The Catholic University of America

Dec. 16, 2010

Junior Theology Major Wins Scholarship for Semester in Rome 

  Alexandra Fedosenko

Junior Alexandra Fedosenko has been awarded a prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to help defray the cost of her spring 2011 semester studies in Rome.

A theology major with a minor in philosophy, Fedosenko learned earlier this month that she had been named a recipient of the $3,500 award. She is one of about 850 recipients among nearly 2,900 applicants nationwide for the scholarship, according to Ella Sweigert, director of education abroad.

“This is a very competitive scholarship for students who have financial need,” says Sweigert. “Without the award, it would be difficult for them to study abroad. They wouldn’t be able to take advantage of as many opportunities while studying overseas.”

Fedosenko, of Joliet, Ill., says that, without the scholarship, finding the money to study in Rome “would have been a much greater challenge for my family. Ever since I came to CUA, I’ve wanted to study abroad. I’ve been planning for this since my freshman year.”

As part of the application process, students are required to submit a proposal for a project that serves as a follow-up to their education abroad experience. Fedosenko says that her proposal actually includes two projects.

Fedosenko said she plans to volunteer while living abroad and to serve as a CUA Global Ambassador when she returns from Rome. “This is such a tremendous gift and a blessing,” she says. “I really want to give back. I’m also looking forward to representing CUA while I’m in Rome.”

At Catholic University, Fedosenko has volunteered as a RENEW leader, a student minister, and as a service leader for a group of CUA students at the Little Sisters of the Poor Jeanne Jugan Residence on Harewood Road.

Fedosenko says she credits the encouragement and support of Sweigert and several CUA professors for her success in winning the scholarship.

The CUA junior notes that teaching assistant Elena Gutierrez, her Spanish instructor for two semesters, has encouraged her to pursue her dream of studying abroad. This fall, Fedosenko is a student in a class called “Mission of the Contemporary Catholic” taught by lecturer Susan Timoney. “Dr. Timoney has urged me to go deeper with my faith and to think about the benefits of studying in Rome.”

Fedosenko says that having the opportunity to “really have an exchange with professors at CUA makes all the difference in the learning experience. It allows you to dig deeper into the topic that you’re studying.”

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program is sponsored by the Institute of International Education, which is based in New York.


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