Brown's 2018-2019 Fulbright scholars (not all are pictured) Ashley McCabe

Date June 8, 2018
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Brown students, recent graduates earn 35 Fulbright Scholarships

This year’s recipients will travel to 25 countries to teach English or pursue graduate study or independent research.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Twenty-nine seniors, two recent graduates and four graduate students have received prestigious Fulbright awards to teach, study or conduct research abroad during the 2018-19 academic year.

As the flagship international educational and cultural exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, the Fulbright seeks to foster relationships between Americans and people in more than 140 countries around the world to address global challenges and work toward world peace.

Brown is consistently ranked among the top ten Fulbright-producing institutions, and for the last two years has produced more Fulbrights than any other university in the nation. Selection for the program is made based on a variety of factors including the strength of the application, personal qualifications, academic record and the extent to which the candidate and their project will help to advance the Fulbright mission of mutual understanding.

“Brown students understand the importance of engaging with people from different cultural backgrounds than their own and are open to putting themselves in new and unusual circumstances,” said Linda Dunleavy, associate dean of the College for fellowships. “They thrive on adventure with a purpose and have meaningfully embraced the mandate of the Fulbright program and made it their own.”

This year’s Fulbright recipients from Brown will travel to Asia, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East to conduct independent research, pursue graduate study or teach English. Belarus, the Czech Republic, Germany, South Korea and Taiwan will host two Brown Fulbrighters, and Spain will host three. Teaching assistantship awardees will provide classroom instruction and share cultural perspectives about the U.S. in contexts ranging from elementary schools in rural villages to high schools or adult education centers in big cities. Several of this year’s recipients will pursue research projects in the fields of public health and medical science.

Ella Cohen, who completed her degree requirements in December and graduated in May, will head to Morocco this fall to undertake research with a pediatric oncologist at Rabat Children's Hospital. Her work there will focus on the socio-cultural impact of Islam on the perception of palliative care among parents of terminally ill children.

Cohen, who concentrated in psychology and spent the last two years volunteering for a hospice center in Providence, plans to apply to medical school when she returns from her Fulbright year. She said that she hopes her time spent in Morocco will ultimately make her a better physician.

“I think that the cross-cultural communication skills I will gain doing this work will definitely transfer to my work as a physician — whether I am working with a patient of Muslim faith or any other faith,” Cohen said.

Cohen said her Brown education gave her the foundation she needed to successfully apply for a Fulbright.

“The Open Curriculum allowed me to explore so many different interests at the same time, which also helped me to figure out ways in which I could combine many of them into something more cohesive,” she said. “And the fellowships office here is incredible. I couldn’t have asked for more support.”

Watufani Poe, who will be entering his fourth year as an Africana studies Ph.D. candidate at Brown this fall, will use his Fulbright award to research black LGBTQ activism and community-building in Brazil — the focus of his dissertation.

“I hope the time the Fulbright fellowship gives me in Brazil will allow for a more robustly developed project,” he said. “Also, coming from a relatively young Ph.D. program at Brown, I'm excited to be able to represent Brown's Africana programs within national fellowship programs such as the Fulbright.”

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

Oyindamola Akingbile (South Korea)

Trevor Anesi (Samoa)

Katherine Armstrong (Taiwan)

Ryan Bahar (Czech Republic)

Erika Banuelos (Spain)

Marjo Beltoja (Denmark)

Jonah Blumenthal (Bulgaria)

Emma Bourgeois (Belarus)

Akira Camargo (South Korea)

Natalie Chapkis (Sweden)

Margot Cohen (Ecuador)

Ella Cohen (Morocco)

Spencer Darveau (Taiwan)

Alexandra Dolido (Germany)

Ibtihal Elfaki (Switzerland)

Alana Felton (Belarus)

Erin Gallagher (Germany)

Benjamin Gladstone (Israel)

Ciara Hayden (Montenegro)

Timothy Jeng (Spain)

Joshua Kurtz (Romania)

Andrew Linder (Czech Republic)

Alexander Mezoff (Spain)

Grace Molino (the Netherlands)

Brenda Morales (Spain)

Amalia Perez (Colombia)

Anna Schwartz (Norway)

Nicole Ubinas (Dominican Republic)

Jordan Waller (Uzbekistan)

Jeanelle Wheeler (France)

Michelle Zabat (Philippines)

This year's graduate student Fulbright Scholars are:

Edward Wildanger (Germany)

William Skinner (Barbados)

Watufani Poe (Brazil)

Katherine Freeze (Tajikistan)