Meredith Alumna Earns Fulbright Grant

Meredith College alumna Samantha Cibelli, ’10, has earned a Fulbright grant for the 2011-12 academic year. While associated with L'Universita' Degli Studi di Firenze in Florence, Italy, Cibelli will conduct a psychology research project in migrant studies.

Cibelli is interested in exploring how young adult migrants in Italy develop a sense of self, and will explore whether their feelings about themselves differ from those of traditional Italian youth.

At Meredith, Cibelli earned a degree in psychology and completed a minor in Italian, and studied abroad twice in Siena, Italy. She explored identity formation in her Honors thesis at Meredith, and her awareness of the modern history of migration in Italy began during her study abroad experiences. Cibelli continued this interest through independent research at Meredith.

As a senior, she began working toward her goal of earning a Fulbright.

“The Fulbright appeared to be the most ideal route to connect all of my passions together and to provide me with a platform to interact with the community,” said Cibelli, who spent three months after graduation in Italy preparing her proposal, studying Italian and meeting with professors, researchers and community groups with which she could create affiliations and earn recommendations for the Fulbright.

Cibelli plans to attend graduate school once she returns to the United States.

“I am most excited about starting my career as a researcher and to get into the field with this project,” Cibelli said. “There is so much potential for growth in the world and an adjusted perspective on all sides of the [migrant] issue could benefit all communities.”

Cibelli said her Meredith College experience helped her succeed in earning a Fulbright grant.

“I feel like obtaining the grant is less of a statement of my individual achievement and more of one related to the potential of any individual within the community,” Cibelli said. “There was a community behind me that, although small in size, inspired me to push myself toward my potential.”

The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, is the largest U.S. international exchange program offering opportunities for students, scholars, and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide.

Date Submitted: 2011-05-31

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