Siena College seniors, Thomas Ruhl ’19 and Samantha Lore ’19 have been selected for the 2018-2019 Fulbright U.S. Program. This prestigious and competitive program offers students the opportunities to research, study, and teach in over 140 foreign countries. As an international, educational exchange program, Fulbright is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries.
"I think there is a clear affinity between this orientation and Siena's mission as a college and a Franciscan community, and Siena has distinguished itself as strong producer of Fulbright award recipients," said Matthew Clemens, Ph.D., Siena's Fulbright advisor and lecturer in philosophy.
Thomas Ruhl ’19, a history education major with a minor in community development, will be living and teaching in Malaysia. Ruhl’s decision to apply to the Fulbright Program stems from his extensive experience working with Bonner as a service leader at Siena. Through Bonner, Ruhl was named to a one-year term on the National Bonner Advisory Board, an esteemed position that only ten students nationally are chosen to partake in. Ruhl also participates in ACE and Upstanders.
Within his various leadership roles, Ruhl said, “All of these opportunities have pushed me out of my comfort zone in some way, which has given me the opportunity to become comfortable with being uncomfortable.” Ruhl hopes to take this confidence and passion to Malaysia, as he immerses into a totally new culture, so he can learn as much as he can.
During his time in Malaysia, Ruhl hopes to learn the skills necessary to continue within the field of education, community development, and eventually move in the field of education policy.
Samantha Lore ’19, an environmental studies major with minors in international studies and Italian, will be using her knowledge to incorporate environmental issues into her teaching while in Italy. Lore decided to apply for Fulbright, and specifically to travel to Italy, due to her own Italian heritage. Through her family’s Italian traditions and through hosting a foreign exchange student from northern Italy, Lore saw the value of learning about foreign cultures and living in other countries.
She is excited to use many skills learned from her participation in HEOP, her fellowship in the McGuire Society, and her environmental internship at the NYS Office of the Attorney General to succeed in this leadership role and become involved in the community.
While in Italy, Lore hopes to initiate after-school and community activities, such as the building of community gardens or hiking excursions to “promote a positive setting for student learning, while also helping to develop a sustainable future.”
After teaching English in Italy, Lore plans to pursue a master’s degree in international development with a focus on environmental education.