News and Events
April 17, 2014
Two CMU Students Receive Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships 
The Fulbright Program is the largest U.S. international exchange program offering opportunities for students, scholars, and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide. The program is designed to “increase mutual understanding between people of the U.S. and people of other countries.”
Sarah Alm received notification recently that she has been awarded a prestigious and highly competitive Fulbright grant. Alm, a 2013 CMU graduate from Mt. Pleasant, earned her B.A. in Music. She is one of 80 individuals from across the country, chosen from a pool of over several hundreds of applicants, to be offered an English Teaching Assistantship in Turkey.

Ben Harris, a senior Honors student from Allen Park, has been selected to receive a prestigious and highly competitive Fulbright grant. He is one of about 80 individuals selected from a pool of nearly 300 applicants to receive a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in South Korea.
Congratulations to both Sarah and Ben on their exciting accomplishments! 
February 10, 2014
CMU Nominates Two Students to Compete for Goldwater Scholarships

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater, who served for 56 years as a soldier and U.S. senator. Scholarships are awarded each year to 300 college sophomores and juniors committed to pursuing research careers in mathematics, engineering, or the natural sciences.


Amanda Clark: Biochemistry Major


Amanda Clark, a junior from Three Oaks majoring in biochemistry has been nominated to compete for a Goldwater scholarship. She is a 2013 McNair Scholar and Vice President of the CMU Student Chapter of the American Chemical Society.

Clark has been working with Dr. Choon Lee on research involving the synthesis of antioxidant dendrimers – repetitively branching molecules – since January of 2012. The goal of her most recent project was to synthesize a second generation dendrimer.

She evaluated the pro-oxidant effects of the dendrimer, but was not able to fully test its antioxidant capacity. She is currently redesigning her compound to make it more soluble in biocompatible solvents in hopes that it can someday be used to help treat cancer and other diseases. "I enjoy research because of its challenges. It is thought provoking and very difficult, but I enjoy the amount of knowledge I am gaining from the experience," Clark said.

Clark's interest in cancer medications stems from a very personal connection to the disease. She lost her father to lung cancer at age fifteen. Two years later, Clark was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma.  After experiencing the side effects of chemotherapy medications firsthand, she was inspired to help develop medications with fewer adverse effects. 

Clark has been in remission since undergoing chemotherapy, but she will never forget her battle with cancer. "I keep the memories with me as motivation for what I want to help discover someday," she said.

Clark plans to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry and pursue a research career in academia. She hopes to pass along her enthusiasm for science to future students and conduct research that aids in the development of new cancer treatment medications.


 Che Ting Ho: Biomedical Engineering Major


Che Ting Ho, a sophomore from Alma majoring in biomedical engineering has been nominated to compete for a Goldwater scholarship. She is a member of the Society of Women Engineers and the Science and Technology Residential College.

Ho is currently working on a research project with Dr. Tolga Kaya involving electrotation. Their goal is to develop a technique for detecting disease through the entrapment and rotation of diseased cells. "This could potentially help medical professionals detect diseases, such as cancer, more quickly," Ho said.

 Ho is currently working to direct the movement of polymer particles, but she hopes to eventually use the same technique to separate diseased cells from healthy ones.

"Our goal is to induce the diseased cells to gather at the center of an electromagnetic field where we can trap them," she said.

Ho was first introduced to Dr. Kaya as a student in one of his courses. Impressed by her problem-solving skills and strong work ethic, he offered Ho the chance to help design and fabricate printed circuit boards for a summer program called Research Experience for Teachers. The program provides pre-and in-service teachers with research skills and projects to incorporate in their own classrooms.

In August 2013, Dr. Kaya offered Ho the opportunity to join his research team. She was grateful for the opportunity to become involved in faculty-led research. "I love research because it challenges not only my knowledge and technical skills, but also my creativity," Ho said.

Ho plans to earn a M.D./ Ph.D. and pursue prosthesis-related research. She became interested in prosthesis design after learning that many people living with disabilities cannot afford current models. Ho hopes to design more affordable prostheses using lower cost materials to improve the quality of life of individuals who have suffered amputations.

November 21, 2013 
CMU Nominates Ten Students to Compete for Fulbright Scholarships
The Fulbright program is the largest U.S. international exchange program, offering opportunities for students, scholars and professionals to increase understanding between U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries through international graduate study, advanced research and teaching. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in more than 155 countries.
Sarah Alm: English Teaching Assistantship Nominee to Turkey
Sarah Alm, a recent CMU graduate from Mount Pleasant, has been nominated to compete for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Turkey. Alm, having twice traveled to Turkey, welcomes the opportunity to return to a country she describes as deeply rooted in generosity and kindness to promote cultural diplomacy. She seeks to create lasting bonds between members of foreign cultures and help bridge the gaps that divide our modern world.
Alm first visited Turkey in 2009 to reconnect with an exchange student she became friends with during her time at Mount Pleasant High School. Alm returned to Turkey for a second time in 2012 after receiving a grant from CMU’s Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. She spent two weeks conducting interviews and recording songs in Izmir, Istanbul, and Antalya to determine if similarities existed between Turkish lullabies and those of the Anishinaabemowin of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe.
Following her trip to Turkey, Alm spent four months studying French language, history, and culture at the Université Catholique de l’Ouest in Angers, France, where she received a certificate in French fluency.
Alm graduated from CMU with a bachelor’s degree in May 2013. She is currently working as an intern at the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra.
Sam Easter: English Teaching Assistantship Nominee to Brazil
Sam Easter, a recent CMU Honors program graduate from Midland, has been nominated to compete for an English Teaching Assistantship in Brazil. If awarded, Easter is eager to use sports to help others, especially on an intercultural scale. He says much of his success has resulted from the discipline, self-respect, and camaraderie afforded by athletics. Easter intends to work with youth sports in Brazil to help transmit these important values across political borders.
During his time at CMU, Easter pursued an English major and worked in the CMU Writing Center. His experiences working with students—often internationals—on the mechanics of grammar and writing will directly translate to teaching students English in Brazil. Easter gained journalism experience working as college journalist at CMU’s student publication Central Michigan Life and as a freelance journalist for the Midland Daily News. He also participated in literature and international summer schools at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.
Easter gained experience in sports administration while serving as president of the Triathlon Club at Central Michigan University, leading the team to competitions in multiple states, and additionally served as treasurer of Outdoor Opportunities, a local student organization that aims to teach children about the outdoors. Participation in the Fulbright Program will provide him with the opportunity to use sports as cross-cultural communication and to contribute to communities across the globe.
Easter graduated from CMU with a bachelor’s degree in May 2013. He is currently working as a general-assignment reporting intern with MLive Media and the Bay City Times, and eventually plans to earn a master’s or doctoral degree.
Ben Harris: English Teaching Assistantship Nominee to South Korea
Benjamin Harris, a senior Honors student from Allen Park majoring in English and History, has been nominated to compete for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in South Korea. If awarded, Harris seeks to educate others about the importance of global citizenship. Everyone should be an advocate for the enforcement of international law, he says, which is a behavior that begins with the introduction of debate and civil discourse to young adults Harris is excited to work with a network of dedicated colleagues, and to encourage students to resolve disputes through debate and negotiation instead of violence.
In August 2013, Harris’ interests in peace and global justice led him to The Hague, Netherlands, where he studied the International Criminal Court under the direction of CMU Professor of Philosophy Hope May. He is currently studying at Korea University. The story of Korean judge and diplomat Yi Jun is of particular interest to Harris. He hopes to use Yi’s narrative to educate Korean students about the importance of international law. Harris knows Yi’s actions at the 1907 Hague Peace Conference are of national renown in Korea, and he wants to emphasize Yi’s determination and advocacy for peaceful arbitration to his students.
Although he is interested in history and global relations, Harris considers himself foremost a student of writing. His experience as a senior reporter for Central Michigan Life and the media relations coordinator for the CMU National Scholarship Office prompted Harris to devote considerable attention to sentence-level writing, a skill which has given him a better understanding of his native language. Through his participation in the Korean University exchange program, he spends at least eight hours per week tutoring his roommates in English. Harris is eager to continue sharing his expertise and help even more Korean students become better writers and speakers of the English language.
Harris’ future plans include earning a professional doctorate in law (J.D.).

Heather Hillman: English Teaching Assistantship Nominee to Malta
Heather Hillman, a Port Huron senior Honors student, has been nominated to compete for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Malta. If awarded, Hillman believes the experience teaching in another country will allow her to better serve her future students in the United States. She believes it is essential for teachers to be well-educated about different cultures because the backgrounds of students and teachers are often very different. Hillman feels that firsthand experiences in other cultures offer the best education and promote acceptance of diversity.
Hillman has always had a passion for travelling and has exposed herself to a variety of cultures during her time at CMU. She studied abroad at Kingston University in London, England, explored nearby Ireland and France, and completed her pre-student teaching in Oaxaca, Mexico. Hillman has also travelled to Massachusetts, Mississippi, and South Carolina as part of CMU’s nationally ranked Alternative Breaks Program.
Hillman has an obvious thirst for travelling, but her passion for serving others, especially in the classroom, is just as evident. She has volunteered weekly in a local sixth grade classroom, conducted tours of CMU for seventh grade students, served as a teacher at a week-long camp designed to help students transition into middle school, and worked as a substitute teacher. In 2010, Hillman served as a mentor to first-year CMU Honors students and participated in an Honors service learning course on Beaver Island. She welcomes the opportunity to continue serving others by working with school children, refugees, and asylum seekers in Malta.
With a major in social studies and minors in language arts and middle education, Hillman has the potential to influence the lives of students through multiple subjects. Recognition and incorporation of diversity, she says, is crucial to effective teaching and the creation of a caring classroom environment. Although almost a teacher herself, Hillman acknowledges that the children in Malta will likely teach her more about the world than she could possibly teach them.
Hillman plans to teach at the middle school level before enrolling in graduate school to earn a master's degree in an education related field.

 Andrea Howard: Research Grant Nominee to Germany
Andrea Howard, a Coleman senior majoring in history, has been nominated to compete for a Fulbright Research Grant to study American prisoners of war held under Nazi Germany’s Night and Fog policy. If awarded, Howard would like to conduct research using the archives at Buchenwald and Berga, two concentration camps that were known, or rumored, to have held American POWs, as well as investigate the possible presence of American POWs at Sachsenhausen and Dachau. Freiburg, Berlin, and Ludwigsburg, Germany also hold archives of interest for Howard.
Howard has conducted research on the popularity of National Socialism in Germany at the Anglo-American University in Prague, Czech Republic and Jewish-American POWs in Nazi Germany at CMU. The latter was published in CMU’s Humanorum journal and resulted in Howard being awarded the Shapiro Prize through CMU’s College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Studies. Howard is proficient in German and hopes to conduct her research with the help of professors from the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany, due to its location near the Buchenwald concentration camp, and at the University of Hanover in Hanover, Germany, due to its location near POW camps and archives.
After earning her bachelor’s degree, Howard intends to continue her research as a doctoral student by conducting a comparative study on American and German POWs of World War II. She believes that a comparative study would shed light on this largely unstudied facet of World War II and promote a better understanding of the past. Only through understanding of the past, believes Howard, can there be collective healing in the present.
 Sarah King: English Teaching Assistantship Nominee to Malaysia
Sarah King, a Rockford senior Honors student majoring in Spanish, has been nominated to compete for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Malaysia. If awarded, King seeks to create a mutual understanding between the people of the United States and Malaysia. She is excited to learn Malay, the national language of Malaysia, to see the world from a different perspective, and to gain a broader understanding of Eastern cultures.
King has several previous cultural experiences. She participated in a faculty-led service learning course in Oaxaca, Mexico in 2011. She also spent a semester studying abroad in Quito, Ecuador, an experience she describes as academically challenging and personally fulfilling. King’s commitment to public service prompted her to seek opportunities to serve others in Quito, including working at a local orphanage, where she spent over a hundred hours caring for infants. King hopes to build similar connections with the people of Malaysia and would ideally like to serve at an orphanage or childcare center to help foster early English literacy skills and encourage positive attitudes towards education.
King is currently creating benchmarks to track early elementary student progress in a Spanish immersion program and conducting research to determine which factors are contributing to student success. She also tutors university students through the English Language Institute at CMU, which has given her a better understanding of the challenges teachers face in teaching pedagogic English. These experiences have cemented her desire to continue working with children and to pursue a career as a language teacher. Teaching English abroad will be pivotal in her decision to earn a teaching certificate in the United States or continue teaching abroad.
Katherine Leach: French Government Teaching Assistantship Nominee to France
Katherine Leach, a Saginaw senior majoring in English and French, has been nominated to compete for a Fulbright French Government Teaching Assistantship in France. If awarded, Leach will use the opportunity to enhance her French language skills while providing meaningful assistance to socioeconomically-underprivileged areas in France. She also hopes to study in Angers, France, through CMU Study Abroad in the summer of 2014.
Leach earned her B.A. in English from CMU in December 2012. She is currently pursuing a B.S. in French and an M.A. in English. Her educational experiences have helped her to understand that the study of international connectivity is essential to eliminating the disparities in communication created by our increasingly globalized society. Although advancements in technology bring individuals of different nationalities together in seconds, Leach believes linguistic and cultural understanding are often lacking in these relationships.
Leach looks forward to immersing herself in French language, literature, and culture beyond her previous classroom experiences. By experiencing French culture firsthand, she hopes to return to the U.S. with an enhanced understanding of French language, dialects, politics, and issues. She hopes to integrate international ideas into domestic conversation in order to enrich the depth and breadth of American students' familiarity with the global community.
Leach intends to pursue a Ph.D. and eventually share her international perspective with students as a language instructor at an institution of higher education.
 Dallas Michelbacher: Research Grant Nominee to Romania
Dallas Michelbacher, a doctoral student from Warner Robins, Georgia, has been nominated to compete for a Fulbright Research Grant to conduct dissertation research in Romanian archives. His research focuses on the forced labor of Romanian Jews during the Holocaust, a subject which has been neglected in the existing historiography of the Holocaust in Romania. The Romanian government has only recently ended its official policy of Holocaust denial, thus his research will be crucial to informing the Romanian population about this portion of their past.

Michelbacher has presented twice at the Romanian Studies Conference held annually at Indiana University and published papers in two academic journals. In 2012, he published “The Ford Motor Company in Romanian-Occupied Odessa, 1942-44,” in the Romanian Review of Eurasian Studies and “The Deportation of Ethnic Minorities to the USSR and the Romanian National Idea” in the History of Communism in Europe. He has also contributed a chapter, entitled “Anti-Semitism and Economic Regeneration: The Ustasha Regime and the Nationalization of Jewish Property and Business in Sarajevo” in the forthcoming edited volume The Utopia of Terror: Life, Death and Everyday Culture in the Ustasha State, 1941-1945. He presented this chapter at the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies Convention in New Orleans in 2012. In 2013, Michelbacher presented his research on the intellectual and political origins of anti-Semitic labor policy in interwar Romania at Indiana University.
Michelbacher has also completed language study fellowships through the American Council of Learned Societies and Title VIII, as well as completed two years of Romanian language training in preparation for his research.
Michelbacher is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in history at Central Michigan University.
Kathryn Steklac: English Teaching Assistantship Nominee to Macau
 Photo by Ashlea Phenecie
Kathryn Steklac, a senior Honors student from Chelsea majoring in music education, has been nominated to compete for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Macau. If awarded, Steklac looks forward to serving as a cultural ambassador for the United States and hopes to instill an appreciation for diversity in her students. Working with university students in Macau, she says, will provide her a unique opportunity to challenge herself intellectually and prepare her for a future career in an education related field.
Steklac’s interest in international education was sparked during her time spent studying abroad in Beijing, China during the summer of 2012. Upon her return to CMU, she founded International Peer Partners to connect CMU Honors Program students and international students and foster mutual understanding between cultures. In 2013, Steklac travelled to Cape Coast, Ghana where she taught English, math, and music to first grade students and facilitated a workshop on classroom management techniques for staff at the Mary Queen of Peace Catholic School.
In addition to her experiences abroad, Steklac has also gained extensive leadership experience through CMU's Alternative Breaks program. As a site leader, she led three week-long domestic service trips and organized issue education to increase her participants’ awareness of social justice issues. As lead site and service development chair, Steklac also coordinated twenty nine service trips, an experience that taught her the importance of adaptability and strong communication skills. Through her service and extensive experience abroad, Steklac hopes to encourage her future students to become active global citizens.

Steklac will earn her bachelor’s degree and Michigan teaching certification this December and eventually hopes to earn a Ph.D. in education.
 Christina White: Research Grant Nominee to Canada
Christina White, a Traverse City graduate student studying English language and literature, has been nominated to compete for a Fulbright Research Grant to study English Canadian and First Nations literature in Victoria, Canada. If awarded this grant, White plans to explore the experiences of First Nations children sent to Canadian residential schools. She plans to use First Nations memoirs as well as the literature of English Canadian author, Emily Carr, as lenses through which to understand these experiences.
Dr. Misao Anne Dean, specialist in English Canadian women’s literature, has issued Christina White an official invitation to study under her purveyance at the University of Victoria. Dr. Dean has published work on the Canadian “new woman,” an archetype that Emily Carr embodies.
As a graduate assistant, White currently teaches freshman composition at CMU. She hopes to present her Victoria research at the CMU-affiliated 2015 Human Rights, Literature, the Arts, and Social Sciences International Conference in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. She plans to teach undergraduate literature and composition in the future, placing an emphasis on English Canadian and First Nations literature.
White is currently pursuing an MA degree at CMU with a focus on Victorian literature in relation to feminist and postcolonial theory. She plans to either pursue a PhD in English literature or teach at the community college level as she delights in working with freshmen.
April 18, 2013
Cameron receives Goldwater Honorable Mention

Karleigh Cameron has received a Goldwater Honorable Mention. Cameron is a junior Honors student from South Boardman majoring in applied mathematics and minoring in environmental studies.

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April 15, 2013
Hall receives Fulbright award

Kevin Hall has received notification of the award of a Fulbright grant. Hall, a 2012 CMU graduate from Caro, earned his B.A. in History and German and is currently working toward his M.A. in History at CMU. He is one of 140 people from across the country, chosen from a pool of hundreds of applicants, to be offered an English Teaching Assistantship in Germany.

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March 2013
Coon named 2013 CMU Udall nominee

Jaime Coon
, a Centralis Scholar, Honors student and junior from Hamilton majoring in pre-graduate biology and minoring in global justice, is CMU’s 2013 Udall Scholarship nominee.

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Feburary 2013
CMU nominates four students to compete for Goldwater Scholarship

Karleigh Cameron, Amanda Clark, David Hicks and Randall Hoyle are CMU’s 2013 Goldwater nominees.
Each is one of the nearly 1,100 college and university students across the nation to be nominated.
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Feburary 2013
Woodke nominated to compete for Truman Scholarship

Rebeccah Woodke, a junior Honors student and Centralis Scholar from Flushing with a major in biomedical science, has been named the 2013 CMU Truman Scholarship nominee.

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19, 2012
CMU nominates four students to compete for Fulbright Program

Megan Bauerle, Darnell Gardner Jr., Kevin Hall, and Eric Thornton are CMU’s 2013 Fulbright nominees. Each will compete for funding from the Fulbright Program to travel abroad for in-depth study in their areas of interest

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April 19, 2012

Provost presents six students with the National Scholarship Recognition Award

E. Gary Shapiro, Executive Vice President/Provost, presented six CMU students with the National Scholarship Recognition Award at this year’s Student Research and Creative Endeavors Exhibition.  The award spotlights student that have been named an official CMU nominee or recipient to a select group of prestigious and highly coveted national and international scholar programs.
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17, 2012
CMU student notified of Fulbright award


Central Michigan University senior Stephanie Jaczkowski of Clinton Township has received notification that she has been awarded a Fulbright grant and was one of 10 applicants from across the nation to be offered a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Poland.

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March 14, 2012

Coon nominated to receive the 2012 Udall Scholarship

Sophomore Jaime Coon of Hamilton has been named the CMU 2012 Udall Scholar nominee in recognition for her dedication to environmental issues and her demonstrated commitment to a career in the environmental field. 

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February 24, 2012

Maylee nominated to compete for the national Truman Scholarship
Erica Maylee of Mount Pleasant, a junior Honors student with a major in political science and minor in leadership, has been named the 2012 CMU Truman Scholarship nominee.

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Feb. 3, 2012

Maraskine named CMU Goldwater Scholarship nominee

Marina Maraskine of Midland is Central Michigan University’s 2012 Goldwater Scholarship nominee.  She is one of nearly 1,100 college and university students from across the nation to be nominated for this honor.

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January 2, 2012
CMU nominates two students to compete for Fulbright Program  



CMU seniors Stephanie Jaczkowski and Alex Strong have been nominated to compete for the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) Program to serve in Poland and Korea.  The Fulbright Program is regarded as the largest US international education exchange program designed to increase mutual understanding between people of the US and people of other countries. 

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October 12, 2011
Phillips named CMU Rhodes Scholarship nominee
John Phillips of Manistee, a senior with a triple major in biology, environmental studies and history at Central Michigan University has been nominated to compete for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship and the opportunity to study at the University of Oxford in England.

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March 30, 2011
CMU National Scholarship Program underway
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April 28, 2011

Petsch named Goldwater nominee

Junior Kevin Petsch of Commerce Township is Central Michigan University’s 2011-2012 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship nominee.  He is one of 1,095 college and university students from across the nation to be nominated for this honor.

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