Faye Donnelley and Morgan Vinyard Awarded Fulbright Grants

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Three Fulbright scholars in graduating class of 46 students

Faye Donnelley

Donnelley and Vinyard, who graduated in May, were both awarded Fulbrights in the program’s English teaching division, following last month’s news that senior Lindsey Longway won a Fulbright research grant. Simon’s Rock has a strong record of students receiving Fulbrights and academic awards, and this graduating class showcases students’ ability to stand out and win in a very competitive field.

Both students worked with the College’s Fulbright nominating committee to find host countries that best fit their interests and skills, and to craft their winning applications.

Donnelley will teach English in Leipzig, Germany, while Vinyard is heading to Malaysia.

Donnelley’s choice of Germany developed from her work on the Senior Thesis. Her thesis focused on the British folkloric tradition, building on work she started during a junior year abroad at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. While researching her thesis, she discovered many tantalizing links between British folkloric practices and traditions on the continent. Donnelly, who is proficient in German, plans to build on her language skills and explore her interest in European folklore while in Germany.

Mariela Wong, Donnelley’s academic advisor atMorgan Vinyard Simon’s Rock, wasn’t surprised when she heard Donnelley had been accepted into the program. “Faye is very passionate and she’s very good at the things she’s passionate about,” Wong explains. “I’m very happy for her as she continues in what’s already been a very impressive intellectual journey.”

Vinyard selected Malaysia because of her interest in environmental studies. After training in Kuala Lumpur, she’ll travel to provincial Peninsular Malaysia to teach English to secondary school students. While in Malaysia, Vinyard plans to delve into the country’s attempt to protect threatened ecosystems while simultaneously extracting natural resources like oil and gold. It’s a delicate balancing act.

Vinyard’s concern for the environment also led her to develop an energy efficiency competition as her senior thesis. She installed smart electricity meters in three campus dormitories and then staged a competition that raised awareness and encouraged students to cut down on usage. Her thesis analyzed the contest results to explore how incentives and behavior play a role in energy efficiency efforts.

Vinyard drew on distinctive experiences like the Senior Thesis in crafting her Fulbright application. She also discussed her independent studies in environmental science, her role as a peer advocate, and her leadership on the Campus Sustainability Committee.

“Support from the College played an important role here. Professors John Weinstein and Mileta Roe helped me to hone my application and to understand what would make me a good candidate,” Vinyard emphasizes.

Both Donnelley and Vinyard plan to go to graduate school after their year as Fulbright scholars. Donnelley is searching for a folklore PhD program—“it’s hard to find exactly what I want”—and Vinyard is exploring a wide range of programs in environmental science, sustainable development, and international environmental policy.