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Success & Impact

Scholarships, Fellowships and Fulbrights: Celebrating this Year’s Student Awardees

Congratulations to all students who have won prestigious awards, including international teaching fellowships, the Barry M. Goldwater scholarship and a NASA space grant.

Jason Ngo '20, holding baguettes Jason Ngo '20 won a TAPIF (Teaching Assistant Program in France) award and will spend seven months in France teaching English to French students.

Written by: Erin O'Boyle

Published: June 10, 2021

Total reading time: 7 minutes

Saint Joseph’s students continue to soar to new heights. The University is proud to congratulate several past and present students for being awarded prestigious scholarships, fellowships and grants during the 2020-2021 academic year. This year’s awardees include two winners and two alternates for the Fulbright Award, in addition to five other distinguished awards. The following are this year’s award winners:


The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides scholarships and grants to graduating seniors, graduate students, young professionals and artists, and provides them with the opportunity to teach, conduct research or study abroad in participating foreign countries. Below are the list of this year’s Fulbright award winners and alternates:

Amanda Adinolfi ’19

International Relations
Fulbright Program: English Teaching Assistant, Bulgaria
Fulbright Committee: Lisa Baglione, Ph.D., Kaz Fukuoka, Ph.D., Mark Reynolds, Ph.D.
Unavailable for an interview.

Claire Burger '21 in front of Barbelin Hall.

Claire Berger ’21

Fulbright Program: English Teaching Assistant Alternate, Vietnam
Fulbright Committee: James Carter, Ph.D., Usha Rao, Ph.D., Mark Reynolds, Ph.D.
Hometown: Irvine, California
Extracurriculars: President of Alpha Epsilon Delta, APEX participant, intern for the Patient Safety Movement Foundation, Global Hawk Ambassador, Hawk Host
Why did you apply? I studied abroad in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, my junior year and fell in love with the people, culture and independence to travel and learn more. I participated in service while I was abroad, tutoring people with disabilities in English and enjoyed the relationships and impact I made. Returning to Vietnam is a dream of mine, and I thought Fulbright would be an amazing opportunity to go back and give back to a country that offered me so much growth and was so welcoming during my time abroad.
What are you most looking forward to? I have decided to pursue medical school and will be attending Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in the fall. I am looking forward to following my dream of becoming a physician, with future goals of pursuing global health and combining my passions of medicine and travel.

Claire Fitzgerald '21

Claire Fitzgerald ’21

Spanish and Communications
Fulbright Program: Masters in Visual and Digital Media at IE University Alternate, Spain
Fulbright Committee: Enrique Téllez-Espiga, Ph.D., J. Michael Lyons, Ph.D., Mark Reynolds, Ph.D.
Hometown: Timonium, Maryland
Extracurriculars: Fair Trade Club, SJ Brew, Green Fund, Hawk Host
Why did you apply? I strive to be a digital content creator within the fair trade movement. I applied to strengthen both my digital skills as well as my Spanish-speaking skills.
What are you most looking forward to? I’m excited to see the fair trade movement grow as more people are asking about where their products come from. Conscious consumerism is only one of many tools we have, but I do believe in its power.

Veronika Nemeth

Veronika Nemeth ’21

Spanish and Early Childhood Education
Fulbright Program: English Teaching Assistant, Spain
Fulbright Committee: Enrique Téllez-Espiga, Ph.D., Kaitlin Moran, Ph.D., Mark Reynolds, Ph.D.
Hometown: Severna Park, Maryland
Extracurriculars: Student leader for SJU POWER U, member of SJU Refugee and Immigrant Working Group, Weekly Service volunteer teaching English at the Sisters of St. Joseph Welcome Center
Why did you apply? I was most drawn to the collaborative aspect of teaching through the program as well as the emphasis on cultural exchange. I believe working alongside Spanish teachers while also contributing my own teaching practices and cultural knowledge will make for a memorable learning experience for students. I appreciate that Fulbright makes it very clear that as an ETA grantee, you must be ready to learn from others just as much as you teach them.
What are you most looking forward to? Teaching! Of course, I am thrilled to return to Spain and continue to get to know the people and culture more, but I am so excited to finally start my teaching career! The greatest privilege for me is that I can perhaps offer students in Spain a different way of thinking about the world and positively impact their approach to discovery and learning.


The Teaching Assistant Program in France offers students the opportunity to work in France for seven months, where they will teach English to French students ranging from ages 8 to 18 years old. Applicants must be able to speak intermediate French. Below are this year’s TAPIF winners:

Eileen Burner ’21

French Secondary Education
Program: Teaching Assistant Program in France
Hometown: Abington, Pennsylvania
Extracurriculars & Honors: French Program Award, Outstanding Undergraduate Secondary Education Award, Alpha Phi Omega, Kappa Delta Pi, Irish Dance Team, English Honors Society, French Honors Society, Weekly Service
Why did you apply? I studied to be a French and English teacher, so I thought this would be the perfect combination of all three of my major areas!
What are you most looking forward to? I'm looking forward to gaining English teaching skills and improving my French language abilities.

Jason Ngo '20

Jason Ngo ’20

International Business and Economics
Award: Teaching Assistant Program in France
Hometown: Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey
Extracurriculars: Club Water Polo
Why did you apply? I applied because I wanted to improve my French, and I wanted to have a gap year before I applied for a master's degree. TAPIF accomplishes that, and has great networking opportunities and scholarships for alumni.
What are you most looking forward to? Baguettes!


The Barry M. Goldwater STEM Research Scholarship is awarded to college sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics or engineering. The NASA Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium is part of NASA’s National Space Grant College and Fellowship program. This award provides undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to participate in research and discovery. Their mission is to expand opportunities for people to learn about and participate in NASA’s aeronautics and space programs.

This year, one student was the recipient of both the Barry M. Goldwater STEM Research Scholarship and the NASA Pennsylvania Space Grant:

Alexander Manduca '22

Alexander Manduca ’22

Awards: Barry M. Goldwater STEM Research Scholarship and the NASA Pennsylvania Space Grant
Hometown: Staten Island, New York
Extracurriculars: President of the Society of Physics Students, physics tutor and teaching assistant, associate director of the SJU Community Garden, pianist
Why did you apply? I was one of four students nominated by SJU to apply for the Goldwater scholarship this year. It is the preeminent undergraduate scholarship in mathematics, science and engineering in the United States. I am the 10th SJU student and the first physics major from SJU to ever win the award. In regards to the NASA Space Grant, it is my dream to work in the field of astronautics and build the technology that will send humanity to the stars. This NASA grant will help me come one step closer to doing just that.
What are you most looking forward to? I am very excited to pursue a Ph.D. in astronautical engineering after graduating from SJU!


Founded in 2001, the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship provides financial assistance to students who want to study or intern abroad. This year’s scholarship recipient is:

Caren Teague '23

Caren Teague ’23

Environmental Science and English
Award: Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship
Hometown: West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Extracurriculars: Dean’s Leadership Program, Student Senate, Women’s Rugby, Wellness Education Program, SJU Naturals, SJU LEAD
Why did you apply for this award? I applied for this award to help fund my international learning experience in Samoa. It has always been a dream of mine to study abroad in a Pacific Island community. However, I have had concerns that being a low-income student would limit me from living out this dream. Once Dr. Mark Reynolds brought it to my attention, I saw this award as the perfect opportunity for me to break those barriers.
What are you most looking forward to? I am looking forward to a unique and memorable learning experience in Samoa. I hope to emerge myself in the rich culture of the Samoan people and conduct meaningful research that will hopefully make significant contributions to the study of the environment as it intersects with society. Thanks to the generous members of the Gilman scholarship committee, and the welcoming admissions officers at SIT Study Abroad, I will not have to worry about the stress of finances hindering me from making the most out of my experience.


The Curtis E. Huntington, FSA, MAAA, FCA, MSPA Memorial Scholarship is in remembrance of Huntington’s positive impact on the actuarial profession, and to his service and dedication to his students. This award is typically given to only 10 students nationally each year. The student must be a full-time senior who has successfully completed at least one actuarial examination. This year’s scholarship recipient is the fifth actuarial science major to be offered this award in the 14-year history of the program:

Gabriel Sherwin ’22

Mathematics and Actuarial Science
Award: Curtis E. Huntington Memorial Scholarship
Hometown: Columbus, New Jersey
Extracurriculars: Actuarial Science Club vice president
Why did you apply? My advisor had recommended this scholarship to me since students in the past have won it in our department.
What are you most looking forward to? I am looking forward to graduation, where I can make real-world use of the knowledge I’ve gained at SJU.

To apply for a scholarship, fellowship or grant, or to learn about award opportunities, visit Saint Joseph’s Fellowships Office.