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Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 9:15am

Mercy College is proud to announce that sophomore Darielis Cruz has been named to the second cohort of students for the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship (FDGF) Program. She was one of ten students selected from a highly competitive nationwide pool of applicants to study abroad on this fellowship for the 2017-18 academic year.

The FDGF is part of a strategic partnership between the Council on International Educational Exchange and the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions. The fellowship is designed to break down barriers of cost, curriculum, and culture and make studying abroad accessible to students from minority-serving institutions such as Mercy College.

For Cruz, who immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic at age six, studying abroad is a dream—and in her DNA. “Studying in America, to me, is like studying abroad,” she said. “I had to adapt to a new environment and there is nothing more exciting than being exposed to a new culture and environment. It feeds my curiosity.”

The FDGF Fellows must demonstrate high academic achievement, exemplary communication skills, hallmarks of self-determination, and characteristics of bold leadership, as well as a track record of service to others. In his nomination letter, Mercy College President Tim Hall described Cruz as a student who “shows a remarkable balance of determination in academic work, independence, and leadership skills.”

This year's cohort of 10 FDGF students will participate in a four-week summer study abroad program to enhance leadership and inter-cultural skills in Cape Town, South Africa. FDGF covers all program fees and travel costs.

Dr. Saul Fisher, Executive Director for Grants and Academic Initiatives at Mercy, sees the FDGF award as not only an honor for Cruz, but also an affirmation of the Mercy College mission. "This national fellowship signals the tremendous efforts of Ms. Cruz and – as representative of our college community, all our students – to go beyond one's comfort zone and pursue one's passions for discovery and exploration. We are confident that Ms.

Cruz will learn from, and contribute to, this international experience in ways that may surprise her – but will surprise us not at all." Cruz is a Business/Finance major and member of the Business Honors Program at Mercy who “fell in love with the technology industry” while working over the summer for several start-up companies. She credits Dr. Ed Weis, Dean of Mercy's School of Business, for providing her with necessary resources and guidance to win the fellowship.