Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College

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Winning big

Prestigious awards flooding in for Wheaton scholars

It’s not exactly new, but it’s always news worth sharing: Wheaton College scholars are going places.

This spring, 15 Wheaties won prestigious academic awards for graduate study and global experience.

Among them are nine recent Wheaton graduates who have won a Fulbright—one, Allison Cormier-Jonaitis '13, whose grant will enable her to conduct research in Lithuania, and eight others who will be teaching English in other countries through a Fulbright, including: Jennifer Irving ’14 (Malaysia); Bailey McWilliams '14 (Venezuela); Alexis Nieves ’14 (Brazil); Montana Rogers ’14 (Bulgaria); Matt Sexton ’14 (Poland); Savannah Tenney ’14 (Taiwan); Ashley Wich '13 (Greece); and Nicholas Cicchinelli '14 (Moldova).

Wheaton has been recognized by the U.S. Department of State for its efforts in preparing students to become Fulbright Scholars, ranked for eight consecutive years among the top 10 liberal arts schools in the country for Fulbright success. More than 80 Wheaton students have received Fulbright awards since 2000, many with the help of faculty and the staff at Wheaton’s Filene Center for Academic Advising and Career Services.

Wheaton students aren’t just winning Fulbrights. Breanna Lynch ’14 will be teaching English in the Upper Normandy region of France through a French Government English Teaching Assistantship.

Tianna Lall ’14 and Carrie Decker ’14 each received a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, a $28,000 stipend that will enable them to spend the year after graduation traveling around the world. Lall will be learning about provocative theater in Germany, Thailand, Japan, India, Norway and the United Kingdom, while Decker will be exploring nature writing in Dominica, Botswana, Australia and China.

Then there’s Sarah Estrela ’15, who recently secured a Beinecke Scholarship to help pay for her graduate studies after Wheaton. She’s eying a number of programs, including one at Oxford University, where she has been participating in a yearlong undergraduate study abroad program.

But it’s not all about class work. Jorge Clemente de Leon Miranda ’14 will be spending the summer distributing water filters to villagers in his native Guatemala, thanks to a grant from Projects for Peace. And Jenish Amatya ’17 will be getting his hands dirty in Nepal as he helps women in the small village of Baseri start a fish farming business, with seed money from a Resolution Fellowship.