Portrait of Caroline Corbett

Bucknellians Secure Prestigious Fellowships and Scholarships

June 20, 2024

by Matt Jones

Caroline Corbett '26, an international relations and Arabic and Arab world studies double-major, will spend the 2024-2025 academic year in Amman, Jordan, with the support of a Boren Scholarship. Photo by Emily Paine, Marketing & Communications

Four Bucknellians have been awarded some of the most prestigious fellowships and scholarships in higher education: the Fulbright Scholarship, the Boren Scholarship, the Beinecke Scholarship, and the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Graduate Fellowship. (Six Bucknellians also received NSF Fellowships and Goldwater Scholarships.) These highly competitive awards support students and recent graduates who demonstrate a commitment to independent research, graduate education and foreign service.

"Bucknell has some fantastic students across all disciplines. This year, students in the sciences, engineering, humanities, and social sciences found success in competing for these prestigious scholarships," says Margaret Marr, director of undergraduate fellowship research. "These awards will help them pursue their dreams, whatever they may be and wherever they may take them, from psycholinguistics to diplomacy, from Australia to Jordan, in study abroad programs to PhD programs. I am honored to support them."

Bret Hatzinger '24: Fulbright Scholarship

Portrait of Bret Hatzinger

Bret Hatzinger '24, a biology major and religious studies and chemistry minor, will conduct research in New Zealand for 10 months with the support of a Fulbright Scholarship. Photo by Emily Paine, Marketing & Communications

As a Presidential Fellow, Hatzinger, a biology major and religious studies and chemistry minor from Doylestown, Pa., immersed himself in research as soon as he arrived on Bucknell's campus. "The one that really caught my eye was a project on atmospheric chemistry as it relates to climate change. That was what I initially jumped on, so I spent the last four years doing research on atmospheric chemistry with Professor Tim Raymond, chemical engineering, and Professor Dabrina Dutcher, chemistry and chemical engineering."

His interest in research eventually led him to study abroad in Australia, where he first learned about the opportunity to pursue a Fulbright Scholarship. "When the Fulbright application opened, I was actually on a remote island research station on the Great Barrier Reef. It felt like an opportunity to kind of do something exciting and similar," says Hatzinger. "I wrote my application with minimal Wifi and no cell service on this island."

With his Fulbright Scholarship, Hatzinger will go to New Zealand for 10 months where, alongside a professor from the University of Otago, he’ll investigate a rare genetic disease that is present in both sheep and humans. "Meckel syndrome is this disease called a ciliopathy, meaning it affects the cilia of the cells. While I'm out there, I'll be doing genetic research and CRISPR editing," says Hatzinger. "A large and alluring part of studying Meckel syndrome is this capability to hopefully apply insights towards other diseases and identify potential pathways for treatment."

Gwen Radecki '25: Beinecke Scholarship

A psychology and linguistics double-major, Radecki fell in love with research during her first day on Bucknell's campus. "17-year-old me went running up to the front of the classroom and asked Professor Aaron Mitchel, psychology, if he had any spots in his research lab," she says. After taking Mitchel's Introduction to Language Development course, she further honed her research skills while participating in the Emerging Scholars Summer Research, Scholarship and Creativity Program, and eventually received an Emerging Behavioral Scientists Fellowship through the Department of Psychology.

In cooperation with Mitchel and Professor Haley Kragness, psychology, her current research focuses on studying how kids learn a language. Specifically, she concentrates on statistical learning in language acquisition, which examines how children identify statistical patterns in language, such as syllables and tones, to help them better understand the world around them. Now, she is preparing to pursue a graduate education in psycholinguistics with the support of a Beinecke Scholarship, a prestigious award that recognizes promising young scholars in the social sciences, humanities and the arts.

"The application was a learning experience for me where I had to figure out how to describe my research in a way that makes sense to people outside of my niche, academic bubble," she says, crediting Margaret Marr for helping her craft a successful proposal. With the award, she hopes to pursue a doctoral degree. "Being a chemistry lab teaching assistant has made me realize that I love teaching. But I also love research. I love asking questions. And I love the process of discovering the answer to the questions I come up with. What better way to combine those two passions than a Ph.D.?"

Michaiah Augustine '24: Pickering Fellowship

For Augustine, an international relations and French & francophone studies double-major from Brooklyn, N.Y., it was a study abroad experience in high school that initially sparked her interest in foreign diplomacy. "After studying in France, I started asking myself what I could do that combined my interest in law, history and politics with my love of travel, languages and research," says Augustine.

After arriving at Bucknell, Augustine's interest in international relations was further honed when Margaret Marr helped her secure a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, which allowed her to participate in the Bucknell en France program. During her time at Bucknell, she also became an intern with the U.S. Foreign Service, going on to complete a domestic internship with the Department of State in Washington, D.C., and an internship abroad in the U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas.

Now a recipient of the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Graduate Fellowship, which aims to increase diversity in the State Department by funding two years of graduate study for underrepresented students, Augustine will pursue a master's in international affairs at Boston University. "I'll have more opportunities to concentrate on different regions of the world," says Augustine, who focused primarily on Eurasia while at Bucknell. "I'm looking forward to exploring even more languages and cultures in greater depth."

Caroline Corbett '26: Boren Scholarship

Portrait of Caroline Corbett

Caroline Corbett '26, an international relations and Arabic and Arab world studies double-major, will spend the 2024-2025 academic year in Amman, Jordan, with the support of a Boren Scholarship. Photo by Emily Paine, Marketing & Communications

Corbett, an international relations and Arabic and Arab world studies double-major from Skaneateles, N.Y., has always had a passion for deciphering conflict. "During my senior year of high school, I took a class called Middle Eastern Peace and Conflict, which looked at Israel and Palestine as a case study," says Corbett. "I was immediately drawn to it. Looking at these massive, multi-faceted issues made me realize just how much I love trying to connect the dots."

While at Bucknell, Corbett completed a six-week internship with the Silicon Valley Defense Group in Arlington, Va., an experience that exposed her to the professional world of foreign policy and national security that also revealed a path forward that would allow her to further cultivate her academic pursuits while studying abroad. With the help of Margaret Marr, director of undergraduate fellowship research, Corbett obtained a Boren Scholarship, an initiative of the Defense Language and National Security Education Office that supports undergraduate study abroad programs in world regions critical to U.S. interests.

Corbett will spend the 2024-2025 academic year in Amman, Jordan, where she will study the geopolitics of the Middle East while also completing an intensive course in the Arabic language. "Being a student-athlete on the rowing team really instilled a sense of duty to something larger than myself," says Corbett. "My role as an admissions ambassador at Bucknell, where I'm learning to talk to diverse groups of people and appreciate a wide array of perspectives, has prepared me for being an ambassador during this program."