Three More Lebanon Valley College Scholars Named Fulbrights; A Fourth Named as Alternate

Lebanon Valley College students are named Fulbright Program Finalists

Seventeen LVC students and alumni were named Fulbright Finalists in the past eight years.

Dr. Philip Benesch, chair of social sciences, associate professor of politics, and director of external scholarships and fellowships, announced that Hannah Alvarnaz ’23, Trevor Hamilton ’23, and Maggie Kergick ’19 were named Fulbright Finalists, and Ariana Genna ’23 was named an alternate. LVC’s last alternate, Matthew Torrence ’19, was later named a finalist and spent time as an English Teaching Assistant in Malaysia.

Maggie Kergick ’19, an English major as an LVC undergraduate who graduated summa cum laude, was selected as an English Teaching Assistant to the Slovak Republic for the 2023–24 academic year.

Kergick is an 8th and 9th grade English Language Arts teacher in the Mahanoy Area School District who also acts as the assistant director for the Theater Arts Program. She is co-advisor of the school’s Diversity Club and has taught in an after-school program for three years, leading elementary school students in art and theater activities.

Trevor Hamilton ’23, a political science and global studies double major with a minor in sociology and German concentration, was selected as an English Teaching Assistant to the Republic of North Macedonia for the 2023–24 academic year.

Hamilton, a two-year member of the College’s men’s basketball team named to the Middle Atlantic Conference’s All-Academic Team twice, was recognized as LVC’s Outstanding Student in German. He lived in Tbilisi, Georgia, as a child and at LVC, studied in Maastricht, The Netherlands, and spent a semester interning with a member of the U.S. Congress in Washington, D.C., through the College’s study-away program there. In February, Hamilton presented research at the National Political Science Conference, organized by Pi Sigma Alpha, in Washington, D.C.

Hannah Alvarnaz ’23, a political science and global studies double major, was selected for an Open Study/Research Award to study in the Republic of Kosovo. She has elected to decline the award to pursue other opportunities.

Alvarnaz’s academic achievements are impressive, including induction into four academic honor societies: Phi Sigma Iota (International Honor Society for the Department of Languages), Sigma Alpha Pi (National Honor Society of Leadership and Success), Pi Sigma Alpha (politics), and Sigma Iota Rho (promotes and rewards scholarship and service among students and practitioners of international studies, international affairs, and global studies). Alvarnaz is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Teaching Fellow. She also received LVC’s Outstanding Student in French Award.

Ariana Genna ’23, a political science and social justice & civic engagement double major, was selected as a Fulbright/America for Bulgaria Foundation English Teaching Assistant Award Alternate.

In March, Genna, one of the College’s distinguished Allwein Scholars, presented a conference paper, “West Virginia v EPA,” at the New York State Political Association. She will present a version of the paper at the College’s Annual Inquiry Symposium on April 27. Genna serves as a legislative fellow for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives this semester, and two drafts of her original legislation are being considered for further action.

The Fulbright competition is administered at Lebanon Valley College by Dr. Philip Benesch. There will be a Fulbright Information session on Friday, April 28, at 3 p.m. in the Bishop Library Atrium. Dr. Benesch can be contacted at by students interested in applying to the Fulbright Program or any other national or international fellowships and scholarships.

About the Fulbright Program

The Fulbright Program was established over 75 years ago to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. While the primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, it benefits from additional support from foreign partner governments, non-governmental organizations, private organizations, corporate partnerships, and individual donors. Importantly, U.S. and foreign host institutions provide support as well.

Fulbright alumni work to make a positive impact on their communities, sectors, and the world and have included 41 heads of state or government, 62 Nobel Laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners, 78 MacArthur Fellows, and countless leaders and changemakers who carry forward the Fulbright mission of enhancing mutual understanding.

View more information about the Fulbright Program.

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