Catherine Tabor Receives Fulbright Scholarship

Catherine Tabor, from Centerville, Alabama, has received a Fulbright Scholarship to Austria.

Ms. Tabor, a senior in the Honors College majoring in English literature and German, with minors in community and civic engagement, in addition to psychology will spend the next academic year in Vienna, Austria as a Fulbright Scholar.

Photo 2While in Vienna, Ms. Tabor will spend her time as an English teaching assistant at a local middle school as well as pursuing graduate course work in sociology at The University of Vienna. As part of her unique Fulbright experience, Ms. Tabor will also work with Caritas Catholic Charity assisting children and youth who suffer from seen and unseen disabilities.  Born with a physical disability, Ms. Tabor’s personal experiences have developed into a passion for the welfare of disabled people, especially children.

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“People with disabilities are not often given enough credit for what they can achieve. However, I know they are capable of more; all they need is love, encouragement, opportunity, and perspective. My experiences and compassion have made me a resilient and persistent person, who can adapt, value new experiences, be vulnerable enough to make mistakes and learn from them, and see things from varying perspectives. These traits will help me make the world a better place for people struggling with mental and physical challenges, which I strive to do as part of my Fulbright experience.”

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Outside of her work, teaching, and classroom obligations, Ms. Tabor has been extended an invitation to sing with a community-based choir in Vienna – the Brunnenchor.

Among her many activities and awards Ms. Tabor is a volunteer with Lee County (AL) Autism Resource & Advocacy, an Honors Freshman Exploration Peer Instructor, an associate justice on the SGA Judicial Board, the publicity chair for Honors Congress, a certified facilitator of Sustained Dialogue, a 2015 Gilman Scholar, and a coxswain for Auburn Rowing.

When she returns from abroad, Catherine will enroll in law school.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Recipients are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential.

Joshua Passantino Nominated for Udall

Honors College junior Joshua Passantino has been nominated for the prestigious Morris K. and Stewart L. Udall Scholarship for Excellence in National Environmental Policy. The Udall Scholarship was established to provide scholarships to outstanding students who demonstrate leadership, public service, and a commitment to environmental issues.

Joshua_SmallJoshua, from Morris, Alabama, is currently a triple major pursuing degrees in Biosystems Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Spanish. Since the fall of 2013, he has pursued undergraduate research in chemical engineering using cellulose nanocrystals – a natural high strength material found in all biomass – to make high-strength films and fibers. Under the direction of Dr. Virginia Davis in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Joshua’s research is focused on mitigating brittleness in films produced from aqueous dispersions of sulfonated cellulose nanocrystals, without negating the benefits of producing the films from high concentration dispersions that exhibit liquid crystal phase behavior.

Among his many awards and honors, he was a summer 2015 undergraduate research fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, Colorado; president of the Auburn University Student Chapter of Engineers Without Borders – USA; vice-president of the Environmental Awareness Club; Supplemental Instructor (SI) in the Office of Undergraduate Studies; IMPACT Volunteer; and certified chemical and bacterial tester for Alabama Water Watch.

Congratulations, Joshua, and best of luck!

Mizna Kanafani Nominated for Udall

Honors College junior Mizna Kanafani has been nominated for the prestigious Morris K. and Stewart L. Udall Scholarship for Excellence in National Environmental Policy. The Udall Scholarship was established to provide scholarships to outstanding students who demonstrate leadership, public service, and a commitment to environmental issues.

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Udall nominee Mizna Kanafani sits in the Auburn arboretum

Mizna, a Birmingham native, is a junior in Environmental Science. Since enrolling at Auburn in the fall of 2013, she has been involved in number of campus-wide activities including: Director of Freshman Forum – a highly competitive freshman leadership program designed to promote campus leadership in freshmen through individual development as well as team building; College of Agriculture Senator; Director of Auxiliary Services with the SGA Cabinet; Camp War Eagle Counselor; Vice President of Alpha Chi Omega; Sustainability for The Challenge; and Tiger Splasher for Auburn Swimming and Diving.

In her role as the College of Agriculture representative to the SGA Senate, Mizna championed a resolution recommending the implementation of composting on campus. Working with her fellow senators, the SGA leadership as well as campus partners such as Dining, Auxiliary Services, Facilities, Waste Management, and the Office of Sustainability, she was able to secure its passage winning unanimous approval.

In addition to her extensive campus service activities, Mizna was selected to Squires, Omicron Delta Kappa, College of Agriculture Deans List, and she was named Alpha Chi Omega’s “Most Outstanding Sophomore.”

Congratulations and good luck Mizna!