What is Going on at Villanova University?


Nova

Is something in the water at the Philadelphia-area Catholic university?  (And no, this post has nothing to do with basketball).

32 students won Fulbrights this year.  Here is a taste of Susan Snyder’s piece at The Philadelphia Inquirer:

Stephen Gironda can’t believe his fortune.

“My jaw drops sometimes in the middle of the shower,” said the 25-year-old from Monmouth County, N.J.

Gironda won a coveted nine-month Fulbright award that will carry him to Rome to research how diet, exercise, and other factors affect susceptibility to addiction. He’ll be working under a distinguished researcher in that field whose work he closely followed while getting his master’s at Villanova University.

At Villanova, such fortune is becoming common.

Villanova students won 32 Fulbright awards this school year, double its tally from last year. While the Fulbright program hasn’t released its numbers by school for the current year, history suggests Villanova could land in or near the top nationwide.

Brown and Princeton, both Ivies, typically lead the pack. Brown this month announced it had 38 winners. Princeton had 32. The University of Pennsylvania, also an Ivy, had 21.

More than 35 percent of Villanova students and alumni who applied were accepted this year. Of research universities with 80 or more applicants, no other school has had an acceptance rate that high since 2004-05, said Michael T. Westrate, Villanova’s director of the Center for Research and Fellowships.

“Our students … are punching outside their weight class,” said Westrate, himself a former Fulbright scholar.

Read the rest here.

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