Tag Archive for fulbright

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.”

13 Students, Alumni to Receive Scholarships Under Fulbright Program


Ian Renner ’08 will observe, assist and run theater activities for child laborers in Egypt as a 2008-09 Fulbright scholar.
Posted 06/03/08
In Egypt, about 300,000 children spend their days laboring six days a week to help support their families and shoulder significant responsibilities at home.

As a recent Fulbright scholar, Ian Renner ’08 will spend the 2008-09 academic year helping some of these children regain their childhood through theater. He is one of 13 Wesleyan students and recent graduates to receive scholarships under the auspices of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

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.

“The children I’ll be working with are denied an opportunity to attend school or socialize with other children, and this impairs their ability to develop into competent adults and further perpetuates poverty,” Renner says. “Childhood is a time during which children develop self-esteem, a voice, and a sense of a community that many will keep for the rest of their lives. Supporting children is supporting a society’s future.”

Renner accepted an internship with the Cairo, Egypt-based Townshouse Gallery, working with Mahmoud El Lozy, associate professor of drama at the American University in Cairo. Renner will observe, assist and run theater activities for area children, and study the performance work being done with child laborers at the Townhouse. Eventually, Renner hopes to become involved in leading theater activities with the working children.

“Since working children are often isolated, theater is a space where bonding and self-organization occurs through group work, leading to a sense of collective ownership over creative potential,” Renner explains. “Creating character in drama can potentially help children understand themselves better and visualize changing their position in society. And at a minimum, theater can provide a small but real window of time for laboring children to experience a childhood that they are otherwise denied.”

Renner has already worked with low-income children at Oddfellows Playhouse in Middletown. He hopes the Oddfellows experience, along with his Fulbright, will help guide his future professional development. Renner foresees working for an organization that addresses the concerns of at-risk children on a global level.

Cedric Bien ’08 also received a Fulbright grant to study and research in China, but declined his Fulbright in favor of a Watson fellowship. Ameera Hamid ’08 was made a Fulbright alternate for study and research in Bangladesh, and may yet receive a grant.

Four students received French Government Teaching Assistantships, under the auspices of Fulbright. Emily Hauck ’08, Kai Johnson ’08, Emma Rosenberg ’08, and Sara Rowe ’08 will teach English in high schools in France during the 2008-09 academic year. The program is funded by the French government.

“Our students will be working with a master teacher and will represent American culture, leading conversation and activities with the French students,” says Wesleyan Fulbright organizer Krishna Winston. “They will help the French students realize that English is a spoken language, not just words in a textbook.”

Three other students were awarded, or selected as alternates, for English-teaching opportunities in foreign countries. Maya Bery ’08, will teach in Taiwan; Emily Malkin ’08 is an alternate to teach in Malaysia; and Hyun Hannah Nam ’08 is an alternate to teach in South Korea.

“My main goal is to begin learning Chinese, but on a more personal level, I hope to learn and grow from the challenges of moving to a country I’ve never visited before, where I don’t speak the language, and to hopefully learn to be an effective teacher as well,” Bery says. She has been assigned to an elementary and middle school in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Three alumnae also received Fulbrights. Marion Holaday ‘06 will study the rights of immigrants in South Africa; Rachel Lindsay ‘05 will study sustainable agriculture in Nicaragua, and Laura LeCorgne MA ’05 will complete a photographic-ethnographic study of musicians and musical- instrument makers in Egypt.

This year Winston worked with 27 students applying for Fulbrights and related grants, and of those 15 were recommended for grants. Only two of the 15 were rejected outright.

“This year, we had an extraordinary yield,” Winston says. “It’s the best year we’ve ever had.”

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor

9 Awarded Fulbright Scholarships for 2007-08


Nishita Roy ’07 is one of five Wesleyan students to receive Fulbright Fellowships for the 2007-08 academic year. She will study economics in Cairo, Egypt.
Posted 05/16/07
International politics major Nishita Roy ’07 will graduate this May, but before she begins a career in international development, she will have the opportunity to conduct independent economic research in Egypt.

As a Wesleyan Fulbright Scholar, Roy will study at the American University in Cairo during the 2007-08 academic year. She is among nine Wesleyan students and alumni named 2007-08 Fulbright Scholars. This is a record number for Wesleyan.

“I hope that this Fulbright award will open up many doors for me to pursue my career interest, and I believe that my studies at Wesleyan have been invaluable to my research next year,” says Roy, who spent her 2006 spring semester studying in Cairo.

The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, 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.

The program 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.”

Other student Fulbright scholars are Lindsay Ceballos ’07, who will go to Russia to study language and literature; Jacqueline Cruz ’07, who will teach English in Malaysia; Alexander Dynan ’07, who will study textile design in India, Jennifer Timm ’07 who received a Fulbright to teach English in Argentina, and graduate student Hae Joo Kim, who will study musicology in Korea.

Recent alumni also received Fulbright awards. They included Gideon Unkeless ’06, who will study education in South Africa; Morgan Philbin ’04, who will study public health in Mexico; and Katherine Standish ’03, who will study public health in China.

About 1,300 students, recent graduates and young professions are awarded Fulbright scholarships each year. They operate in more than 140 countries.

In Egypt, Roy plans to explore the concept of microfinance and its relationship to Islamic banking in Egypt. She will be trying to determine whether microfinance initiatives can be consistent with Islamic law as it pertains to money-lending.

“I think it is important to study this development issue in Egypt. The United Nations Capital Development Fund reports that, although Egypt has 1.5 million microenterprises, still 95 percent of the prospective demand for microfinance is unmet,” Roy explains. “The Fund estimates that ‘the Egyptian microfinance industry could potentially have between 2 and 3 million clients, whereas only an average of 220,000 have access to financial services.'”

Roy will take courses such as the Economics of Egypt, Small Business Entrepreneurship, and Islamic Institutions to gain a better understanding of economic development issues in Egypt. She also plans to continue learning the Arabic language, which she began studying at Wesleyan.

“I hope that my findings will help Egyptian microfinance institutions carry out their work more effectively, and I would be honored and thrilled if government officials take my work seriously and use my research as a guide to improve and expand microfinance programs in Egypt,” she says.

The program is named after Senator J. William Fulbright, who introduced a bill in the United States Congress that called for the use of proceeds from the sale of surplus war property to fund the “promotion of international good will through the exchange of students in the fields of education, culture, and science.” In 1946, President Harry S. Truman signed the bill into law, and Congress created the Fulbright Program.

Wesleyan Fulbright alternates include Kathleen Day ’07, graduate student Douglass Dineen, Gregory Dubinsky ’07 and Jean Park ’07. Krishna Winston, the Marcus L. Taft Professor of German Language and Literature and chair of the German Studies Department, is Wesleyan’s Fulbright advisor.

More information on the Fulbright Program is online at:http://us.fulbrightonline.org/home.html.

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor