By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – Liam Monahan is going places – he will attend the University of Exeter in Great Britain to study with the Fulbright Summer Institute, a prestigious summer scholarship program. The application process is rigorous and competitive. He is one of four American students that will be participating in this program.
Monahan is a 2016 graduate of Shrewsbury High School and an incoming junior at Northeastern University in Boston.
“I was so excited, shocked a little,” he said. “I was happily surprised when I found out I was accepted.”
He noted that he will be a Fulbright Summer Institute participant, not a Fulbright Scholar. They are two different programs.
The summer institutes are held in accordance with the U.S.–U.K. Fulbright Commission which “promotes leadership, learning and empathy between nations through educational exchange.”
Monahan’s high school experiences have helped pave the way for his current success. While at Shrewsbury High, he held a number of affiliations and leadership positions including Student Council president and Class officer. He was a trailblazer with the Shrewsbury Youth & Family Services program, and then a volunteer peer counselor. He volunteered with the Shrewsbury Public Library and a Rotary Club’s Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) recipient and volunteer, as well as a member of National Honor Society.
At Northeastern, Monahan has been studying political science with a concentration in public policy and administration with a minor in environmental studies.
“I’m looking to pursue a career in government with a focus on environmental policy and at Northeastern there are cooperative programs where I have experiential learning to support my education,” he said.
He has been a member of the Renewable Energy Initiative Board and the Husky Environmental Action Team. He has also interned in the offices of State Senator Michael Moore (D-Millbury) and State Rep. Hannah Kane (R-Shrewsbury).
The Fulbright Summer Institute program begins June 20. It will be Monahan’s first time overseas; he will meet students from all over the world.
This particular program centers on climate change and environmental studies which is a good fit with his course of study at Northeastern.
The first week of the four-week program will delve into the topic of environmental change with world-renowned scientists through the University’s Geology Department. During the last three weeks, Monahan will have a choice of a range of academic programs through their International Summer School. Monahan selected a program on Climate Change.
“In general, environmental policy in Europe is more advanced than the U.S,” Monahan stated.
As such, he is excited to learn about the relationship between scientific study and how it affects policy making.
Meanwhile, until Monahan departs for Exeter, he is working with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center through his cooperative program at Northeastern.
“It’s a quasi-state agency working to grow the clean energy economy in Massachusetts,” he shared. He works on the operational side as a solar initiative fellow.
Once a month Monahan returns home to work at the Shrewsbury Public Library which is where he will be when he returns from the U.K. until the start of school in the fall.