UM Student Completes Scholarship Trifecta


Kristina Rosales

UM Senior Kristina Rosales was awarded a Fulbright Grant to carry out independent research project in Brazil, making the third prestigious scholarship she has earned in her undergraduate career. 

Rosales, a double major in International Studies and Political Science, earned the David L. Boren Scholarship to fund a junior semester abroad in Rio de Janeiro and the Pickering Fellowship, which provides funding for graduate school and prepares outstanding students for a career in the U.S. Foreign Service.

The Fulbright Grant will allow Rosales to conduct a self-designed research project that will examine the phenomenon of children and adolescents turning away from education to drug abuse in Rio de Janeiro’s poor neighborhoods.  The study builds her experience working as a research assistant during her junior semester abroad with Viva Rio, a Rio-based non-governmental organization dedicated   social development through field work, research and formulation of public policies.

 “I am beyond words to explain how excited I am to take on this opportunity,” said Rosales. “I have been preparing for it since I went to Brazil to study abroad a year ago and it feels amazing to know that I will finally be able to conduct my project in Rio.”

Rosales will graduate in May 2010 and travel to Brazil the fall to begin the 9-month grant period. Upon graduation and completion of the research term, she plans to pursue graduate studies in public policy and international affairs in preparation for a career in international development.

Dr. William C. Smith, Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of International Studies and one of Rosales’ faculty mentors, says her academic success during her study abroad experience and volunteerism in Rio's favelas represents his “dream scenario” for UM undergraduates. “Her Fulbright project on violence and drug use among young people in Rio will combine Kristina's strong academic preparation with her absolutely fearless engagement with the plight of the victims of poverty, inequality and social exclusion in Brazil, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.”

The Fulbright Program, the U.S. Government’s flagship international exchange program, is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright Program provides participants—chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential — with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

The Fulbright Program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide and has provided approximately 294,000 participants with the opportunity to study, teach, or conduct research in each others’ countries and exchange ideas. Approximately 1,500 U.S. students and 3,000 foreign students receive Fulbright scholarships each year.