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Wesleyan Named a Top Producer of Fulbright U.S. Students

For the second year in a row, Wesleyan is proud to be included on the list of U.S. colleges and universities that produced the most 2017–2018 Fulbright Students, as recently announced by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. Top-producing institutions are highlighted annually in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

For academic year 2017–2018, six recent alumni and one graduate student from Wesleyan received Fulbright awards. Those who accepted and are currently participating in Fulbright are:

  • Kate Cullen ’16, academic Fulbright in Chile. Cullen is researching innovative ways to monitor glacial retreat and effective climate change adaptation strategies, focusing on Mocho Glacier in the Chilean Lake District. She has partner with local experts in Santiago and Valdiva to evaluate local vulnerability and hazards from rapid glacier melt.

5 Alumni, 2 Students Accept Fulbrights

fulbright240Seven Wesleyans are finalists in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program this year. The Fulbright Student Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The program operates in 160 countries worldwide.

In total, 38 former and current Wesleyan students applied, and 12 were semi-finalists. Of those, two were selected as alternates, and eight were finalists. Seven of them accepted Fulbrights.

The program provides grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs.

Wesleyan Named A Fulbright Student Top Producer

Wesleyan University has recently been recognized as a Fulbright Student Top Producer for the 2016-2017 academic year.

As the flagship program for international research, study, and teaching, sponsored by the U.S. Government, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program is available for recent graduate and graduate students to explore their research topics, as well as cultivate a meaningful cultural experience in over 140 countries.A bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) is generally required by the start of the Fulbright grant period. Wesleyan has produced more than 140 Fulbright students from 1943 – 2015, with seven more recent graduates and alumni making up the 2016 – 2017 class of mentioned below:

Leah Bakely ’16 is a teaching assistant Fulbright in Spain. She wants to use her teaching skills in Spain because it offers her the opportunity to meaningfully engage with her academic interests and career aspirations, and improve her language skills.

10 Wesleyan Students, 1 Alumna Receive Fulbrights

Eleven Wesleyans were finalists in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program this year, including 10 from the Class of 2016, and a Class of 2013 alumna. In all, 23 people from Wesleyan applied for Fulbrights, and 12 were semi-finalists.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The program operates in 160 countries worldwide. Primary funding for the program comes from an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments, host institutions, corporations and foundations in the U.S. and abroad also provide direct and indirect support.

The program provides grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs. Candidates must submit a Statement of Grant Purpose defining activities to take place during one academic year in a participating country outside the U.S. Recipients are selected based on academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

3 International Fulbright Scholars Studying at Wesleyan

Janette Suherli

Janette Suherli

Fulbright Fellow Janette Suherli could attend graduate school anywhere in the world, but the Indonesian resident decided to persue her master’s degree in astronomy here at Wesleyan.

“I learned about Wesleyan when I was in high school, and now I’m here because the Astronomy Department offers a great research program with well-known faculty members. The research and learning environment encourages me to be better everyday,” she said.

Suherli, who came to Wesleyan this fall, is one of three international Fulbright recipients who chose to complete their graduate studies at Wesleyan. Christine May Yong of Malaysia, plans to be at Wesleyan four to six years working on a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology. And Cristohper Ramos Flores of Mexico started his graduate studies in 2012. He’s pursuing a master’s degree in music composition.

A mainstay of America’s public-diplomacy efforts, the Fulbright Foreign Student Program brings citizens of other countries to the United States for master’s degree or Ph.D. study at U.S. universities.

Tucker to Study Modern Visual Evidence as Fulbright Fellow in England

Jennifer Tucker is chair and associate professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies, associate professor of history, associate professor of science in society.

Jennifer Tucker is chair and associate professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies, associate professor of history, associate professor of science in society. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

Associate Professor Jennifer Tucker has been selected for a Fulbright-U.S. Scholar Award, through which she will spend eight months at the University of York in England.

Tucker is a historian of British science, technology and medicine, specializing in the study of the connections among British science, photography and the visual arts from 1850 to 1920. At the University of York, she will complete work on her second book, tentatively titled, Facing Facts: The Tichborne Cause Célèbre and the Rise of Modern Visual Evidence. She also plans to begin preliminary research toward her next book project, which will trace the social history of Victorian scientific and popular visual depictions of the ocean life before and after the HMS Challenger expedition (1872-1876), which laid foundations for the modern science of oceanography.

The Fulbright Scholar Program, the U.S. government’s flagship program in international educational exchange, was established in 1946. It aims to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.” According to its website, it has provided more than 300,000 participants with an “opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.” Read more about the program here.

“I’m thrilled,” said Tucker. “The Fulbright is a research award in the History of Art Department at York, and the timing could not be better.  I am glad for this chance to complete my current book project and begin a new one in dialogue with several specialists whose interests dovetail so closely with mine.”

Professor, 3 Students to Study, Teach Abroad as Fulbright Fellows

Su Zheng

As a 2012-12 Fulbright recipients, Miriam Berger ’12 will study journalism in Egypt; and Matthew Alexander ’12 and Lynn Heere ’12 will teach English in Germany. Su Zheng, associate professor of music, associate professor of East Asian studies, will study, “China’s Emergent Soundscape: New Music Creativities, Body Politics and the Internet in Defining a Global Chineseness,” in Shanghai, China.

The Fulbright Program is the largest U.S. international exchange program offering opportunities for students, scholars, and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide.

Miriam Berger, a College of Social Studies major, will begin her year abroad on June 1, as a fellow at the Center for Arabic Studies Abroad (CASA) in Cairo, Egypt. There, she will study Modern Standard Arabic and Colloquial Egyptian. After improving her Arabic and cultural literacy skills, she will begin her Fulbright research on how Egyptian print newspapers have responded to the

7 Wesleyan Students Receive Fulbright Fellowships

A Ph.D candidate and six recent graduates received Fulbright Fellowships for the 2011-12 academic year.

Aaron Paige, a Ph.D. student in ethnomusicology, has received a Fulbright Fellowship to support his dissertation fieldwork in Malaysia, as well as a research grant from the Society for Asian Music to support research in Chennai, India. The dissertation project, “From Kuala Lumpur to Kollywood: Music, Language, and Identity in Tamil Solisai,” involves multi-sited ethnography and will trace the various meanings of Tamil hip-hop as it travels within and between local, national, and transnational spaces. Paige’s work will take him to Chennai in the summer and fall and to Malaysia for an extended visit starting in late 2011.

William Krieger ’11 received a Fulbright Fellowship for one year’s study and research in Germany.

Benjamin LaFirst ’11, Alaina Aristide ’11, Kaitlin Martin ’11, Alessandra Stachowski ’11 and Alison Cies ’11 received Fulbright English-Teaching Assistantships. LaFirst will teach in Austria; Aristide will teach in Argentina; Martin will teach in Russia; and Stachowski will teach in Brazil. Cies declined her assistantship to teach in South Korea.

Teaching assistantships in Argentina and Brazil are highly competitive, with 7:1 odds for Argentina and 10:1 for Brazil.

The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the United States Department of State and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is the largest U.S. international exchange program offering opportunities for students, scholars, and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide.

It was established in 1946 by the U.S. Congress to “enable the government of the United States to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.”

Fulbright Scholars Heading to Belgium, Turkey, Indonesia

At left, Melina Aguilar ’10 will teach English in Indonesia as a 2010-11 Fulbright scholar. She taught children at a boarding school in China last summer (pictured). Aguilar is one of four recent Wesleyan graduates to receive a Fulbright Scholarship.

Recent graduate Anne Rosenthal’s years of taking French and environmental science classes will come in useful next year as she studies Belgium’s efforts to stimulate market demand for environmentally friendly products.

Rosenthal ’10 is one of four Wesleyan alumni selected to participate in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program in 2010-11. Fulbright scholars conduct research abroad or teach English in foreign countries.

Anne Rosenthal ’10

Rosenthal, who double majored in French studies and environmental science, will enroll in graduate-level environmental management courses at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), while examining Belgium’s role within the European Union framework for green product certification, and Belgium’s promotion of greener consumption. During a semester abroad in Paris, Rosenthal became interested in the ways Europeans thought about the environment, especially compared to attitudes in the U.S.

“I hope to leave Europe with an understanding of why EU programs might or might not represent promising models for the U.S. by getting a sense of Belgian people’s attitudes toward environmental issues,” she says. “My project will allow me to continue pursuing both my passions of environment and French.  I am incredibly grateful to my Wesleyan professors

Fulbright-Hays Fellowship Takes Field to Sri Lanka to Study Sinhala Music

Music graduate student Garrett Field received a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship.

For two years, music graduate student Garrett Field will live in Sri Lanka studying the lives, music, poetry and writing of three composers who influenced Jatika Gi, the Sinhala nationalist poetry-song.

As a 2010 recipient of a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) fellowship, Field will have the opportunity to complete his dissertation on Sunil Santha, W.D. Amaradeva, and Ananda Samarakone – whose careers, music, and poetry articulated different strands of Sinhalese nationalist thought. The fellowship comes with a $26,000 award.

“The Jatika Gi artists played a significant role in the development of Sinhala cultural nationalism and thus served as an impetus to the Sri Lankan independence movement. However, no one has critically examined each artist’s career and oeuvre to see whether and how he participated,” Field wrote in his project proposal. “I propose each artist represents a different articulation of Sri Lankan Sinhala nationalist ideology between 1940 and 1960.”

Investigating how Jatika Gi was an articulation of various Sinhala nationalist sentiments between 1940 and 1960 requires interdisciplinary

Wesleyan’s Fulbright, German Exchange Scholars Announced

Anthropology and Science in Society major Kate Ottaviano ’09 has already immersed herself in several cultures. As a daughter of international educators, she attended school in Italy and Japan, built a concrete house in a Filipino slum, delivered school supplies to impoverished children in Romania, and taught English to imprisoned women in Peru.

Kate Ottaviano '09

Kate Ottaviano '09

Ottaviano will continue her cultural immersion in 2009-10 as a Fulbright scholar, teaching English language in the European country of Macedonia. Administered by the Institute for International Education, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards full research grants to graduating seniors and young alumni after an extensive application process. Recipients receive a stipend to cover travel, housing and living expenses.

“Each culture speaks and breathes within me, influencing my personal outlook on the world in a unique way,” Ottaviano says. “The life my parents chose for me has enabled me to feel at home in any country and has taught me tolerance, empathy, and the merits of diversity.”

College of Letters and German studies major Andrew Kirwin ’09 and Russian Literature major Emily Wang ’08 also received a Fulbright Scholarship. Patrick Garrity ’06 is an alternate. College of Letters and German studies major Jason Kavett ’09 was also offered a Fulbright scholarship, but instead accepted a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Scholarship for Graduate Study.

“I will always be interested in learning about people and cultures, inside and out, and Wesleyan has helped me better understand my goals in life,” Ottaviano says, who received a specialized English Teaching Assistantship program award. “Teaching is one of them, and the Fulbright Program will give me the chance to further explore this passion.”

Andrew Kirwin '09

Andrew Kirwin '09

Kirwin will use his Fulbright for German literature research. He’s planning to study at the Freie Universität in Berlin, where he will research the concept of madness in literary and theoretical works from the era of German Romanticism.

He credits the interdisciplinary nature of Wesleyan’s College of Letters for introducing him to close readings of European literary and philosophical texts within their historical context.

“I will investigate a shift in German perceptions of mental illness as reflected in these works, from dread and mistreatment of the insane to fascination with and sympathy for them,” Kirwin says. “My research will trace this reversal in thought about insanity, its manifestation in Romantic literature, and the part it plays in Romantic aesthetics.”

To understand the new medical theories of madness that were developing at this time, Kirwin will study the works of the physician Johann Christian Reil, who coined the term “psychiatry” in 1808, and revolutionized perceptions of insanity.

“Through this project I will gain valuable research experience in the field which will better prepare me for graduate-level work,” he says.

Emily Wang '06

Emily Wang '08

Wang will use her Fulbright award to expand on her senior thesis at Wesleyan. She will examine the least-studied writings of Russian modernist poet Nikolai Gumilev (1886-1921). His narrative poems “Mik” (1918) and the verse collection Tent (1921) reconsider the African themes present in Gumilev’s earlier, more autobiographical poetry.

“Gumilev began as writer known for his devotion to the Symbolist movement, masculine persona, and travels to Africa, but as his writing developed he became not only a great and original poet, but also a highly influential editor, mentor and critic,” Wang says. “Scholars are now studying neglected writers like Gumilev with great interest, and Russian high schools have begun including his poetry in the curricula. I am eager to join the Russian students, scholars and writers who are now beginning to acknowledge Gumilev’s contributions to their heritage.”

She plans to conduct this research in Moscow and take supplementary courses at Moscow State University.

Jason Kavett '09

Jason Kavett '09 (submitted photo)

Like the Fulbright recipients, Kavett will have opportunity to complete a year-long research project. He will work at the at the University of Konstanz and study German poet Durs Grünbein’s lyric poetry as a point of intersection between science, philosophy, and literature.

Grünbein, a Berlin-based author, is the recipient of Germany’s highest literary prizes, including the Georg-Büchner-Preis and the Peter Huchel Prize for Poetry.

“Durs Grünbein is considered one of the most important literary voices to have come of age in the former East Germany, and an insightful commentator on the representation of German history,” Kavett explains. “In particular, I am interested in asking what idea of human life Grünbein suggests by including in his lyric poetry anatomical models, and what this perhaps ironic approach to the body illuminates about Grünbein’s poetic reflections on history.”