Six University of Portland students have been awarded prestigious Fulbright grants to work and study abroad. Four of the Fulbrights are for English teaching positions in Germany, one is for an English teaching position in Turkey, and the other is for an English teaching position in Mexico.
The University was ranked first nationally among its peers for Fulbright recipients in 2012- 13, 2011-12, 2010-11 and 2007-08, and second nationally in 2009-10, 2008-09 and 2006-07. Since 2001, 54 students from University of Portland have earned Fulbright grants. Recipients of the German teaching grants are Megan Lester, an English and German studies double-major from Veradale,Wash.; Erin Petersen, an organizational communication and German studies double-major from Sioux Falls, S.D.; Mikayla Posey, a communication and German studies double-major from Kingman, Ariz.; and Michelle Wilcox, a history and German studies double-major from Folsom, Calif. The recipient of the Turkish teaching grant is Rebecca Parks, an English major from Pittsburgh, Pa., and the recipient of the Mexican teaching grant is Megan Fitzgerald, an elementary education major from Hillsboro, Ore.
The United States Fulbright program began in 1946 after World War II to “assist in the development of friendly, sympathetic and peaceful relations between the United States and other countries of the world”through the exchange of students, scholars and professionals. The program operates in more than 140 countries worldwide.
For more information contact John Orr, assistant to the provost, at x7286 or email@example.com.
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Rev. Art Wheeler, C.S.C., has indicated to the provost that he would like to return to the history faculty on a full-time basis beginning with the 2015 fall semester. He currently serves as assistant to the provost and director of the Studies Abroad Program
In his 20 years as study abroad director, Fr. Art has been relentless about adding programs and encouraging students to study abroad, and now about one-third of UP students have studied abroad at some point in their academic programs. He has also served as associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences and was a long serving chair of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Athletics. Father Art has consistently taught classes while serving in administrative roles. He won the Culligan Award, the highest award for faculty at the University of Portland, in 2005, and was recognized with the Dean’s Award for Leadership in 2012. He is a well-known advocate for students and his counseling and advising services have been influential in students’ lives for many years.
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The University of Portland has established the O’Dea International Scholarship, endowed by G. Kelly O’Dea ’70, an alumnus of the Salzburg Study Abroad Program. Valued in excess of $100,000, the scholarship is named in honor of his family, which includes two additional Salzburg alumni, Julie and Kitty.
The scholarship is intended to encourage global learning and exchange by assisting deserving University of Portland scholars in that pursuit. The scholarship will give a preference to students with financial need who are participating in the Salzburg program. Other possible scholarship recipients are students with financial need who are enrolled in a university program that involves “global change and cross-culture collaboration through international study and travel.”
Cited in a Harvard Business School case as “a global marketing pioneer, business builder and change leader,” O’Dea’s resume includes serving as president of worldwide clients at Ogilvy & Mather and president of Foote Cone & Belding Worldwide, both top global communications companies. He is currently chairman of AllianceHPL, a private strategic services firm focused on applied innovation for large multi-national companies. He has served for 12 years on the University’s board of regents.
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Environmental studies and German studies double major Sarah Letendre (pictured) has been awarded a Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Scholarship for Young Professionals and will spend a year in Germany starting in July, according to Laurie McLary, international languages and cultures. Letendre participated in the studies abroad program in Salzburg and recently traveled with the entrepreneur scholars program to China. She has begun a business creating handbags from recycled fabrics and will be pursuing study and an internship in eco-fashion in Germany with the grant.
The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX) is a fellowship funded by the German Bundestag and U.S. Congress. Each year it provides 75 American and 75 German young professionals the opportunity to spend a year in each others’ countries, studying, interning, and living with hosts on a cultural immersion program. Find out more at http://tinyurl.com/c2kjbrq, or contact McLary at 7255 or email@example.com.
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By Kathryn Walters | From The Beacon
Ask senior Cerice Keller about one of her favorite memories of studying abroad in Salzburg, Austria, and instead of waxing lyrical about the delicious strudel, beautiful music or historic landmarks that Salzburg has to offer, she recalls a cold morning spent hiking a local mountain with fellow students and their Salzburg program residence director, Rene Horcicka.
“It was a Sunday morning and we woke up at 8 o’clock to hike the Kapuzinerberg,” Keller said. “He took us hiking through the snow and it was so serene, it was really awesome. He does little things like that for students on the weekends.”
For many Salzburgers, Salzburg administrator Horcicka is a special part of their study abroad experience. After seven years of working for the program, Horcicka visited UP for the first time this week at the invitation of Provost Thomas Greene.
Horcicka spent his time at UP meeting with students and many of UP’s administrators, as well as working on plans for the Salzburg program, like physical improvements to the Center and making the program more accessible for nursing and engineering students.
“It’s great to see how all this works, actually. It’s a great experience,” Horcicka said. “But to see where the students come from is new to me, so this is really interesting.”
Fr. Art Wheeler, Studies Abroad director, said Horcicka’s visit to The Bluff is special because he plays a vital role in the Salzburg program.
“It’s important to bring him over here because the students who go to Salzburg, it’s one whole quarter of their UP experience,” Wheeler said.
As fun as it is for Salzburgers to see him on this side of the pond, Horcicka also delights in catching up with his former students.
“It’s the thing I like best, to meet also former students here and to talk to them and ask them what they are doing now after graduating,” Horcicka says. “I think also the students like to see me – I have the impression that they are happy to see me here! I am looking out for them and they are looking out for me.”
Born and raised in Salzburg, Horcicka served in the Austrian army, attended university in Salzburg and taught in Bavaria before returning home as a program assistant for UP’s Salzburg study abroad program. From 2009 to 2012, he was the program’s residence director, which meant he was largely responsible for all the students and the Center. He also spent 100 days each year traveling all over Europe with the Salzburgers.
But the fast-paced life of a residence director became tiring for him and he now works part-time in an administrative capacity for the program.
“Sometimes I think it’s good to have a little break and to get a little distance because it enables you to reflect on your experiences, and I needed a certain distance to reflect on my experiences as residence director,” Horcicka said.
Keller appreciated Horcicka’s unique perspective on the many places they visited in Austria, Germany, France, Italy and Greece.
“He’s a really smart guy! He knows a lot of history,” Keller said. “Everywhere we went on trips, along with someone who would be speaking about the history, he would add in his own take on it because he knew so much about it, so that was really cool.”
Like many of his students, Horcicka has been bitten by the travel bug for many years. He has travelled all over the world, from Argentina and Canada to New Zealand and Africa. He says travel has enabled him to broaden his horizons beyond the small city of Salzburg, which he greatly values.
“My approach to traveling is really mind-opening, and I enjoy it a lot,” Horcicka says. “Here (at UP), the first day, just to notice that the windows are different, to notice that the toilet is different, you start to think of your own things and don’t think that this is just the world, but the world is much bigger.”
Senior Leah Becker, who studied abroad in Salzburg two years ago, said she and others felt a special bond to Horcicka during their year spent in Europe.
“When you’re in Salzburg, it’s really the first time that you’ve been – it feels different because there’s not a priest living in your dorm and parents are not coming to visit very often, so you just feel very much like you’re on your own, and rather than having a much older adult there, it was like having a big brother which I think made it really special,” Becker said.
Horcicka shares a close bond with his students because he has a lot of responsibility for them while in Austria. However he tries to differentiate the way he relates to past and current students.
“You need to be very close (to current students) in a certain way but at the same time you need to have a distance. So this is something that needs to be balanced out,” he said. “But with former students, it’s just the greatest fun to go out and drink a beer in the beer hall or to have fun!”
Salzburg, nestled in the shadow of the Alps, is a vibrant but rather small city, according to Horcicka. He says leaving Salzburg now and then for new places like UP is exciting, but he admits there is no place like home in Austria.
“I found everything so far in Salzburg that I need,” Horcicka said. “I was able to study, I found a great job that I really enjoy and it’s the place where I grew up and I know every little corner, and almost everyone in some way.”
University of Portland has been named the top producer of Fulbright scholars in the nation among “master’s universities” for the third consecutive year, according to a study released today by the Chronicle of Higher Education. The University had six alumni win the prestigious grants to work and study abroad for 2012-13.
Three of the Fulbrights won by UP alumni for 2012-13 are for English teaching positions in Germany, while the others are for graduate studies in the United Kingdom, research in India, and English teaching in Spain.
The University has been a leader among its peer institutions in producing Fulbright scholars for several years, also ranking first nationally in 2011-12, 2010-11 and 2007-08 and second nationally in 2006-07, 2008-09 and 2009-10. Since 2001, students from University of Portland have earned 40 Fulbright grants.
For over 50 years, the University of Portland has offered opportunities for students to explore their world and immerse themselves in new cultures and experiences through academic programs abroad. Students at UP have the opportunity to participate in programs that touch all corners of the globe – from the old-world streets of London to the rugged beauty of Australia, from the pastoral charm of Spain to the bustling metropolis of Tokyo.
The University’s study abroad programs are carefully designed to complement students’ major areas of study, but pursuing education in a foreign country is more than just an academic opportunity. Foreign study offers students a chance to immerse themselves in a new culture, make new lifelong friends and explore new personal, global and spiritual vistas. There is reason it is called “study abroad” – these unique opportunities broaden students’ minds and expand their horizons.