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"Largest Number of UB Students in Recent Memory" Win 2011-12 Fulbright Grants

Students to study or teach in Finland, Quebec, Brazil, Morocco, Germany

Release Date: June 15, 2011

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo has produced eight Fulbright student finalists for the 2011-12 academic year and, to date, four have received Full Fulbright Grants for Study and Research cultural exchange grants and one has received a Full Fulbright Teaching Assistantship Grant to study and/or teach in Europe, Africa, South America and Canada.

Sasha Pack, PhD, associate professor of history, has been faculty advisor for the UB Fulbright Program since 2009, and calls this "the largest number of student recipients of Fulbright grants from UB in recent memory, and certainly the largest number since I've been advising the program."

Pack says UB has excellent candidates every year but calls the application process "rigorous," noting that it requires applicants to write a description of their academic interests and accomplishments that is clear to someone outside their field while at the same time establishing expertise in their particular academic specialty.

"Last summer we did something different," Pack says.

"We established a summer program for the Fulbright applicants during which they exchanged application essays and critiqued one another's submissions for clarity and effectiveness. It is important, after all," he says, "to convey expertise in a particular discipline in a way that is clear and comprehensible to those not in that field of study.

"The students said they thought it was very helpful and perhaps the proof is in their success," Pack says.

The Fulbright recipients to date are:

Justin Parks, of Albuquerque, N.M., a PhD candidate in the UB Department of English, whose work focuses on modernist poetry in the context of the liberal-democratic state. The son of Ann and Jay Parks of Albuquerque, and a graduate of that city's St. Pius X High School, Parks received a Fulbright grant to conduct research at the University of Turku, Finland, during the 2011-12 academic year.

Joseph Lake, of Palo Alto, Calif., a PhD student in the UB Department of Music, who received a Fulbright Study Scholarship in the Creative and Performing Arts to fund a full academic year of work in music composition at the Carl Maria von Weber Hochschule fur Musik in Dresden, Germany, where he will compose a piece for orchestra to be premiered by the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra.

Lake is the son of David and Susan Lake of Palo Alto and a 1998 graduate of Henry M. Gunn Senior High School, Palo Alto.

Brian McSherry, who will receive his bachelor of fine arts degree in communications design from the UB Department of Visual Studies in June, received a Fulbright Canada grant to fund his studies in graphic design at Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, from September 2011 through May 2012.

McSherry, a native of Chester, N.Y., is the son of Sean and Evelyn McSherry of Chester, and a 2007 graduate of John S. Burke Catholic High School in Goshen, N.Y.

Rachel Hoorwitz of Niskayuna, N.Y., a December graduate of UB with a double major in English and French, received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to teach in a university in Morocco for the 2011-12 academic year.

Melissa Schindler of Medina, Ohio, who studies Diaspora literatures, is scheduled to receive a PhD in English from UB in 2013. She received a Fulbright to study the African diaspora from March to December 2012 at Brazil's Universidade Federal in Sao Joao del-Rei, a historical city in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. More enslaved Africans were sent to Brazil during the Atlantic slave trade than to any other nation in the Western Hemisphere, and many of them were shipped to Minas Gerais to work in the gold mines. Subsequently, many thousands of Brazilians emigrated to the U.S. from Minas Gerais, more than from any other place in the country.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

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