Students and Alumni Collect Academic Awards

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The 2011 calendar year garnered much academic recognition for Bard College at Simon’s Rock students and alumni. From April through November, the national and international award notices kept coming in.

Students and alumni claimed several firsts for the College - the first Rhodes Scholarship for a Simon’s Rock alumnus (and the Bard system), the first time for four Fulbright recipients in a single year, and the first Fulbright research grant. The graduating class and alumni represented the College well, winning a total of seven prestigious academic awards. Here’s a recap:

Rhodes Scholar
Alumnus Ronan Farrow ‘99 was among 32 American students awarded Rhodes scholarship to study at Oxford University. Farrow, the youngest student ever admitted to Simon’s Rock, graduated with an AA and went on to Bard College for his BA.

The Rhodes Scholarships were created in 1902 by the Will of Cecil Rhodes, British philanthropist and African colonial pioneer. They are the oldest and most celebrated international fellowship awards in the world.

Teach for America
Senior Allegra Abramson ’07 was accepted to Teach for America in Baltimore, where she is teaching early-childhood education for the next two years.

Alumnae Zoe Witzeling '06 was accepted to Teach for America in Detroit, where is teaching math for two academic years.

Teach for America (TFA) is national nonprofit education program established to eliminate education inequity.

Fulbright Winners
Senior Lindsey Longway ’07 was awarded a 2011–2012 Fulbright research grant. She is studying and researching fungi at the University of Ljubljana, focusing on the use fungi to restore forest areas and polluted land.

Seniors Faye Donnelley ’07 and Morgan Vinyard ’07 were awarded Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarships. Donnelley is Teaching English as a Foreign Language in Germany. Vinyard has an English Teaching Assistantship in Malaysia.

Alumnae Clara Gordon ’07 may meet up with her former classmate in Malaysia where she also has an English Teaching Assistantship. Gordon received her AA from Simon’s Rock before transferring Swarthmore College.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.” Four Simon’s Rock students are traveling abroad for the 2011-2012 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

Well Deserved
While it was banner year for Simon’s Rock students and alumni, some might describe it as another notable year. Dean of Academic Affairs Anne O’Dwyer shared her thoughts, “I'm thrilled, but not surprised that our students do so well in making the most of educational opportunities.”

O’Dwyer continued, “In coming to Simon’s Rock, they made a commitment to innovate in education. We like to take some credit for preparing our students well, they deserve all the credit for what comes next.”