The Edmond Sun

Education

May 17, 2014

Hendrickson earns prestigious Fulbright Grant

EDMOND — Edmond native and Samford University student Stone Hendrickson has received a prestigious grant from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, the flagship international educational exchange program designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries.

Freshman University Fellow honors student Stone Hendrickson was accepted to the four-week Fulbright Summer Institute at England’s Durham University. The theme of the 2014 institute is The Northern Borders of Empire to the Making of the Middle Ages. Hendrickson will study ancient Roman and medieval English history and culture as he takes part in a major archaeological excavation at the site of the Roman fort and town at Binchester.

The excavation — begun in 2009 and led by teams from Durham University and Stanford University — has so far uncovered the best-preserved Roman bathhouse in the UK and some of the most impressive mausolea seen on a Roman site for 150 years. The project aims to investigate the character and diversity of the local population, to explore connections between fort and town, and to pursue questions concerning the way the border was conceived and worked from Roman to medieval times.

Hendrickson, whose long-term plans include graduate school in either law or English, said the institute corresponds well to his current Samford studies as a classics and English double-major.

Samford classics professor and Fulbright Program Advisor Shannon Flynt said these honors are always hard-won.

“Fulbright is such a well-known, long-standing and prestigious program, that the application process is extremely competitive,” said Flynt, a 2000-2001 Fulbright alumna. She noted that tens of thousands of U.S. students submit proposals for fewer than 2,000 international study grants. “Our undergraduates are competing against even doctoral students for these positions in some cases,” she said.

Boards in the U.S. and host countries review and confirm candidates based only on written applications.

“Our students who win Fulbrights are invariably the ones who have been very dedicated and persistent in the application process — some of them spend months crafting their proposals, going through a dozen or more drafts,” Flynt said. “These students really have to shine on paper. In the space of a few pages they have to demonstrate that they are worth the investment that Fulbright will make in them.”

Samford University is Alabama’s top-ranked private university and provides nationally recognized academic programs rooted in its historic Christian mission. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford third among regional universities in the South, and the university is widely acknowledged as a leader in liberal arts and professional school education. Founded in 1841 and located in suburban Birmingham, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher learning in the U.S. and enrolls more than 4,800 students annually from 44 states and 22 countries in its 10 academic units.

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