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Marymount student awarded Fulbright

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 Next year, Marymount University senior Kaitlin Berger will continue her education more than 4,500 miles away from Arlington with the help of a Fulbright Graduate Degree Grant.

She received the grant to pursue a degree at the National University of Public Service in Budapest, Hungary. There, the criminal justice major will pursue an international public service relations master’s. Berger plans to research prison systems and examine how issues such as time to arraignment, length of sentences, prison programming opportunities and recidivism rates differ between Hungary and the United States.

“I have always been interested in pursuing a career that is on an international level, and recently I have been drawn toward creating or researching policy that affects human rights,” Berger said. “The more I looked into this opportunity, the more I realized how it fits perfectly with my plans for the future.”

It will take 18 months for Berger to earn her degree. Her Fulbright grant will cover 10 months of that time or her first two semesters, as well as her research project that examines and compares prison systems.

“We are so proud of Kaitlin, and thrilled for her to have this wonderful opportunity,” said Stephanie Foster, professor of criminal justice at Marymount. “Working with her directly as a criminal justice major and an honors scholar, she is a bright and intellectually curious student who is always hardworking and engaged. Kaitlin also loves to travel and is compassionate in her desire to learn and make life better for those around her.”

Berger volunteered in Colombia over Christmas break with an international volunteer organization. She was set to complete a social justice internship in South Africa before the COVID-19 pandemic forced her to cancel those plans.

“I am most looking forward to being able to take the next step in my academic career while being granted the opportunity to learn about a new region and culture,” Berger added. “I am very excited to see where this takes me.”

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020