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posted: 5/9/2012 3:33 PM

Fulbright grant goes to NIU senior

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  • Nora Lindvall of Geneva has won a 2012 Fulbright U.S. student grant.

    Nora Lindvall of Geneva has won a 2012 Fulbright U.S. student grant.
    Courtesy of Northern Illinois University


A Geneva woman has become the latest Northern Illinois University student to win a Fulbright U.S. Student Grant.

Senior Nora Beresford Lindvall, the university's top undergraduate student, will spend the next academic year in the Netherlands, pursuing a master's degree in conflict resolution and governance at the University of Amsterdam.

The Fulbright program is federally funded and run by the State Department. The student program sends about 1,600 U.S. college graduates abroad each year. It also provides scholarships for people from other countries to study here, as well as fellowships for scholars. About 8,000 people a year, in total, receive grants. The program was founded in 1946, and is named after the Arkansas senator who proposed it. Lindvall is the 11th NIU student to win such a grant since 2003.

"I am doing everything I can to show students how their time at NIU can lead to life-changing opportunities that are not exclusively reserved for students from Big 10 and Ivy League schools," Lindvall said.

Lindvall graduates with honors Saturday, with bachelor's degrees in English and political science. She earned 20 NIU awards and scholarships, and two grants to conduct research overseas. She speaks five foreign languages. Last summer, she was an intern for two months with the vice president of the European Parliament.

"The Netherlands' foreign-policy commitment to transatlantic cooperation, European integration, international development and international law particularly appeals to my values," she said. Calling herself an advocate for nonviolence, she is impressed with Dutch cities like The Hague, which hosts the International Criminal Court and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

She will study the role of the European Union in assisting women in underdeveloped post-conflict societies who are recovering from human rights abuses.

Lindvall is the daughter of the late Linda Lencioni.

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