Lafayette students and young alumni were recently recognized by some of the most prestigious and competitive national and international scholarship, fellowship, and award programs for their exceptional academic achievements and promise. These awards will support their continued scholarship and impact across numerous fields. The more than 30 individuals recognized as awardees, alternates, and finalists this year are as follows:

Rhodes Scholarship

  • Matwos Tadesse ’24 was a finalist for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship for the Global Contingency.

U.S. Fulbright Program

  • Four Lafayette students and a recent alumnus were awarded Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships to help teach English language in classrooms abroad while serving as cultural ambassadors for the U.S. They are: Johnathan Cresson ’24 and Evaline Bearce ’24 for Germany, Skye Loures ’24 for North Macedonia, and Stefano Mancini ’20 Fulbright for Mexico. Skye was also awarded an English Teaching Assistantship from the Embassy of Spain’s North American Language and Culture Assistants Program, which she declined. Johnathan declined Fulbright ETA to Germany and took the Fulbright affiliated Austria English teaching assistantship program (USTA).
  • The Fulbright Study/Research Grant program funds scholars to design and conduct their own projects, typically with advisers at foreign universities or other institutes of higher education. The program awarded grants to Mariama Bah ’24 to conduct research in Brazil and Elias Podber ’24 to conduct research and teach English in Austria. In addition, Sophia Dongaris ’24 is an alternate for study in Greece, Lidya Abebe ’22 was a finalist for study in the United Kingdom, and Serafina Rivera ’24 was a finalist for study/research in Iceland. Azalea Danes ’24 was a finalist to conduct research in Chile and Bolivia. Azalea was also a finalist for the International Energy Agency’s 2024-26 Young Associates Program for the World Energy Outlook and was named a Princeton in Latin America (PiLA) fellow, which she declined. 

Boren Awards

  • Anica Kim ’27 was awarded a Boren Scholarship, which funds undergraduate study abroad in world regions critical to U.S. interests. As a STEM major, Anica will spend this summer in South Korea. Christopher Byrnes ’26 is a current alternate for a Boren Scholarship to conduct semester-long study in South Korea.

Public Policy and International Affairs

  • Naya Kurdy ’25 was awarded a Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) fellowship, an academic award for juniors looking to advance their careers as leaders in various public service sectors. She will attend PPIA’s Junior Summer Institute at Princeton University.

Goldwater Scholars

  • The Goldwater Scholars program, which honors sophomores and juniors with exceptional academic achievements who are intent upon earning a doctoral degree and pursuing STEM research, honored three Lafayette students this year: Carter Brand ’25 (who was also a Scholar last year), Tess Stanley ‘25, and Max Gianakopoulos ‘25.

Payne Fellowship

  • Natalie Beckford ‘24 was awarded a Payne International Development Fellowship, which recognizes students with strong academic records and a desire to promote positive change who intend to pursue a career with the USAID Foreign Service. Natalie is also a current alternate for the Critical Language Scholarship program’s CLS Spark (Arabic program), which provides American students the opportunity to study certain critical languages virtually especially when they may not have access to studying these languages on their campuses.

Zero Hunger Internship

  • Jillian Berger ’26 was named a Zero Hunger Intern by the Congressional Hunger Center. The internship program’s mission is to spend the summer expanding the impact of anti-hunger organizations in the US. Jillian will be interning with Montgomery County Food Council in Pennsylvania.

Critical Language Scholarship

  • Sarah Cohen ’24 is the current alternate for advanced Arabic for the Critical Language Scholarship program, which is an immersive summer opportunity for American college and university students to learn languages essential to America’s engagement with the world. Sarah was also a finalist for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Young Associates Program. Edna Sam ’26 is a current alternate for CLS Spark’s yearlong remote program for beginning Arabic.

FAO Schwarz Fellowship

  • Abigail Schaus ’24 was named a finalist for a FAO Schwarz Fellowship, a two-year program that places fellows in leadership roles at non-profit organizations.

McCall MacBain Scholarship

  • Milka Ininahazwe ’24 was a finalist for a McCall MacBain Scholarship for graduate study at McGill University. Through the Scholarship, Milka was awarded a Regional Award, available to the top 95 out of approximately 700 Canadian candidates for study at any Canadian public university, which she declined.

Japan Exchange and Teaching Program

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program

  • Eight Lafayette alumni and students were recognized by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, which aims to help ensure the quality, vitality, and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States and to broaden participation of the full spectrum of diverse talents in STEM and the Social Sciences. They are: Christopher Kim ’18 (currently at Johns Hopkins), Elizabeth Castellano ’22 (currently at Dartmouth), Samantha Greenberg ’24 (honorable mention), Sadie Wolfarth ’22 (honorable mention, currently at Yale), Aaron Shoemaker ’22 (honorable mention, currently at Northwestern), Sasha Neefe ’21 (honorable mention, currently at UC-Boulder) and Zachary Martin ’21 honorable mention, and Anna Golub ’19 (currently at University of California San Diego).

National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship



  • Eric Ponieman ’24 was accepted into PeaceCorps for Peru.


Categorized in: Academic News, Commencement 2024, Featured News, News and Features, Students

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use basic HTML tags and attributes.