U-M Leads Nation in Fulbright U.S. Student Grants


By Kirstin Olmstead and William Foreman
Oct 24, 2011

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Oct. 24---University of Michigan students have been awarded 29 Fulbright grants for the 2011-12 academic year, topping the list of U.S. institutions for the fifth time in the past seven years.

As participants in one of the most competitive and prestigious awards programs in the world, the students will fan out across the globe to do research, study or teach English for six to 12 months.  

The grantees will represent U-M in 25 countries. Their interests range from researching structural engineering in Norway and cancer screening in Tanzania to water quality in India and literature in Germany.

“It’s no accident that the University of Michigan has consistently achieved high numbers of grantees in a scholarship competition designed to enhance global exchanges,” said Ken Kollman, director of the U-M International Institute. “The university has taken great care to foster an environment that values and promotes student immersion in other cultures.”

The grants are awarded to about 1,700 students each year on the basis of academic or professional achievement as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and other countries. It offers grants in nearly all fields and disciplines and operates in more than 135 countries worldwide.

Ranking behind U-M this year was Northwestern University with 27 recipients, Yale University with 26 and the University of Chicago with 25.

George Dong, who completed his U-M bachelor’s degree in 2009, is among the new grantees. He plans to research access to higher education for minorities in Yunnan, a province in southwestern China.

“My parents grew up in rural China and never had the opportunity to attend college,” Dong said. “I applied to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program because I want to return to my parents' home country to help underprivileged students in Yunnan Province. I hope to use insights gained from this experience to develop a broader understanding of how to improve and expand educational opportunities for all.”

For further information about the Fulbright U.S. Student Program: www.ii.umich.edu.

The 2011-2012 U-M Fulbright U.S. Student grantees, their degrees*, the countries where they will be studying, and their projects include:

Irsida Bejo, M.Arch, TCAUP (Architecture), Albania;Reactivating Public Space in Tiran: Enabling New Continuities That Inform Urban Performance

Jennifer Buison, B.S.E, College of Engineering (Civil Engineering), Philippines; Housing Initiatives of Non-Government Organizations in Metropolitan Manila

Edward Byrne, B.S.E., College of Engineering (Civil Engineering), Norway; Proposed Study of Structural Engineering in Norway

George Dong, B.A., LSA (English), China; Access to Higher Education: The Wa Ethnic Minority in Lincang, Yunnan

Jacqueline Doremus, Ph.D., LSA (Economics), Republic of Congo; Strategic Implications of Independent Forest Monitoring

Georgia Ennis, B.A., LSA (Spanish), Ecuador; English Teaching Assistantship

Matthew Gacioch, B.S., LSA (Program in the Environment), Indonesia; English Teaching Assistantship

Jennifer Geiger, B.S., LSA (Program in the Environment), India; Arsenic-contaminated drinking water: Poisoning child development in West Bengal?

Zachary Goldsmith, B.A., LSA (Political Science); Armenia, English Teaching Assistantship

Elizabeth Gramm, M.F.A, LSA (Creative Writing); Turkey, English Teaching Assistantship

Kamayani Gupta, B.S., LSA (Brain, Behavior, and Cognitive Science), Malaysia; English Teaching Assistantship

Dorothy Heebner, B.A., LSA (Political Science, Economics), Taiwan; English Teaching Assistantship

Adam Janosko, B.A., LSA (English Language and Literature), subsequent M.A., American University, Kenya; English Teaching Assistantship

Hajin Jun, B.A., LSA (History, Political Science), South Korea; Hosanna, Mansei, or Banzai? Religion and Politics in the March First Movement

Delvina Kolic, B.A., LSA (Political Science, History), Bulgaria; English Teaching Assistantship

Kyle Locke, B.A., LSA (History), Spain; English Teaching Assistantship

Carolyn Lusch, B.A., LSA (Spanish, Creative Writing), Spain; English Teaching Assistantship

Katherine MacDuffie, B.S., LSA (Neuroscience), New Zealand; Imagining the Future in the Context of Reward

Powell Perng, B.S.E., College of Engineering (Biomedical Engineering), Tanzania; Barriers to Cervical Cancer Screening in Rural Villages of Bagamoyo District, Tanzania

Kathryn Sederberg, Ph.D., LSA (German), Germany; Surviving the "Zero Hour": Women’s Writing in Postwar Germany 1945

Rohit Setty, Ph.D., School of Education (Teaching and Teacher Education), India; Shaping Teacher Education: India's New National Curriculum for Teacher Education

Catherine Shubert, B.A., LSA (English Language and Literature), subsequent M.S., University of Pennsylvania, Andorra; English Teaching Assistantship

Charles Sullivan, Ph.D., LSA (Southeast Asian History), Indonesia; Changes in Political, Religious and Cultural Authority in Solo from 1800: A Southeast Asian Case

Heather Tidrick, Ph.D., LSA (Anthropology and Social Work), Hungary; Roma integration, Romological Knowledge, and Institutional Practices with Roma in Hungary

Joseph Viscomi, Ph.D., LSA (Anthropology and History),Italy; Morals, History, and Migration: A Historical Ethnography of Egypt Migrants in Italy

Christine Walker, Ph.D., LSA (History), Jamaica; Jamaica's Motley Brood: How Widows, Slaves and Strumpets Created the British Empire

Jasmine Way, M.S.E., College of Engineering (Industrial and Operations Engineering), France; English Teaching Assistantship

Cynthia Yoon, B.A., LSA (Political Science, Asian Studies), Vietnam; Vietnamese Brides in Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Jacob Zunamon, B.A., LSA (History), Spain, English Teaching Assistantship

* Degrees listed are either the highest degree attained or the degree currently in progress.

Fulbright Program
Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 300,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. For more information, visit fulbright.state.gov.

University of Michigan International Institute
The University of Michigan International Institute houses 18 centers and programs focused on world regions and global themes. The institute develops and supports international teaching, research, and public affairs programs to promote global understanding across the campus and to build connections with intellectuals and institutions worldwide. For more information, visit www.ii.umich.edu.

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