The Mount Vernon Rotary Club awarded its annual Monroe "Chip" Whitton Scholarship to Annmarie Fitzpatrick, a senior English major at George Mason University, concentrating in Medieval and Renaissance Studies.
The $1,000 scholarship provides for summer study at a university in Scotland, Ireland or the British Isles. Fitzpatrick attended the University of Cork under the auspices of the Center for Global Education, GMU.
"I felt at home from the beginning," said Fitzpatrick. "The first person I met was a Fitzpatrick, and, of course, we're related."
During the week, six hours a day were spent in the classroom with students from all over the world earning Fitzpatrick six credit hours at GMU. Weekends were spent traveling.
"I used my classroom experience and shared the feel of Dublin in the James Joyce honors seminar I'm taking, but the best memories come from trying not to be a "Yank," said Fitzpatrick.
She told Rotary members who hosted her recently that girls dressed in spandex all day could only be rowers. Fitzpatrick is GMU's coxswain on the schools crew team. Fitzpatrick said she was invited to practice while in Scotland and she raced with a Cork team at the Irish National Championships held at Inniscarra lake in Farran Woods. "We finished fourth, one of the best finishes for the team all day," she said.
Fitzpatrick plans to work on a Masters in Education and to teach secondary school English in Northern Virginia.
"This is the goal of our program," said Dr. D.R. Butler, chairman of the Whitton Scholarship committee. "We are providing opportunity and investing in young people who come back to enrich our community."