Eliza Collison
Kenneth Lai

Two graduating seniors at UC Irvine have been awarded highly coveted Fulbright grants to study abroad. Eliza Collison, who’s majoring in international studies, and Kenneth Lai, who’s majoring in both English and classics, are headed to Nicaragua and Finland, respectively. Collison will study young adult civic engagement and voter participation. She hopes to shed light on why half of Nicaraguan adults under age 26 lack a national identification card and to learn whether factors such as gender, employment status and location affect young voter participation. Lai will undertake a master’s degree at the University of Helsinki; study religious texts in ancient Greek and Latin; and complete a thesis on gnostic thought and self-discovery in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. He was also a finalist for the prestigious Marshall Scholarship. Two recent UC Irvine graduates and another graduating senior were Fulbright finalists: Sarah Amarragy ’13, political science; Jenny Mogi ’13, public health and international studies; and Jacqueline Rodriguez ’14, Chicano/Latino studies and sociology. UC Irvine’s Scholarship Opportunities Program, launched in 1990 to help undergraduates win eminent scholarships, provides counselors who advise candidates about applying for 13 annual awards, most of which require campus endorsement of applications.