10 Swearer Center Alumni Pursue Fulbright Scholarships this Year
This year, 37 Brown University students and recent graduates -- 20 from the class of 2017, 11 recent alumni and six graduate students -- received Fulbright awards in 20 countries around the world. The prestigious U.S. State Department international exchange program connects students and graduates from the United States with research and teaching opportunities to address social and cultural challenges across the globe.
Ten recipients of the Fulbright Scholarship at Brown are also Swearer Center alumni, taking their community engagement efforts far beyond College Hill.
Olugbenga Joseph ‘16, formerly a member of the Swearer Center Student Advisory Committee, a 2015 Newman Civic Fellow for Campus Compact and a community access scholar, teaches in Madrid, Spain. He works at a Spanish secondary school teaching English, History and Geography to students ages 11-18. He also teaches Global Classrooms, a version of Model United Nations for English language learners.
Olugbenga said he finds the language barrier in the classroom “invigorating,” adding to rather than taking away from his ability to engage with his students on global issues such as gender equality and climate change.
He reflected that his work at the Swearer Center, specifically with his mentors Juan Carlos Carranza and Betsy Shimberg, helped him to “understand service as a mutually-beneficial, symbiotic relationship,” and as “both action you take and and an attitude you assume.”
Cindy Abarca ‘16 also teaches English, but in a different setting. Her English Teaching Assistantship in Bialystok, Poland is at a local university, where she teaches English to undergraduates, Ph.D. students and professors in the departments of biology and chemistry. Cindy’s Fulbright experience connects to her undergraduate study and her master’s degree in public health, helping her to hone her editing and publishing skills.
While engaged at the Swearer Center in a former program called the University Community Academic Advising Program (UCAAP), Cindy most enjoyed working closely with community members. She will continue to engage with the community at her university in Poland. “I have been exposed to a diverse group of students from all regions of Europe facilitating exchange of cultural customs and traditions," Cindy reflected.
Dipal Nagda ‘17 is conducting neuroscience research at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in southern Germany through her Fulbright research scholarship.
At Brown, Dipal engaged with Partnerships for Adult Learning (PAL) for six semesters, a Swearer Center student group partnered with Perspectives, Inc. in the community, which works with adults with developmental disabilities in the greater Providence community.
While in Germany, Dipal has taken an intensive German language course, and hopes to continue to “immerse [herself] in German culture and engage with other students at [her] university.”
“Though I do not know exactly what this next year will bring, I am positive that the Fulbright fellowship will encourage me to broaden my horizons," Dipal reflected on the opportunities of the year ahead, "and to grow in ways I cannot imagine.”
We are proud of and excited for this year’s Fulbright recipients as they pursue their scholarships.
Full list of Swearer Center students, current and graduates, pursuing Fulbrights:
Katya Barrett '17 (Swearer Center Community Fellow)
Cecilia Garza '17 (Swearer Center Community Fellow, Student Staff)
Olugbenga Joseph '16 (Swearer Center Student Advsiory Committee, Swearer Center Access Scholar)
Dipal Nagda '17 (Swearer Center Community Fellow)
Emily Schwartz '17 (Swearer Center Community Fellow, Engaged Scholars Program, Royce Fellow)
Daniel Wilhite '16 (Swearer Center Community Fellow, Student Advisory Committee)
Cindy Abarca '16 (UCAAP)
Stefanie Kaufman '17 (Engaged Scholars Program, Social Innovation Fellow, Embark Fellow)
Sydney Menzin '17 (Engaged Scholars Program, Research Assistant)
Virginia Holmes '17 (iProv)