Two Fulbright Winners, One U.S. Agency Award Winner Among Arcadia’s Graduate Students

By Caitlin Burns | November 16, 2016

Arcadia University is home to three international graduate award recipients this year.

Olga Banaszkiewicz ’17, of Spain, received the Becas de Máster en Estados Unidos de América from Fulbright España; Selviana Ndoen ’18, of Indonesia, received the USAID Program to Extend Scholarships and Training to Achieve Sustainable Impacts (PRESTASI) scholarship; and Rebecca Purvis ’17, of New Zealand, is a 2015 Fulbright Science and Innovation Graduate Award recipient.

Banaszkiewicz, an International Peace and Conflict Resolution major at Arcadia, is interning at Kommon Denominator, an NGO focused on conflict mitigation and resolution, where she is researching the organization’s projects in the Middle East. Her educational background has taken her to the United Kingdom, Spain, Hungary, and the United States. This is Banaszkiewicz’s second master’s, with a previous degree in Mediation from Granada University, Spain. She also has earned a bachelor’s degree in Modern Languages, Linguistics and Literature, and a certificate in Public Service Diplomacy.

“I feel honored and grateful for such an amazing experience,” Banaszkiewicz said. “I am happy with my choice of Arcadia. It’s a small university but extremely welcoming. Everyone I have met is friendly and always willing to help. There is a great support system in this community.”

After graduation, Banaszkiewicz hopes to work in international development with a focus on conflict prevention and dialogue.

Ndoen, an Education major, hopes to specialize in curriculum during her studies at Arcadia. As an undergraduate at Universitas Kristen Artha Wacana, Ndoen found she was interested in curriculum instruction. Following her graduation in 2011, she was further motivated to study curriculum as a teacher in her hometown of Kupang once she realized that students were struggling to overcome facility shortfalls and stay interested in classroom learning.

“I want to design a curriculum focused on establishing a strong motivation for students in elementary schools,” Ndoen said. “I want to find a way for students to explore their capacity beyond the [facilities] limitation that they may see every day through extracurricular activities or additional subject areas.”

Ndoen hopes to return to her hometown after graduation to implement her curriculum ideas and improve educational opportunities.

Purvis, a Genetic Counseling major, is in her first residency at Temple University Hospital’s Prenatal Clinic. While her Fulbright scholarship was for her first year, Purvis remains involved with Institute of International Education’s workshops.

“International study has always been an ambition of mine due to the opportunity it provides for personal growth,” Purvis said. “Being a Fulbright scholar has provided me with some of the most valuable connections.”

Before studying at Arcadia, Purvis earned a Bachelor of Science in Genetics, with a minor in Anatomy, at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. She also has a postgraduate degree in health sciences with a specialization in bioethics and a certificate in basic statistics. Purvis hopes to work as a prenatal genetic counselor after graduation in the UK or Australia, before returning to New Zealand.