Citadel Cadets Awarded Fulbright Scholarships
Two graduating seniors at The Citadel, Cadets Matthew Belcher and Nicholas James Freeling, have been awarded Fulbright Scholarships. Belcher, a native of Pensacola Fla., will conduct research in Germany on Nazi propaganda films and their influence on subsequent East German films. Freeling, a resident Wyckoff, N.J., will research the European Union criminal code and its interaction with the Austro-German legal systems.
The Fulbright Program was founded in 1946 by Congress to create educational and cultural accord among nations. Senator J. William Fulbright, who sponsored the legislation, envisioned it as an alternative to armed conflict. Each year, Americans study and conduct research in more than 100 countries through the Fulbright Program.
This year the U.S. Student Program awarded 900 grants. Two of the highly competitive candidates came from The Citadel. This is both an honor and a testimony to the high standards of the college. Dr. Jack Rhodes, head of the Honors Program and also the advisor to all Fulbright Scholarship applicants on campus, said the college is proud that Belcher and Freeling will be representing The Citadel and the nation abroad.
"The Fulbright Program is as much an ambassadorial project between nations as it is an opportunity to study abroad. Matt and Nick will represent us well," said Rhodes.
Belcher, a cadet captain, is a member of The Citadel Honors Program and has received Deans List (3.2 GPA or above) and Gold Stars (3.7 GPA or above). He has received much recognition for his outstanding academic performance. Belcher is a member of Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society, president of Delta Phi Alpha German Honor Society, Sigma Iota Rho International Studies Honor Society, Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society, and an All American Scholar.
Freeling has distinguished himself by earning several awards such as Dean's List (3.2 GPA or above), Gold Stars (3.7 GPA or above), and the Ray Moore Scholarship. He is also a member of Delta Phi Alpha German Honor Society and Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society.
Both Freeling and Belcher had to pass the National Fulbright Scholarship Screening Committee, which consists of specialists in various fields and areas of study. The committees selection is based upon academic record, language preparation, personal qualifications, and perhaps most importantly, the proposed study project. The project is usually developed over a course of about a year with the purpose of promoting mutual understanding among nations.
Freeling discovered his love for European politics while studying at the University of Vienna. While studying abroad his junior year, Freeling was assigned a project on the European Union. He decided to study the uniformity of law that the 15 nations in the union will eventually have to adopt. He made this the basis for his Fulbright proposed project. The project was selected by the National Screening Committee and then later approved by the Foreign Scholarship Board. While researching his project he will be attending lectures at the University of Vienna and teaching English at a secondary school. Freeling hopes to visit the seat of the E.U. in Brussels. After his year abroad Cadet Freeling will pursue studies in law.
Belcher also developed an interest in his proposed study project while studying abroad. While in Germany, he discovered a forgotten Nazi film propagandist whose methods have been adopted by modern day filmmakers to influence East German audiences. Belcher worked laboriously on developing his project with Rhodes for several months. He will conduct his research while attending lectures at the University of Potsdam, Germany.
Belcher has also been awarded an $8,000 scholarship for academic achievement from the Honors Society of Phi Kappa Phi. He was one of 52 nationwide to receive the award. After his year abroad, Belcher will use his Phi Kappa Phi scholarship to pursue his masters and doctorate degrees in German at the University of Pennsylvania.