Six Vassar alumnae/i were granted Fulbright Fellowships for the 2015-16 academic year.
Vassar’s Fulbright Fellows are teaching and conducting research in various countries during this year. Upon winning their fellowships, here’s what they said about their plans:
• Ilse Heine ’15- ETA Germany “I want to explore my interest for teaching, advance my German language skills, and hone my professional interests. My academic background in German studies, and experience working with youth will allow me to effectively engage, and build trust with the students. I have studied two foreign languages, and can therefore relate and respond to the challenges the students will face, as well as provide advice about the path to higher education.”
• Nicholas Hoffman '14- Iceland “I intend to pursue an MA in Medieval Icelandic Studies (MIS) at the University of Iceland as a means of continuing my graduate studies and preparing myself for doctoral work in Anglo-Saxon and Norse literature. MIS would enable me to synthesize and expand on previously acquired language skills in Old Norse and give me time to pursue my personal research, which includes the study of Northern Germanic paganism and oral traditions.”
• Luke Kachelein ’15- Germany to study for a masters in photonics, a subfield of physics, at the Abbe School of Photonics at Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena. “This plan would entail coursework in photonics, the study of manipulating and detecting light, and would culminate in a masters thesis relevant to solar energy technology, which is directly related to my career goals.”
• Lorraine Kwok ’15-Hong Kong “I propose to conduct a qualitative study on the low human papillomavirus vaccination (HPV) uptake rates among the youth in Hong Kong. This study stemmed from my interest in women's health and preventative care, particularly in Asian communities. For my study, I will conduct surveys and focus groups with adolescents and their parents to understand the determinants that influence their decision for or against the vaccination.”
• Zoe Ripecky ’14 Ukraine "The goal of my project is to examine the process of energy reform in the challenging context of contemporary Ukrainian society. I will concentrate on the shift in policy focus from energy security to energy independence. I will work primarily with the energy policy organization DiXi Group and the alternative energy social initiative Greencubator. My academic background, past experiences, and fluency in Ukrainian make me an ideal candidate."
• Nathan Tauger ’14- United Kingdom “I will study the History of British and international health policy,occupational health, and the social context of modern genetics and biomedicine at the University of Manchester's Center for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine to prepare for a career in policy research, advocacy, and teaching. I plan to work in the policy arena after graduating from Manchester then eventually pursue a doctoral degree.”
Lisa Kooperman, assistant dean of studies and director of Vassar’s Office for Fellowships and Pre-Health Advising, said that her office “supports about 30
candidates each year in their applications for Fulbright grants to research, study or teach abroad.”
Other Vassar fellowship winners this year include:
• O’Mara Taylor ’12 received the Luce Scholarship, which is a nationally competitive fellowship program, that seeks to enhance understanding of Asia among potential leaders in American society.
• Four students—Sidney Marie Bell ’14, Stephanie Claudia Malek ’13, Rose Hendricks ’13, and Samuel David McDougle ’09—received National Science Foundation (NSF) awards. Five others received NSF honorable mentions.
• Sahara Pradhan ’15, received the 100 Projects for Peace prize for her project “Guar Jaun (Let’s Go Home).”
• Jelena Borak ’15 was named a Watson Fellow. She will travel to Ireland, Belgium, Cyprus, South Africa, Nepal, South Korea and Thailand to investigate her topic, “Peace of Mind Through Storytelling.”
• Grace Sparapani ’16 was awarded the Beinecke scholarship to support her graduate studies.
• Leah Goodridge ’04 was named a Fulbright Specialist, selected for a residency at the University of Malta.
• Jonathan Kanen ’09 received a Gate Scholarship to pursue a PhD at the University of Cambridge.
About the Fulbright 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. Each year Vassar College supports as many as 40+ applicants for Fulbright Grants. Vassar College will forward to the Fulbright Commission all appropriately completed applications for a Fulbright award. Recipients are chosen by the National Screening Committee.
Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.