Gary Becomes Alma's 17th Fulbright Scholar
Alma College senior Demi Gary of Oscoda has been awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to teach English in Jakarta, Indonesia, and study the country’s rich ecology.
Gary becomes Alma’s 17th Fulbright Scholar since 2003 and the second Alma College senior to receive the award this spring. Jackson, Wis., senior Maureen O’Connell was awarded a Fulbright earlier this month to teach English in Colombia.
A graduate of Oscoda Area High School, Gary is the daughter of Daniel and Lynn Gary.
“I was in the library around 8:30 in the morning, half asleep and waiting for a student I was tutoring, when I saw the email notification that I had won the scholarship,” says Gary. “I almost had a heart attack. I ran across the library to get my phone and call my mom. I was very excited.”
Gary, a biology major and Spanish minor, will leave for Indonesia next February and spend 11 months there teaching English in a Jakarta-area high school.
In addition to teaching, she plans to involve herself in conservation research.
“Fulbright scholars are encouraged to pursue independent research, and I’ve been looking at various conservation agencies in Indonesia,” she says. “I’m most interested in the preservation of biodiversity. Indonesia is one of the most biodiverse places on Earth, but there are areas in Indonesia that are at risk, such as the Borneo forests that are being cut down.”
Student applications for the Fulbright Scholarship are reviewed and approved by the National Screening Committee of the Institute of International Education, the coordinating body for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. The applications are forwarded to the Fulbright commissions in the projects' countries, which select recipients from all candidates applying in those countries. The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board makes the final selections.
The U.S. Student Program is funded by the U.S. Department of State to give recent undergraduate and graduate students, as well as young professionals a chance for an international experience and personal development.
Alma’s Nationally Competitive Scholarship Committee helps finalists search for appropriate postgraduate scholarships, then reviews the proposals and applications. Alma’s committee identifies and nurtures exceptional candidates for nationally competitive scholarships, grants and awards.
Posted: Wed, April 14th, 2010 at 10:26AM