Men's Water Polo
    USC's Michael Shashoua Earns Fulbright Grant
    Michael Shashoua has earned a Fulbright Grant to research in Spain for a year.
    Michael Shashoua has earned a Fulbright Grant to research in Spain for a year.

    April 24, 2012

    A four-year member of the USC men's water polo team, goalie Michael Shashoua has combined a rigorous academic workload with commitment to an equally demanding sport. The USC men have won four straight NCAA championships since Shashoua's freshman year as a Trojan. Academically, Shashoua is graduating in May with a degree in in Business Administration / International Relations and a minor in Communication Law and Media Policy, and has been awarded a Fulbright Grant to pursue studies in microfinance in Spain.

    The native of Dallas, Texas, is next bound for Madrid to work with host affiliations Autonomous University of Madrid and FICO, the official credit agency of Spain. He will explore the use of microfinance in Spain to supplement the knowledge of microfinance in developed countries. He plans to conduct a study of client profiles, sustainable lender practices and structural weaknesses.

    Shashoua has earned a full research grant, providing one year of paid research in Spain, which accepts 24 applicants from graduating seniors to PhD students. He is one of 10 USC recipients of a Fulbright Student Grant for 2012-13, and is the only student-athlete in the group.

    "My research will be exploring the access to finance for small and medium cooperatives, including the use of microfinance (traditionally "micro" loans to poor people, as small as $10) for financial and social inclusion," Shashoua said. "On the microfinance front, I will also be working with the Spanish government to create efficient legislation and best practices for microfinance institutions. The goal is to supplement the power of microfinance in developed countries and establish microfinance as a tool against the severe economic situation in Spain."

    The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.