Mechanical engineering major receives Fulbright Scholarship

Michael Cannamela, a Vanderbilt senior mechanical engineering and German major, has been named a Fulbright Scholar for 2006-07.

Cannamela will conduct research on thickness distribution optimization in incremental sheet forming at the Westfaelische Technische Hochschule in Aachen, Germany.

He is one of 15 Vanderbilt finalists for the prestigious Fulbright Scholar program, and the number of Vanderbilt students who will travel abroad in the coming academic year with Fulbright funding has increased almost fourfold from last year, when three students were recipients of the scholarship.

“We’re really happy in the unprecedented interest our students have demonstrated in the Fulbright program and the commitment they’ve made to participate in the application process,” said Office of Honors Scholarships Director Lyn Fulton-John.

The Office of Honors Scholarships helps prepare qualified students to compete for funding from grant foundations to support post-baccalaureate study in the United States and abroad. The foundations’ missions range from environmental concerns to British-American relations, scientific discovery and, in the case of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, international scholarship.

“This program is highly selective, and we’re proud of the students who have earned this special recognition,” Fulton-John said. “While it is a student’s past performance that enables him or her to qualify for a national fellowship such as this, recipients are selected for their potential to become major contributors in scholarship, leadership and service.”

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is the largest U.S. exchange program offering opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide. The U.S. Student Program currently awards approximately 1,100 grants annually in all fields of study and operates in more than 140 countries worldwide.

Since its inception in 1946, recipients have been selected on the basis of academic achievement and demonstrated leadership potential. The program, which honors Sen. J. William Fulbright, was established by Congress to “enable the government of the United States to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.”