George Mason University

News at Mason

Students, Alumnus Awarded Fulbright Grants

May 4, 2012

The following information was provided by Kathryn E. Agoston, director of graduate fellowships.

Three current Mason students and a Mason alumnus have been awarded Fulbright U.S. Student Grants for 2012.

The program is open to graduating seniors and graduate students and offers two basic types of grants. Fulbright Research/Study grants support independent research and study overseas. Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships offer U.S. students the opportunity to serve as assistant instructors in English language classrooms overseas.


Mona Olsen. Creative Services photo

Mona Anita Olsen was awarded a Research/Study Grant to Norway. Olsen is a PhD candidate in education specializing in entrepreneurship education. She is the founder of iMADdu (I Make a Difference, Do You?), an educational nonprofit that provides mentoring and apprenticeship opportunities to aspiring student entrepreneurs. She also serves as the assistant director of Mason’s Small Business Development Center, which provides support and education to local entrepreneurs and small business owners. Her Fulbright project will focus on the fostering of female entrepreneurship in the Norwegian system of education and training for professionals in the hospitality and tourism industries. Upon returning from her Fulbright year, she will complete her dissertation and pursue an academic career focused on entrepreneurship education and apprenticeship models in the United States and Norway.

Kerri Busbacher was awarded a 2012 Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Malaysia. Graduating in May, Busbacher is double majoring in global affairs and conflict analysis and resolution. As a student at Mason, she studied abroad at the University of Oxford, England, and interned in the Office of Conflict Prevention at the U.S. Department of State. After returning from her Fulbright year, she plans to pursue graduate studies in conflict analysis and resolution, and she has a career goal of entering the U.S. Foreign Service.

Michael Hecker was awarded a 2012 Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Azerbaijan. Hecker graduated in December 2011 with a BA in Government and International Politics, specializing in Middle Eastern studies. While at Mason, Hecker distinguished himself as a peer tutor for the Writing Center and interned at the Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. Department of State. After completing his Fulbright year, he plans to pursue a career in the U.S. Foreign Service. 

Andrew Pedry

Andrew Pedry. Photo courtesy of Andrew Pedry

Andrew Pedry was awarded a 2012 Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Montenegro.  He is a graduating senior, majoring in history and religious studies. Before attending Mason, Pedry served in the U.S. Marine Corps, attaining the rank of sergeant and serving in the Pacific, Kuwait and Iraq. He has combined his studies at Mason with his ongoing work as a veteran transition coordinator with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Upon his return from Montenegro, Pedry plans to pursue graduate studies and a teaching career in the field of history.