Two UVM seniors and two young alumni have been awarded Fulbright Scholarships for the 2016-2017 academic year. The prestigious awards are yearlong fellowships which enable seniors, recent graduates, and graduate students to live abroad and represent the United States as a part of the world’s largest intellectual and cultural exchange fellowship.
As Fulbright awardees, students receive a fully funded grant to conduct research, pursue internships or teach English in another country.
Zhenya J. Rock, a member of the Class of 2016 who double majored in Russian and mathematics, will spend the upcoming academic year in Russia. Rock, from Sutton, Massachusetts, will serve as an English teaching assistant at the National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University. Upon returning home, Rock hopes to begin a graduate program in mathematics or physics.
Charlie DanSheffy, of Southington, Connecticut, graduated from UVM in 2014. Sheffy will also serve as an English teaching assistant, but will head to Bavaria, Germany, this September. “I applied for the Fulbright ETA to hone my skills as a teacher,” he says. “After working for two years in the field, I want to re-focus my skills by working as an assistant to a master teacher, where I can study pedagogy, curricula design and best practices. In addition, I would like to make myself more marketable by becoming fluent in written and spoken German.”
Sammie Ibrahim, a Class of 2016 triple major in geography, political science and Russian, has won a Fulbright research grant. The award, she says, “will allow me to spend a year conducting field-based, participatory research on migration, nationalism, and post-Soviet urban development in Kazakhstan. These initial interests, and resulting Fulbright proposal, grew out of strong mentorship and support from Prof. Pablo Bose, Prof. Ingrid Nelson of Geography, and Prof. Michele Commercio of Political Science.”
Tasha Kramer-Melnick, of Hinesberg, Vermont, graduated in 2015 from UVM with a major in anthropology and a minor in studio art. She’ll spend the upcoming year teaching English in Cyprus. “I had just fallen in love with my new home in Los Angeles,” she says, when the Fulbright award email arrived. But the decision to accept was an easy one, she says, “especially against the backdrop of appreciation for all the incredible people that supported me through the application process.”