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Fulbright Program Allowing Student to Realize Global, Academic Dreams

April 16, 2013

  Student Scholar: Emily Yedinak, a senior majoring in chemical engineering and chemistry, has earned a Fulbright Student Fellowship for graduate study and research at the University of Santiago in Chile. (Photo by Shawn Spence)

By Dale Long, Director of Media Relations

Emily Yedinak came to Rose-Hulman hoping for an adventure of a lifetime. Her time here has led her to that adventure, as a Fulbright U.S. Student next year, working as a student/researcher in a special graduate studies program at the University of Santiago in Chile.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the United States Department of State, designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and people of other countries. Operating in over 155 countries worldwide, it is the largest U.S. exchange program offering opportunities for students and young professionals for international graduate study and advanced research.

Yedinak, a senior who will earn degrees in chemical engineering and chemistry, will be researching carbon nanotube and electro ceramic composite materials. This study may assist in the detection of hydrogen peroxides for diabetes diagnosis.

That adventure will begin in March, 2014, due to the academic schedule at the University of Santiago, one of South America’s leading universities for scientific and engineering research.

Yedinak will be one of only 13 U.S. undergraduate and graduate students to study in Chile next year. Only 17 percent of Fulbright Program applicants wanting to study in South America were accepted this year. She is Rose-Hulman’s first Fulbright U.S. Student Program participant in more than 15 years.

“This is a great accomplishment for Emily and Rose-Hulman. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program application process is rigorous and the student has to find a match at an international program for a year,” says Samuel Martland, PhD, Rose-Hulman’s Fulbright program coordinator. “This Fulbright Program offers excellent opportunities for our students seeking international study experiences. Hopefully, Emily will be the first of many in the future.”

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is primarily supported through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations in foreign countries and the U.S. also provide support. Program participants receive round-trip transportation to the host country; funding to cover room, board, and incidental costs; and health benefits. Selection was based on academic or professional achievement as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

Well-Rounded Student: Performing the lead role of Roxie in the drama club’s spring musical, “Chicago,” is just one of Emily Yedinak’s many campus activities. (Photo by Samantha McGranahan)

Before Chile, however, Yedinak will begin her international experiences in June when she joins other U.S. college students in The GREEN Program, a two-week sustainability project taking place in Costa Rica.

At Rose-Hulman, the Chicago-area native has maintained an exemplary 3.85 grade point average, completed a research project for the Independent Projects/Research Opportunities Program, been president of the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society, and been a leader in the Delta Delta Delta fraternity and Alpha Chi Sigma chemistry society. She has been busy this spring preparing to play the lead role as Roxie in the drama club’s musical production, “Chicago,” and has also been a member of the Blue Key National Honor Society, Omega Chi Epsilon chemical engineering honor society, and Pi Mu Epsilon mathematics society. She even found enough time this year to compete on the varsity rifle team.

“I like to keep busy,” she says. “Rose-Hulman has provided many opportunities, and I have taken advantage of every one that has come my way. The Fulbright Program is just the latest example.”