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Stewart selected for prestigious Fulbright summer institute

Barry McNamara
05/18/2018
MONMOUTH, Ill. – One Monmouth College student leader plans to use a summer experience in Scotland to enhance his final two years in college and prepare for his professional career.

Jeren Stewart ’20 of Peoria, Ill., was selected to participate in the Fulbright Scotland Summer Institute on Technology, Innovation and Creativity. The three-week academic and cultural program for U.S. students, hosted by the Glasgow School of Art and the University of Strathclyde, is one of the most prestigious and selective summer scholarship programs in the world.

“I actually found out I was selected on Scots Day (April 18),” said Stewart, who one week later was elected vice president of the Associated Students of Monmouth College, the governing arm of the student body, for the 2018-19 academic year. “This is all due to (Director of Wackerle Career and Leadership Center) Marnie Dugan. She told me about it, and it’s an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

Stewart said applications for the institute came from all over the United States.

“There are nine others going, most from large universities,” he said.

The rigorous application process involved submitting a summary of involvements in college, three short essays, a full essay and a personal statement. A Skype interview was the final step.

In making its selections, the US-UK Fulbright Commission looks not only for academic excellence but also a focused application, a range of extracurricular and community activities, demonstrated ambassadorial skills, a desire to further the Fulbright program and a plan to give back to the recipient’s home country upon returning.

Stewart has a specific goal in mind to fulfill the final element.

“My goal is to have designed a virtual student center, something that has been a long-time demand at Monmouth by both current and past students,” he said. “This will be accompanied by a comprehensive plan to be presented to the administration, with the hope of evoking action.”

Stewart will be in Scotland from July 23-Aug. 10, and the business and accounting major is looking forward to learning more about his future career while also bringing back a taste of Scotland.

“I plan on growing my experience with technology to help me better transition into my computer science minor during my remaining time at Monmouth,” he said. “I also plan to grow in the field of visual arts and study the deep history of Scottish architecture to help fulfill my ultimate dream of starting a real estate business of my own.”

The University of Strathclyde is Glasgow’s second university, founded in 1796. It received its Royal Charter in 1964 as the UK’s first technological university and has a powerful heritage of partnerships with business and industry.

The Glasgow School of Art was founded in 1845 as one of the first Government Schools of Design and is one of Europe’s leading university-level institutions for visual creative disciplines.

Students will be led by faculty from both institutions and senior figures from the private and public sectors. From the perspective of Scotland’s status as a technological, innovative and creative country, participants will explore Scotland’s culture, history and creative and technological industries.

Participants will also have free time to explore Glasgow and Edinburgh, Scotland’s largest city and capital city, respectively. Stewart and the other students will reside in Blythswood House, a city center location close to the Glasgow School of Art campus and within walking distance of the University of Strathclyde.

Fulbright Summer Institutes cover all participant costs and provide participants with a distinctive support and cultural education program, including visa processing, a comprehensive pre-departure orientation, enrichment opportunities in country, a re-entry session and opportunity to join the Fulbright alumni networks.

Stewart said his selection to participate reinforces a valuable lesson.

“Never be scared to take a chance,” he said, “and have faith in God.”

The US-UK Fulbright Commission was created by treaty on in 1948 and is part of the Fulbright program conceived by Sen. J. William Fulbright in the aftermath of World War II to promote leadership, learning and empathy among nations through educational exchange. More information is available at www.fulbright.org.uk.