University of Rochester

Record Number of University of Rochester Students Awarded Fulbright Grants

April 14, 2005

Five University of Rochester seniors from the College have received prestigious Fulbright Grants in recognition of their achievements and to support their career goals. It is the largest number of College undergraduates to win the award in a single year.

Elizabeth Boerman, Sarah Greene, William Thomas Hildebrandt, Ashley Poelma, and Caroline Rouse have been named Fulbright Scholars for 2005-2006. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and designed to promote mutual understanding and peace between the United States and other nations through educational and cultural exchange. The Fulbright Program offers opportunities for study, teaching, and research abroad. Scholars design their own programs and arrange institutional affiliations in the host countries, which contribute to the program through tuition wavers. The grants cover expenses such as travel and health insurance and also provide a monthly stipend.

Boerman is a double major in German and history. She has been recognized with the Sophomore Book Award for German from the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures and also is the recipient of the German government-sponsored Outstanding Student Book Award. She has twice participated in the University’s summer study program in Berlin. Boerman has been on the varsity cross country and track and field teams for four years and is an active member of the Varsity Student Athletic Advisory Committee. She will teach English in a German school and pursue her own study projects. After her Fulbright year, Boerman plans to pursue a graduate degree in Germanic studies and a teaching career.

Greene is completing dual degrees, a Bachelor of Arts degree in German and a Bachelor of Science degree in geological sciences. She received a fellowship to spend her junior year at the University of Cologne, where she studied German and paleontology. She will spend her Fulbright year on a research team examining fossils to reconstruct the history of a basin formation in northern Spain. At Rochester, Greene was elected to Phi Beta Kappa this spring, performed with the University Choir and University Chamber Singers, formed a Renaissance vocal quartet, and has been active with the Music Interest Floor and Inter-Campus Music Center. After her Fulbright year, she will enter the doctoral program in evolutionary paleoecology at the University of Southern California.

Hildebrandt is a double major in German and economics. At Rochester, he has twice received the German government-sponsored Outstanding Student Book Award and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa this spring. He also was named a Simon Scholar, an award program that guarantees outstanding graduates acceptance to the University’s William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration after a minimum of two years’ employment following their undergraduate commencement. He has been to Germany twice to study German language and culture, including participation in the University’s summer program. Hildebrandt also helped found the men’s roller hockey team, a club sport. During his Fulbright year he will teach English in a German school and pursue his own study projects. Hildebrandt’s plans include pursuing a graduate degree in Germanic studies and exploring a career in education.

Poelma is completing a bachelor’s degree in biology along with a minor in psychology. She is the first student in 25 years to receive a Fulbright to Romania, where she will participate in a research project on the problem of child abandonment in Romania, teach English, and volunteer at a children’s hospital. She previously spent a summer in Romania doing hospital volunteer work with abandoned children. As a Rochester Early Medical Scholar, Poelma will return to pursue her medical studies at the University of Rochester’s School of Medicine and Dentistry. While an undergraduate, Poelma worked as a Meridian campus tour guide, volunteered as an Emergency Medical Technician both at the University and in the community, tutored in the Rochester city school district, participated in research in both psychology and in biomedical research laboratories, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa this spring.

Rouse is pursuing a double major in Spanish and in biology and a minor in psychology. She has been named a Fulbright scholar to Mexico, where she will spend next year participating in a research project on sexual health education at the Mexican National Institute of Health. During her junior year abroad in Salamanca, Spain, Rouse volunteered at a center for adults with mental disabilities and at the Spanish Red Cross. During her summers, she has interned at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, tutored Spanish-speaking children, and worked in clinical settings. A recipient of the Rush Rhees and Bausch and Lomb Scholarships at Rochester, Rouse was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in her junior year. She will attend Indiana University School of Medicine after her Fulbright year in Mexico.

In addition to the Fulbright grant recipients, senior Joseph Elacqua was named a Fulbright alternate to Japan and senior Anna Lessenger was one of only 23 finalists, out of 700 candidates, for the 10 Fulbright awards available to the United Kingdom.