Two SMCM Students Receive Prestigious Fulbright-Hays Fellowships for Summer Language Study in Taiwan

Submitted by Chuck Steenburgh on April 04, 2024 - 8:44 am
April 04, 2024
By Chuck Steenburgh

St. Mary's College of Maryland students Jonathan Geyer '24 and Summer LaRocco '26 were recipients of grants under the Fulbright-Hays Fellowships for Advanced Overseas Chinese Language Study for the summer of 2024. The fellowships are awarded by the American Councils for International Education under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and are worth $7,000.

Geyer is an Asian studies and anthropology double-major with a minor in Chinese from Chevy Chase. "I have been studying Chinese in one way or another since middle school, but haven't ever had the chance to actually go to either China or Taiwan, and this Fulbright-Hays fellowship is what will allow me to break that duck and actually go to those countries," said Geyer. "I also intend to pursue the Chinese language professionally in the future, and this is an amazing opportunity to get my Chinese up to not only linguistic fluency but also cultural fluency, something that could only be gained by actually being in Taiwan itself."

LaRocco is an Asian studies and English double-major with minors in Chinese and educational studies from Leonardtown. "St. Mary’s College is the kind of institution that provides students the ability to pursue out-of-the-box programs like [the American Councils' Fulbright-Hays] program, and I’m particularly grateful to the Asian Studies Program and Chinese [program within the International Languages & Cultures] Department," said LaRocco. "Without these programs, I don’t think I ever would have even thought about applying for a program like a Fulbright. I’m looking forward to representing the College in Taiwan!"

The two Fulbright-Hays awards came on the heels of news that three recent SMCM graduates were named semi-fnalists for Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants from the U.S. Department of State. Students interested in these and other national grant and award opportunities should contact Professor Jennifer Cognard-Black, director of student fellowships and awards, at


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