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14 Fulbright Fellowships Awarded to Pomona College Class of 2014 & Recent Alumna

Cooper Galvin

Cooper Galvin

Peter Pellitier

Peter Pellitier

Jennifer Schmidt

Jennifer Schmidt

Emily Yang

Emily Yang

Gina Bock

Gina Bock

Rebekah Cramerus

Rebekah Cramerus

Kara Freedman

Kara Freedman

Sarai Jimenez

Sarai Jimenez

Tara Miller

Tara Miller

Benjamin Shand

Benjamin Shand

Alexandra Gutowski

Alexandra Gutowski

Thirteen graduates of the Class of 2014 and a recent alumna have been awarded prestigious Fulbright Fellowships to pursue independent research or to teach English in countries around the globe. In addition, four current seniors were selected as Fulbright alternates.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is “sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between people of the U.S. and the people of other countries.” Over the last five years, graduating Pomona College seniors have been awarded 69 Fulbright Fellowships. Over the last 10 years, graduating seniors have been awarded 142 Fulbrights.

Fulbright Fellowship Research Grants

Cooper Galvin, a chemistry major with a mathematics minor, from Anchorage, Alaska, has declined the Fulbright grant to Switzerland. Instead he will attend Stanford University for a Ph.D. in biophysics and materials science, on a National Science Foundation Fellowship. His NSF proposal involves a novel large-scale energy storage device–an aqueous flow battery, building on work he conducted at Harvard University last summer.

Peter Pellitier, a biology major from Eugene, Ore., will travel to Kavieng, Papua, New Guinea, to assess how variation in small-scale fishing practices can affect parrotfish diversity in coral reefs. "Ultimately, maintaining parrotfish diversity may be critical to healthy coral reefs and mitigating climate change," he explains. After the Fulbright, he plans to attend graduate school and continue research in plant ecology.

Jennifer Schmidt, an environmental analysis and German double major, from Seattle, Wash., will travel to the Research institute of Organic Agriculture, in Giessen, Germany, to work on a sustainable agriculture project studying rhizobia bacteria, a beneficial soil organism that forms a mutualistic relationship with soybean plants. Her future plans include attending graduate school in sustainable agriculture and sustainable agriculture research.

Emily Yang, a physics major and environmental analysis minor, from Arcadia, Calif., will head to Landau, Germany, to study the interplay between climate change and greenhouse gas emissions from small rivers and streams, with Dr. Andreas Lorke of the Environmental Physics Department at the Landau campus of the University of Koblenz-Landau. Her future plans include the possibility of graduate school in engineering, physics or earth sciences.

Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships

Gina Bock, a psychology major from Irvine, Calif., will teach English in Athens, Greece, and is waiting to learn her placement in a K-12 school. After the fellowship, she plans to earn a master’s degree in education and become an elementary school teacher.

Rebekah Cramerus, a double major in linguistics and cognitive science, and Russian and East European studies, from Houston, Texas, will teach English in Kyrgyzstan. “I chose Kyrgyzstan because I am interested in both the native culture and history, and its more recent history as a Soviet satellite,” she says. In the future, she hopes to work for the federal government, possibly in the State Department.

Kara Freedman, an international relations major from New York City, will teach English in Peru, to university-age students, who are working toward an English as Second Language degree. She also hopes to work with Grassroots Soccer. Her career plans involve working abroad, possibly in journalism.

Sarai Jimenez, a history major from Santa Clarita, Calif., will teach in Mexico and do social justice work relating to migration issues. Following the Fellowship, she plans to stay in Mexico and hopes to work closely with migrants to and from Central America and Mexico and their families. 

Tara Miller, a public policy analysis–development major from Portland Ore., will teach English in Mexico and plans to work with local community organizations in that country. After the Fulbright, she will pursue her interests in social justice and public policy.

Aimee Mori, a biology major from Oak Brook, Ill., was selected to teach English in Thailand, but has declined the award to enroll in a graduate program in Tokyo.

Christopher Reeves, a psychology and Russian & East European studies double major, from Wayne, Pa., will teach English to university students in Russia. His future goal is a career in either international business or government service that benefits from his knowledge of Russian.

Aparna Sarkar, a mathematics major with an art minor, from Houston, Texas, will teach in Argentina.

Benjamin Shand, an economics major with a mathematics minor, from Barrington, Rhode Island, was awarded a Fulbright to teach in South Korea but has declined the fellowship to pursue his plan to become a math teacher. He will work for Teach for America at Leadership Prep Bedford-Stuyesant Middle Academy, a charter school in Brooklyn, NY.

Fulbright Partnership Award

Alexandra Gutowski ’13, an international relations major from Montclair, NJ, received a Fulbright Partnership Award to pursue a M.Sc. degree in defense, development and diplomacy at Durham University in the United Kingdom. Currently studying Arabic in Doha, Qatar, she intends to pursue a career in public service, focusing on national security and the Middle East.

Fulbright Alternates

Peter Ferrin, a chemistry major from Salt Lake City, Utah, would travel to Germany for a research fellowship.

Gabriella Heller, a chemistry and mathematics major, from Chicago, Ill., would conduct research in the United Kingdom.

Yi Li, a philosophy and neuroscience major, from Newbury Park, Calif., would travel to Hungary to do research.

Jakub Nowicki, an economics major with a Russian and East European studies minor, from Norwalk, Conn., would teach English in the country of Georgia.

Pomona College, one of the nation’s top liberal arts institutions, offers a comprehensive program in the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. The College is known for faculty-student mentoring, small classes and a range of opportunities for student research, leadership and community service. The founding member of the Claremont Colleges, Pomona College meets the full financial aid need of every accepted student with grants.

NOTE: Pomona College alumni who have received a Fulbright in this round can contact Cynthia Peters to be included in a revised release on the Pomona College website.

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