University of Vermont

The Honors College

Emily Lubell '09 Awarded Fulbright Scholarship to Chile

Emily Lubell

"Well, what do I have to lose?"

That was her first thought, said Emily Lubell '09, when she started to apply for a Fulbright Scholarship. The UVM senior had just returned from a semester abroad where she had been researching the chemical composition of the drinking water in Arica, Chile. Lubell was the first person to discover that Arica's hard water might be causing health problems. But she ran out of time in the country before she could find out who in the town was at risk. She needed a way to get back and finish her research, so last fall she applied for the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship; a fully-funded grant which enables students to pursue an independent research project abroad. She knew Fulbright was competitive, but she also knew it enable her to finish her research.

In the end, her gamble paid off. Lubell is one of three UVM students to receive a Fulbright Scholarship for the 2010-2011 academic year. She is also the second UVM student in two years to be awarded a Fulbright to Chile; she will follow in the steps of Kameron Harris '09, an Honors College student who won a research grant to the country last year.

Lubell will pursue an independent research project on the correlation between socioeconomic status and the prevalence of kidney stones among the population in Arica, a town on the coast close to the Peru border. Lubell will spend the year working with public health officials determining if people of a lower socioeconomic standing are more susceptible to kidney stones, a painful condition that can result from drinking hard water. If that's the case, Lubell plans to investigate Arica's drinking water and determine if the quality city's drinking water combined with a lack of access to bottled water is leaving poorer residents at higher risk for kidney stones.

She was inspired by her UVM courses and professors to pursue a career in public health, and is one of over 1,500 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2010-2011 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 over 155 countries worldwide.

Lubell, a Natick, Massachusetts native and psychology major, graduated from UVM this past December, and has been working for the Vermont Child Health Improvement Program in Burlington. She will leave for Chile in March; when she comes back she plans on becoming a public health official.

See Emily Lubell discuss her Fulbright project and application:

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Fellowships at UVM

Last modified August 02 2010 11:23 AM