Adela Perez-Franco is just one of three diplomacy majors at Seton Hall to be awarded a Fulbright Scholarship this year. In addition to her diplomacy major, she also has minors in Italian and philosophy. A driven individual from Pennington, NJ, Adela has interned with the Office of Internal Affairs for New York City's Mayor Bill De Blasio. She has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to work as an English teaching assistant in Spain after graduation, as well as a volunteer with Mujeres Unidas Contra el Maltrato-an organization dedicated to meeting the needs of women who are victims of abuse.
Adela hopes that by immersing herself in a new environment, she can learn how to become more adaptable. "Given the fast-paced nature of international relations, being able to adapt to different environments and situations is critical," she said. "Moreover, I hope to increase my Spanish language proficiency." Megan Ferguson-who hails from Tualatin, OR-was eager to head east and enjoy the "small school with big opportunities" atmosphere at Seton Hall. As the second of the University's three Fulbright winners, she is a high-reaching diplomacy and philosophy dual major. Megan has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to teach English in Taiwan after having studied abroad there in the past. She is eager to return and contribute to education of Taiwanese students.
After submitting her application, Megan said "it was a stressful time filled with the combination of hope and anxiousness as I calculated alternative future plans. When I learned I had been selected, I couldn't believe it at first. I had forced myself to prepare for the worst, so the email shocked me. But when it finally sank in, I was so incredibly grateful for this opportunity and eager to begin my work."
Cynthia Sularz is the third recipient of the scholarship, marking an impressive year for both the students and faculty of the school of diplomacy. She will be an English language teaching assistant in Ukraine while she works on a supplementary research project. Cynthia plans to conduct research on how living in a conflict-ridden country like Ukraine, affects the development of adolescent girls. When asked about the secret to her success, Cynthia said "I really thank the school of diplomacy, Anthony Diflorio, and Dr. DasBender and her team-all of whom helped me with communicating my goals and interests through my essay."
The School of Diplomacy has prepared all three of these outstanding young women for successful Fulbright experiences. By supporting them and their fellow students in exploring a variety of nations and global issues within the field of international relations, the dedicated professors of the diplomacy program have helped students to develop cultural awareness, analytical and critical thinking skills. This foundation, paired with both broad and specialized knowledge of international affairs, will allow each of them to better educate their respective students abroad.
Megan Ferguson captured the attitude of all three recipients by saying, "Seton Hall and the Diplomacy school taught me to think about other cultures empathetically, and to engage in diplomacy as a servant leader, rather than from the status of a 'future diplomat.'" While she may be humble when talking about her success, the proud faculty of the School of Diplomacy are glad to s share the merit of their students. Dean Bartoli said that the School is "extremely proud of the success of these students." He also commented on the difficulty of achieving this honor, saying "the selection process is extremely demanding at a university level first but also internationally." Regardless of what the future may hold for these promising humanitarians, the School of Diplomacy will certainly support them along the way.