Catherine is the first recipient of the Fulbright Postgraduate Award at the University of South Florida.
My time at Abertay definitely helped me pursue the Fulbright scholarship. Not only did it help me exceed the academic criteria, it also taught me how to think critically and discover my specific areas of interest. Before university, I knew I wanted my career to involve ‘helping people’, I just didn’t know how. Studying Sociology gave me the chance to understand how people, societies and inequalities work, and I was also given the chance to study Psychology and Criminology. I now know my future research and career will focus on Sociology and Criminology, specifically solving social injustices. Outside of classes, Abertay's supportive staff and flexible timetable meant I could pursue an interest in community activities, something Fulbright expects of its applicants. I volunteered at a number of organisations, and Abertay even helped me organise a short film I was creating for the charity Fixers- who I actually first met at Abertay’s volunteer fair!
The scholarship is provided by the prestigious Fulbright Commission and the University of South Florida. The award is in honour of USF’s President Judy Genshaft, and provides a generous stipend with waived tuition fees for up to four years. My PhD will be in Criminology and my research is specifically based on how to reduce abusive behaviour in young people’s relationships. I'll be looking at new innovative techniques used in the US to empower and educate young people on the subject. Ultimately, I will create a programme to bring back and implement in the UK.
I loved my 4 years in Dundee and think it was the perfect place to be a student. My lasting impression of Dundee is that it’s an up and coming city with lots of exciting new industries and attractions. I’m looking forward to coming back after my time in the US to see how it’s transformed further. My lasting impression of Abertay is that it’s a small, supportive university where I met so many amazing people.
Keep going! All the hard times will be worth it on Graduation Day. I’d also suggest getting involved with extracurricular or community activities, especially if they relate to your career choice. I’d strongly recommend looking at local volunteering opportunities. If you are unsure of what you want to do after university, follow your passions and you can’t go wrong!