Six recent Wesleyan alumni are the recipients of 2020–21 Fulbright Awards.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the largest U.S. exchange program offering opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide. The program currently awards approximately 2,000 grants annually in all fields of study, and operates in more than 140 countries worldwide.
The recipients include:
Inayah Bashir ’20, who majored in the College of Social Studies, won a Fulbright grant to teach English in Kenya. Bashir will work with Kenyan students to place their identity and interests at the center of their learning experience. She looks forward to learning from the teachers and students while following her passion for developing student-centered curriculum and programming. In the future she wants to attend law school with a focus on education and international law in order to prepare for a career as an advocate for equality and education.
Abraham Kipnis ’19, a physics and College of Integrative Sciences major, won a Fulbright grant to Finland to complete a master’s degree in computational engineering and technical physics at the Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology (LUT). He will focus on developing novel materials for clean energy so that he can become a better researcher and industry expert in sustainability. Outside of coursework, Kipnis looks forward to joining LUT’s downhill skiing and hiking clubs and exploring the city’s cultural attractions. In the future he wants to earn a PhD in physics and pursue a career in material science.
Nicole McCann ’18, who majored in biology and Science in Society while competing on the varsity women’s tennis team, won a Fulbright research grant to Kenya to conduct HIV research. She will work with a Kenyan research team to analyze the community acceptance and cost-effectiveness of an intervention designed to improve adherence to chemotherapy among patients with Kaposi’s Sarcoma, a common HIV-related cancer. Outside of the grant activity, McCann plans to engage in the community by learning Swahili and volunteering at the Imani Workshops, a fair-trade enterprise created to provide economic opportunities for people with HIV. After returning to the U.S., she plans to earn a PhD in public health policy and pursue a career in policy.
Jed Munson ’19, who majored in English with a minor in the College of East Asian Studies, won a Fulbright creative arts grant to South Korea. He will travel along the southern fronts of the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), interviewing farmers, soldiers, and conservationists in order to gain a better understanding of the DMZ as a geopolitical war relic and protected ecological entity. This research will provide material for a creative nonfiction book that theorizes the DMZ as a geopolitical and eco-poetic entity significant to the emergent field of the environmental humanities.
Anthony Price ’20, an American studies and government major, was awarded a Fulbright grant to teach English in the Netherlands. He became interested in the educational system of the Netherlands through a course discussion about the state of education around the world. His curiosity expanded once he learned that the Dutch model provides students with vocational opportunities, giving them a better chance of receiving jobs beyond high school. Besides teaching, he looks forward to joining a local buurtkamer (community center) and organizing community dinners to exchange stories and traditions with his hosts. In the future Price plans to earn a law degree, work for the Department of Education, and eventually run for office.
Ananya Subrahmanian ’18, a psychology major, won a Fulbright Binational Internship to Mexico, a special grant that combines a hands-on internship at a Mexico-based company with business coursework at a local university. Currently employed at the financial law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, Subrahmanian looks forward to expanding her business knowledge and learning about social and economic policies that affect trade. Following the Fulbright, she plans to earn a law degree in preparation for a future legal or policy-based career.
Afrah Boateng ’20, an economics major with a minor in film studies, and Gustavo Sanabria ’19, a film studies major, received alternate status, which means that they will be awarded the grant if funding becomes available. Boateng applied to teach English in Senegal, and Sanabria applied to conduct film infrastructure research in Paraguay.
Eight other Wesleyan alumni achieved semifinalist status.
Since 1949, more than 170 Wesleyan alumni have received Fulbright awards.