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Top seniors earn prestigious fellowships, scholarships

Becky Hogan | Friday, May 19, 2006

Several members of the class of 2006 have received prestigious fellowships and scholarships that will allow students to obtain graduate degrees and gain career experience as they pursue their passions after they leave Notre Dame.

Senior Peter Quaranto received the Marshall Scholarship for Political Science and Peace Studies and will be spending two years studying in the United Kingdom. During this time, he will attend the University of Bradford which has the world’s largest center for peace and conflict studies. Quaranto is one of 43 students across the nation who received this honor.

Quaranto said that during his time at Bradford, he will have the opportunity to go to graduate school while also advocating the issues he cares about.

“[This program] brings together people from 35 countries, and as London is the nucleus for discussion on global security, I will have the opportunity to interact with experts in the field from all parts of the world,” Quaranto said.

After his two years of study in the U.K., Quaranto hopes to work on peace building in East Africa. Eventually he wants to expand his efforts and work with national governments to merge peace-building and global security issues.

Quaranto said that his work in the Center for Social Concerns and the Kroc Institute has been influential during his four years at Notre Dame.

“Without the remarkable communities of people at the Kroc Institute and CSC, I would not be on the track that I am today,” Quaranto said.

Senior Patrick Longenbacker received the National Flagship Language Initiative [NFLI] scholarship and will spend two years studying at Ohio State University and traveling to Qingdao, China. The National Flagship Initiative helps students gain proficiency in foreign languages so that they can work in federal government agencies.

Longenbacker will be continuing his studies in Chinese through the NFLI.

“U.S.-China relations are becoming more and more important,” Longenbacker said. “There is a great need for people in the U.S. to understand China.”

Longenbacker will be focusing his studies on international relations and once he is finished with the program he hopes to find a job in government involving U.S.- China relations.

While some fellowships offer graduate study programs, others prepare recipients for careers. Senior Julia Fitzpatrick received the Scoville Peace Fellowship, which will allow her to spend six to nine months in Washington, D.C. working for Outreach of Global Solutions. She said she will be doing research on U.N. reform and helping lobbyists who are trying to gain congressional support on international peace and security issues.

“This will be a great first step in learning how policy is formed,” Fitzpatrick said. “I will enter as a full-time staff person – not as an intern – which means I will be given a lot of responsibility right away.”

Fitzpatrick said her involvement in the Kroc Institute at Notre Dame and supportive professors have prepared her for work in Washington.

Senior Mark Thomas, who will graduate with a joint-major in philosophy and theology, received the Javits Scholarship which provides him with full tuition and a stipend for his graduate study at Boston College. Thomas plans to earn a PhD in philosophy, focusing his studies on continental philosophy of religion. He hopes to pursue an academic career after his graduate studies.

Thomas said that his professors at Notre Dame helped him to pursue an advanced career and sparked his interest in philosophy.

Other fellowships that graduating seniors have received include French Government Teaching Assistantships, Fulbright Teaching Assistantships, Simon Fellowship for Noble Purpose, Emerson National Hunger Fellows Program and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.