University of Vermont

College of Arts and Sciences

Five UVM Students, Alumni Named Fulbright Scholars

Fulbright winners
2013 Fulbright recipients (from left): Michael Hoffman, Emma Kantrov, Brienne Toomey, Alessandra Hodulik and Peter Doubleday.

Three University of Vermont students and two recent alumni have been awarded Fulbright U.S. Student Program Scholarships. The prestigious awards are fully funded, year-long fellowships which enable seniors, recent graduates and graduate students who have an outstanding academic record to live abroad and conduct research or teach English as part of an intellectual and cultural exchange.

Brit Chase, UVM’s director of fellowships advising, and Lisa Schnell, associate dean of the Honors College, oversee the Fulbright competition on campus. “The Fulbright is a life-transforming opportunity for students,” reflected Schnell, “and one that confirms and enhances the wise choices they’ve made at UVM and the relationships they’ve formed with their faculty and staff mentors. We are so honored to have such accomplished students representing UVM and the U.S. abroad.”

Peter Doubleday ’13 has been awarded a Fulbright research grant to the United Kingdom for the 2013-2014 academic year. Doubleday will be conducting research at the University of Cardiff, where he will be examining signal transduction mechanisms related to the mTOR signaling pathway and cancer. His research in Cardiff aims to uncover new aspects of cancer cell growth and recycling mechanisms to identify possible chemotherapeutic targets. By investigating different pathways, this work will hopefully allow the larger, translational research team at Cardiff to turn basic scientific discoveries into new therapies.

Doubleday is a biological sciences major who has spent the last four years working under Professor Bryan Ballif in the biology department. Using mass spectrometry Doubleday has focused his research on the cell biology of brain development and breast cancer. Doubleday has received several research grants while at UVM (including the APLE and URECA awards), and has presented his work at university research conferences as well as at the Human Proteome Organization’s 11th World Congress. In addition to his coursework and research, Doubleday is a volunteer in the Art from the Heart Program at Fletcher Allen Hospital where he gives pediatric patients and himself an artistic outlet. He is also an active outdoorsman. While at Cardiff, Doubleday will study under Dr. Andrew Tee in the university’s Medical School through its Institute of Cancer and Genetics. In addition to his research, Doubleday will also complete his master’s degree in cancer and genetics.

A Hope, Me. native, Doubleday credits his success in the classroom and in the lab to the mentors he had at UVM. Doubleday credits Ballif, visiting scholar Karen Hinkle and the Vermont Genetics Network proteomic research group for helping him apply for a Fulbright and as great mentors outside of the classroom. After returning to the U.S., Doubleday plans to continue biomedical research as a part of either a doctoral program or an M.D.-PhD. program.

Alessandra Hodulik ’13 has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Korea for the 2013-2014 academic year. She will teach English in either an elementary or high school classroom outside of Seoul, and will also work as a tutor.

Hodulik’s experience in Korea will complement her extensive global engagement during her time at UVM. She is a European studies major, and spent the spring of 2011 studying in Leon, Spain. While in Spain Hodulik had the opportunity to work as an English tutor, and in Korea she will continue to use the classroom to facilitate cultural exchange. In addition, the Fulbright offers her the opportunity to advance her global expertise while also learning more about her familial heritage (she has a grandmother who is Korean). The experience will prepare her for her long-term goals of pursuing a career in international education.

Hodulik is a Killington, Vt. native, and is also vice president of UVM’s Mock Trial Society. She says her UVM mentors, particularly Professor Angeline Chiu in the Classics Department and Brit Chase in the Office of Fellowships Advising provided strong support as she assembled her application.

Michael Hoffman ’13 has been awarded a Fulbright English teaching assistantship to Taiwan for the 2013-2014 academic year. He will be teaching in an elementary classroom in Yilan County, an area in the northeast section of the island. He will also be working as a consultant to school officials on American cultural issues and assisting in the editing of educational materials for English teaching.

Hoffman, a triple major in Spanish, Chinese, and Asian studies, is an avid language learner. Already fluent in Spanish, he plans to use his time in Taiwan to perfect his Mandarin language skills while also studying the calligraphic tradition of Chinese characters. In addition to being an outstanding student, Hoffman is an accomplished language instructor, having previously taught English in Taiwan as well as in the United States. On campus he also regularly participates in the conversation hour with both Spanish and Chinese language students.

Hoffman is originally from Chelsea, Vt. He credits his college mentors, particularly Professors Martin Oyata, Cao Chunjing, and Brit Chase in the Fellowships Office for pushing him academically and intellectually while at UVM. After completing his Fulbright experience he plans to return to the U.S. and pursue a master’s degree in Chinese-English translation and interpretation. He ultimately plans to work as a language interpreter for the U.S. government or in the private sector.

Emma Kantrov ’12 has been awarded an English teaching assistantship to Brazil for the 2014 academic year. She will be teaching at a university and mentoring Brazilian students who will go on to become English language teachers throughout the country.

While at UVM, Kantrov majored in environmental sciences and minored in Spanish. She spent extensive time outside of the classroom working as a teacher and a tutor in after school programs run by the Burlington school district as well as the Sara Holbrook Community Center. Her experience tutoring refugees, immigrants and English language learners in the Burlington area inspired her to pursue science education as a career. The Fulbright will enable her to build on her teaching experiences while also perfecting her Spanish and Portuguese language skills.

Kantrov credits her college mentors, particularly Portuguese language professor Debora Teixeira, for their mentorship and support throughout the Fulbright application process. Originally from Lexington, Mass., she plans to return to the Boston area after her Fulbright experience and teach science in a high school that caters to newly arrived immigrants.

Brienne Toomey 12 was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Germany for the 2013-2014 academic year. She will teach English as well as American government, history and civics, and she will also serve as an adviser to German teachers who teach English.

A North Andover, Mass. native, Toomey came to UVM to pursue environmental studies and to prepare to embark on a career that focused on environmental resource conservation. Her study of German language and culture (she was a double environmental studies and German major) played a prominent role in how she thought of promoting sustainable living in society. While studying abroad in Germany during her junior year, she saw how the country had made significant changes to its energy generation and transportation practices in order to live in a more sustainable and energy efficient manner. During her Fulbright year, Toomey plans to explore these practices and potentially bring these ideas back to organizations in the U.S.

Toomey graduated from UVM magna cum laude and as an Honors College scholar. While at the university she was an active participant in the DREAM Mentoring Program, and she regularly contributed her art work to The Water Tower. Since graduating she has been working for the National Gardening Association in Burlington. After returning from Germany in 2014, Toomey plans to continue her work in renewable technologies and sustainable initiatives.

A rigorous undergraduate intellectual experience is required to assemble a strong Fulbright proposal, and Toomey credits her mentors in the German and Russian language department for pushing her to perfect her language and enable her to study language through a cultural lens. She says Professors Wolfgang Mieder, Dennis Mahoney, Helga Schrekenberger, and Adrianna Borra were especially influential in her studies.

Doubleday, Hodulik, Hoffman, Kantrov, and Toomey are five of more than 1,500 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2013-2014 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. 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 primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support.

Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.

Since 2005, when the university put a centralized fellowship outreach and support program in place, 125 UVM students have won or been finalists in the country's most prestigious and competitive competitions, including the Fulbright, Rhodes, Goldwater, Marshall, Udall, Truman, Madison, Critical Language, SMART, Gilman and Boren Overseas scholarships.

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