University of Vermont Fulbright Scholarship Recipients:
Marleene Blas, Brazil,
Anders Christiansen, Mexico
Joseph Friedman, Mexico
Sydney Healey, Brazil Daniel Rosenblum, India
Brian Vedder, Thailand
Kiran Ficken, Belarus
Alessandra Hodulik, Korea
Michael Hoffman, Taiwan
Emma Kantrov, Brazil
Samuel Mitchell, Brazil
Brienne Toomey, Germany
Mark Russell, Germany
Ryan Peterson, Germany
Katie Sacks, Austria
Robyn Suarez, Malaysia
Amanda Egan, Ukraine
Christopher Morriss, Venezuela
Madeline Murphy-Hall, Kuwait
Meryl Olson, Sierra Leone
April Orleans, Trinidad & Tobago
Dzeneta Karabegovic, Sweden
Hannah Lemieux, Turkey
Emily Lubell, Chile
Justin Sanders, United Kingdom
UVM's 2014-2015 Fulbright Recipients
Matthew Andrews, Germany
Matthew Andrews ’13 was awarded a Fulbright research grant to conduct research on the Weimar period in Germany at Phillip-Universität in Marburg. Andrews will be focusing on the development of neo-conservatism and analyzing how the ideas of a radical intellectual elite were adopted and popularized by paramilitary movements during that period. Such analysis, he says, can help historians better understand how the process of popularization affects and influences ideological development.
A history major at UVM, Andrews’ proposed research is an extension of work he started while studying abroad in Marburg during the 2012-2013 academic year. His work will be overseen by Eckart Conze, Wenke Meteling and Michael Seelig in the university’s history department. Under the guidance of his mentors, Andrews will be combing archives and taking graduate seminars to examine the phenomenon of popularization. An accomplished jazz violinist, Andrews also plans to get involved in the local music scene while in Germany.
Andrews is originally from Washington, D.C., and he credits the success he’s had at UVM to working closely with his mentors, Helga Schrekenberger and Dennis Mahoney in the German Department, as well as Denise Youngblood in the History Department. After returning to the U.S., Andrews plans to apply for doctorate programs in history and continue his work on modern European history and political thought.
Marleene Blas, Brazil
Marlenee Blas G’14 has been awarded a Fulbright teaching assistantship to Brazil for the 2015 academic year. She will be teaching at an English language training center at a local university and mentoring Brazilian students who will go on to become English language teachers. During her time in Brazil she hopes to broaden her understanding of the links between affirmative action, access and college affordability.
A Higher Education and Student Affairs graduate student, Blas’ academic interests have focused on the importance of diversity in a university setting, and how to use the classroom as a medium for cultural exchange. At UVM, Blas has been heavily involved in many aspects of student advising and campus life. She served as a tutor for the Upward Bound program, where she worked with first generation high school students planning to go to college. During her second year in the program, she served as a teaching assistant for the ethnic studies department and a co-facilitator for the Human Relations course focused on social justice and diversity. She is an assistant residence director in the Honors College, an editor of the Vermont Connection, and has presented her work at the Student Research Conference.
While at UVM, Blas has worked with students, staff and faculty on issues related to diversity and multiculturalism on campus. She credits her success in her graduate studies to having the opportunity to work closely with many faculty members including Jill Tarule, Kathy Manning, Rashad Shabazz, Stacey Miller and Kathy Cook. The Higher Education and Student Affairs graduate program recently recognized Blas for her "outstanding contribution to the ALANA community".
Originally from Mexico, Blas grew up in Temecula, Calif., and is the first in her family to go to college. After completing her Fulbright work she plans to return to the United States and work in higher education and student affairs. She intends to eventually pursue a doctorate in education and continue to develop her research of access and support services for college students.
Anders Christiansen, Mexico
Anders Christiansen ’14 has been awarded a Fulbright Business Binational Internship to Mexico. As an intern, Christiansen will be placed by the Fulbright Commission in either a business or non-profit organization in Mexico City and work on issues of economic development. While interning he will also take classes on trade, business and policy at a local university.
An Honors College student and a political science major, Christiansen has spent his college career developing an expertise in economic and political issues in Latin America. In 2012 Christiansen received the Gilman Scholarship to study abroad in Brazil, where he did research on farming practices that are economically and ecologically sustainable. In 2013 he interned for both Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). He also received UVM’s Public Impact Research Award for his work on the senate immigration reform bill and a UROP grant for thesis research on the Mondragon cooperatives in Spain. He is an avid linguist and speaks Spanish and Portuguese.
Christiansen is from East Montpelier, Vt. While at UVM he worked closely with several faculty members, including Caroline Beer, Josh Farley and Jan Feldman on issues related to ecological economics, democratic theory and Latin American politics. He also worked closely with Ann Kroll Lerner in the undergraduate research office and Brit Chase in the fellowships office to secure funding for his work in the U.S. and abroad. After he completes his internship in Mexico, Christiansen aspires to spend some time working in public policy and public service in Washington, D.C. Eventually, he plans to pursue a joint law and business degree and start an NGO that promotes economic development and worker ownership.
Sydney Healey, Brazil
Sydney Healey ’14 has also been selected for a Fulbright English teaching assistantship to Brazil during the 2015 academic year. An Honors College student and a global studies and environmental studies double major, Healey has been an Eco Rep and a teaching assistant for Spanish and environmental studies classes at UVM. She has also worked part time during her college career as a personal care attendant and has led service learning programs with international volunteers. Healey spent the spring of 2013 in Argentina, where she conducted research on indigenous responses to multinational lithium mining in Salta and Jujuy.
Healey is from Doylestown, Penn. After she finishes her Fulbright year, she aspires to pursue a career in social justice and bilingual education by using media to facilitate cultural exchange.
She thanks John Waldron and Richard Watts for their guidance and support with both the Fulbright proposal and her undergraduate thesis.
Dan Rosenblum, India
Dan Rosenblum ’13 received a Fulbright research grant to India for the 2014-2015 academic year. Rosenblum will be working in Delhi’s unauthorized colonies (city neighborhoods that have not received support from the local government) and examining the transforming socioeconomic relationships in these colonies as they are incorporated into the city and start to receive city resources. Such work, he says, will help researchers better understand what formal recognition will mean for community-level economies in India.
Rosenblum is an anthropology major who has spent his undergraduate career examining social and cultural issues surrounding urban migration and development. With the support of UVM’s URECA! Research grant, an APLE research grant, and under the guidance of UVM Professor Jonah Steinberg, Rosenblum traveled to India in 2012 to study youth migration from Bihar to Delhi. He received the Kleinknecht Award from the anthropology department for his work, and his research has been published in the Journal for Undergraduate Ethnography. While in India, Rosenblum will study under Amita Baviskar at the Institute of Economic Growth at the University of Delhi.
Rosenblum is also originally from Doylestown, Penn. While at UVM he worked closely with several professors in the anthropology and geography departments, including Steinberg, Meghan Cope, Benjamin Eastman, and Scott Matter. After he returns from India, Rosenblum plans to pursue a career in international urban policy and planning.
Brian Vedder, Thailand
Brian Vedder ’14 received a Fulbright English teaching assistantship to Thailand for the 2014-2015 academic year. Vedder will be teaching English to high school students while also running English language camps for children in the community. During his time in Thailand, Vedder also hopes to make connections with other faculty members, learn more about Thai classroom culture and ethics, and also get involved in the community through volunteering and other service.
At UVM, Vedder simultaneously developed his pedagogical skills as well as an expertise in how to foster technological competence as well as a globally engaged citizenry in the classroom. An Honors College student and secondary education major, Vedder received a Public Research and Civic Endeavors Scholarship (now the Simon Family Fellowship) from UVM in 2012 to teach and conduct research on classroom practices in South Africa. Vedder is also president of Kappa Delta Pi (the honors society for students in education-related disciplines), and he volunteers to work with local youths at the King Street Youth Center. This semester Vedder was a student teacher at Burlington High School, and in May he will defend his thesis, “Unveiling the Silver Lining: A Young Man's Journey Reading Between the Lines of Shame, Struggle and Failure to Discover Meaning and Purpose,” a manuscript that defines, epitomizes, and challenges societal issues concerning special education, the high school classroom, adolescent development, as well as individual conceptualization of shame, struggle and failure and one way to morph it into substance for meaningful growth.
Vedder is originally from Schenectady, N.Y. While at UVM, he worked closely with several faculty members in the College of Education, including Holly-Lynn Busier, Robert Nash and Alan Tinkler, as well as Sydnee Viray. After he returns from Thailand, Vedder plans to work as a teacher in an urban setting.
Joseph Friedman, Mexico
Joseph Friedman ’14 was also selected for a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue a graduate degree in epidemiology from La Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico in Mexico City. Prior to his April notification from the Fulbright Program, however, Friedman chose to pursue an equally coveted opportunity as a post-bachelor fellow at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. In this position, Friedman will be conducting cutting edge research related to health metrics in domestic and global health settings.
Friedman is an anthropology major and an Honors College student; after completing his studies at the University of Washington, he plans to attend medical school and eventually pursue a career as an academic physician addressing social disparities in health.
UVM's 2013-2014 Fulbright Recipients
Peter Doubleday, United Kingdom
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, Korea
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, Taiwan
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, Brazil
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, Germany
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.
UVM's 2012-2013 Fulbright Recipients
James Dopp, China
James Dopp '10 was awarded a Fulbright research grant to China for the 2012-2013 academic year. Dopp investigated the role of local forest guards in the conservation of black snub-nosed monkeys at Baimaxueshan National Nature Reserve in Yunnan, China. His work will lead to a deeper understanding in Chinese cultural and societal values and how they relate toward conservation policies for endangered species. In China he worked with researchers at the Yunnan Institute of Geography as well as the Yunnan Green Environmental Development Fund.
At UVM Dopp was a Chinese major with a strong anthropological background and significant experience in the study of wildlife conservation. After studying abroad on UVM’s Yunnan, China program in the spring of 2009, Dopp returned to UVM and was inspired by an anthropology course on non-human primates. He then took as many anthropology classes as he could until he graduated, and after he completed his coursework he went on to pursue several fieldwork opportunities. After graduating Dopp, a Bethesda, Md. native, returned to China to work with Central Washington University researchers as well as with the San Diego Zoo. During his more recent trips, he carried out surveys of Guizhou snub-nosed monkey ecology at the Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve in Guizhou province, and he also conducted research on the relationship between tourism and Tibetan macaque behavior in Huangshan, China.
Dopp credits his success in the classroom as well as in the field to the mix of anthropology and Chinese language mentors he had at UVM. He says Professors Deborah Blom and Jeanne Shea in the anthropology department were close mentors as he began combining his interest in anthropology with his expertise in China and his passion for wildlife conservation. He also credits Professors John Yin and Diana Sun in the Chinese department, who he says deeply influenced his love of Chinese language and writing. Dopp says Professor Eric Esselstrom in the history department also enabled him to gain a much more fair and sensitive view to Chinese and Japanese history and society.
After he completing his Fulbright research, Dopp plans to attend graduate school for anthropology, where he hopes to continue to research primates and conservation in China and their relation to human culture.
Ryan Peterson, Germany
Ryan Peterson '12 was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Germany for the 2012-2013 academic year. He taught English as well as American government, history and civics, and he also served as an adviser to German teachers who teach English.
A Weathersfield, Conn. native, Peterson has a strong affinity for languages. French was always been his main language of interest (Peterson was a French major, and he spent time in high school and college studying in France), he became curious about the German language and started taking the language during his freshman year at UVM. An outstanding student and a patient teacher (Peterson has tutored refugees and other English language learners in the Burlington area), he decided to pursue Fulbright’s teaching assistantship so he could perfect his language skills while also helping German students get a deeper sense of the English language, American history, and culture.
Peterson credited professors Helga Schrekenberger, Adrianna Borra, Lia Cravedi and Jen Prue for pushing him academically and intellectually while at UVM, as well as supporting him as he applied for the Fulbright. He currently works for NGK Global.
Mark Russell, Germany
University of Vermont graduate student Mark Russell was awarded a Fulbright English teaching assistantship to Germany for the 2012-2013 academic year. He taught English as well as American government, history and civics.
Teaching has always been a passion for Russell; he graduated magna cum laude from Shenandoah University in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in music education. During his time at Shenandoah he became passionate about Germany and learning the German language. He ultimately decided that he saw himself as a language teacher, which led him to enroll in UVM’s graduate German program. As a graduate student he is focused his master’s thesis on studying how music impacts German culture.
Russell is originally from Winchester, Va., and credited Professor Dennis Mahoney in the German department for pushing and encouraging him to thrive in his language studies and his master’s thesis. As a Fulbright Scholar, Russell had the chance to perfect his German as well as his teaching; ultimately he aspires to become a German teacher.
Katie Sacks, Austria
Katie Sacks '11 was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Austria for the 2012-2013 academic year. She was placed in Linz and taught students at both the Peuerbach Bundesgymnasium und Bundesrealgymnasium and Kollegium Petrinum.
Sacks is originally from Ottawa, Canada, and she was an English and Holocaust studies major while at UVM. She credits history professors Alan Steinweis, Jonathan Huener and Francis Nicosia, English professor Lokangaka Losambe and German professor Theresia Hoeck for all the guidance and inspiration they provided while she worked on her application. She ultimately aspires to continue her studies by pursuing a master's degree in Holocaust studies.
Robyn Suarez, Malaysia
Robyn Suarez '12 was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Malaysia for the 2012-2013 academic year. Suarez is a Williston, Vt., native, a Patrick Scholar and an Honors College student. Suarez has also been deeply involved in the deaf community in Vermont; she is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) and has received recognition from the UVM and local community for the work she’s done as a tutor for hearing-impaired refugee populations. This experience has made learning about different countries’ sign language an important goal for Suarez. After studying abroad in Ireland (where she exchanged lessons in ASL for lessons in Irish Sign Language), Suarez returned to UVM to write her English honors thesis on the social influences of Irish Sign Language. While in Malaysia Suarez also plans to study Malaysian Sign Language (called Bahasa Isyarat Malaysia) as well as how the Malaysian education system accommodates deaf students.
Suarez aspires to receive a master’s in deaf education and work in a hearing-impaired classroom as an English teacher. She is especially interested in working with a diverse group of students, including immigrant and refugee students who are deaf and need extra help in assimilating to the American school system. She currently works with special-needs children in the Burlington area.
UVM's 2011-2012 Fulbright Recipients
Kirsti Dahly, Russia
Kirsti Dahly was awarded a Fulbright English teaching assistantship to Russia for the 2011-2012 academic year. She taught English as well as American government, history and civics at Ugra University, in Khanty-Mansiysk, and she also served as an adviser to Russian teachers who teach English.
A Basking Ridge, N.J. native, Dahly was abroad in Norway for a year after high school; while there she transcended cultural and linguistic barriers to make several Russian friends. When she returned to the U.S. and began her studies at UVM, she began taking Russian classes so that she would be better able to communicate with her friends and learn more about their culture.
She became a Russian major, and she credits Russian professor Kevin McKenna for pushing her academically, as well as supporting her as she continued to advance intellectually and personally. Dahly spent the spring of 2010 studying abroad in St. Petersburg as she continued to work on her language skills and volunteered with the teaching of English in a university classroom. Ultimately, she aspires to become a Russian teacher.
Amanda Egan, Ukraine
University of Vermont graduate student Amanda Egan '12 has been awarded a Fulbright research grant to Ukraine for the 2011-2012 academic year. Egan, a candidate for a master's degree in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, will spend the coming academic year working with colleagues at the Institute of Ecological Economics, Ukrainian National Forestry University investigating opportunities for forest carbon projects in the Carpathian region in Ukraine. Forest carbon projects have the potential to mitigate climate change by incentivizing forest conservation. While strong potential for forest carbon projects exists in the Carpathian region, it has little experience developing these projects. A member of the UVM Carbon Dynamics Lab, led by Bill Keeton, and the UVM Forest Carbon and Communities Research Group, led by Cecilia Danks, Egan has spent her time at UVM studying community participation and engagement in forest carbon projects and other market-based forest conservation programs. Upon completing her research, Egan will present her work as part of her master's thesis.
Climate change originally inspired Egan to pursue her Fulbright project. This Fulbright grant will be her first opportunity to work on this issue on an international scale. Egan, an Exeter, N.H. native, is UVM's second graduate student from the Rubenstein School to win a Fulbright Scholarship to the Ukraine. In 2008, Sarah Crow, a former graduate student studying Natural Resources, won a Fulbright grant to study community-based forestry for sustainable development in the Carpathian region.
Madeline Murphy Hall, Kuwait
Madeline Murphy Hall '10, a double anthropology and political science major, Green and Gold Scholar, Boren Scholar and Honors College graduate was awarded a Fulbright research grant to Kuwait. Murphy Hall partnered with American University of Kuwait to study women's suffrage. Her work enabled researchers to better understand how women are adjusting to their citizenship roles and responsibilities.
Hall, a Windsor, Vt. native, worked throughout her UVM career to become an advocate for women in the Middle East. She pushed herself to learn Arabic, and in 2009 she was awarded a Boren Scholarship to study abroad in Jordan. The Boren, which is one of the most prestigious national awards available to undergraduate students, acknowledged Murphy Hall for her outstanding academic achievement, her determination to perfect her Arabic skills, her desire to better understand the role of women in the Middle East, and for her goal to pursue a career in public service. She credited professors Peter VonDoepp, Jonah Steinberg and Gregory Gause for helping her pursue research related to women's rights in the Middle East, and then further guiding her as she pursued the Boren, the Fulbright and other opportunities that would enable her to continue her work. In addition to her academic work and international experience, Hall was a dedicated and decorated member of the Lawrence Debate Union at UVM. She says that team coaches Alfred Snider and David Register offered her tremendous support as she pursued her academic and intellectual goals. She currently works for the U.S. State Department.
Christopher Morriss, Venezuela
Christopher Morriss '11 was selected for an English Teaching Assistantship to Venezuela. Prior to his May notification from the Fulbright Program, however, Morriss had accepted an equally coveted opportunity with the Peace Corps in Ecuador. And so, while he is not able to accept the Fulbright award, Morriss will be pursuing similarly enriching work over the next two years in Ecuador where he will be working on issues related to public health. A double Biology and Spanish major and an Honors College student, Morriss excelled in the classroom; he was on the dean's list during every semester at UVM, and in 2010 he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. Outside of the classroom, Morriss spent many hours volunteering to tutor refugee students in the Burlington area. As a pre-medical student, his goal is to become a bilingual physician, and he believes his time in South America will both enable him to perfect his Spanish language skills and introduce him to hands-on work in public health that will greatly benefit him in a future medical career.
Meryl Olson, Sierra Leone
Meryl Olson '11, an agroecology doctoral candidate in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, has been awarded a Fulbright grant to study sustainable agricultural practices in Sierra Leone. Olson will spend the year working with colleagues at Njala University in Freetown as well as with OneVillage Partners researching the benefits and limitations of lowland swamp rice farming done by small-scale farmers in eastern Sierra Leone. Her work will give farmers and policy makers a greater understanding of the opportunities as well as the barriers related to successful swamp rice farming, which will have a significant impact on farmer income as well as local food supply.
As an environmental engineer turned agroecologist, Olson has a tireless passion for working with poor people around the world and helping them develop a model for agriculture which meets human needs for food and crop production, as well as other ecological and environmental needs. Olson has previously conducted research in Latin America with small scale agriculture, but her Fulbright grant to Sierra Leone allows her to extend her research expertise as well as work in an area that has been historically neglected by agricultural researchers. Upon completing her studies, Olson will present her work to the Ministry of Agriculture in Sierra Leone, and from there she has expressed a desire to work for a nonprofit organization addressing environmental and poverty issues for small farmers in the U.S. as well as internationally.
Olson, a Bedford, N.H. native, credits Professor Ernesto Menendez for his guidance and support as she's pursued her doctorate and her Fulbright award. She is UVM's first Fulbright winner to Africa. The continent is perhaps the most competitive region in the Fulbright U.S. Student program.
April Orleans, Trinidad & Tobago
April Orleans '10, a community and international development major, has been awarded a Fulbright Research Grant to Trinidad and Tobago. Orleans will organize a large-scale community outreach and action plan in Tobago for raising awareness of the harmful effects of unsafe wastewater disposal on the islands. Part of the plan will be providing education for greater understanding of water quality in order to improve the country's maritime ecosystem, fishing industry and economy. Orleans hopes her work on Tobago will be transferable to other islands in the Caribbean region.
Her Fulbright work in Trinidad and Tobago will be the third development project she will pursue in the Caribbean region. In 2007 she took Sustainable Development and Island Economies with Professor Gary Flomenhoft, a service-learning course where students spent two weeks working on community projects in St. Lucia. After her course was completed, she partnered with a UVM graduate student to create "Football for Lives," an education project in St. Lucia based on a similar program started in Africa to teach AIDS prevention. She became a teaching assistant for the course, and continued to visit the island throughout her UVM career. In 2009 she continued her development work by taking Renewable Energies Workshop, another service-learning course where students spend time in Dominica. Orleans, a Virginia native, is currently working in Homer, Alaska; she will depart for Trinidad and Tobago this fall.
UVM's 2010-2011 Fulbright Recipients
Matthew Greene, Czech Republic
For Matthew Greene '10, it was simple. He loved the Czech Republic. A friend had taken him to visit during the spring of 2009, and Greene was enamored by the country. He wanted to go back and learn more; he wanted to engrain himself in the country, he wanted to learn Czech, and he wanted to help the Czech people better understand Americans. He wanted be a teacher for a year, and he knew that a prestigious Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship would enable him to do that. He knew it was competitive, but he also knew that if he had just as much to offer the Czech Republic as it had to offer him, he stood a chance to do well in the competition.
Now, he's preparing his lesson plans. Greene was awarded one of two Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships in the Czech Republic for the 2010-2011 academic year. He is one of four UVM students to be awarded a Fulbright this year, and will work as an English teaching assistant for two high schools in the small Czech city of Havlickuv Brod, located in the middle of the country.
Greene, a Westerly, Rhode Island native, European Studies major and avid linguist, first visited the Czech Republic while he was studying abroad in Austria during the 2008-2009 academic year. It was the language that appealed to him first; he already spoke German and Italian, but be begged his Czech friends to teach him their language. Learning the language enabled him to learn a lot more about the Czech people, and he become fascinated by Czech history and culture. He also recognized that the Czech people were just as enthusiastic about learning his language as he was about learning theirs.
He was determined to find a way to get some experience in the Czech Republic when he returned to UVM in the fall of 2009, He applied for the Fulbright Teaching Assistantship because, he says, the opportunity to teach would enable him to help students learn more about Americans and American culture while perfecting their English. He couldn't pass up the chance to participate in such a unique cultural exchange while he worked on perfecting his Czech.
Greene, along with Hannah LeMieux '10, is the first UVM student to win a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship. He is also one of only two Americans on a Fulbright who will be teaching in the Czech Republic during the 2010-2011 academic year. The English Teaching Assistantship enables U.S. students to spend a year living and teaching abroad. It is one of the fastest-growing prestigious scholarships, and is available in over 40 countries.
Greene 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.
His intercultural experiences will not end with his Fulbright year. Greene plans on returning to the U.S. to pursue a graduate degree focusing on Central European Studies, specifically related to Austria and the Czech Republic. He eventually plans to enter the Foreign Service and work as a representative of the U.S. in a Central European country.
Dzeneta Karabegovic, Sweden
The following article was written when Karabegovic received a Fulbright in 2010. After Fulbright Karabegovic received a master's in international relations from the University of Chicago, and is currently pursuing a PhD. at the University of Warwick.
Dzeneta Karabegovic '08 remembers receiving her Yugoslavian passport when she was a young child. But she more clearly remembers the day that passport became invalid; it was six months later, her country was literally breaking apart, and her family was fleeing what would become a brutal and bloody war. They had no choice but to leave the only home they had ever known.
They fled to Germany, where the family lived for a few years. But it never felt like home. Karabegovic wondered if she would ever find a place that felt like home again.
Eventually they moved to Burlington, Vermont. They became American citizens. And after a while Vermont started to feel like home.
Not all immigrants are as lucky to form a bond as strong to their host country as Karabegovic was, but now she has the opportunity to help others learn how to make their new country their new home. Karabegovic has been awarded a Fulbright scholarship to pursue an independent research project on social networks within the Bosnian Diaspora population in Sweden. She will spend the year with researchers at Uppsala University working to get a better understanding of how Diaspora members interact with their community and the greater Swedish population. A better understanding of Diaspora social networks, she believes, will lead to better immigration and integration policies for the population.
Karabegovic was a member of the first Honors College class to matriculate at UVM, and she seized every academic opportunity offered to her to learn more about international politics, Diaspora, refugees and genocide. She double majored in Eurpoean Studies and Political Science. She became fluent in three languages. Her senior thesis covered the use of images and media influenced identity during the Bosnian war.
Karabegovic 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.
When Karabegovic returns to the United States she plans to attend either law or graduate school so that she can continue to help Diaspora populations in the U.S. and abroad.
Hannah LeMieux, Turkey
The following was written when LeMieux received a Fulbright in 2010. She is currently working for Bridge International Academies.
Hannah LeMieux '10 has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Turkey for the 2010-2011 academic year. She will work as an English teaching assistant for a university in the southeastern part of the country.
LeMieux was a familiar face on the UVM campus during her undergraduate career. The Phillipston, Massachusetts native and English major was extremely involved in the UVM community. LeMieux was the treasurer of the Student Government Association, president of the women's rugby club, a Pottery Cooperative member and a writing tutor. She was named a Kidder Scholar in 2008, Living & Learning Member of the Year in 2008, a Buckham Scholar in 2009, and was given the Unsung Hero Award by the Department of Student Life in 2010. Her experience as an English major and her time as a writing tutor will enable her to help Turkish university students perfect their English language skills, and her desire to make a difference in her community will help her make a positive impression abroad.
LeMieux is the second UVM student to receive a Fulbright teaching assistantship for the 2010-2011 academic year. She and Matthew Greene '10, who will teach in the Czech Republic, are the first UVM students to ever receive the teaching assistantship reward.
LeMieux 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.
Emily Lubell, Chile
The following was written when Lubell received a Fulbright in 2010. She is currently completing a degree in nursing at Columbia University.
"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.
UVM's 2009-2010 Fulbright Recipients
Kameron Decker Harris
The following was written when Harris received a Fulbright in 2009. After Fulbright Decker received his master's degree from UVM, and he is currently pursuing a PhD. in applied mathematics at the University of Washington.
Kameron Decker Harris, a senior Honors College student majoring in Mathematics and Physics has received a Fulbright Scholarship for 2009-10 to study transportation systems in Chile. Kam will begin work on his project, entitled, "Traffic Modeling for a Busier World," in March 2010 in Valparaiso. There he will work with Andres Moreira, computer scientist with the Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria (UTFSM), as his advisor, and Eric Goles, mathematician and director of the Instituto de Sistemas Complejos de Valparaiso. In addition to his research, Kam will enter the computer science master's program at the UTFSM. Kam will use his Fulbright fellowship to study current issues related to mass traffic associated with Transantiago, the new bus system in the Chilean capital of Santiago. When this system was introduced, Kam explains, it could barely meet the needs of its users despite using state-of-the-art technology, and it became, he says, a political and social disaster for the country. Kam adds that his fellowship will allow for him to return to Valparaiso, where he studied Mathematics and Physics at Pontificia Universidad Catolica in the fall of 2007, and to investigate what an intuitive, simple traffic model can tell us about real traffic behavior as well as how to improve the Chilean public transportation system.
To investigate the dynamics of traffic, Kam will apply a mathematical model to real road networks in Chile, using a modeling paradigm called cellular automata (CA). This approach, Kam explains, will permit him to capture the most important traffic behavior in real terms and including fine detail. In this way he will be able to make use of both his math and physics knowledge by developing a model which incorporates the best properties of each.
In the first two months of his Fulbright, Kam will immerse himself in the literature on modeling of traffic systems, and then in consultation with experts he will formulate an experiment that best addresses regional-specific challenges to a traffic modeling scheme in Chile. Next he expects to develop his model, which he will then spend his remaining time refining and analyzing the results of and drawing conclusions from the data he gathers. His plan is to bring together the results of his experiment in a paper to submit to a peer review journal, and to then recommend a plan of improvements and discuss with transportation authorities in Chile how best to combine them with work already underway to upgrade the Transantiago system.
Kam credits a course taken with Professor Chris Danforth, in the UVM Mathematics and Statistics Department, Chaos, Fractals & Dynamical Systems, which first got him interested in the diverse dynamics (motion) exhibited by physical, social, biological, and technological systems that make up our world. Graduate level courses in classical and quantum mechanics followed, providing him with analytical tools for dissecting their behavior. Courses on complex systems, networks, and numerical analysis emphasized model-building and computational techniques. With Professor Danforth serving as his thesis advisor, Kam put all this knowledge to work in his Honors Thesis. Their study uses weather forecasting techniques to understand and correct for forecast error in a chaotic fluid dynamics experiment which is likened to a 'toy' climate. Mentored through the thesis process by Professor Danforth, Kam says that his thesis has strengthened his skills outside the classroom by allowing him to research independently and with other scientists and to coherently present his ideas to a technical audience.
When asked what he sees as the outcomes from his dynamic systems research, Kam says that there are numerous practical problems to investigate using traffic models. As for the Transantiago, he foresees the day when with a better-functioning system, fewer cars will be on the roads, less pollution with be in the air, and people will not have to worry about their everyday commute. He would like to think that his project will contribute in some way to bring this future nearer for the pueblo chileno.
In addition to his Fulbright research, Kam looks forward to reuniting with friends he made in Chile, as well as continuing to perfect his Spanish. The four years of Latin he took in high school was fun, he said, but when he realized that speaking it was useless, his mother hired a tutor to teach the two of them Spanish while he was still in high school, the study of which he continued at UVM. In Chile, he said, "listening and speaking with friends in vernacular chileno was a continual challenge, but because he loves the nuances of language, it allowed him to get to know himself better in a foreign country." Now, he says, "I want to continue to use the castellano language in my everyday life, study, and work." As to the future, "my focus has become math modeling," he says, and while his specific Fulbright study will be on traffic systems, he sees further modeling applications everywhere. "Perhaps," he says, "we could find ways of stabilizing or reinforcing food webs, more efficiently controlling nuclear fusion of turbulent plasma, or forecasting with less uncertainty global temperature thirty years from now. Computers may become orders of magnitude faster, and with them will come an enormous amount of data in media and the internet. I want to make my path through this jungle of information, because I sense the glimmer of gems to be found."
Before beginning to dig for the precious stones he is determined to find, Kam will study Math as a UVM graduate student until December. And then, he plans to follow his other love and work as a free style ski coach at Mad River Glen in Vermont until the spring thaws of March compel him to turn in his skies and fly south to greet the advancing fall weather of Chile, where he is told, skiing in the Andes is considered by many to be the best in the world.
UVM's 2007-2008 Fulbright Recipients
Evan Forward - Fulbright Scholar
Evan forward, a 2007 UVM graduate with a degree in Economics, has received a Fulbright fellowship for 2007-8 to study Integrated Water Resource Management in the Mekong River Basin in Vietnam. His project will begin in September 2007 in Can Tho City where he will work with Dr. Tran Thanh Be, director of the Mekong Delta Development Research Institute at Can Tho University. Evan will be using advanced information technology available at CTU, and will apply Geographic Information Systems analysis to study the transforming landscape of the Mekong River Basin. Once there, he will be doing extensive field research, interviewing the major stakeholder groups in the area to gauge the opportunities for implementing Integrated Water Resource Management systems in the basin region.
Evan began his undergraduate work at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, before transferring to UVM in 2004. At UVM, Evan says he had the good fortune to work with three professors who introduced him to systems modeling, Professor Alexey Voinov, in the Gund Institute, and Professors Austin Troy and Saleem Ali in the Rubenstein School of Natural Resources, with each serving as his mentors. To gain real world experience, Evan worked with them together with Dr. Nancy Brooks in the Economics Department on independent study projects examining real cases in the arenas of economics development in Vietnam, spatial modeling and analysis of the real estate market in Vermont, and natural resource conflict resolution in Central Vermont. With Dr. Ali, Evan developed Land Use and Resource Conflict Studies, an interdisciplinary major which brings together a range of disciplines in the social and environmental sciences in an examination of environmental decision-making.
Evan has also been active in the Burlington community, working with artists, business professionals, software engineers, academics, and community leaders to foster creativity, economic development and community integration in Burlington and abroad.Evan credits one other experience as influential while at UVM, taking professional development courses at the Consensus Building Institute (CBI), taught by Merrick Hoben, who Evan calls a brilliant UVM alum who has done mediation work in the Middle East, South America and all over the world and is now the director of CBI?s Washington D.C. office. Before receiving his Fulbright, Evan was awarded the 2006 Converse Award for excellence in Economics.
Justin Sanders - Fulbright Scholar
Justin Sanders, a 2007 UVM Medical School Freeman Scholar graduate, received a Fulbright Scholarship to study in the United Kingdom. A native of Utah, Justin will be going to University College London in England to conduct research on cultural barriers to the utilization of palliative care services and complete a master's degree in medical anthropology, studying the practices of palliative care in cross-cultural settings. Established in 1946, the Fulbright Program is the largest United States international education exchange program. The United Kingdom Fulbright is the most competitive of the awards, receiving the most applications for the fewest scholarships, thereby enhancing the distinction of Justin's award.
As a Fulbright scholar, Justin will join the ranks of more than 279,000 alumni of the program, working to fulfill the principal purpose of the program to increase mutual understanding between the people of the US and those of more than 155 countries currently participating in the Fulbright Program. Following completion of his Master's Degree, Justin plans to serve a family medicine residency and go on to specialize in palliative care, dedicating himself to improving the quality of life for people facing serious, complex illness.
Prior to graduation, Justin served a the national coordinator for the American Medical Student Association's (AMSA) PharmFree campaign, and served as co-president of UVM's AMSA Chapter, as the AMSA Universal Health Care Representative for Vermont and as a student council representative. He also served on UVM's Medical School Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accreditation team, as well as a member of the LCME Independent Student Analysis Committee. To add to his honors, Justin received the newly established Family Medicine Leadership Award for the Promise of Excellence as a Leader, presented to him in May by the Department of Family Medicine at UVM.
Last modified July 17 2014 01:05 PM