• International honors allow Baylor students to continue studies overseas

    Melissa YeakleyIt’s awards season at Baylor, as the spring semester wraps up and honors are handed out for returning students and graduating seniors alike. Just this week, it was announced that senior Ross Irons is the latest Bear to earn the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship, while another senior, Melissa Yeakley, will be returning to China after again winning a Critical Language Scholarship to study overseas.

    Irons, an Austin native double majoring in Russian and German, will teach English in Russia next year as part of the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships Program. Since 2001, 21 Bears have been honored by the Fulbright program, America’s flagship international educational exchange program.

    Yeakley (pictured), an international studies major from Hurst, Texas, spent two months last summer studying intermediate Chinese at Soochow University in Suzhou, China. This year, she will study at the Beijing Language and Culture University after winning her second Critical Language Scholarship, part of the U.S. government’s National Security Language Initiative.

    Two other Bears — master’s candidate Wayne Joseph, BA ’08, and recent graduate Robert Kent, BA ’09 — won Rotary Scholarships through the Waco Rotary this spring. Thanks to the scholarships, Joseph will head to Canberra, Australia, to study public health policy at Australia National University, while Kent earns his master’s in economic/environmental development at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

    The current issue of Baylor Magazine has an excellent feature on how international study opportunities like these have benefited previous Bears, and how their Baylor education helped them earn those opportunities in the first place.

    Sic ’em, Bears!