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Green Bay, Wis. Student at Juniata Receives Fulbright Fellowship to Iceland

(Posted June 1, 2010)

Nicholas Sepulveda will spend the next year at the University of Rekjavik as a Fulbright Fellow studying the history of medieval whaling.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Nicholas Sepúlveda, a junior at Juniata College from Green Bay, Wis. studying biology and anthropology, has been granted a Fulbright Fellowship to study and join a research team at the University of Iceland in Rekjavik, Iceland for the 2010-2011 academic year by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Sepúlveda, the son of Mary Barker of Green Bay and José Sepúlveda of Licking, Mo., is part of a program that sends more than 1,000 students abroad to study at foreign universities and sites. He is a 2006 graduate of Green Bay West School.

At the University of Iceland, Sepúlveda, inspired by his work in anthropology at Juniata, will take language classes in Old Norse, and study Icelandic and Old Norse history as part of his graduate thesis on the history of whaling in medieval Iceland. In 2009, Sepúlveda traveled to Iceland to take part in a summer Archeological Field School, where he participated in a dig at an early Viking farmstead near the country's west fjords.

International travel is nothing new for the Juniata senior. In addition to his Icelandic travels, he spent his junior year studying biology and anthropology at the University of Aberdeen in Aberdeen, Scotland as Juniata's 19th recipient of the Andrew Mutch Scholarship from the St. Andrews Society of Philadelphia.

At the University of Aberdeen, he participated in several archeological projects and studied with a researcher whose work took her to Iceland. She recommended that Sepúlveda apply for the Archeological Field School experience.

Sepúlveda also has established an extensive research career at Juniata as a student research assistant in the laboratory of Jennifer Bennett, von Liebig Fellow in Biology. He has worked on a project studying genetic mutations in soil bacteria for the past several years. Sepúlveda received Best Presentation Award for Microbiological Sciences at the Annual Biomedical Conference for Minority Students in November 2009 in Phoenix, Ariz. He also made research presentations at a 2009 meeting of the Allegheny Branch of the American Society for Microbiology and at Juniata's Liberal Arts Symposium in 2008

He is a member of Tri-Beta, the national honor society for biology, and is a member of the Spanish Club.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program equips future American leaders with the skills they need to thrive in increasingly global environment by providing funding for one academic year of study or research abroad, to be conducted after graduation from an accredited university.

The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Financial support is provided by an annual appropriation from Congress to the Department of State, with significant contributions from participating governments and host institutions in the United States and abroad. The presidentially appointed J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board formulates policy guidelines and makes the final selection of all grantees.

The Institute of International Education administers and coordinates the activities relevant to the U.S. Student Program, including an annual competition for the scholarships. The Fulbright Program also awards grants to American teachers and faculty to do research, lecture and teach overseas. In addition, some 2,200 foreign Fulbright students and scholars come to the United States annually to study, carry out research and lecture at U.S. universities, colleges and secondary schools.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.