with Search for Common Ground’s Children and Youth Division and previously served as a Fellow with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. Ryan has interned with the Department of Homeland Security and worked with Dr. Stevan Weine, a researcher at the University of Illinois at Chicago. At Maryland, he is a co-facilitator of the Real Talks dialogue program, participated in the College Park Scholars Public Leadership program, for which he served as a teaching assistant, and took part in the Government and Politics Departmental Honors Program where he is finishing a senior thesis investigating Bosnians participating in the Syrian Civil War.
Emily Marks, a government and politics major and International Development and Conflict Management minor, has held internships with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, with Creative Associates International and with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. Emily participated in the Global Fellows Program and in the University Honors Program of the Honors College. She has also served as a Maryland Campus Tour Guide and as a Peer Advisor in the Government Department.
Aisac Accad, a government and politics major, has participated in the Global Fellows Program and is a member of the Honors Humanities Program of the Honors College. She has interned with the Office of the House Democratic Whip, Steny Hoyer, with the Charles County Government and with the US-Asia Institute. She also worked with the UMD Center for Advanced Study of Language. She earned the Boren Award for the study of Indonesian. Aisac has declined her Boren Award offer in favor of a Department of State Critical Language Scholarship for Summer 2019, also for the study of Indonesian.