Past Recipients & Committee

Profiles of Past Recipients & Finalists

Tirzah Brown, 2014 Fulbright Alternate

Describe your involvement while at Oglethorpe.

While at Oglethorpe, I have had the opportunity to participate in so many wonderful opportunities. I will list a few here.I became involved as a Sunday school teacher at Passion City Church.For the duration of my time, I was an active brother of Alpha Phi Omega and served in the Fall of 2013 as the Vice President of Service. I also participated in cross country for three years and was captain for two. Additionally, I had the honor of serving as Vice President of Omicron Delta Kappa and I led a ladies’ small group bible study.I had three opportunities to travel while at Oglethorpe: my social work practicum in Moldova, a study abroad trip to Greece, and a trip with the Alumni office to New York City to serve on a panel. These opened up my mind in ways that I couldn’t have imagined.

What is your current career focus? Describe your future plans.

I want my life to glorify God and live out His heart for justice by helping to end slavery. Currently, I am working as a coach for Wellspring Living’s Empowered Living Program. In this role, I have an amazing opportunity to build friendships with survivors of sex trafficking. In the future, I hope to use what I am learning from these women to influence programs and policies that prevent slavery and take care of people who are rescued from this type of exploitation.

What advice would you offer to students interested in applying for prestigious post-graduate scholarships and fellowships?

That’s hard to say. However, my advice for anyone doing anything is that you should put your all into it and show your passion, whatever that may be. 

 

Matthew Claiborne, Class of 2011, Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, 2012 Finalist

Describe your involvement while at Oglethorpe.

Three-time recipient of the Stormy Petrel Publication Award in recognition of excellence in news writing, Omicron Delta Kappa Honors Fraternity Vice President, Alpha Chi Honors Society, Phi Eta Sigma Honors Society, 2010-2011 Singer of the Year, Blackwell Performing Arts Scholarship Recipient , Resident Assistant, Center for Civic Engagement Ambassador, Admissions Ambassador, University Singers and Chorale Vice President.

What is your current career focus? Describe your future plans.

I am currently working for a large media agency, executing advertising campaigns for a major movie studio. I was recently admitted to Columbia University’s Master of Science in Broadcast Journalism and Documentary Film. My future plans are working as a reporter and documentarian, finishing a novel and continuing to use journalism as a platform which gives marginalized groups access to a social podium.

What advice would you offer to students interested in applying for prestigious post-graduate scholarships?

Think carefully about why you are applying. Apply because it is something you are passionate about because you are committing a lot of time to this effort should you be selected. Also, use the resources you were given at Oglethorpe. Consult with faculty, have someone proofread your work and make rewrite after rewrite. Also, come up with an original idea to present to the fellowship committee and let them know exactly how you plan to use this fellowship to achieve a common goal. 

Valerie Barske, Class of 1998, Fulbright IIE US Student Program, Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Fellow, Finalist Rhodes Scholarship Georgia 1998

Describe your involvement while at Oglethorpe.

Internships–Atlanta City Hall in preparation for 1996 Olympics & Japan America Society of Georgia, Urban Leadership Program, Honor Societies including ODK, Phi Eta Sigma, Phi Beta Delta, Alpha Phi Omega–Member and Officer, French Club–President, Vice President, Study Abroad L’Universite Catholique de Lille, Semester in France Work Study, Undergraduate Research Assistant to Prof. Robin LeBlanc.

What is your current career focus? Describe your future plans.

Currently, I am an Assistant Professor in Asian Studies. Most recently, as a faculty research advisor, I accompanied undergraduate students majoring in International Studies to present original research at the nationally recognized Posters on the Hill in Washington, D.C. I hope to be tenured and eventually dabble in university administration as well.

What advice would you offer to students interested in applying for prestigious post-graduate scholarships and fellowships?

Apply early and often, work with professors on writing skills, attend a grant writing workshop or course, be involved, make connections, participate in undergraduate research.

Alexandra Bryant, Class of 2011, Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, 2012 Finalist

Describe your involvement while at Oglethorpe.

OUSA Study Abroad 2010-Quito,Ecuador, CNN National Assignment Desk Intern, Psi Chi, Phi Eta Sigma, Deans List, Voices of Inspiration Gospel Choir

What advice would you offer to students interested in applying for prestigious post-graduate scholarships?

Do all of your research, network and develop established relationships for recommendations. Have essays professionally and peer reviewed, know all your options, have a backup plan, and stay positive and optimistic. 

 

Scholarship Committee Members

Mike Rulison, Ph.D, Professor of Physics, Director of Honors Program

Stephen Herschler, Ph.D, Associate Professor of Politics

Erin Sherrill, Career Outreach Specialist

Melinda Peerboom, Admissions Counselor

Cecil Rose, Assistant Director of the Academic Success Center