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Jesse Herche ’16 and two other Pacific students won Fulbright Scholarships, two Pacific students won Critical Language Scholarships, and two students were given honorable mention for the Barry Goldwater Scholarship.

Jesse Herche ’16 and two other Pacific students won Fulbright Scholarships, two Pacific students won Critical Language Scholarships, and two students were given honorable mention for the Barry Goldwater Scholarship.

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Pacific News

Five Pacific students win prestigious fellowships

Apr 24, 2017

Five University of the Pacific students proved they are among the best and brightest of their peers after winning prestigious national scholarships to continue their education abroad.

Fulbright Scholarships went to three Pacific students: Jesse Herche '16, a double major in biology and violin performance, will conduct neuroscience research in France to better understand the impact music has on the brain; Andrew Marson '18, a graduate student in the Gladys L. Benerd School of Education, will be an assistant in a teacher education program in Brazil; and Amy Wyckoff '15 will teach English in Medellin, Colombia. Critical Language Scholarships for summer 2017 went to two Pacific students: Adam Anderson '17, already studying Mandarin in China as a Boren Scholar, will continue his studies in China; and Angie Montano '17 will study Korean in Gwangju, South Korea.

Two other students, bioengineering major Gerardo Martinez '18 and predentistry major Jihee Yoon '18, received honorable mentions for the Barry Goldwater Scholarship. In all, 14 Pacific students applied for these and other national scholarships in 2016-17. "We at Pacific are very proud of these students who are now ambassadors for our tradition of academic excellence," said Susan Weiner, Pacific's fellowship adviser. "Receiving one of these scholarships - honorable mentions included - is a life-changing opportunity."

Fulbright and Critical Language Scholarships are both supported by the U.S. State Department. The Fulbright program, named after U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright, works to foster international understanding with exchanges in all endeavors, such as the sciences, business, academe, public service, government, and the arts, for recent college graduates, graduate students, and faculty. Each year, more than 800 U.S. citizens in the Fulbright program teach, conduct research or provide expertise abroad. CLS is a cultural and education exchange program that allows 600 U.S. undergraduates and graduating seniors to take part in intensive language study abroad and is one of the most competitive scholarships in the United States. Goldwater Scholars are selected based on academic merit. Institutions may nominate only four students for the award each year. Virtually all scholars intend to pursue a PhD in a STEM field.

Making a difference in the world often drives students to apply for fellowships.

"Colombia is in such a state of positive change right now, and the amount of innovation occurring in the country is incredible," said Wyckoff, who will be teaching English in Medellin, Colombia. "Colombia's president (Juan Manuel Santos) wants the country to be the most educated Latin American nation by 2025, and I would be honored to play even a small part in this movement. ... I can't wait to watch my students improve and learn to express themselves in another language. Teaching English has changed the way I view my native language. My No. 1 goal is to create a non-judgmental environment where students can freely communicate their ideas. "

Wyckoff graduated with a degree in international relations and a second degree in Spanish, with a minor in Latin American/U.S. Latina/o studies.

Marson expressed similar hopes in talking about instructing Brazilians who will teach English to others.

"I would like to increase understanding and strengthen relations between (the United States and Brazil), as well as use my unique position as a native speaker of English and Portuguese to assist prospective Brazilian teachers in learning techniques they can use to instruct their future students to learn English."

Weiner and Pacific faculty are instrumental in promoting student success and encouraging them to apply for scholarships and fellowships. "My two major advisers, Dr. (Marcos) Gridi-Papp and Dr. (Ann) Miller, did much more than help me navigate my curriculum," said Herche. "They taught and exemplified what it means to pursue excellence in a field."

His advisers are excited for Herche.

"Jesse is intelligent, conscientious, and hardworking, and he makes the most of the opportunities that he is given," said Miller, assistant professor for violin. "He has so much to contribute, and it is exciting to see him continue his research as a Fulbright Scholar."

Gridi-Papp agreed.

"Jesse graduated in violin performance and biology, but rather than simply adding the majors, he continuously explored the interactions between them through discussions and by conducting scientific research in auditory neurophysiology," added Gridi-Papp. "He has developed a background that is deep and broad, giving him unique insight into problems in ways that have already impressed his supervisors at MIT and National Institutes of Health. Jesse's preparation illustrates the importance of versatility in our academic programs."

Anderson is majoring in international relations and will study Mandarin in China after completing a year as a Boren Scholar, a scholarship program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense, also in China. He has already completed a major in Asian Language and Studies-Chinese and a minor in economics. He will return to Pacific to graduate in 2018, return to China or Taiwan for a graduate program and complete a service requirement for the Boren Scholarship. He then hopes to join the political or economic divisions of the U.S. Foreign Service.

Montano, a co-founder of the Korean Culture Appreciation Club at Pacific, will study Korean at Chonnan National University in Gwangju, South Korea. Montano is a math major and was also a recipient of the G. Warren and Ruby Zahn White Scholarship, which is awarded to students who are majoring in art or mathematics. Montano is scheduled to graduate in 2017. She hopes to later pursue a Fulbright Scholarship in order to teach English in South Korea.

For more information about the Pacific Fellowship Office, email Susan Weiner:

Media contact:
Keith Michaud | 209.946.3275 (office) | 209.470.3206 (cell) |

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