News

April 12, 2007

Three Lafayette Seniors and an Alumna Receive Fulbright Grants

Danielle Bero ’07, Adam Callaghan ’07, Lisa Lovallo ’07, and Briana Niblick ’06 will study around the world
Lisa Lovallo ’07 translated and interpreted 17th century documents called the “Bracamonte Papers” with the help of Denise Galarza-Sepulveda, assistant professor of foreign languages and literatures.

Danielle Bero ’07 (Astoria, N.Y.), Adam Callaghan ’07 (South Portland, Maine), Lisa Lovallo ’07 (Hebron, Conn.), and Briana Niblick ’06 have all been awarded Fulbright Grants to study, teach, and research at various locations around the globe.

Bero, who created her own major of creative mediums and social justice, has received an English Teaching Assistantship in Indonesia. Callaghan, a double major in English and German, was awarded an English Teaching Assistantship in Germany. Lovallo, a double major in Spanish and economics & business, will be studying in Mexico through a Fulbright-Garcia Robles Binational Business Grant. Niblick, who graduated with a B.S. civil engineering and A.B. with a major in German, will be studying and researching in Vienna, Austria.

Silvia Mancebo ’07 (Yonkers, N.Y.), a neuroscience major, is currently an alternate for an English Teaching Assistantship in Venezuela.

These students are among a number of recent Lafayette recipients of prestigious national and international scholarships and fellowships for undergraduate and post-graduate study. For information on applying for scholarships and fellowships, contact Julia A. Goldberg, associate dean of studies, (610) 330-5521.

This brings Lafayette’s total number of students receiving Fulbright Grants in the past eight years to 15. The other recipients are Matt Verbyla ’06 (B.S. civil engineering), Emily Groves ’05 (A.B. English), Teva Miller ’04 (A.B. English/German), Hart Feuer ’05 (A.B. economics and business/German), Shara Gregory ’04 (A.B. international affairs/German), Michael Lestingi ’04 (B.S mechanical engineering; A.B. international studies/Russian & East European Studies), Jessica Coakley ’03 (A.B. international affairs/economics & business), Tarik Ghanim ’03 (B.S. electrical and computer engineering; A.B. international studies), Sarah Glacel ’01 (A.B. Russian & East European Studies/international affairs), Sarah Eremus ’00 (A.B. Spanish/Japanese studies), and Gregory Domber ’97 (A.B. history/philosophy).

Bero’s assistantship will run from July 2007 to May 2008 in a high school outside of Jakarta, Indonesia. She will work with classroom teachers to teach students conversational English and improve their knowledge of the United States.

During her time at Lafayette, Bero has been involved in numerous educational and community service projects, both locally and globally.

“I have been lucky enough to fall into projects that I am passionate about,” says Bero. “It was mainly studying abroad, volunteering, and participating in activist projects, which has led me to want to continue working toward social justice and equality.”

Last spring, she traveled to Namibia and South Africa, where she mentored and taught children in an informal settlement. This winter, she spent three weeks in Guatemala through one of Lafayette’s distinctive interim-abroad courses.

Bero is program coordinator for the Landis Community Outreach Center’s Kids in the Community (KIC) program. In addition to KIC, she is involved with the Landis Center’s Teen Moms program and served as an assistant director this past summer for its Pre-Orientation Service Program. She also is leading Teens in the Community at Easton’s new teen center.

She is co-founder of Writing Organization Reaching Dynamic Students and a member of Questioning Established Sexual Taboos, Students for Social Justice, Africans Creating African Consciousness and Interest Abroad, and Association for Black Collegians. She has also participated in United Against Hate week, Take Back the Night, Consciousness Conference, Lights on After-school, Hunger and Homelessness week, Midnight Run, and anti-violence mural painting in Philadelphia.

Bero attributes her success to the support of numerous people in the Lafayette community, specifically her adviser Deborah Byrd, associate professor of English; Goldberg; and the staff at the Landis Center.

“These people have endlessly supported me and let me vent to them,” she says. “They have helped me grow and become a better writer and thinker.”

When she returns from Indonesia, Bero will work through Teach For America. The program matches college graduates with urban and rural public schools in the nation’s lowest-income communities. It will enable her to complete a master’s degree in education.

Callaghan’s assistantship will last from September 2007 to June 2008. He has not yet received the exact location of his placement, but he will assist in teaching American studies and English to German high school students. He also plans to participate in research focusing on how the translation of foreign films can affect the power or message of the film. He will look specifically at German films.

“On of my main goals is to solidify my German language ability,” he says. “The Fulbright program is a perfect chance for me to do so, while simultaneously forming valuable connections and gaining excellent experience.”

Callaghan, who is fluent in German, spent the fall 2005 semester studying abroad in Freiburg, Germany. He also worked with June Schlueter, Charles A. Dana Professor of English, on EXCEL research focusing on early modern alba amicorum, which are 16th and 17th century autograph albums similar to today’s yearbooks. Along with English major Hannah Schorr ’08 (Vestal, N.Y.), he directed the film ghost/people, winning the Filmmakers’ Award at Lafayette’s Documentary Film Festival.

Callaghan is a member of Lafayette’s track and field team and is a past recipient of the Rexroth Prize in German Culture/Language Studies. He is a member of the German Club and will be inducted into Delta Phi Alpha, the German honor society, April 25. He is also performing in the upcoming College Theater production of Museum.

Callaghan says there have been many people at Lafayette who have helped him obtain the Fulbright, but his German adviser Margarete Lamb-Faffelberger, professor and head of foreign languages and literatures, especially stands out.

“The driving force behind my German career and success has been Professor Lamb-Faffelberger,” he says. “She is the one who kept me going with German studies when I was a freshman and she did everything she could to make my semester abroad happen, which was when I realized I wanted to do something further with my German.”

Lovallo’s scholarship will last from September 2007 to June 2008. The Binational Business Grant allows U.S. graduates in business, law, or engineering to combine a six-course graduate certificate program with an internship at a Mexico-based company or firm. It is designed to promote and encourage business relationships and understanding between Mexico, the U.S., and the global marketplace.

“Coming into Lafayette as a freshman, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in international business,” says Lovallo. “While in pursuit of that goal, I had the opportunity to study abroad. I gained a bit of a global perspective while abroad, but I quickly realized that I would have to work internationally to understand the various business climates around the world. The Fulbright grant will give me a hands-on experience in international business while also allowing me to grow my Spanish vocabulary in a business environment.”

Lovallo is still waiting for final word on her internship placement, but she will be either at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México in Mexico City or the Tecnológico de Monterrey in Monterrey. Her courses will focus on international commerce, business management, and corporate finance and the internships range from finance and banking to human resources and marketing.

“Working in Mexico will give me a first-hand understanding of cultural sensitivities when doing business internationally, in addition to valuable work experience that will help me understand business in general,” she says.

Lovallo recently conducted independent study research with Beth Seetch, coordinator of the College Writing Program, investigating how college students from other countries maintain control of the English language, yet struggle with writing for American universities. She came up with the idea after tutoring students at a Spanish college in Madrid, Spain, during a study abroad experience in spring 2006. She presented her work at the National Conference for Peer Tutors of Writing hosted by the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in November. She also spent a summer abroad studying in Rome, Italy.

Lovallo previously conducted EXCEL Scholars research in which she translated and interpreted 17th century documents called the “Bracamonte Papers” with Denise Galarza-Sepulveda, assistant professor of foreign languages and literatures. Last year, she presented work on Mexican codices at Muhlenberg College’s student language symposium. In addition to her other research, she is also working on an honors thesis investigating the investment climate in Chile with James DeVault, associate professor of economics and business, as her adviser.

She is a Gateway Ambassador for Career Services, teaching assistant for classical piano, and volunteer with Inglés Número Uno, a group that tutors elementary school children who are learning English, through the Landis Community Outreach Center. She also is a member of Investment Club and Soccer Club.

Lovallo believes the numerous experiences she had and people she worked with at Lafayette gave her the skills she needed to receive the Fulbright.

“I wish that I could mention all the professors, faculty, administration, and peers who contributed to my success at Lafayette,” she says. “It really was everyone and everything about the environment here that helped me to be competitive for the Fulbright Bi-national Business grant.”

Lovallo will be able to apply the credits she earns in Mexico toward an M.B.A. degree. Upon returning to the U.S., she plans to finish her graduate studies and pursue a career in international business.

Niblick’s scholarship will last from September 2007 to June 2008. She will be taking courses in environmental engineering at BOKU, the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences in Vienna. She will also be conducting research on the sustainable design and management of small-scale water supply systems in developing countries and teaching English in an Austrian secondary school.

Niblick worked with Lamb-Faffelberger on EXCEL research exploring the cultural identity of East Germans residing in an area known as Euroregion Neisse. Also with Lamb-Faffelberger, she performed independent study research on three influential East German writers and an honors thesis entitled “Zafer Senocak: Questions of Identity in German-Turkish Literature.”

Niblick received the Outstanding Senior Award for foreign languages and literatures and the Leroy Nunery ’77 Intellectual Citizenship Award. She presented research “Feminist Spoken Word: Tales of Gender and Justice” at the 12th annual Undergraduate Conference in Women’s Studies hosted by Cedar Crest College and her honor thesis at the 20th annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research.

Niblick participated in the Multicultural Recruitment Team, brass ensemble, concert band and choir, International Students Association, German Club, and America Reads tutoring. She was also activities coordinator for Society of Women Engineers and a McKelvy Scholar.

Since Lafayette, she has been working as an AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer at an organization called Civic House, which is the hub for student-led community service and advocacy at the University of Pennsylvania.

Niblick says numerous Lafayette faculty and staff members have contributed to her success, but Lamb-Faffelberger and Sharon Jones, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, have played key roles.

“Both professors challenged me through rigorous coursework and allowed me to collaborate with them on research,” she says.

Niblick has also received a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) scholarship for a year’s study at Technical University of Munich and an IGERT (Integrated Graduate Education & Research Traineeship) grant from the National Science Foundation to pursue doctoral studies in environmental engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. She has decided to decline the DAAD in order to accept the Fulbright. When she returns from Austria, she will begin her studies through the IGERT, which will include eight months of study and research in Brazil.

Niblick plans to earn a Ph.D. in environmental engineering and work for an international environmental engineering firm, where she can use both her engineering and German language skills.

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