Date May 23, 2017
Media Contact

Brown students, recent graduates earn 37 Fulbright Scholarships

The prestigious award offers young scholars the opportunity to teach, study and pursue research internationally.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Twenty seniors from Brown University’s Class of 2017, six graduate students and 11 recent alumni have landed coveted Fulbright student scholarships to conduct research or teach abroad. 

As the flagship international exchange initiative sponsored by the U.S. government, the Fulbright Program is designed to build relationships between Americans and people in more than 140 countries across the globe to collectively address global challenges and work toward world peace.

Last year, Brown produced the most Fulbright winners in the United States, and the University has consistently ranked in the top 10 of Fulbright’s top-producing schools. Selection is made based on a variety of factors including the quality of application, personal qualifications and academic record, and the extent to which the candidate and the project will help to advance the Fulbright mission.

"I am so proud of this year’s cohort of winners,” said Linda Dunleavy, associate dean of the College for fellowships who advises undergraduates and recent graduates applying for Fulbright scholarships. “Armed with the Brown spirit of inquiry and openness, they will go into the world to advance the Fulbright mission of mutual understanding across borders. The wide array of countries our Fulbright winners will visit as teachers, researchers and students demonstrates their adventurousness and curiosity about the world."  

Twenty undergraduate and recent alumni will use their Fulbrights in a wide variety of research projects including a study on childhood cancer in the Netherlands, an examination of black identity in Portugal and an exploration of the social context of the Zika epidemic in Brazil. Others will take part in Fulbright’s English Teaching Assistantships, which support them in teaching English and sharing cultural and political perspectives about the U.S.

David Reich, a molecular biology and biochemistry concentrator who graduates this spring, will venture to Jordan to study the building of a major bus rapid transit (BRT) project there.  

“The Fulbright emphasizes intellectual ambassadorship between countries, and I think that the BRT system in Amman, Jordan, if successful, is something that many of our cities in the U.S. could learn from,” said Reich, who likens the infrastructure of cities to that of cells. “I plan to use my background in biochemistry to study the Amman BRT in a very scientific way. Taking this multidisciplinary approach is very Brown.”

The six graduate students who landed Fulbright scholarships will use their grants to engage in field research related to their doctoral work.

“These prestigious awards are a tremendous testament to the excellence of the students, their programs and the University as a whole,” said Thomas A. Lewis, associate dean of the Graduate School. “The awards enable these young scholars to spend a year immersed in the international research that will launch their careers.”

Sara Hefny, a doctoral student in anthropology, will travel to Italy to study a humanitarian organization that is helping to facilitate the approval of humanitarian visas to asylum-seekers in refugee camps in Lebanon and resettle them in Italy. Being a Fulbright scholar will provide her with the resources and support needed to conduct the long-term research that is foundational to anthropologists, said Hefny, who was attracted to the Fulbright because of its emphasis on authentic engagement with people from other cultures.

“The mission of international collaboration and partnership is shared by both the Fulbright program and the Brown anthropology department, along with the University more generally,” Hefny said. “The mission of the Fulbright program and its participants is to extrapolate that mode of engagement to a global scale. For this reason, I look forward to being a representative of Brown and the United States and to fostering intellectual exchange between the U.S. and Italy.”

This year's undergraduate and recent graduate Fulbright Scholars are:

Cindy Abarca (Poland)
Katya Barrett (France)
Elizabeth Berman (Germany)
Leanne Block (France)
Cambria Chou-Freed (Argentina)
Andrea Cordova-McCadney (Portugal)
Jonathan Davies (Philippines)
Samuel Falkson (Israel)
Aida Feng (Germany)
Cecilia Garza (Spain)
Emma Gleeman (Chile)
Virginia Holmes (Germany)
Anna Johantgen (Spain)
Olugbenga Joseph (Spain)
Sidney Karesh (Belarus)
Stefanie Kaufman (Swaziland)
Liana Kramer (Netherlands)
Jacinta Lomba (Brazil)
Sydney Menzin (Spain)
Dipal Nagda (Germany)
Viet Nguyen (South Korea)
Evangelos Nikitopoulos (Hungary)
James Ninia (Italy)
David Reich (Jordan)
Emily Schwartz (Netherlands)
Pranav Sharma (India)
Margaret Tennis (Ukraine)
Ryan Walsh (Israel)
Daniel Wilhite (Brazil)
Eve Woldemikael (Portugal)
Matthew Wood (Brazil)

This year's graduate student Fulbright Scholars are:

Omar Alcover (Guatemala)
Fiorie Berhane (Italy)
Benjamin Bradlow (Brazil)
Sara Hefny (Italy)
Peter Levins (Croatia)
Emily Monty (Spain)