Sixteen graduates of the Class of 2016 have been awarded prestigious Fulbright Fellowships to pursue independent research or to teach English in countries around the world.

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.”

Fulbright Fellowship Research Grants

Benjamin Cohen, an international relations and Russian and Eastern European studies major from Moorestown, New Jersey, will study national identity in Ukraine's Jewish population, working to produce an original and comprehensive study to shed light on a sector of Ukraine’s political culture that is often obscured or misinterpreted. He will work with professors from Taras Shevchenko University in Kyiv and will primarily utilize interviews and archival research. While there he plans to volunteer with the Joint Distribution Committee in its efforts to assist displaced Jewish families in Ukraine; participate in Jewish cultural activities through the Kyiv-based organization VAAD; and enroll in Ukrainian language, history and politics courses. Cohen plans to pursue a career in either international education or diplomacy and may attend graduate school for a master’s degree and/or Ph.D.

Madeleine Colvin, an international relations major from Seattle, will be based in Yunnan Province, researching the gender dimensions of China's ethnic tourism industry by collecting oral histories from women who work in the industry. She plans to volunteer at a Kunming-based NGO called Heart to Heart Community Care, which provides social services to migrant workers and ethnic minorities. Colvin is also the recipient of a Critical Language Enhancement Award to study Chinese before she starts her Fulbright research.

Amelia DeSnoo, a Middle Eastern studies major and Chinese minor from San Francisco, will research the syncretism of Sino-Islamic identity in China. She will visit sites along the Silk Road in Xi’an and neighboring cities, looking specifically at architecture that embodies the fusion of this hybrid identity. She will partner with CyArk, a nonprofit organization that preserves historic artifacts using 3D laser technology, to digitally preserve these sites. DeSnoo hopes to launch an interfaith/intercultural initiative in conjunction with her research. After the Fulbright she may pursue a graduate degree or other fellowships.

Nathalie Folkerts, a public policy analysis major with a concentration in biology from Marion, Iowa, will pursue a MSc in environmental management with a specialization in urban environments at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. While there she plans to join the Reading Agrics, which hosts social events and a lecture on contemporary agriculture issues. She hopes to work at or help establish a cooking and gardening program at local primary or secondary schools, as well as intern for the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Agriculture in order to learn more about U.K. policy. She plans to return to the U.S. and work in urban land management and resource distribution. 

Alexandra Goss, an international relations major from Rhinebeck, New York, declined the Fulbright and accepted a Watson Fellowship. 

Elisabeth Hansen, a chemistry major and French minor from Ashland, Oregon, will conduct epidemiological research at the Pasteur Institute’s Enteric Bacterial Pathogens Unit in Paris, France, studying Salmonella panama, a multidrug resistant strain of Salmonella enterica that causes severe food-borne infections. She seeks to further the understanding of S. panama virulence to better manage future outbreaks of this and other multidrug resistant strains. To complement her laboratory research, she will also be pursuing a Master's degree in microbiology at the Pasteur Institute. While in Paris, she hopes to do clinical volunteer work with underserved immigrant populations and to continue her involvement in African dance and drumming. After completing the Fulbright, she plans to pursue medicine, doing some combination of clinical, research and public health work. 

Marek Zorawski, a chemistry major from Minneapolis, will go to Poland to study the function of a chemical modification (called phosphorylation) to the GRHL family of human tumor suppressor proteins, hoping to understand this modification in GRHL proteins in order to eventually employ it as a novel cancer therapeutic strategy. Zorawski will volunteer with the Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw, demonstrating and explaining simple biochemical reactions for the public. After the Fulbright, Zorawski plans to apply to MD/Ph.D. programs and pursue medical research as a career.

Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships

Angela Bi, a neuroscience major and Spanish minor from Rancho Cucamonga, California, will teach in Colombia and hopes to work with an organization supporting the Afro-Colombian population.

Jamila Espinosa, a Latin American studies and sociology major from Berkeley, California, will teach English in Portugal. She plans to pair students who wish to practice their English with college students in the U.S who are learning Portuguese for an international cultural exchange through a virtual learning community; she will also offer this learning experience to other members of the community who wish to learn about American culture.

Mia Hahn, a public policy analysis major concentrating in sociology from Columbia, South Carolina, will teach and coach swimming during her time in Taiwan while she does language and cultural studies. 

Janet Herrera, a psychology and Spanish major from Pomona, California, will teach in Peru and volunteer at a bilingual public school. While there, she plans to take Quecha language classes or conduct research on issues affecting the community she’s a part of. She plans to teach in the U.S. in the future. 

Nana-Korantema Koranteng, a Middle Eastern studies major from Atlanta, will teach in Bahrain, volunteer with the Bahraini Women Association and learn the Khaleeji dialect of Arabic. After the Fulbright, she plans to pursue either a master’s in Near East studies or a JD.

Thuy Tien Le, a media studies major from Gretna, Louisiana, will teach in South Korea, engage with a local church, and volunteer for sports and arts based programs. She plans to involve the community in collaborative filmmaking.

Edmund Pacleb, a neuroscience major from Carson, Calif., will teach in Indonesia. Pacleb brings to Indonesia his experiences tutoring elementary, middle and high school students through the Saturday Tongan Education Program through the Asian American Resource Center at Pomona College. He plans to shadow physicians at government hospitals and clinics, as well as practitioners of alternative forms of medicine and healing. After he completes the Fulbright, he plans to apply to medical school and graduate school in public health. His long-term goal is to be a physician and public health professional who serves underserved urban communities. 

Isaac Levy-Rubinett, a history major with a concentration in Latin America and the Caribbean from Austin, Texas, will teach in Colombia, coach sports at the youth or collegiate level and start a creative writing club. In the future, he is interested in writing, becoming a museum curator, and/or pursuing a graduate degree in history.

Duong (Cody) Thach, an English major and Asian American studies minor from Ontario, California, will teach in Dien Bien City, Vietnam, engaging classes in media analysis. Thach plans to start an English club where members analyze American films and music and do narrative production exercises. Thach hopes to produce a blog or short film to share online to facilitate international exchange. After the Fulbright, Thach is considering joining Teach for America or pursuing a graduate degree in Asian American studies or English.