Sixteen Students and Alumni Offered Fulbrights

News subtitle

The grants support study or teaching in 12 countries on four continents.

Fulbright scholarships
(Photos by Eli Burakian ’00 and Robert Gill)

Sixteen students and alumni have been offered Fulbright scholarships this year—the largest class of Dartmouth Fulbrights since 2014, according to Jessica Smolin, assistant dean for scholarship advising.

“I congratulate all of this year’s Fulbright recipients,” says Smolin. “This is an exciting time for the Fulbright at Dartmouth—we have more resources than ever to support students through the application process, including a new Fulbright adviser, Holly Taylor. I encourage all students and alumni considering research or teaching abroad to make an appointment with our office.”  

Sponsored by the U.S. government, the Fulbright Program is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other nations through international educational exchanges in more than 155 countries. Fulbright awards are available for research, graduate study, and teaching English.

To learn more about how to apply for the Fulbright and other programs, visit Dartmouth’s National Scholarships/Fellowships website.

Image removed.(Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

Iman AbdoulKarim ’17
Akron, Ohio
Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies major; anthropology minor
Fulbright research/study grant, U.K.

“I will be at Cardiff University in Wales, working on a master’s in Islam in contemporary Britain. I originally thought I was going to be a government major—I wanted to work for the U.N. or be a diplomat. But freshman winter I took a class called ‘Gender in Islam,’ with Professor Zahra Ayubi, and it blew my mind. In that class I developed an academic interest in Islamic feminism, not only because I’m Muslim, but because I was academically passionate about race, gender, sexuality, and religion. Soon enough I became a women’s, gender, and sexuality studies major. For me receiving a Fulbright is a way to continue the scholarship that I want to do on Muslim communities, and specifically racially and gender-marginalized communities within Muslim communities. But it’s so much larger than that. It’s not lost on me that I’ll be a black Muslim woman representative of the U.S. in a foreign country at a time when the national climate is blatantly antagonistic to those identities of mine. I’ve been thinking a lot about what that means. At the same time I think it’s a way to make up for that discourse—to be a different representation of a black Muslim woman, someone who’s engaged critically in civil rights discourses in the U.K, U.S., and internationally, as an ambassador. I think really interesting conversations will come from that.” 

Image removed.(Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

Nicole Castillo ’17
Basking Ridge, N.J.
Government and Asian and Middle Eastern studies double major
English teaching assistant grant, Morocco

“I always wanted to learn Arabic. At Dartmouth, I realized, you can’t learn the language without understanding the cultural context of it—and then how do you understand a country’s politics without its language? I went on the foreign study program to Fez, Morocco, and being there made me want to learn more. Something as simple as living with a host family, waking up to the call to prayer and having dinner late at night—just adjusting to a slower rhythm of life. If you don’t have those daily experiences, it’s hard to understand a country. This past summer I interned at an NGO, the Washington Office on Latin America, and almost every researcher there had fantastic stories about graduating and moving abroad to immerse themselves in a culture. It made me start researching what I could do to get back to the region that I had spent so much time studying. I’m so honored to have been chosen for Fulbright. Being a cultural ambassador is a huge responsibility. I’m grateful for everything Dartmouth has done to support me throughout this process.”

Image removed.(Photo by Robert Gill)

Sharon Cho ’17
Queens, N.Y.
Sociology major; education and psychology minor
English teaching assistant grant, South Korea

“I’m interested in education and mental health. I’m also focused on issues of ethnicity, specifically for Asian Americans. I’d like to eventually teach college students—to show students that there are faces like ours in academia. There are people on campus here who are my sources of support, and I’d like to be that for others, and give back to the community. One of the things I had in mind when I applied to the Fulbright was wanting to compare domestic Asian experiences with Asian American experiences. A lot of my application was about how mental health is not talked about in education. I want to understand more about how Asian countries tackle topics of mental health in the hopes that it will inform our approach to mental health within the Asian American community. I think both countries would be interested in learning about how the Korean diaspora functions in American society. It really is an investment on their part toward change, and I am very grateful for the opportunity.”

Image removed.(Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

Apoorva Dixit ’17
Memphis, Tenn.
Anthropology major; public policy minor
Research/study grant, India

“I applied for Fulbright because I wanted to go back to Bhopal, India, where I was born and lived until I was 5, because I wanted to better understand my heritage. I plan to take an anthropological look at the 1984 Bhopal disaster, when a gas leak at an American chemical pesticide plant affected about 500,000 and killed an estimated 10,000 people in a week. My dad was part of the Red Cross relief efforts, and my grandpa was one of many public servants scrambling to figure out what was happening. I plan to write an ethnography on how disaster unfolds over time, and how 30 years later this community is still dealing with it. My topic is very sensitive for both the Indian and American governments, so the fact that they have sponsored this project is meaningful in and of itself. To have my interest in this topic and in my heritage be confirmed like this is something I truly appreciate. First, though, the big denouement of my college career is co-directing the Dartmouth Outing Club first-year trips. What brings these two experiences together is my interest in understanding community and how community can serve as a powerful tool. Trips was my first time hiking, and my own trip was far from perfect. However, the potential for positive change that this program can effect on the Dartmouth community inspired me to stay involved. Trips is one of the things that Dartmouth does best. It’s one of the few opportunities for incredibly different kinds of Dartmouth students to find common ground and community together.”

Image removed.(Photo courtesy of Evelyn Fernandez-Lizarraga ’16)

Evelyn Fernandez-Lizarraga ’16
San Diego, Calif.
Linguistics and comparative literature double major
English teaching assistant grant, South Korea

“My Dartmouth experience centered on studying language in all its contexts: from literature to linguistics, in culture and society—through my Spanish foreign study program in Argentina; my Spanish sociolinguistics project analyzing the relationship between family, language, and identity through the perspective of Latino literature and linguistics; and as a Spanish drill instructor and a multilingual writing tutor. One of my most meaningful experiences was my Dartmouth Partners in Community Service Internship with the International Rescue Committee in San Diego, where I taught vocational English to Iraqi refugees and helped them apply for their first jobs in the U.S. I saw how my linguistics training could have a direct positive impact on people’s lives. As the daughter of Mexican immigrants, I was always taught to dream big, but perhaps privilege is knowing the scope of what’s possible. Although I am declining the Fulbright, applying for it confirmed my desire to work with language education and bilingualism. This fall I’ll be starting a master’s program in Hispanic linguistics at the University of New Mexico, specializing in U.S. Spanish sociolinguistics and heritage Spanish speakers. For me, receiving the Fulbright is not the fulfillment of a lifelong dream, but the start of grander goals. When I reflect on my life, my research, and my work experience, I marvel at how many doors bilingualism opened for me. I want to afford those same types of opportunities for others.”

Image removed.(Photo by Robert Gill)

Devyn Greenberg ’17
New York, N.Y.
Government major; double minor in human-centered design and Middle Eastern studies
English teaching assistant grant, Morocco

“I study government and I’ve always loved languages. I took Arabic my sophomore year and I realized I wanted to study an actual spoken dialect. That’s what pulled me toward the Morocco foreign study program and Middle Eastern studies. But after an internship at the White House, I got interested in how private sector problem-solving tools were being applied in the public space. This summer I did a federal consulting internship at Deloitte that exposed me to human-centered design. We did a project with the Department of Veterans Affairs, interviewing veterans and trying to create tools for employees at VA to really understand their customers. It was so compelling that I reworked my senior year to do a human-centered design minor. Design thinking has completely shaped my outlook. Through Fulbright I’ll be teaching university students English and working on my Arabic. I also hope I can find a way to bring my design-thinking background to maybe create a project to improve the university student experience. Fulbright is the culmination of all of my educational and professional experiences to this point. Every time I think about being in Morocco my heart kind of leaps because I’m so excited.”

Image removed.(Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

Michaela LeDoux ’17
New Orleans, La.
Geography major; art history minor
English teaching assistant grant, Czech Republic

“One of the reasons I chose Dartmouth was for the focus on study abroad. When I went to Prague on the geography FSP, we traveled around the Czech Republic to study the transition from communism after the Velvet Revolution. I loved the Czech culture, language, and history, and wanted to return to experience more of the country beyond Prague. Before the FSP, I had interned at the U.S. Mission to the U.N.—my dream internship. I worked with several Foreign Service officers there, and I’m interested in pursuing that as a career. I applied for the English teaching grant because of its focus on cross-cultural exchange. Before entering graduate school, I want to experience cultural immersion in a region in which I am academically and personally interested. I’m excited to learn from my Czech community and to share American culture through teaching English. I’m half Honduran and half Cajun-French, so I’ve always thought of myself as having an unusual background. I think it’s really special that the Fulbright Commission values my unique American experience.”

Image removed.(Photo by Robert Gill)

Liane Makatura ’17
Bangor, Pa.
Math and computer science double major; digital arts minor
Research/study grant, Switzerland

“I’ll be at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), working on a computational approach for caustic design. Caustics are patterns of concentrated light, like those found on the bottom of a swimming pool. I aim to design objects with prescribed caustic behavior, such that the resulting patterns form user-specified images upon illumination. Imagine shining a flashlight through a clear acrylic sheet, only to find that the light rays have been rearranged into an image of Albert Einstein on the other side. Current research enables such design and fabrication for planar surfaces, but I hope to extend these methods to arbitrary 3D shapes. As a visual and kinesthetic learner who grew up in my dad’s woodshop, I see computational fabrication as a fun and powerful new tool. This process connects the abstract worlds of math and code to something that is inherently tangible, evoking curiosity through whimsical interaction. The Fulbright is an incredible opportunity to push the boundaries in this field alongside a great team and many new experiences. I actually hadn’t experienced anything beyond the U.S. until a short trip abroad this past year, so I am particularly excited to immerse myself in another culture. I’m honored that the committee sees enough potential to invest in me not only as a researcher, but also as a meaningful bridge between Switzerland and the U.S.” 

Image removed.(Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

Daniel Miller GR
Seattle, Wash.
Master’s Program in Digital Musics
Research/study grant, India

“My Fulbright project will be looking at the intersection of algorithmic conceptions of music and traditional contemporary music in South India. You can look at music as a cultural practice, but you can also look at it through algorithms and quantitative means of analysis, so I’m looking at how those issues are different or similar in Carnatic music to how we see at them in European music. My adviser at Dartmouth, Michael Casey, does something very similar, looking at mostly European and North American music. As a composer and artist, it’s very much in the sphere of the things I’m interested in. Fulbright scholars serve as cultural ambassadors in a certain sense, and I think sound can have a big part in that. Sound obviously bridges languages, but there’s also an aspect to sound technology, where we all experience the same struggles to describe certain sonic states. The Fulbright is a tremendous honor. It’s a great deal of trust that they’re placing in me. I’m humbled by the opportunity.”

Image removed.(Photo courtesy of Emma PeConga ’16)

Emma PeConga ’16
St. Louis, Mo.
Psychology and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies double major
Research/study grant, Denmark

“I have been shaken by the news coming out of the Middle East and Eastern Europe as refugees flee the Syrian Civil War. I am currently working at New York University as a research assistant in Dr. Selcuk Sirin’s immigrant and refugee counseling psychology lab, investigating factors that predict resilience or vulnerability to various mental health outcomes in immigrant and refugee populations. This work has not only inspired me to travel to Europe to work hands-on with refugee populations, but also connected me to the inspiring leaders advocating for positive mental health outcomes of migrants in Europe. I applied for the Fulbright so I could incorporate my background in trauma research in marginalized and underserved populations to help develop a cost-effective therapy to mitigate the effects of traumas faced by refugees. I will be conducting research at the Danish Institute Against Torture (DIGNITY) and investigating the efficacy of a multi-symptom therapy for refugees while taking psychotherapy classes at the University of Copenhagen. Another cool thing about the Fulbright is its emphasis on community engagement and cultural exchange. At Dartmouth, the Dodecaphonics was my primary social outlet and my strongest support system on campus and beyond, which prompted me to join a local choir to connect with people my age in the Copenhagen area.”

Image removed.(Photo courtesy of Jocelyn Powelson ’14)

Jocelyn Powelson ’14
Richmond, Va.
Chemistry and environmental studies double major
Research/study grant, Nepal

“The Fulbright program provides a fantastic opportunity for me to immerse myself in a new culture and to engage in a research topic that I am passionate about. I will be studying climate change adaptation in a mountain community of rural Nepal. I will also have a special focus on gender, which is especially relevant these days, since there has been a huge demographic shift in rural Nepal, with working men migrating abroad for jobs, leaving women in rural areas to take on more household and agriculture responsibilities. I love that the Fulbright will give me full responsibility over designing and conducting my own research. Dartmouth helped pique my interest in traveling and living in different countries. I went on FSPs to China and southern Africa, and was supported to do internships in New Zealand, Lesotho, and Tanzania. At Dartmouth, I also had many chances to engage in research. After graduating, I worked for the Dickey Center as a student assistant for the Young African Leaders Initiative, and received a Lombard Fellowship to spend nine months in Nepal with Helen Keller International, working on a maternal and infant nutrition project. This experience made me fall in love with Nepal, and is partly what inspired me to want to do a Fulbright fellowship there.”

Image removed.(Photo courtesy of Travis Price ’11)

Travis Price ’11
Wayne, Penn.
English and environmental studies double major
English teaching assistant grant, Uruguay

“I’ll be teaching English in Montevideo and in the provinces. In addition, I’m planning to work with Books From Uruguay, a governmental organization seeking to strengthen the literary relationship between Uruguay and the international community. South America is known for García Márquez, Neruda, and Borges, but Uruguayan literature is often forgotten in the U.S., which is a shame, because we actually have a lot in common politically and culturally with Uruguay. After graduating from Dartmouth, I taught high school in Providence, R.I., for four years, and then went back to school to get my MFA in creative writing at NC State in Raleigh, N.C. The Fulbright will give me a chance to continue to write, teach, and work on my Spanish. At Dartmouth, Professor Sydney Lea helped start me on my literary journey. I took his introductory creative writing class my senior year—the first time I started to maybe see myself as a writer. I had the privilege of studying with Associate Professor Melissa Zeiger in Trinidad on the English FSP, and owe her a tremendous debt of gratitude for all of her guidance since then. And my interest in teaching stems largely from Professor Andrew Garrod’s ‘Education 20’ course, a class that dramatically altered my trajectory—in a good way.”

Image removed.(Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Doe Stone ’12)

Elizabeth Doe Stone ’12
Concord, Mass.
Art history major
Fulbright research/study grant, Sweden

“I am currently a PhD candidate in the history of art and architecture at the University of Virginia. The Fulbright presents an amazing opportunity to pursue critical research on site in Sweden, where I’ll be conducting archival research in Stockholm and Mora at the National Museum, the Zorn Museum, and Stockholm University in conjunction with my doctoral dissertation, ‘Cosmopolitan Facture: John Singer Sargent and Anders Zorn, 1871-1915.’ My project focuses on informal figural painting and sketches, which functioned as tokens of artistic exchange. By situating these two painters in relation to one another, and by locating their artistic experimentation within a broader community of international artists and sitters, my project highlights nodes of encounter and entanglement at the turn of the century. My time at Dartmouth had an enormous effect on my current research and future goals. Professors Ada Cohen, Steve Kangas, Kristin O’Rourke, and Joy Kenseth were incredibly generous mentors and continue to serve as role models as I pursue a career in academia. My FSP in Rome with Professor Adrian Randolph and my return to Rome as Professor Kenseth’s TA after graduation had a huge impact on my decision to apply to graduate school and my desire to become a college professor.”

Image removed.(Photo courtesy of Jordan Terry ’15)

Jordan Terry ’15
Atlanta, Ga.
History major
Research/study grant, U.K.

Terry graduated from Dartmouth magna cum laude, with three citations for academic excellence in his course work, the Zora Neal Hurston Prize for Excellence in the Social Sciences, and the Eleanor Shannon ’79 and David Salem Scholarship in history. At Dartmouth he was a Mellon Mays Fellow, a researcher on the Dartmouth Slavery Project, and president of the College’s chapter of the NAACP. As a presidential scholar, he was a research assistant for Associate Professor of Sociology Deborah King. He also participated in the history foreign study program in London, where he found a passion for British history. He currently lives in the Bay Area and works at Google. Offered a Fulbright to study in the U.K. at Cambridge, he has opted instead to accept an Ertegun Scholarship in the Humanities at Oxford University to earn a master’s degree in British and European History. Following Oxford, he plans to return to the East Coast for law school.  Of being offered the Fulbright, he says, “It’s humbling and such an incredible honor. The application process taught me a great deal about myself and my long-term interests. I am so grateful for my professors and the scholarship advising office for shepherding me through the process. It truly takes a village.”

Image removed.(Photo by Robert Gill)

Clara Wang ’17
Harvard, Mass.
Government major; double minor in public policy and quantitative social sciences
Research/study grant, Taiwan

“The Fulbright is something I thought I wanted coming into college—I had this whole plan where I would become a diplomat. But this year, as I’ve been talking with professors and thinking about what I want to do, I decided to take an offer at Civis Analytics. They’re the data science team from the Obama campaign—and it's an exciting organization that's looking at how to utilize data to solve problems in all different sectors; they do a lot of great work. It was a tough decision. I’ve had professors who are very focused on quantitative aspects of political science and encouraged me to go in that direction, and it’s been a really fulfilling path. But I’ve also really enjoyed the various international experiences offered by Dartmouth. I actually I picked Dartmouth because I wanted to study abroad. I spent a summer in Beijing doing a language program, and then the fall Dartmouth LSA+, and volunteered there during winter break. I also got to study abroad in London, and this past winter I went to Ukraine with the public policy class. I’m grateful that I got to have all of these awesome cultural experiences while I’ve been at Dartmouth.”

Image removed.(Photo by Robert Gill)

Joshua Warzecha ’17
Clayton, Calif.
Arabic and linguistics modified with Hebrew double major
English teaching assistant grant, Israel

“Growing up, I had a lot of friends who were bilingual, and that interested me. My mom is Japanese-American and my dad is Polish-Italian, but they don’t speak those languages. The Arabic LSA+ in Rabat, Morocco, was my first time spending more than a week abroad, and it opened my eyes to a lot of interesting linguistic situations. I also spent a term in Jordan on a Boren Scholarship through the Department of Defense, and with that came the stipulation that I spend a year working for the federal government in a national security capacity. But I applied for Fulbright because I wanted more experience in the Middle East before going into a career. I’ve never been to Israel, and I thought that would be an important region to visit. I’ll be teaching English at a small college in Tel Hai. It seems pretty isolated, which will be good for my language skills—and they’re also going to fund me to study Arabic or Hebrew, which is great. Receiving the Fulbright means a lot, because I kind of view myself as what America is—a coming together of multiple cultures and backgrounds and races—so for me to be able to represent that abroad is important.”

Hannah Silverstein