Notre Dame Graduates Receive National Fellowships and Scholarships

Author: Arts and Letters

Commencement Tassel

The Fulbright Exchange Program, National Science Foundation, and other national organizations have awarded postgraduate scholarships and fellowships to 16 members of the University of Notre Dame’s Class of 2011, 14 of whom are students in the College of Arts and Letters.

Two graduates received Fulbright research and study grants. Ann Weber, a history and theology major from Grand Junction, Colo., will go to Austria to research “Immigration and Issues of National Identity in EU Politics.” Weber spent part of last summer in Austria as well, conducting research for her senior thesis.

Andrew Mrugala, a mechanical engineering major from Las Vegas, will use his Fulbright research and study grant to investigate the “Effects of Healthcare Reform on the Mining Workforce in Poland.”

Six seniors in the College of Arts and Letters were awarded Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships.

  • Cherrica Li, a political science and economics major from Carmel, Ind., will go to Taiwan;
  • Jaime Cordes, an anthropology and Russian major from Raleigh, N.C., will go to Russia;
  • John Greil, a German and Program of Liberal Studies major from Hastings, Minn., will go to Germany;
  • Amanda Johnson, an American studies major from Omaha, Neb., will go to Poland;
  • Claire Reising, a Rolling Meadows, Ill., native who studied English and French, will go to Belgium; and
  • Virginia Varraveto, an English and Spanish major from Leawood, Kan., will go to Peru.

Rosary Abot, a philosophy and chemical engineering major from Sacramento; and Kayla Durcholz, a classics and Latin major from Warsaw, Ind., received Lilly Graduate Fellowships. Kristen Drahos of Roanoke, Va., was also awarded a Lilly Graduate Fellowship. She completed her B.A. in philosophy and theology in 2009 and is receiving her M.A. in theological studies this month.

The Lilly program supports outstanding students who are entering Ph.D. or equivalent graduate programs in humanities and the arts and who are interested in becoming teacher-scholars at church-related universities in the United States.

Three seniors received National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships. They are:

  • Claire Brown, an anthropology major from Powell, Tenn.;
  • Jake Lussier, a computer science major from Manchester, N.H.; and
  • Kevin Mickey of Dublin, Ohio, who is a self-designed cognitive science major in the College of Arts and Letters.

The Class of 2011 also includes two 2010 Truman Scholars, Elizabeth Simpson, a theology and peace studies major from Powell, Wyo., and Puja Parikh, a political science and psychology major from Fort Wayne, Ind.

The Truman scholarship is awarded to just 60 juniors nationwide each year, based on leadership potential, intellectual ability, and likelihood of “making a difference.” Winners receive graduate study funds, priority admission and supplemental financial aid at select institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and internship opportunities within the federal government.

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Originally published by Arts and Letters at on May 16, 2011.