2009-06-10 / People

Miami Grad Receives Fulbright Study Grant

Mike McDonel, 2009 Miami University graduate from Archbold, has been awarded a Fulbright study grant for 2009- 2010.

The son of David McDonel, Archbold, and Karla McDonel, Defiance, he will take part in a nine-month intensive Arabic language study at the University of Jordan in Amman.

McDonel, a political science major with a minor in Middle East and Islamic studies, also received a second grant, a Fulbright Critical Language Enhancement Award, which allows him to study at the Qasid Institute for an additional six months until December 2010.

A member of Beta Theta Pi, a fraternity brother suggested that McDonel study Arabic.

"I grew more and more interested in the Arab world through my major, seduced by the complexity and gravity of the issues there, and was driven to remedy my lack of knowledge about the region," McDonel said.

He studied Arabic for three years at the university, and was involved in the Model Arab League program and the Arabic Club.

In summer 2008, he participated in the university's Inside Washington program and was an intern at NBC's "Meet The Press."

He graduated cum laude from MU and received the Howard White Award for Political Science, membership into Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honorary, and was inducted into Mortar Board Honor Society.

His advice for other students?

"Try and take a risk before you head for the real world," he said. "A big reason I applied for a Fulbright grant is to just do something totally different for a while."

The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the U.S. State Department.

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