|By Patrick Verel
Six current and former Fordham students have won some of the world’s most competitive international prizes.
Jeremiah W. Schwarz, FCRH ’03, is the first Fordham student to be named a Henry Luce Scholar. The award provides stipends and internships for 18 young Americans to live and work in Asia for a year.
Schwarz, who is now pursuing a master’s degree in international relations at Cambridge, said he applied to the program, which is for students with little knowledge of Asia, because the continent is a good model for developing countries and an area that the United States will be dealing with increasingly in the future.
The Richmond Hill, Queens, native has not been told where he will spend his year, but is hopeful that he will end up at the Lee Kwan Yew Center in Singapore, where he can observe how government policies facilitate economic development.
“Singapore is a unique but relevant model for developing countries transitioning from a highly agricultural economy to a high tech knowledge-based economy,” he said. “I hope to grow intellectually, personally and professionally, both as a citizen of the world and a future policy maker.”
While Schwarz is heading to the Far East, Christopher Beck, a doctoral student in history in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, will be heading to Marseille, France, this fall to study state building and privateering, government-sponsored efforts designed to attack foreign shipping.
An Indiana native, Beck won the Bourse Chateaubriand Fellowship, a highly competitive nine-month fellowship given by the education office of the French Embassy to 15 doctoral students at American universities. Although he is waiting to hear if he also won a Fulbright Scholarship, Schwartz said winning the Chateaubriand is especially gratifying, as it comes directly from the French government.
“It’s difficult for Americans because we’re the foreigners studying their homeland. It’d be like one of them coming here to talk to us about American history,” he said. “I had a sense that I would be given the OK by France itself, to come in as a brother instead of a foreigner.”
Marseille is an ideal place for Beck to continue his studies because he will have access to documents from 1233 to 1450. He believes that a self-financed 10-day trip to Marseille that Fordham allowed him to take during the 2006 school year helped swing the French government’s decision his way.
“Fordham has been very good to me,” he said. “The prestigious fellowships office and the faculty know how to help us get these awards; I couldn’t have done it myself.”
Other Fordham students who won prestigious scholarships include: Joseph Clair, who was awarded the Gates-Cambridge Scholarship, entitling him to study at Cambridge University; Matthew Cashman and Christine Schwall, who were awarded the DAAD Rise, which gives science students the opportunity to spend a summer working with German doctoral students on research projects; and Emiliano D. Reyes, who received the Jose E. Serrano Scholarship for Diplomatic Studies, a new scholarship that is given to a deserving Latino graduate of a four-year college to attend the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna, Austria.