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Three students earn study abroad scholarships

May 9, 2007

KALAMAZOO--Three Western Michigan University students, including two new graduates, have received scholarships to study abroad.

Graduate Kendra Combs of Muskegon, Mich., was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Fellowship worth $36,000 to conduct a year of research in Japan on special education policies and pedagogy beginning in September.

Another graduate, Benjamin Boroughf of Orchard Lake, Mich., returned March 30 from Japan, studying Japanese language, culture, literature and translation for nearly three months aided by a $2,500 award from the U.S.-Japan Bridging Foundation.

Also during the spring, WMU junior Jacob Tardani of Muskegon, Mich., completed his work in language study at the Alexandria Center for Languages in Egypt with the help of a $4,500 scholarship from the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program.

Combs graduated April 28, earning a bachelor's degree with highest honors. She is a psychology major and Japanese minor and a member of WMU's Lee Honors College. Her research destination in Japan is yet to be determined by the Fulbright organization.

Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas proposed the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government's flagship program in international educational exchange, to the U.S. Congress in 1945. In the aftermath of World War II, Fulbright viewed the proposed program as a much-needed vehicle for promoting "mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries of the world." Congress approved his vision and the program was signed into law by President Truman in 1946.

Boroughf also graduated this spring and received his bachelor's degree in English with highest honors. He was one of just 13 undergraduate students from colleges and universities across the country to receive the Bridging Scholarship for Study Abroad in Japan award.

The award is given by the U.S.-Japan Bridging Foundation, which was formed in 1998 to provide scholarships through the Association of Teachers of Japanese to assist students who desire to study abroad.

Tardani fulfilled his second stint at the Alexandria Center for Languages in Egypt under his most recent scholarship, having completed a summer term at the Egyptian university through WMU in 2006.

The Gilman International Scholarship Program was named after retired Congressman Benjamin A. Gilman from New York and offers scholarships for students who have been traditionally underrepresented in education abroad.

WMU's Study Abroad office is located in the Diether H. Haenicke Institute for Global Education, Ellsworth Hall, second floor. For more information about scholarships for study abroad, visit www.wmich.edu/studyabroad.

Media contact: Deanne Molinari, (269) 387-8400, deanne.molinari@wmich.edu

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