Five Seniors Named Rockefeller Fellows

The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Fellowships Administrative Board named five Harvard seniors as 2002-2003 Rockefeller Fellows on Saturday.

Anjanette M. Chan Tack ’02 of Leverett House, Dorothy A. Fortenberry ’02 of Leverett House, David F. Mihalyfy ’02 of Kirkland House, Ruth K. O’Meara-Costello ’02 of Currier House and Daniel L. Vazquez ’02 of Mather House were all named as fellows.

As fellows, the five will have the opportunity to spend next year exploring a foreign country.

“Rockefeller Fellowships contribute $14,000 toward a year of purposeful immersion in a foreign culture for candidates at critical stages in their development who feel a compelling need for new and broadening experience,” said a statement issued by the Office of Career Services.

The fellows, who had to submit specific plans for how they would spend the year if awarded the fellowship, will travel to diverse locations on three different continents next year.

Vazquez plans to work with street children in Mexico City next year.

“Street children are some of the most politically disempowered members of the population,” he said.

He said that he hopes to use the fellowship as an opportunity to fully reconnect with his love of public service and as a time for intense reflection. He also wants to use his travels as a way to better identify with his Hispanic heritage.

O’Meara-Costello will be working on organic farms in Italy next year.

“I am obviously really happy,” she wrote in an e-mail. “I didn’t really apply for the fellowship thinking that I had a good chance at it, so I am also a little off-balance right now, but definitely excited.”

Fortenberry will use the fellowship money to work on youth empowerment in the Caribbean.

“I will be going to Haiti for a year to work with a program run out of Johns Hopkins that produces plays, music videos, and other media projects about AIDS education,” she wrote in an e-mail. “I’m really excited about going and definitely scared in a good way because I’ve never done anything like this before.”

Mihalyfy will travel to Siberia next year to work with and learn from a community of speakers of Nikvh, a dying language.

Chan Tack will spend next year in India working with several non-governmental organizations that work with marginalized populations.

The recipients were notified on Saturday afternoon following interviews with the committee that morning.

The fellowship, founded in 1966, provides four to five members in each of Harvard’s graduating classes funding for a year of work or study in another country.

—Staff writer Michaela O. Daniel can be reached at mdaniel@fas.harvard.edu.