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Fourth Moravian student to receive prestigious award in last four years
(Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) - Moravian College graduate M. Leslie Smith has been selected to receive a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship. Smith will spend a year in Madrid, Spain, researching the roles of Spanish women during the beginning years of franquismo (1930's and 1940's), focusing on how women were affected by the literature of the time. Smith's Fulbright Scholarship is the sixth such award given to a Moravian student in recent history. She is one of only sixty applicants to receive the award nationwide.
Smith will conduct research and attend classes at the Instituto Universitario de Estudios de la Mujer (IUEM), the women's studies institute of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.
The research will be an extension of Smith's honors thesis, "The Literary Portrayal of the Roles of Spanish Women in Four Post-Civil War Novels," an analysis of the female protagonists in Camilo José Cela's La colmena, Mercé Rodoreda's La plaza del Diamante, Carmen Martín Gaite's El cuarto de atrás, and Carmen Laforet's Nada. These four post-Spanish Civil War novels portray the roles of women during the 1930's and 1940's, the beginning years of franquismo.
Dr. Carmen Ferrero-Pino, assistant professor of Spanish, who served as Smith's advisor, said, "The Fulbright is a great honor to Leslie and to Moravian College." "While conducting research at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Leslie will be emersed in the langauage and culture of Spain which will expand her horizons academically, socially, and culturally. "
Smith was appreciative of Ferrero-Pino's guidance and expertise. "Dr. Ferrero gave me the guidance and freedom that I needed when completing my honors project. She was also experienced in what I was researching, and she provided resources that I otherwise wouldn't have even been aware of," said Smith. "With my Fulbright application, She has helped me make contacts and solidify my project. She's become a sounding board and a friend to me."
Dr. Dennis Glew, professor of history and chair of the scholarship committee, guided Smith throughout the application process. "Dr. Glew has had unwavering faith in me, and he's been a constant resource of information," said Smith "Applying for any type of scholarship can be overwhelming, but Dr. Glew's experience kept me focused and his encouragement kept me going. Just walking into his office provided a wave of relief whenever I was feeling overwhelmed with applications, my honors project, classes, or anything else because his belief in me and what I was doing never faltered," Smith said.
Smith's future plans focus on teaching. "Upon returning to the United States, I plan to teach either English literature or English as a second language in a high school while pursuing my master's degree in either English literature or education. I will most likely teach at an inner-city school for a while and eventually live abroad and teach English as a second language in a Spanish-speaking country," Smith said. "I know that I am ready to share my education and the importance of education with others. There is never an end to learning, and the best teachers are lifetime learners. I plan to spend the rest of my life teaching and learning from other people."
The daughter of George R. and Joyce Smith of Sugarloaf, Pennsylvania, Leslie attended Hazleton Area High School. She graduated this spring from Moravian College with a 4.0 grade-point-average and received a Bachelor of Arts in both English and Spanish.
Smith has been recognized with a number of Moravian's highest academic awards including the Moravian College Alumni Fellowship Award (for academic achievement, campus leadership, and community service); the Virginia Chatfield English Scholarship (English major with highest GPA); and Comenius Scholar (highest academic scholarship for entering students at Moravian).
A regular on the Dean's List at Moravian, Smith is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa (national honor society) and received their award for Moravian College's "Unsung Hero," and the Sophomore "Rising Star."
Smith is a member of Sigma Tau Delta (English honor society), Phi Sigma Iota (foreign language honor society). She served as president of Phi Eta Sigma (national leadership honor society ) and as secretary of Kappa Delta Pi (educational honor society).
While at Moravian, Smith worked with The Learning Connection Mentoring Program - serving as a mentor for a local elementary school students. She served as president and treasurer of the Zinzendorf Literary Society, Student Academic Advisor, Manuscript Literary Magazine board member, Comenian newspaper staff, IMPACT campus programming board, and Emerging Leaders Program.
Smith was a student teacher at a number of Bethlehem schools. During the spring, she taught 7th grade Developmental Reading and English Language Arts at Northeast Middle School and she taught 9th grade Honors and Applied English at Freedom High School. Previously, she worked with students at Liberty High School and Moravian Academy.
Smith is the fourth Moravian student in the last four years to win a prestigious Fulbright. Last year, Courtney Rice, a German major from the class of 2001, received a Fulbright Scholarship and served a year teaching English at a German middle school in the town of Oberschönau in Sachsen (Saxony). She continued her research on the history of 18th and 19th century Moravian education.
Daniel Byrne, a German and history graduate from the class of 2000, received a Fulbright Scholarship in 2000 and served as a "pädagogischer assistant" teaching history at a high school that prepares students for university studies. Byrne also conducted research on postwar author Heinrich Böll.
Marianne Zwicker, a German graduate of the class of '99, received a Fulbright in 1999 and spent a year conducting research in Berlin on the status of Germany's Gypsies following the Holocaust.
Other Fulbright recipients from Moravian include Patricia McAndrew, class of 1968, an honors history student who received the award to work with a well-known Danish ballet master. Helen Bachonin, class of 1965, received a Fulbright for study at the University of Madrid.
The U.S. Congress created the Fulbright Program in 1946, immediately after World War II, to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges. Today the Fulbright Program is the U.S. Government's premier scholarship program. It enables U.S. students, artists and other professionals to benefit from unique resources all over the world.
Each year the Fulbright Program allows Americans to study or conduct research in over 100 nations. The Institute of International Education (IIE) coordinates the activities relevant to the U.S. graduate student program and conducts an annual competition for the scholarships, most of which are for one academic year of study or research.
The Fulbright (Full Grant) provides round-trip transportation; language or orientation courses, where appropriate; tuition, in some cases; book and research allowances; and maintenance for the academic year.
The U.S. Student Program is designed to give recent B.S./B.A. graduates, masters and doctoral candidates, and young professionals and artists opportunities for personal development and international experience. Most grantees plan their own programs.
Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Visit the Web site at www.moravian.edu.