Fulbright Program Logo

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs. This unique exchange program is designed to increase mutual understanding between people of the United States and the people of other countries. During their grants, Fulbright students participate in a cultural exchange as they live with and learn from their host communities. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program operates in over 160 countries and annually offers over 2,000 grants.

View the Fulbright Grantee Directory for a comprehensive list of scholars. The UW is proud to have scholars as far back as 1949!

Definitions of Fulbright Statuses

Fulbright Semi-Finalist: applicants who are recommended by the National Screening Committee to the host country for further review.

Fulbright Alternate: applicants who may be offered a Fulbright grant if additional funding becomes available.

Fulbright Finalist: applicants who have been offered a grant, but have not yet accepted their award and started their program.

Fulbright Student: official Fulbright grant recipients after offer has been accepted.

2020-2021 Finalists & Alternates

  • Neha Krishnam – Finalist, India, Research Grant
  • Sophia Moser – Finalist, Brazil, English Teaching Grant
  • Simon Tran – Finalist, Vietnam, English Teaching Grant
  • Kayla van Kooten – Finalist, Germany, English Teaching Grant

History of UW Undergraduate Semifinalists, Alternates, Finalists, and Fulbrighters

2019 - 2020

Rocio Araujo – Finalist, South Korea, English Teaching Assistant

Class of 2020, International Studies; Education, Communities & Organizations majors

I am a recent UW grad who double majored in Education, Communities & Organizations and International Studies with a minor in Asian Languages and Cultures. I am also a first generation Mexican-American who grew up in Yakima, WA. While studying at the University of Washington, I became aware of the benefits of multiculturalism and multilingualism that exist within communities and sought opportunities to improve my language skills. My bilingualism not only nurtured but fueled my passion for language learning. Now I am a polyglot who speaks fluent English and Spanish and conversational French and Korean.

While studying French in high school, I had the wonderful opportunity to study abroad in France for two weeks which ignited my drive for cross-culture experiences. And two years ago, after studying abroad in South Korea for 6-weeks, I discovered some similarities between Korean culture and my hybrid Mexican-American identity and decided I wanted to pursue proficiency in Korean. This in combination with my interest in education, specifically multicultural and multilingual education, led me to apply for the Fulbright Program.

Interning for the past year at OneWorldNow!, a non-profit after school program for youths based in Seattle, showed me that working for organizations that provide under-represented youths with accessible language learning and study abroad opportunities is something I would like to continue to do in the future. In the meantime, as a South Korea ETA I want to build on my experience as an educator as well as improve my proficiency in Korean.

Conor Cunningham – Finalist, Moldova, Open Study/ Research

Senior, International Studies major

I recently completed a year abroad studying Russian Language and Eastern European Studies in Daugavpils, Latvia as a Boren Scholar for the 2019-2020 cycle. My time as an undergraduate student at the University of Washington has been shaped by my interest in Eurasian studies, specifically Russia and its reemergence as an influential global power. With my mentor Dr. Jessica Beyer, I worked on two projects for Microsoft with a team of other undergraduates and, as a Mary Gates Scholar, I conducted independent research on disinformation. In addition to research, my interests led me to study Russian language and to attain proficiency in Russian through course work at the University of Washington, a summer in Moscow as a FLAS Scholar, and my recent experience in Latvia as a Boren Scholar. As Fulbright Scholar, I will spend nine months in Moldova conducting research on the effects of disinformation and misinformation on opinions towards Moldova’s integration in the European Union and Eurasian Economic Union. Upon completion of my project in Moldova, I plan to pursue a masters in Eurasian Studies with a focus on the Russian Federation’s interaction with other post-Soviet countries. After completing a masters, I want to become an FSO to use my strong command of the Russian and French languages, my culturally immersive experiences in post-Soviet countries, and my deep knowledge of Eurasian studies to implement realistic policy that incorporates not only economic concerns but also historical, cultural, and religious factors.

Conor’s tip: I think the two most important things are to get your recommenders involved early on in the process and to ask yourself why you would like to do a Fulbright. Around January, I began thinking about which country I would want to go. I chose to apply for a Fulbright to explore topics I had been exposed to through course work and research at the UW. I knew that a Fulbright would be an excellent why to explore these topics further through research while I also improved my Russian language and cross-cultural skills. This interest in my proposed research project made it much easier to write my materials and make a strong argument.

Joshua Driscol – Finalist, Norway, Open Study/ Research

Class of 2019, Atmospheric Sciences major

Joshua is a recent graduate of the Atmospheric Science department. While at the University of Washington, they were awarded a Mary Gates Undergraduate Research Scholarship and a Washington NASA Space Grant, and held an internship position at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Joshua is currently applying to PhD programs that utilize big data and machine learning to solve environmental and economic problems.

Joshua’s tips: Start writing and getting feedback on your application early, focus on a different portion of your application or a different essay each week, and go to the Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards information sessions and workshops!

Priscilla Kwong – Finalist, Thailand, English Teaching Assistant

Class of 2016, Biochemistry major

I graduated from UW in 2016 and am currently in process of applying to graduate schools for counseling! I applied for a Fulbright ETA in Thailand because teaching is something that is meaningful to me and Thailand is a place that is close to my heart.

Priscilla’s tip: In any application, I think allowing your real self to shine through is important. Write your personal statement to share your story and experiences.

Danielle Marangoni-Simonsen – Finalist, Malaysia, English Teaching Assistant

Class of 2017, Biology major

Dani hails from Pebble Beach, CA where she grew up learning to love hiking through the beautiful California terrain. She chose UW to find a new challenge for herself, but knew throughout the process how she wanted to study Biology. Biology brought comfort and satisfied her curiosity for the world while the Interdisciplinary Honors program allowed her to expand her knowledge base and make lifelong friends in the process. She also studied abroad in Tanzania, one of her favorite experiences, which intrigued her to the world of ecotourism and community versus government aid. She would like to pursue a career surrounding studying and working in Disaster Relief and is currently working in Fremont.

Danielle’s tip: Reach out! I reached out to people who applied and got in to the country I applied for- both on linkedIn and in real life- and it was so helpful to talk through the process.

Miles Miller – Finalist, South Korea, Open Study/ Research

Class of 2015, Industrial Design major

Miles is a designer and craftsman living on occupied Coast Salish and Duwamish land. Miles leverages his skillset in product design, woodcraft, and design research to develop tangible solutions that empower people to reconnect with our natural world. His professional experience has shown him that our pursuit of short-sighted “progress” often endangers our future descendants’ wellbeing. This understanding has driven his deep dive into sustainable methods of traditional design and craft that are rapidly being forgotten.

After graduating from the UW Divison of Design, Miles worked with the Industrial Designers Society of America and led the production of a film shining light upon empowering design for an international design conference. In 2015, his team received an International Design Excellence Award for their work on the Naloxone Drug Overdose Rescue Kit. Between 2015 and 2017, Miles worked with Yoshihara Furniture Company to design and craft heirloom furniture for private, residential, and commercial clients. This work honed skills in computer-aided design, manufacturing, and wood technology while expanding his focus beyond form and function to sustainable and regenerative production methods. At the Taoist Studies Institute, Miles assisted with the design and build of architectural features on their 30-acre forested campus. There he began to learn about lineages of traditional design and craft that ingeniously address issues of ecology and sustainability.

As a Fulbright Fellow, Miles is researching the indigenous innovations and modernization of traditional Korean residential architecture, design, and craft. Korean homes, known as Hanok (“Hahn-oak”), build in harmony with nature to develop sustainable structures that promote the wellbeing of inhabitants and surrounding land. A deep well of knowledge has been developed through the craft of Hanok but lacks representation and utilization in the international community. Miles will critically investigate the craft techniques and design thinking of modern Hanok while learning about natural materials and sustainable production ecosystems. Leading experts at the National University of Cultural Heritage in Buyeo, South Korea, and architecture firm Urban Detail in Seoul, South Korea, are supporting and overseeing this research.

Miles’ tips: Focus upon answering the “why” as soon as possible, then drill down on the logistics of “how.” The true value of the proposal will be obvious if you begin with an honest evaluation of communal benefit and personal enrichment. This will demonstrate your genuine intent to the people and organizations that will make the “how” possible. Next, forget “never” or “impossible.” You will inevitably encounter discouraging or disinterested parties, sidestep them and find the people and organizations who will empower the proposal. Still encountering issues? Hit the ground running and travel to the host country and meet face to face. Demonstrate your passion and respectful diplomacy. This will show your dedication and determine if there is a good fit for all parties involved. If you make every effort to remove as much doubt from the proposal as possible, you will have no regret or wonder about whether you did enough to craft the strongest application possible.

Michael Monicatti – Finalist, U.K., Open Study/ Research

Class of 2017, Drama & Communication major

Michael is a UW Alumni, having graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Drama and Communication. In addition to academics, Michael was an active member of the theatre community on campus. Serving as Publicity Director for the Undergraduate Theater Society, an actor in over ten productions, and stagehand in countless others, he rounded out his education with work onstage and behind the scenes. While studying he was also, at times, a member of UW’s Gospel Choir, Theta Chi Fraternity, and Phi Beta Kappa honor society. Since studying abroad in the UK, Michael’s dream has been to further his training with Classical work in London. It is his hope, that with the Fulbright Award, he will round out his contemporary training with intensive conservatoire craftwork, connect with local community-based theatre projects, and embed himself within the international and British cohort at LAMDA.

Michael’s tip: Separation is in the Preparation! And in the revisions. And in the clarity!

Sacha Moufarrej – Finalist, U.K., Open Study/ Research

Senior, Neuroscience major

I am a senior majoring in neuroscience and minoring in music. Outside of school, I conduct research on pediatric chronic pain at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, and am currently working on a meta-analysis on the prevalence of chronic pain in young adults.

Raised in a Lebanese-American household, I grew up in the midst of the sociopolitical issues plaguing Lebanon and its neighbors, and have witnessed the physical and mental trauma experienced in war-torn and displaced communities. I have volunteered as a tutor in Lebanon at SOS Children’s Villages, an international organization dedicated to providing homes, families, and other resources to abandoned or orphaned children, some of whom, within the Lebanese village of Bhersaf, are victims of the Syrian refugee crisis. I have also performed as a pianist and singer at fundraiser concerts in the Bay Area for SOS.

Through these experiences, and my coursework in neuroscience and UW’s Interdisciplinary Honors Program, I have gained initial exposure to the neurophysiological study of trauma and current trends in global health and migration. This exposure has inspired a passion for researching trauma in vulnerable displaced populations. Specifically, I am interested in pursuing graduate study in medical anthropology in order to study the nexus between mental health, displacement, culture and politics within the Middle East. I hope to combine my studies of medical anthropology with my future medical school pursuits in order to not only effectively treat vulnerable communities, but to also provide research that informs global health policy-making for systemically neglected displaced and migrant populations.

Sacha’s tip: Take the time to reflect on your experiences, and make sure to pursue studies that you are deeply passionate about. That makes the application process so much more personal and exciting. And never hesitate to reach out for help from your professors and advisors for help and advice on personal statements and finding the right programs for you!

Thomas Pepe – Finalist, Colombia, English Teaching Assistant

Class of 2019, Integrated Social Sciences major

I am an artist, a leader and a lifelong teacher who is fueled by challenge and creative collaboration. I have spent time in different types of classrooms throughout my academic journey, acting as a student and a teacher, and oftentimes both. I worked for the Los Angeles Unified School District for two years before I finished my degree through the University of Washington’s Integrated Social Sciences (ISS) online program. Beyond the classroom, my passion is expressed in communication, storytelling and, above all, finding ways to connect with people.

Catherine Pham – Finalist, Vietnam, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, Biochemistry major

As a Vietnamese-American growing up in a predominantly Caucasian community, I struggled with self-acceptance. My internal conflict stemmed from a lack of a sense of belonging among my peers. In university, I became exposed to an environment with greater diversity, and I discovered that being “different” opens a door of learning opportunities. At first, my curiosity drove me to learn about my friends’ cultures and customs. Then, I became determined to seek discomfort by experiencing unfamiliar customs first-hand. As a result, I have been fortunate to work abroad in Germany as well as study abroad twice in Santiago, Chile, and Singapore.

I am eager to teach English in Vietnam because I want to expand opportunities and empower students from my parents’ native country. From my experiences in a variety of leadership and mentorship programs, I discovered my passion for teaching and personal growth. I am ecstatic to evolve my skills as a teacher and to become a cultural ambassador for Vietnamese youth. In addition, this opportunity has immense personal value to me. Over the years, I learned to embrace the beauty of my Vietnamese heritage. I took the initiative to take language courses, understand the history of Vietnam, full of suffering and resilience, and truly empathize with my parents’ experiences as refugees after the war. This upcoming year will be full of growth as I connect with my roots.

After my Fulbright grant, I intend to pursue a career in medicine as a pediatrician. My time spent in university has been comprised of diverse volunteering, research, cross-cultural, work, and academic experiences. These opportunities have shaped me into an individual determined to serve patients at their most vulnerable state, promote community health and sustainable living, and improve health accessibility for underrepresented communities. From this Fulbright ETA opportunity, I am confident that my curiosity will lead me to actively engage with local communities and expand my knowledge through meaningful dialogue. Determined to seek out discomfort, I intend to expand my cultural competency and communication skills with diverse communities in preparation for a career in medicine.

Catherine’s tips: Utilize your resources! I highly encourage staying connected with Robin/Emily and reaching out to Fulbright alumni for advice and feedback! Also, be intentional in your writing and country selection. Prior to starting my application, I self-reflected quite a bit and I deeply considered why I wanted to pursue an ETA grant and why specifically in Vietnam. After that, I reflected upon my previous experiences and personal interests that led me to apply for the Fulbright grant. This process definitely allowed me to create a strong argument as to why I should be selected for a Fulbright and how I was genuinely passionate about this opportunity. The last tip, while revising your application, definitely reach out to family, friends, or mentors to read over your essays to make sure that your character and authenticity truly shines through in your writing.

Lincoln Pothan – Finalist, Cambodia, English Teaching Assistant

Class of 2019, Public Health major

I am a recent graduate from the University of Washington School of Public Health. I plan to pursue graduate studies in Epidemiology to address health inequality locally and internationally and hope to focus my work on mental illness, agricultural injustice, generational trauma, non-communicable disease development, and disability among underserved communities. Due to globalization, international experience is becoming increasingly vital to public health professionals in order to address the public health threats of the future. This Fulbright position will give me experience working in an international setting with diverse populations and improve my skills at a language commonly spoken by underserved populations within my own community. The belief that we cannot allow our vision to be limited by our means attracted me to the field of public health and it is here where I found a passion and career in which I could use my strength, creativity, and perspective to work towards equality, both locally and globally.

Lincoln’s tip: Don’t doubt yourself.

Vidhi Singh – Finalist, India, Open Study/ Research

Senior, Bioengineering major

The disparities I observed during medical shadowing prompted me to understand how socioeconomic, political, and technological factors impact healthcare. To do so, I learn about medical advancements and their broader social implications at UW Seattle. My time at UW has been defined by the communities I entered: bioengineering, research, and journalism. Learning within these networks, I gained skills that inadvertently led me to the most rewarding leadership opportunities. I have been an undergraduate researcher under Dr. Paul Yager, whose lab develops inexpensive diagnostic tests for low-resource settings. Here, I develop imaging tools for our lab’s devices using smartphones. The research independence I gained here motivated me to accept a leadership role in a global health organization, Bioengineers without Borders, designing a dehydration monitor. Likewise, writing for the science and health + wellness sections of The Daily, UW’s student-led newspaper, led me to diverse perspectives in healthcare through interactions within the broad UW community. I have had the opportunity to speak with the most impressive and inspirational Huskies. Through these experience, I understood the importance of applying evidence-based decision making and critical thinking in global health settings, recognizing interventions will only be successful with thoughtful consideration of the context, individuals, and current workflows. Bioengineering provided me the opportunity to leverage my comprehensive research background, commitment to improving medical access for diverse groups, and bridge a passion for technology, medicine, and global health. The professional, personal, and academic development experiences UW offered me has started my journey to a lifetime of work devoted towards improving the health of diverse communities.

Vidhi’s tip: Take advantage of the resources at the scholarship office! You want to make sure that people who have written/reviewed such grants and are unexperienced in your field review your proposal because it provides unbiased feedback.

Sarah Slack – Finalist, Brazil, Open Study/ Research

Senior, Bioengineering major

As a Bioengineering major, I started at the University of Washington determined to contribute to medicine. Since a few months into my first year here, I have been researching in the global health-oriented Woodrow Lab, which has confirmed my desire to pursue a career focusing on international health, likely infectious disease. I started taking Portuguese classes during my second year, primarily motivated by the uniquely welcoming culture I experienced while traveling in Brazil with my father as an eighth grader to visit his old exchange family. Since then, my motivation for learning Portuguese has shifted towards integrating it, and what I have learned from studying it, into my work. My language studies have shown me the importance of researchers being able to communicate with the different communities they work in, improving my perspective as a researcher. While studying for two months in São Paulo, I noticed that my ability to speak Portuguese surprised and opened a door to connection with each person that I talked with. Returning to Ribeirão Preto as a Fulbright student would allow me to make connections in the community and in the laboratory, where my focus would be using genetic sequencing to combat drug-resistant tuberculosis by decreasing the time needed to make clinical decisions about treatment. To continue conducting similar work, I ultimately plan to attend medical school and specialize in infectious disease – a field where research collaboration with Brazil will remain important and the connections I would build as a Fulbright student relevant.

Sarah’s tip: Get started with your drafts early, and get feedback on complete drafts from the advisors as soon as possible.

Katie Spink – Finalist, New Zealand, Open Study/Research

Senior, Psychology major

Katie is currently a senior majoring in psychology at the University of Washington. She plans to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology. In her future work, Katie’s aim is to support families by examining factors that enhance or hinder family functioning and child development, with an eye toward disadvantaged populations. She hopes to build on this understanding by developing and enhancing feasible, affordable interventions that will buffer disadvantaged families from negative health outcomes.

Katie’s tip: While this process my push you outside of your comfort zone, there are many benefits! This includes reaching out to new contacts, learning skills of collaboration, and honing in on your critical thinking, writing skills, and personal story. And along the way, the advisors at the OMSFA office are willing to help throughout! Be willing to put in a good amount of work, but it’s worth it!

Iris Thatcher – Finalist, Finland, Open Study/Research

Class of 2019, Finnish Language & Cultural Studies, Political Economy majors

I grew up in Seattle, and my mom is from Finland. I was able to speak Finnish as a child, but I never has Finnish citizenship nor lived in Finland at any point in time. It wasn’t until I went to the University of Washington (UW) that I had an academic interest in Finnish. During my time at UW, I cultivated a focus in European politics through my Finnish language and political economy majors. I knew that in the long-term, I wanted to further develop my Finnish language comprehension and look deeper into European and global politics. The Scandinavian Studies Department is a unique asset that we have at UW, and I knew it would be challenging to find the right Finnish/political economy master’s program that I wanted in the U.S. As a result, I applied to do a Fulbright in Finland with Tampere University’s Leadership for Change master’s program, where it focuses on EU, Northern European and EU-Russian relations. This Fulbright to Tampere allows me to continue to develop my academic interests, while also sharing my Finnish-American background with other students as a representative from the U.S. Moreover, this Fulbright grant helps me better achieve my goals in working in an international organization (IGO). I would like to work for United Nations or North Atlantic Treaty Organization in some capacity, and the skills that I will gain from this experience abroad will give me a specialized, transatlantic approach in helping the U.S. better its decision-making within IGOs.

Iris’ tip: Ask for help and listen to all of the feedback that you get! Applying for a grant/scholarship is a completely different process from other applications. You have to show why you are the perfect candidate for that specific grant. By getting advice from your recommenders, professors and scholarship advisors on how to show that, you will be better prepared for navigating this process successfully.

Lela Cooper – Alternate, Greenland, English Teaching Assistant

Class of 2020, Environmental Studies major

I am a senior majoring in Environmental Studies, and minoring in Danish, and Urban Design and Planning. Growing up in the Inland Northwest, I have always been passionate about protecting our natural resources in the face of growing environmental concerns. My time at UW has revolved around addressing environmental injustice and ensuring that environmental topics are communicated in culturally relevant ways. The education I received has given me both a toolkit to address environmental issues moving forward in my career, while also exposing me to some unexpected interests.

I had the opportunity to study abroad in Greenland and Denmark, which opened my eyes to the realities of Arctic climate change and proved the importance of interdisciplinary engagement and cross-cultural understanding when addressing complex global challenges. The environmental field has historically had a tendency to not integrate the knowledge or needs of the local communities whose ecosystems they study, and this sentiment was expressed to me from locals while in Greenland. As someone passionate about climate justice and cross-cultural communication, I wanted to find a way to return to Greenland, and better connect with Arctic communities, leading me to pursue a minor in Danish.

Learning a foreign language as an adult has been both a rewarding and challenging process. My experience has inspired me to help others as they learn English, and I hope that I can use my Danish skills and teaching experience to serve the local community of Nuuk as a Fulbright ETA. Serving as an ETA in Greenland would allow me to not only use the skills I have developed through college to assist the local population, but would also give me the chance to better engage with the communities I met on my study abroad, which is an invaluable learning opportunity for my future career in Arctic and environmental policy.

Lela’s tip: My main advice would be to both start your application as early as possible, but also use the amazing advising resources we have on campus. The Fulbright application process can be intimidating, so it is important to stay motivated, and there are many people who want to help you succeed.

Chiara DeSantis – Alternate, Peru, English Teaching Assistant

Class of 2020, Public Health & Spanish majors

I am from Southern California and grew up in a predominantly Latinx neighborhood. Because of my mixed race, many people assumed I was Latina and spoke Spanish to me on a daily basis. As a result, I began learning the language in middle school and eventually fell in love with it. A few years later, I was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata, a hair loss disease. This condition introduced me to the world of healthcare because I tried a million and one treatments to stop my hair from falling out. However, after two strenuous years, I lost all my beloved hair but gained an intense passion for all things health related. In college, I decided to pursue a double major in two fields I absolutely love: Public Health and Spanish.

Throughout my four years, I have narrowed my academic focus to minority health. As a woman of color, I feel a strong urge to help bridge the gap in healthcare access amongst marginalized communities, predominantly racial minorities, and their counterpart. I work as an English as a Second Language Tutor for immigrant students at Seattle Central College, which has helped me recognize my passion for teaching as well. By volunteering here, I have realized that I want to pursue academia in the distant future. After I graduate, I intend to take all the tangible and interpersonal skills that I have obtained at the University of Washington back with me to Southern California and work on mitigating these health issues. I want to use my Spanish-speaking skills to work with the Latinx community at home, while having my public health knowledge facilitate the creation of beneficial interventions.

Chiara’s Tip: Begin the application early!

Bennet Jarvis – Alternate, Algeria, English Teaching Assistant

Class of 2020, History majors

I am a local student interested in the history of the Middle East and North Africa, specifically during the period of decolonization in the mid-20th Century. I’ve spent considerable time working on this period in Algeria specifically and decided to apply for the Fulbright program in order to go, engage in Algerian society, and hopefully improve my Arabic. I hope to continue studying Algeria and the region in a graduate school and will look to enter a career in the state department or through an international organization.

Bennet’s Tip: Emphasize why you want to go to the SPECIFIC place you are applying for. This will be much more compelling than just broad merits, especially considering the focus of the Fulbright program involves cross cultural engagement in your specific location.

Jill Nakayama – Alternate, South Korea, English Teaching Assistant

Class of 2020, Early Childhood and Family Studies majors

Hi! My name is Jill Nakayama and I am a senior studying Early Childhood and Family Studies at the University of Washington. I was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii and attended Punahou School. Throughout the years, I developed a passion for working with children as I would often volunteer in preschool, kindergarten, and elementary school classrooms. As I worked with these children, I realized how unique each child is in personality, culture, background and so this lead me to want to learn more about child development and how to help all children reach their maximum potential and lead happy, healthy lives. In the future, I plan to pursue a doctorate degree in child psychology. I will use the knowledge and experience I gained to practice cultural competency in my future career as a child and family psychologist and in my daily life.
Even though my career goal is to become a child and family psychologist, my life goal would be to help create a more unified world by helping children of all backgrounds feel welcomed and supported. Hawaii and the United States as a whole is a very culturally diverse place with families that immigrate from all over the world. Adjusting to a new culture can be difficult for these families, but I hope to offer a helping hand and assist immigrant families moving to America in having a smooth transition into life here; this can even be something as small as offering to chat a little in their native language. In the end, I would love to share my story with others as they share their stories with me; even if it’s only one step towards mutual respect for different cultures, I hope that I can make a difference in motivating others to take this same step forward towards a more understanding world.

Jill’s Tip: I would suggest talking to the advisors early and learning about the scholarship so you can decide if it is the right fit for you. Throughout the application process, it was very helpful talking to the advisors for tips and also for feedback on the essays. The last tip I have is to have many different people read your written statements (ex: personal statement, statement of grant purpose, etc.). I found it extremely helpful to get feedback from several people as they all interpreted my essays in different ways and their feedback helped me to tailor it so I could convey what I wanted.

Check out the 2019 press release announcing the 2019-2020 semi-finalists!

2018 - 2019

Azelle Bahadory – Scholar, India, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, International Studies major, Linguistics minor

Azelle Bahadory

I am a former Navy Linguist who is driven by the pursuit of knowledge and intercultural cooperation. I am fluent in Dari and Levantine Arabic, with an elementary proficiency in Hindi/Urdu. I have four years of experience in Army intelligence and spent one year teaching English in Afghanistan. I hope to channel the skills developed in my previous experience into a career in international diplomacy. Arabic and Farsi chose me, but Hindi is the first language that I’ve chosen of my own volition. India stands out to me for its unique role as one of the world’s top innovators, and I aspire to get to know the nation that has so deftly captured the hearts of billions of foreigners through the appeal of its cultural diplomacy. It is a country that is ancient and ambitious, and in its coexistence of so many integrated cultures it is an endless source of discovery for a future diplomat. The opportunity to serve under a Fulbright Grant in India would be an immense challenge, a learning opportunity, and a springboard onto my intended path of improving US-India relations through the facilitation of intercultural understanding.

Azelle’s tip: Ask for feedback from everyone around you, especially the scholarship advisors! In order to build a strong application, you have to get a feel for how the evaluators will see it. That means gathering as many different perspectives as possible.

Hana Bloedel – Scholar, Estonia, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, UW Bothell

Hana Bloedel has been selected for a U.S. Student Fulbright grant to Estonia, where she will serve as an English Teaching Assistant. Hana completed her B.A. in Global Studies and Society, Ethics & Human Behavior, with a minor in Human Rights, in June 2018. During her time at UW Bothell, she studied abroad in London, participated in the D.C. Human Rights Seminar, and was involved in community-based courses.

After graduation she went on the Minidoka Pilgrimage to Jerome County, Idaho, to visit the site where her grandmother was incarcerated during World War II. She has since been working as a Student Success Coach with City Year Seattle through the AmeriCorps program, supporting elementary students in their growth in both social and emotional learning, and in ELA.

Hana’s tip: Believe that you can do it, think about it in advance, get advice/help with the writing process from multiple people, be genuine, do your research.

Rachel Fricke – Scholar, Germany, Research

Senior, Aquatic & Fishery Sciences and Environmental Studies major, Quantitative Science minor

Rachel Fricke

Rachel is broadly interested in the impacts of human manipulation of freshwater ecosystems via introduction of non-native species and altered flow regimes, and conservation approaches to these effects. She first forayed into freshwater ecology as a field technician quantifying the intermediate host dispersal of waterborne parasites in the Senegal River basin and has since expanded on this work by conducting a study on the influence of environmental variables on the success of common liver fluke, a prevalent parasite that infects humans and livestock around the globe. Her current research examines spatial patterns in angler movement derived from new fishing technologies and smartphone applications with the intention of identifying frequently-traveled pathways between lakes and reservoirs, a common vector for invasive species.

These experiences have defined Rachel’s commitment to a world in which freshwater biodiversity and ecosystem services are appreciated by all. She was motivated to apply for a Fulbright academic grant after recognizing the pivotal role anglers play in effectively managing freshwater systems. The grant would fund her proposal to study the effectiveness of lake restoration efforts spearheaded by angling clubs in Lower Saxony, Germany and ultimately inform angler-driven fish conservation practices throughout Europe. Rachel has long been connected to Germany through language – she studied German for thirteen years as a child – and the Fulbright program offers an unparalleled opportunity to synthesize her scientific and cultural interests.

Rachel’s long-term plans include graduate studies in aquatic ecology, after which she intends to pursue a career in ecological research working either in academia or for a federal resource agency. In her spare time she enjoys skiing, backpacking, fishing, kayaking, and playing the ukulele in one of the Seattle’s many green spaces.

Rachel’s tip: Incorporate edits and suggestions from the on-campus interview committee into your final essay submissions – they’re very familiar with Fulbright’s evaluation criteria and have valuable insight to offer!

Hannah Hampson – Scholar, Chile, Research

Class of 2018, Civil and Environmental Engineering major

Hannah Hampson

Hannah is a Civil and Environmental Engineering recent graduate applying for a Fulbright research experience in Chile. There, she hopes to test our ability to model water resources in a range of diverse climates that Chile holds. She plans on accomplishing this through applying a hydrologic and meteorological based model to three separate watersheds in the arid north, the heavily populated central region, and the pristine south. This research would be carried out through collaboration with La Católica University in Santiago. Hannah developed an interest in merging her studies in hydrology with her interest in South America after studying abroad in Chile for a semester, and partaking in undergraduate mountain hydrology research at UW through the Civil and Environmental Engineering department. She plans on partaking in the grant at the beginning of her graduate studies starting next fall, with the end goal of utilizing her Fulbright grant to not only better predict water resources globally, but also develop international relationships benefiting the scientific communities in both the U.S. and Chile. She is excited to make it as a semi-finalist, and cannot wait to see if she makes it further and gets the opportunity to carry out research she’s passionate about in a country she’s grown to love.

Hannah’s tip: Focus on establishing relationships with great mentors early on in college that will be excellent leaders and resources for letters of recommendation for scholarship opportunities.

Lauren Hanna – Scholar, Kosovo, Research

Class of 2018, Public Health major

Lauren Hanna

I was a Public Health major who focused in gender-based violence as it relates to women’s health. I interned with the Seattle City Domestic Violence Unit and became very interested in the ways that mental health plays a role in DV. Because I focused on post-conflict areas in school I thought it would be a perfect fit to combine my two main interests, and take a research approach to mental health as it applies to domestic violence in Kosovo. I hope to go back to school and either get my masters in public health or a graduate degree in sociology.

Lauren’s tip: Start early and don’t get discouraged!

Kevin Lam – Scholar, Taiwan, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, International Studies and Dance major

Kevin Lam

I am a senior at the University of Washington studying International Studies and Dance. I am passionate about integrating my studies into community building. My training in gender studies, queer theory, and critical race theory from my time at the Jackson School developed my identity, values, and world perceptions. Dance is a creative outlet and platform for self-expression. On my free time I enjoy dance and improvisation in public spaces because I am present in my body and environment. I will my combine my interests in politics and arts into uplifiting the next generation of global leaders – the youth. As an educator for Americans Promoting Study Abroad and One World Now, I fostered student-centered learning environments in my classroom. I have facilitated leadership workshops for high school students from underserved backgrounds in the U.S. and abroad. I want to live in a society that gives underpriviliged students equal access to high quality education. In order to cultivate a successful democracy, we need to educate youth to make decisions with a critical lens as well as empower them to voice their opinions.

Kevin’s tip: Experiences outside of academia are invaluable. Time away from school provides insight into a well-rounded perspective on life. We are not just students, artists, athletes, professionals, etc., but, we are human beings and we should be more human.

Sarah Leibson – Scholar, Taiwan, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, Asian Studies and Korean major, Chinese minor

Sarah Leibson

If I have learned one thing over the course of my time at the University of Washington, it is to not rush things. When I returned to the university after my year and summer abroad at Seoul National University in September 2017, I soon realized that I did not give myself enough time to prepare for graduate school applications and many other programs. Instead, I applied for and was awarded a David L. Boren Scholarship to continue studying Korean for another year in Seoul, South Korea after I finished my fourth year at the University of Washington. Continuing my studies for the fifth year gave me the extra time and confidence boost to apply for the Fulbright ETA program in Taiwan. If I become a finalist for the program then I will be returning to Taiwan to teach English for the second time. The first time being on the 2013 AID Summer volunteer program which was a blast. I hope to return to Taiwan in August and put my now nine years of Mandarin language training to the test. I plan to keep up both my Mandarin and Korean skills and apply to graduate schools in my home state of California. My goal is to apply my language skills and cultural knowledge to a career as a Foreign Service Officer.

Sarah’s tip: Go to as many scholarship info sessions or workshops as it takes to motivate yourself to start the application early and review it a thousand times over.

Brandie Nordstrum – Scholar, Vietnam, English Teaching Assistant

Class of 2014, Medical Anthropology and Global Health major

Brandie Nordstrum

I applied to become a Fulbright ETA with the aspiration to expand my world knowledge, in turn, achieving better reflective practices in my communication strategies and the actions that I take. This process for reflective considerations includes those taken within professional roles that I hold, such as decisions that I make as an instructor or as someone who is interacting within a new community. I maintain this overarching goal because I enjoy working with others, especially with perspectives and backgrounds different than my own and have learned more about its importance throughout my career so far. I am currently a coordinator of educational programming for newly arrived youth and in this role I focus on the development of study habits to help promote self-sufficiency and confidence growth in academics. While I thoroughly enjoyed and have learned a lot from my past in roles similar to this, I realize my limitations in developing collaborative process’ necessary for creating the most effective community engagement and to be a better collaborative ally. As an ETA helping with instruction and simultaneously learning within a new environment, I can move past these barriers.

This passion to continually learn from new perspectives has also drawn me in my more personal ventures to circus arts, which I have been practicing since 2014. With this experience, I have found that being introduced to new places/communities is pretty similar to learning a skill like aerial arts. At first it can be disorienting but with what you have learned you are able to see more clearly and to build upon your newfound skill-sets with more confidence. I am excited for the experience of learning new skills as an ETA within a new culture and excited to find how this opens my mind towards future endeavors.

Brandie’s tip: If you don’t get in the first time, don’t let that finalize anything. There is always the opportunity to try again.

Anika Patel – Scholar, Thailand, English Teaching Assistant

Class of 2017, Biochemistry and Interdisciplinary Honors

Anika Patel

Growing up, I learned very quickly how to adapt to new environments as I spent much of my childhood traveling all over the world with my family. These experiences I had early on in my life played a significant role in the development of my deep appreciation for different cultures and diverse forms of communication. I extended this appreciation back home in Seattle by involving myself in various volunteering opportunities that allowed me to get to know the populations that made up my community, such as refugee immigrants, the homeless, and the elderly. Over time, I developed valuable longitudinal relationships with those I worked closely with, allowing me to gain an understanding of each population’s personal needs through the stories each chose to share with me.

As an aspiring physician, I have explored many facets of healthcare both as an undergraduate as well as after graduating, and it has become my passion to serve disadvantaged populations. My research, work, volunteering, and UW academic experiences thus far have shaped me into an individual committed towards improving access to vital resources, while empowering people to live sustainable lives. As a doctor I want to promote quality healthcare and improved outcomes for patients and society through research questions that are guided by civic engagement. Taking advantage of a Fulbright ETA in Thailand to use and build upon my cultural insights will continue to inform my passion for incorporating cultural awareness into patient care; and for building more equitable doctor-patient relationships so that I can better inform and empower my patients.

Currently in my gap year, I enjoy working at Ballard Swedish Hospital Emergency Department as a scribe. In my free time, I love to rock climb, play the harp, volunteer at a local nursing home, and teach English to refugee immigrants in Seattle.

Anika’s Tip: Start as soon as possible, earlier than you think you need to. UW has so many resources available for students, both in-person and online. I found it particularly helpful to periodically meet with UW’s Fulbright Advisors; they are very willing to meet with applicants and offer their advice.

Nola Peshkin – Scholar, Belgium, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, English major, French Language, Sociolinguistics & Translation minor

Nola Peshkin

Language learning has been a passion and interest of mine since early childhood. While I grew up 15 minutes from UW, I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend time traveling within Europe and practicing bilingual communication. This June I will graduate with a B.A. in English and a minor in French with college honors, and I hope to take my love for language to Belgium to teach English at the university level. Communication skills are a link that start with individuals but make a global impact in building empathy and global understanding.

Growing up, my family spent huge amounts of time playing in and around the mountains and natural areas of the Pacific Northwest, ultimately inspiring my passions for ecological conservation and appreciation of our wild spaces. Addressing large-scale issues like our environmental crises must be solved from an interdisciplinary standpoint, and I hope to translate my language and communication skills into a career in environmental education. Igniting students’ interest in ecology and helping them build sustainable habits into their daily lives is an important step towards instilling a preservation-focused mindset in future generations. I believe that pursuing a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship would help me take steps towards this goal by furthering my teaching skills and learning to effectively communicate across languages and cultural norms.

Currently at UW I’m completing coursework for the Interdisciplinary Honors program as well as English departmental honors. Throughout my four years I’ve been involved as a tutor with the Pipeline Project, a Peer Mentor for Honors 100, and an active member of the club ski racing team. Gaining experience in internships with Rick Steves’ Europe, SKI Magazine, and Hillel UW has helped me to gain invaluable writing and travel skills, and an unrelenting desire for adventure and new experiences.

Nola’s tip: Be yourself! Your quirks, passions, and unique interests all help you stand out in an authentic way, and help selection committees see the real you. Don’t be afraid to share what makes you special, because it might make you the best fit for the program!

Thomas Pham – Scholar, Turkey, English Teaching Assistant


Rhoda Sheikh – Scholar, Malaysia, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, Law, Societies & Justice major

Rodha Sheikh

I am a 4th-year students at the UW studying Law, Societies, & Justice (LSJ). While learning about inequities within our criminal justice system, I found inequity within education to be a root issue and cause of those inequities. Because of this, I am passionate about the field of Education and am continuously exploring my role within it. Through Fulbright, I hope to familiarize myself with ways other countries are able to establish more successful and equitable systems of education in hopes of generating new ideas for U.S. public schools. I am also excited at the thought of participating in a cultural exchange program.

Rodha’s tip: Talk to Emily!!!

Maya Sullivan – Scholar, Oman, Research

Senior, Economics and International Studies major

Maya Sullivan

Maya Sullivan is a senior hoping to apply her interdisciplinary studies to pursue a career in diplomacy. Growing up within a biracial family inspired her to seek opportunities to build bridges between cultures, rather than allow differences to tear people apart. Maya hopes to work in the international community in sustainable development, and is incredibly grateful for the great many doors the University of Washington, in particular the Jackson School, has opened for her to chase this path. Maya hopes that regardless of the specific sector of development she enters, that she will contribute to collaborative projects that highly involve the input of recipients.

Maya applied to the Fulbright research grant for the 2019-2020 cycle. The Fulbright research grant holds the potential for Maya to conduct independent economic research in Muscat, Oman, allowing her to understand more deeply the obstacles for economic diversification and development. Maya hopes to present policy recommendations based on her research for how best to achieve economic diversification in Oman. If she were lucky enough to be awarded the grant, Maya hopes to spend a year in Oman learning more about Arabic culture and language, in addition to its economy. Based on her experience after her Fulbright year, Maya hopes to either work for a development NGO or think tank for a couple years before pursuing a Master’s degree. In the long run, Maya aspires to have the opportunity to enter the public service and help continue to break down barriers for more women of color to enter roles of leadership in the government.

Maya’s tips: Start early, enroll in the online class for Global Fellowships, and work closely with the advisors! Emily was so helpful to me, even though I wasn’t able to meet in person.

Binh Truong – Scholar, Austria, Combined Grant

Senior, International Studies major

Binh Truong

Binh is an immigrant from Vietnam majoring in International Studies with a focus on foreign policy, diplomacy, peace and security. Binh’s research interest is in communication between different political parties and the difference between policy and what happens on-the-ground. They are currently completing their Honor’s Thesis on political memes during political flash points. Other research projects includes a partnership between the Applied Research Program and Microsoft on threats to democratic processes.

Applying to the Fulbright Combined grant for ETA and Research is the best of both worlds as they can impact students’ learning while researching the impacts of social media on democracy and political organization of youths. Growing up in a diverse neighborhood nurtured a curiosity in different cultures and people which inspired them to become a Foreign Service Officer in Public Diplomacy. They seek to learn more about cross-cultural communication and exchange on the Fulbright Program. And of course, further developing themselves as someone that will represent America, as diverse a country as it is. When Binh is not researching or working, they can be found eating and/or reading. Binh is proud of their ability to do both simultaneously while walking.

Binh’s tips for future applicants:
Be clear in your intentions and focus of the Fulbright! Envision yourself there and ask why are you going? And more importantly, why does it matter?

Liliana Caracoza Lopez – Semi-Finalist, Spain

Senior, UW Tacoma

Rebecca Dickson – Semi-Finalist, Lithuania

Senior, UW Tacoma

Regan Gong – Semi-Finalist, Spain

Senior, International Studies: Comparative Religion and Psychology major

Regan Gong

Regan is a senior studying Psychology and International Studies: Comparative Religion. She is an out-of-state student from Moraga, CA located in the San Francisco Bay Area. Professionally, Regan plans on attending graduate school to explore the impacts of social bias on policy creation. Her career goal is to become a Foreign Service Officer, inspired by her study abroad experience in Rome, Italy and internship with the Department of State in Nepal, Kathmandu. In addition, she is a part of the Social Policy and Identity Research Lab under the Evans School of Public Policy which has given her skills to research critical questions. During her four years, she has focused on mentoring her peers. As former Student Director for the Campus Visit Program, Orientation Leader, and Honors Peer Educator, Regan has helped create a more inclusive community. She enjoys collaborating with the UW community to create more dialogue about the role of religion has on politics and what it means for student identities in hopes of creating a more inclusive environment. Currently, Regan is planning an interfaith dialogue event called One of Many funded by the Husky Seed Fund. At the event, participants will listen to selected stories of how faith has impacted an individual’s student identity. Outside of UW, she works at REI in downtown Seattle. In addition, she enjoys running and yoga. The Fulbright grant that she applied for is at the University of Salamanca Master’s in International and Global Studies. Her focus area in the program would be Conflict Management and Nationalism, which fits her career goals and personal interests extremely well. Ultimately, Regan is sad to be leaving her community at UW but thankful for all the opportunities that have led her to this path.

Regan’s tip: Start early!!! The deadline is before UW starts which might make securing letters of recommendations difficult.

Nasri Isaac – Semi-Finalist, Turkey

Nasri Isaac – Semi-Finalist, Turkey

Senior, UW Tacoma

Sara Mar – Semi-Finalist, Philippines

Class of 2017, Environmental Health major

Sara Mar

Sara graduated Summa Cum Laude with her B.S. in Environmental Health in 2017. During her last semester of college, Sara studied abroad in rural Thailand conducting community-based research. The opportunity to build relationships with local villagers cultivated Sara’s passion for hearing the stories and perspectives of other people. After spending another two months traveling abroad in Southeast Asia, Sara accepted a fellowship through CDC’s Public Health Associate Program (PHAP). She packed up her bags once more and moved to Columbus to work at the Ohio Department of Health. Sara works in both health preparedness and health equity to promote more targeted emergency response efforts and public health program interventions. In January 2019, Sara began a 60-day deployment to Charleston, West Virginia to assist the Hepatitis A outbreak response. Thus far, she has helped coordinate vaccine clinics at homeless shelters, faith-based organizations, and Medication-Assisted Treatment centers to get more than 600 people vaccinated.

The combination of traveling abroad, doing on-the-ground community work, and seeing the influence of federal and state policy on public health programs, motivated Sara to apply for a Fulbright research fellowship. Her proposed project would be conducted in the Philippines and focuses on the impact of a social welfare policy on access to health services. This research project grew from Sara’s desire to understand the “real-world” implications of health policy and work with local communities whose voices are not always heard. Sara also intends to obtain her Masters in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and will use this Fulbright opportunity to inform which area of public health she would like to pursue further. Ultimately, Sara hopes this Fulbright is a stepping stone on the path to a global health career where she can influence policy makers by better understanding how policy affects the lives of local communities.

Sara’s tip: Start the process early! There are a lot of components to the application and you want to give yourself enough time to go through several drafts and get feedback from your peers and mentors. Also, developing a research proposal with an organization overseas takes a lot of back and forth communication – so be patient and know that the extra time you put into it will only make your proposal stronger.

Sydney Ward – Semi-Finalist, Morocco

Senior, International Studies and Near Eastern Languages & Civilization major

Sydney Ward

Attitudes of the artists toward their handicrafts in Morocco have sparked my curiosity due to my own interest and experience in sewing and embroidery and my experiences in Morocco. Studying the women who create Morocco’s cultural textiles will help provide me with a better understanding of the challenges facing the industry with an increased importation of mass-produced textiles. These crafts form the basis for Morocco’s cultural heritage, and my project provides an opportunity to understand the source of the beloved Moroccan rugs: the women who weaved them.

I am particularly interested in Morocco because it is often excluded from dialogues about the Middle East and viewed as an outsider, both linguistically and culturally. Most research and scholarly interest are focused on the Levant or the Gulf and North Africa is undervalued. For this reason, I believe it is important to invest in researching aspects of Moroccan culture in hopes of bringing better understanding and focus to a country that is often overlooked in politics, research, and academia.

Afterward, I will return to the US and earn a graduate degree in International Relations with an area of specialization in the Middle East and North Africa. I hope to use these experiences to help bring mutual understanding to the region and continue my work in the US State Department or as a Foreign Service officer. A year in Morocco on the Fulbright Program will help me build a community in Morocco and build bridges between our two communities through civic engagement, curiosity, and respect for one another. My hope is for the blending of the future and tradition, and understanding the views of the women who work in textiles and for understanding how to preserve the ancient knowledge and traditions of embroidery and carpet weaving in Morocco.

Sydney’s tip: Start your application early and attend info sessions to learn more about the specifications of the application and get helpful tips!

2017 - 2018

Jake Hansen – Scholar, Russia, English Teaching Assistantship

Senior, Russian Language, Literature, and Culture major

Jake Hansen

Jake Hansen was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado, and throughout childhood fostered interests primarily in the areas of chemistry and mathematics. It was not until he arrived in Seattle that he began to take a serious interest in philology and language learning. Since then, he has studied abroad in St. Petersburg, been selected as recipient of several departmental awards and as an ACTR Russian Scholar Laureate, and is now completing a B.A. in Russian Language, Literature, and Culture here at UW.

With hopes to continue developing as a philologist and teacher, Hansen has applied for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Grant to Russia. While in Russia, he would work as an assistant in a university English program and also pursue the formation of collaborative relationships with young Russian authors and musicians.
Hansen has in the past collaborated with Russian authors to produce translations, including with Russian prose stylist Olga Isayeva, whose short story Avtobus (“The Bus”), a masterfully crafted portrait of everyday life in the late Soviet Union, he is currently working to get published in American literary journals.

In addition to translation praxis, Hansen is interested in the theoretical side of translation and its interaction with linguistic models. In February 2018 he delivered a talk at the Praxis Conference here at UW discussing some problems in legal translation and ways in which they have been addressed by professionals.

After spending a period of time teaching abroad, both expanding his knowledge and honing his teaching abilities, Hansen has interest in returning to American academia and continuing his development as a language specialist and scholar of Slavic Studies.

While not studying, Hansen enjoys working as a barista at the Café Allegro, spending time with friends and family, playing the drums, watching films, riding his bicycle, connecting with the natural world, and making forays into creative writing.

Yesenia Navarro-Aguirre – Scholar, Peru, Academic

Class of 2017, Human Evolutionary Biology; Anthropology of Globalization

Yesenia Navarro-Aguirre

Yesenia Navarro is a recent graduate of the University of Washington(Class of 2017), with majors in Human Evolutionary Biology and Anthropology of Globalization. During her undergraduate career, Yesenia was very active in the fields of anthropology and research.
As a research assistant to Dr.Holman, Yesenia worked two years of her undergraduate career on a project that involved research on women’s reproductive health. In this role, she first learned how to analyze data and conduct statistical analysis. Additionally, she was introduced to programming languages that would enable further data manipulation.

Her time alongside Dr.Holman was instrumental in creating and sustaining a longtime passion for research. She soon discovered from this pivotal point in her life that she wanted to focus her career path for the prevention of infectious diseases.
Furthermore, once Yesenia graduated from the University of Washington, she attended the T.H Chan School of Public Health Summer Epidemiology Program. She learned over the course of the program, that it is through the field of Epidemiology, that bridges together the implementation of statistical strategy with community-level interactions that control and prevent the spread of disease.
Overall, her experiences as a undergraduate and postgraduate allowed Yesenia to fully comprehend her passion for public health. Her recent research interests include HIV/Tuberculosis prevention and zoonotic diseases endemic to Latin America. She is also particularly eager to learn how to use novel statistical methods to model infectious disease outbreaks.

Yesenia’s Tips for Future Fulbright Applicants:
Time management is a integral aspect of the application process. The grant writing process proved to be a daunting task. What made it manageable was creating personal deadlines and accountability to those deadlines with your mentor. Having someone to personally overlook your work and see if your are making progress its also another key to success.

Philip Palios – Scholar, United Kingdom, Academic

Senior, Culture, Literature & the Arts (UW Bothell) major

Philip Palios

Philip Palios is interested in the intersection of the environment and the humanities. He’ll start exploring that more in September through a yearlong U.S. Student Fulbright grant, earning a master’s in environment, culture and communication at the University of Glasgow Dumfries campus in southwest Scotland. Learn more about Philip in the UWB article.

Caleb Perez – Scholar, Switzerland, Academic

Senior, Bioengineering major

Caleb Perez

Since my junior year of high school, I have been deeply involved in biomedical research, driven by a curious scientific mind and a commitment to advancing the field of medicine. These motivations guided my pursuit of an undergraduate degree in Bioengineering here at UW. Throughout my undergraduate studies, I have had the opportunity to work in many different labs across a breadth of fields. A turning point in my career came during my participation in a summer research program at the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research under Dr. Michele De Palma. There, I studied a novel cancer vaccination platform that was already showing the ability to limit tumor burden in preclinical studies. Witnessing the remarkable therapeutic potential of this vaccine firsthand cemented my commitment to a career in cancer research, working toward the development of similar treatments. This experience also drove my application to the Fulbright program, which would support my return to Switzerland to continue work on this promising therapeutic.

Outside of the lab, I have participated in Bioengineers Without Borders for several years, working on the design of a low-cost hydration monitor for application in the developing world. I also strive to help prospective bioengineers through their coursework as an undergraduate teaching assistant for three different departmental classes. Following my graduation in the spring, I plan to continue both biomedical research and teaching by pursuing graduate school and an eventual academic career, where I hope to lead my own lab devoted to the translation of cancer therapeutics.

Caleb’s Tips for Future Fulbright Applicants:
Choose the country and project wisely based on how you can craft the strongest application — how can you make this specific project in this specific country relevant to your previous experiences and future goals?

Tammy Tarhini – Scholar, Germany, English Teaching Assistantship

Class of 2017, Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology and Medical Anthropology & Global Health major

Tammy Tarhini

After taking a gap year in Germany through the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Scholarship, Tammy entered the UW as a premedical student with an interest in global health. To supplement her premedical coursework, her background as a Lebanese American led her to pursue opportunities such as serving as an Arabic-English medical interpreter at the MAPS/MCRC health clinic in Seattle, and studying abroad in Jordan to volunteer in a Palestinian refugee health clinic through UNRWA. These experiences helped her identify a strong interest in pursuing a career in global health with a focus on underserved populations, specifically Arabic-speaking refugee/immigrant communities.

As a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grant recipient, Tammy will work with students from refugee and minority backgrounds in Germany. She hopes to contribute her Arab-American background, past experience in Germany, and teaching experience to these students and their classroom experience. At the same time, she hopes to further her career goals through this opportunity to keep working with underserved populations in international settings, and by taking concurrent coursework in Global Health.

Tammy’s Tips for Future Fulbright Applicants:
Start earlier than you think you need to, and don’t hesitate to use the many resources the UW makes available for applicants.

Kylie Luse – Alternate, Spain, English Teaching Assistantship

Class of 2017, Psychology and Spanish major

Kylie Luse

As a recent graduate of the University of Washington, I have applied to the Fulbright Student Program to be an English teaching assistant in Spain. As an ETA I would be able to gain invaluable experience working in a classroom with English language learners that would further prepare me to apply for a Master in Teaching program upon my return to the United States. My long-term goal is to become a dual language teacher for elementary school children, so that I am able to teach both English to native Spanish speakers and Spanish to native English speakers. After graduating from UW with a B.A. in Spanish, I strongly believe in the importance of learning a second language, as it opens up doors for communication and the understanding of different cultures, and I would love to serve as an aide to students during their academic journey.

After studying abroad in Cádiz, Spain through UW’s program, I would be excited to return to Spain to immerse myself in the Spanish language so that I can become fluent. Living abroad in Spain helped me to grow as a person and gain new experiences and I am eager to learn even more by returning. I also would be excited to travel not only around Spain, but other European countries as well. After my first visit, I have added many more places to my bucket list that I am ready to cross off!

Kylie’s Tips for Future Fulbright Applicants:
My advice would be to ask for your letters of recommendation and write your essays far in advance so that you can come into interviews confident with specific questions for improvement.

Anika Patel – Alternate, Thailand, English Teaching Assistantship

Class of 2017, Biochemistry and Interdisciplinary Honors major

Anika Patel

Growing up, I was fortunate to have been exposed to a variety of cultures and languages. By the beginning of high school, I had seen 5 of the 7 continents. Over the years, I transitioned from being a tourist to a cultural ambassador by setting out on each new adventure with a personal goal of furthering my understanding of the delicate and dynamic art of communication.

As a premed, I am committed towards improving access to not only quality healthcare, but also to vital resources necessary for people to live sustainable lives. Teaching English excites me because it provides people with skills necessary to take part in the larger global economy. Opening up this opportunity allows people to not only improve the quality of their own lives, but also promote social and economic development in their countries.

I hope to heighten my social perceptiveness and cultural competency, which will be useful for communicating effectively with my future patients as a doctor. Pursuing a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship would take me one step closer to this goal. As an aspiring physician, taking advantage of any opportunity to use and build upon my cultural insights will continue to inform my passion for incorporating cultural awareness into patient care.

Currently in my gap year, I enjoy working at Swedish Hospital as both a scribe in the Emergency Department and as a technician for an otolaryngologist. In my free time, I love rock climbing, playing the harp, volunteering at a nursing home, and teaching English to refugees in Seattle.

Anika’s Tips for Future Fulbright Applicants:
Scheduling meetings with the Fulbright advisors was very valuable for me. I brainstormed ideas for why I am interested in Fulbright and what makes me competitive with them, and they helped me mold my thoughts/ideas into a more coherent story. I also encourage future students to reach out to previous Fulbrighters early — names of previous winners can be found on the website, I looked them up on Facebook, sent them a message, and they were more than happy to help and answer questions. What I learned from talking to past Fulbrighters helped me determine whether this was something I truly wanted to do, and how I could frame my application in the most competitive manner possible. Whether or not I receive a Fulbright Scholarship, it is these conversations that have made me reflect on my life’s story to understand why I am where I am today, making me 100% sure of the career path I have chosen to take.

Nicole Shermer – Alternate, Peru, Academic

Class of 2016, International Studies major

Nicole Shermer

Nicole Shermer graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Washington with a B.A. in International Studies in 2016. In both the Running Start program and at UW, she engaged in extensive advocacy and organizing experience as a Campus Leader for the ONE Campaign, an organization focused on fighting extreme poverty and preventable diseases in sub-Saharan Africa. She met with elected officials, campaigned on important legislation, and found a passion for global development issues.

Nicole eventually interned for both the ONE Campaign in Washington, D.C. and the African Chamber of the Pacific Northwest (ACCPNW) in Seattle. She also studied abroad in San Sebastian, Spain, during her senior year. She currently works as the Program Coordinator for the Middle East Center at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington. Her Fulbright experience in Zana, Peru, will allow her to explore the intersections of sustainable environmental development and cultural history and develop valuable personal relationships within a community abroad. After the Fulbright, Nicole hopes to attend graduate school to study Environment and Development and eventually work for an international development organization.

Nicole’s Tips for Future Fulbright Applicants:
Start as early as possible – feel free to email professors and possible contacts even if you don’t feel like you have a full idea of what you want your project to be. They can help you come up with ideas and possible directions for your research. If I had done that my application process would have been a lot easier. It’s also a good idea to have an adviser or a professor look over your grant proposal many times to help you with feedback; at some point though you just have to go with your gut when people give conflicting advice or advice you disagree with. Also, make sure your recommenders know that exact date of the application deadline.

Katherine Anastas – Semifinalist, Spain, English Teaching Assistantship

Class of 2017, Communication (Journalism) major, Spanish minor

Katherine Anastas

Katie Anastas graduated from the UW in August 2017 with a degree in Communication (Journalism) and a minor in Spanish. She is currently a production assistant at NPR Music.

As an undergraduate, Katie worked as a features intern at The Seattle Times, an editorial intern at Crosscut, a DJ at Rainy Dawg Radio and an editor at The Daily. She was also a research associate with the Mapping American Social Movements project in the Department of History, where she helped produce interactive maps of the United Farm Workers movement, the underground press of the Vietnam War era, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and the women’s suffrage movement.

During summer quarter of 2017, Katie studied abroad in Berlin, where she learned about community responses to the arrival of immigrants and refugees. She conducted a research project comparing past and present struggles with immigrant and refugee housing in Berlin. The project allowed her to combine her love of conducting interviews, researching public policy, learning about history and producing multimedia projects.

If selected for the Fulbright program, Katie would bring her love of teaching to Spain. In high school, Katie spent her summers working as a Girl Scout camp counselor, and she eventually earned the Girl Scout Gold Award for teaching computer classes in English and Spanish to middle school girls in San Diego county. Katie hopes to learn about how education and women’s empowerment intersect in Spanish culture.

Katie’s Tips for Future Fulbright Applicants:
Try your best to meet the campus deadline for the Fulbright application. I also applied last year, but missed the campus deadline, and I realize now just how many valuable resources I was missing out on. The advisers at UW helped make my application more polished and detailed, and they pointed out areas of improvement I would have overlooked on my own.

TraMese Byrd – Semifinalist, France, Academic
Jessica Collins – Semifinalist, Taiwan, English Teaching Assistantship

Class of 2017, International Studies (Global Development) major, Global Health and Chinese Language minor

Jessica Collins

My undergraduate studies are a direct reflection of where my passions lie. I graduated with a Bachelors of Art degree in International Studies with a focus in Global Development through the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies. In addition, I double minored in Global Health and Chinese Language. Altogether, these areas of study deepened my understanding of international development and health. I aspire to allow these passions to dictate my career path which is why I am pursing Fulbright Scholarship and a career in international development. During my time at the UW, I spent four months studying abroad in Kunming, China, taking intensive Mandarin classes and conducting an independent research project on HIV and hepatitis C Co-infection. My second study abroad experience in Nepal exposed me to the the difficulties of managing aid organizations in the wake of a crippling earth quake. Now that I have finished my degree, I work for a social enterprise company, MiiR, which donates 3% of its profits to clean water initiatives and other empowerment projects. A Fulbright English Teaching Award would be the culmination to my previous experiences because it would enable me to gain a sharper understanding of international development and a deeper cross-cultural connection.

Jessica’s Tips for Future Fulbright Applicants:
Begin exploring Fulbright far ahead of the deadline due date and talk to people who have completed a similar scholarship journey.

Mason Fletcher – Semifinalist, Spain, English Teaching Assistantship

Class of 2017, Political Science and History major

Mason Fletcher

I am from Puyallup Washington, 30 miles south of Seattle. I have two sisters, one older, one younger. My parents are both teachers in the Puyallup School District. I had the esteemed opportunity to run track and field at the UW under coaches Greg Metcalf and Jason Drake. I had a terrific experience at the UW and learned the meaning of service and connectivity. I returned to Puyallup during college and spoke at the local schools; touching on leadership qualities, goal-setting and tips on how to balance schoolwork and athletics. However, I learned from the students as much as they learned from me. The value of education is invaluable, I am taking this opportunity to teach abroad, to widen my audience and to learn from students overseas. I plan to attend law school and provide a legal service to those most in need. As an Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Spain, I will be given the communication skills necessary to provide a free legal service to the low-income members of our community, especially in Spanish-speaking areas otherwise denied access to legal aid.

Mason’s Tips for Future Fulbright Applicants:
Think and reflect on why it is you want to go or study what you study to provide a strong underlying reason as to why you deserve a certain scholarship.

Lellisse Gonfa – Semifinalist, Nepal, Academic
Siu Fung Gary Lau – Semifinalist, India, Academic

Class of 2017, Political Science major

Siu Fung Gary Lau

I wanted to apply for the Fulbright to India because I want to gain more experience in the country, research experience and more language training. I would like the Fulbright because it is a great opportunity to meet other like-minded students and it would prepare me for grad school and/or future career.

Gary’s Tips for Future Fulbright Applicants:
Start early, because there are a lot of components that take a long time to come through. For example, some Fulbright countries require a foreign institution to serve as your sponsor. and those contacts might take a long time to reply. However, don’t let that deter you if you begin late, you never know what can happen if you don’t try.

Jessica Lo – Semifinalist, United Kingdom, Academic

Senior, Biochemistry and Neurobiology major

Jessica Lo

Jessica Lo is a graduating senior who is pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in both Neurobiology and Biochemistry. She is a neuroscientist to her core, blending a passion for work at the bench with a desire to engage people in her communities. For the past two years, Jessica has worked in a neurodevelopment lab studying autism in relation to the Tbr1 and Tbr2 genes. Specifically, her research has concentrated on characterizing these genes in the basal forebrain and midbrain. Her research is currently on its way to publication, and she hopes that her work will provide a deeper understanding of how the Tbr1/2 genes contribute to global development of glutamatergic neurons.

In her time away from lab, Jessica founded and currently acts as president of a student organization dedicated to serving survivors of brain injury. She has grown the organization from one person to thirty (and counting) in the course of a year, avidly growing partnerships with organizations in Seattle in order to provide a robust resource to the brain injury community. Jessica also interns with Full Life Care, working with survivors of brain injury in low-income situations through physical- and social-based rehabilitation.

As a Fulbright-er in the United Kingdom, Jessica sees her passion for science and communities continuing to blend together. With the support of the Fulbright commission, Jessica will work with Dr. Zoltan Molnar to understand myelination of long-range projection neurons, a process that is disrupted in diseases such as multiple sclerosis and potentially even schizophrenia. She hopes to start a similar brain injury support organization oversees at Oxford, too. In all, Jessica hopes to continue working with the brain injury community and pursuing research from the standpoint of a physician. Upon returning the US, Jessica plans to apply to medical school and eventually become a neurosurgeon.

Jessica’s Tips for Future Fulbright Applicants:
Get started early on finding an overseas contact for a letter of affiliation (if it is required). I started six months in advance and still wished that I had more time. People become busy, and it’s always a leap to reach out to someone you may not meet face-to-face. However, just be persistent and be proactive. I helped my affiliate write my letter after talking to him about his research once–it expedited the process, and I’m sure it saved him some time, too!

Jennifer Louie – Semifinalist, Taiwan, English Teaching Assistantship

Senior, Business (Marketing and Information Systems) major

Jennifer Louie

I was born and raised in New York and dove into uncertainty by deciding to attend the University of Washington four years ago. With an academic background studying marketing and information systems at the Foster School of Business and strong interests in social justice, I hope to pursue a career in marketing strategy and content creation for positive social impact. Throughout college I have been involved with a co-ed business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi as the VP of Community Service, founded an undergraduate chapter of Net Impact as an RSO under Foster, and co-founded an arts and culture magazine in Seattle called Human Condition. At the core of these involvements is a passion for people, curiosity to learn, and inclination to work hard and stay involved with my community. I owe a great deal to the educators, mentors, and institutions that shaped the educational journey of my life and am inspired to help shape the journey of others. Fulbright is an incredible opportunity to engage in understanding others, practicing empathy, refining communication skills, and interacting cross culturally. It embodies the values I see in marketing when it comes to building relationships and communicating ideologies through a constant willingness to learn and grow an understanding of one another. As a Fulbright Scholar semifinalist I am honored and humbled to be considered for the incredible opportunity to be an English Teaching Assistant in Taiwan. If chosen, I aim to contribute whole heartedly and learn humbly from this experience.

Jennifer’s Tips for Future Fulbright Applicants:
Like any application, I recommend doing lots of self reflection prior to and during the Fulbright application. It’s critical to truly take the time to ask yourself the tough questions and dig deeper beyond what the application questions state point blank. For example, my answer for why I chose the specific country took me weeks of questioning and thinking to get right. My number one advice is to be genuine and unique in your answers while tying it to the big picture. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help, you likely won’t get this on your first, second, or even third try but it helps to have another or multiple other pair of eyes take a look at what you’re submitting!

James Love – Semifinalist, Germany, English Teaching Assistantship

Senior, Russian Language, Literature, & Culture and Germanics major

James Love

James Wilson – Semifinalist, Germany, English Teaching Assistantship
James Wilson

2016 - 2017

Maximillian Carey – Scholar, Mexico, Academic

Class of 2015, Romance Linguistics major

Maximillian Carey

Max graduated from the UW’s Romance Linguistics program in December 2015. As a Post-Baccalaureate student, he conducted research on Spanish-speakers’ acquisition of certain English consonants and the language attitudes to Spanish held by its speakers in Washington State. Max had the opportunity to present his research at the UW’s 5­­th Annual Undergraduate Linguistics Colloquium and the Cascadia Workshop in Sociolinguistics. Currently, he works as an Associate Spanish Teacher and a part-time ESL teacher in the Seattle area.

Before coming to the UW, Max became interested in linguistics and Spanish through a variety of experiences both at home and abroad. After minoring in Spanish at Western Washington University, Max participated in the North American Language and Cultural Assistants program in Almería, Spain, worked as an ESL instructor to adults in Mexico City, and led trips of high school students to Latin America. These experiences are what provoked his interest in linguistics.

By pursuing graduate programs in Mexico, Max hopes to gain the requisite knowledge to pursue a career that widens the American perspective of Latin America and fosters intercultural understanding. He hopes to accomplish this by applying linguistic theory to language learning, for example, by creating pedagogical materials that are optimized for students with particular language backgrounds and make us of Computer Assisted Language Learning. This could include anything from a flash card application that contains high-frequency false cognates between English and Spanish (English ‘actually’ ≠ Spanish ‘actualmente’) to lesson plans for Spanish classes that contain multimedia materials with a healthy balance of different dialect regions. In addition, Max is interested in experiencing with simultaneous bilingual instruction, that is, concurrent English instruction for Spanish-speakers and Spanish instruction for English-speakers followed by interactive activities. In addition to applied linguistics, Max is also interested in learning more about theoretical linguistics.

Benjamin Lee – Scholar, China, Academic

Class of 2015, International Studies and Chinese Language and Literature major

Benjamin Lee graduated from University of Washington in June 2015 with highest honors in Chinese and International Studies. He studied under the departmental honors programs at the Jackson School and the Asian Languages & Literatures Department.

During his junior year, Ben studied abroad in National Taiwan University as a Boren Scholar. He studied Mandarin, Taiwanese politics, and cross-strait relations. He also received the UW Presidential Scholarship for the 2014 – 2015 academic year, which funded his senior honors research project that compared how democratization in Taiwan and South Korea affected cross-Strait and inter-Korean relations. Ben presented his research findings in three different undergraduate conferences in Seattle, Cheney and Seoul.

In November 2014, Ben participated in in Strait Talk, a student conference on cross-Strait relations at Brown University. He worked as the Editor in Chief of the consensus document, which listed proposals from U.S., Chinese and Taiwanese delegates on how to maintain peace across the Taiwan Strait. Ben was also one of three undergraduate Young Global Leaders at the Slade Gorton International Policy Center, where he was awarded the Sally Gorton Leadership award for his preparation of a policy table with former U.S. Ambassador to China, Gary Locke.

After graduation, Ben worked at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace as a junior fellow for the Asia program. He assisted senior scholars’ research on security issues in US-China relations and published several articles for the Diplomat. For the 2017-2018 academic year, he was awarded the Fulbright Research and Study Grant to China to conduct research on cross-Strait relations. Eventually, Ben would like to work in the government where he can contribute to American foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific.

Sopeck Nop – Scholar, Cambodia, Academic

Class of 2016, Computer Science and Systems (Tacoma) major

Sopeck Nop

Sophie Nop (Computer Science & Systems, BS ‘16) has been offered a grant from the prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Program to Cambodia for 2017-18. She will be spending a year in Kralanh, Cambodia and plans to work with a local NGO on a participatory research project: Her goal is to better understand how mobile app development can advance digital literacy in rural areas, and how Cambodian youth interact with technology. Huge congratulations to Sophie and to everyone who’s taught, inspired, and supported her during her time at UW Tacoma.

While at UW Tacoma, Sophie served as ASUWT president from 2015-16 and was recognized in the inaugural Husky 100 cohort. She also founded UW Tacoma Dreams Big — a technology conference to encourage everyone, especially women and people of color, to pursue STEM careers.

Alexandra Piunti – Scholar (declined), Latvia, Academic

Senior, Scandinavian Studies major

Alexandra Piunti

Alexandra was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. An avid language learner, Alexandra spends much of her free time improving her skills in Latvian, Lithuanian, Korean, Spanish, and Russian. After studying abroad with AFS in Latvia as a senior in high school, Alexandra moved to Scotland, where she studied International Relations at the University of St. Andrews and competed with the university’s ski team. In 2016 she transferred to the University of Washington and focused her studies on the politics, societies, and defense of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia as a Scandinavian Studies major with a Baltic focus. Inspired by her time in Latvia, where she was exposed to the country’s thriving BMX culture, Alexandra’s Fulbright research centers around the history and impact of BMX on the community of Valmiera and the relationship between grassroots and elite sports and development. She plans to return to UW’s Scandinavian Studies Department in the future as a graduate student, and pursue a career as a Baltic scholar.

Olivia Smith – Scholar, Mexico, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, Sociology major, Spanish minor

Olivia Smith

Olivia Smith is a soon to be graduate from the University of Washington with a degree in Sociology, and a minor in Spanish. Throughout her time in college, Olivia has been heavily involved with First Year Programs, where she served as both an Orientation Leader and FIG Leader, as a mentor through the UW Dream Project, and the Black Student Union, in which she served as the president during her senior year. After having her first experience abroad in Spain, through a summer study abroad program, Olivia hoped that she would once more have the opportunity to explore worlds outside of the US. Combining her yearn to travel and her passion for education, Olivia is excited to pursue an English Teaching Assistant Grant through Fulbright. Through this Fulbright opportunity in Mexico, Olivia hopes to make valuable connections with students, as well as strengthen her sense of cultural awareness and competency, that will furthermore translate to her future experiences within education. Upon returning from Mexico, Olivia hopes to attend graduate school, where she can receive a master’s in education or teaching.

Kevin Celustka – Alternate, Uganda, Academic

Senior, International Studies major

Kevin Celustka

Kevin has been selected as a finalist for the Fulbright US Student Research Program. If selected, he will spend a year in Kampala, Uganda, studying the influence of viruses on the development of cancers at the Hutchinson Center Research Institute Uganda.

Kevin is a Senior, majoring in International Studies in the Jackson School Honors Program. Kevin is also pre-med, and plans to apply to medical schools after a gap year focused on research.

Throughout Kevin’s four years at the UW, he has been involved in student government and research. Kevin served on the leadership of the ASUW Student Senate for three years, and currently chairs the Provost Advisory Committee for Students. Kevin also works at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and participated in the Fred Hutch Summer Undergraduate Research Program in 2016. For the past three years, Kevin has also volunteered as a mentor in the UW Leaders program.

Kevin hopes to help shape a more equitable world at the intersection of research and policy, and  the Fulbright US Student Research Program would take him one step closer to this goal.

Sofiya Idris – Alternate, Kenya, English Teaching Assistant

Society, Ethics, & Human Behavior and Health Studies (Bothell) major

Connor Tsuchida – Alternate, Cyprus, Academic

Senior, Bioengineering major

Connor Tsuchida

With a high school math teacher and a university biology professor as parents, I’ve always known the importance of both education and educators. Seeing as educators develop the next generation of great minds, ideas, and innovation, my hope is eventually teach and lead a research laboratory at the university level. I’m currently in Dr. Ying Zheng’s lab where my research focuses on developing a renal cell carcinoma kidney-tumor-on-a-chip to recapitulate tumor-induced angiogenesis. The goal is to develop a microphysiological model that better simulates the human microenvironment in order to more efficiently test developing cancer therapeutics. Outside of research, I am deeply involved in student leadership as the President of the UW Chapter Biomedical Engineering Society and Co-Founder/Editor-in-Chief of Denatured Journal. In whatever spare time I have, I love to travel to new places, try new cuisines, and go to sporting events around Seattle. After graduation I plan to pursue a Ph.D in Biomedical Engineering in order to continue to develop as a researcher. After graduate school, I hope to pursue a professorship and be a leader in the classroom and the laboratory.

Molly Herbert – Semifinalist, India, English Teaching Assistant

Law, Economics and Public Policy and Global Studies (Bothell) major

Mollie Holmberg – Semifinalist, Canada, Academic

Biology major

Mollie Holmberg

As a Fulbright Scholar at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia I hope pursue an MA in Geography where I will study the ways human governance and economic systems influence the circulation of capital and living beings in the context of zoos, agriculture, and wildlife refuges. Canada is notable among developed nations for the portion of its economy comprised by agriculture, forestry, fossil fuel extraction, and mining, contributing globally significant exports in all these sectors.  Its large swathes of wilderness and rich environmental history also make it an ideal setting to study how these settings transform through commodification. By studying contemporary and historical land use commodity chains in Canada, I will gain a richer understanding of the issues than I could by conducting this research elsewhere. This work will propel me through a PhD and eventually professional scholarship in geography that I will use to help scholars, policymakers, and the public recognize the lands and peoples with which their lives are bound and grasp how global economic systems and the narratives people tell about them both create and confound these bounds.

As I pursue my graduate work at UBC, I also plan to spend time getting to know the people and geographies of British Columbia through recreation and volunteer work. As an avid biker, cycling will allow me to explore the Vancouver region more extensively than I would be able to on foot and more intimately than I could by car. Although British Columbia has one of the smallest Francophone populations of all Canadian provinces, I also hope to continue improving my French language skills and familiarity with francophone cultures by volunteering with Le Centre Culturel Francophone de Vancouver, an organization that hosts language courses and francophone art and cultural events in Vancouver, BC.

Joshua Remillard – Semifinalist, Germany, Academic

Senior, Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (Tacoma) major

Caleb Smith – Semifinalist, Chile, Academic

International Studies

Caleb is a builder, thinker, truth-seeker, fact-gatherer, and self-taught web designer. A true native of Seattle, Caleb loves the outdoors and a good down jacket. When he isn’t working, his bags are packed and he’s on the move. This eagerness to experience the world led him to pursue a degree from University of Washington’s Jackson School of International Studies.

During his time at UW, Caleb spent a semester abroad in Geneva, Switzerland studying multilateral diplomacy and sustainable development. While there, he conducted research for the Global Institute for Water, Environment, and Health on the utility of private sector investment in alleviating environmental crises. This research led Caleb to develop an intense curiosity for clean technologies and how they can be used to overcome social and environmental challenges. The following year Caleb participated in a task force researching approaches to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030. His section of the report evaluated current development practices in South and Southeast Asia and identified strategies for reforming aid practices to better assist in promoting economic development and protecting the environment.

After graduating, Caleb worked as the Washington Policy Associate for the Seattle-based clean energy economy nonprofit, Climate Solutions. There he served as the lead analyst for legislative and regulatory policy development covering state and federal climate policy, clean energy, carbon markets, utility regulation, and transportation fuels. Most recently, Caleb has been working as a research partner with a cohort of urban sustainability professionals, developing a report identifying pathways to improve the efficacy of urban climate action programs.

Caleb also serves on the board of the nonprofit New Dawn Guatemala, an organization that works to foster ecological sustainability, economic vitality, and educational advancement in rural Guatemalan communities. In 2016, Caleb traveled down to Guatemala with a film crew to collect footage for a documentary film about the economic, political, and environmental pressures inflicting these communities.

Elizabeth Wu – Semifinalist, United Kingdom, Arts

Drama and English major

Raven Yee – Semifinalist, Kosovo, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, Social Welfare major

2015 - 2016

Rachel Abramson, Scholar, China, Academic

Senior, Anthropology (Anthropology and Global Health) major

Rachel Abramson

Rachel Abramson is a graduating senior in Honors Anthropology, completing the Medical Anthropology and Global Health option. She will be conducting research on childhood nutrition and obesity in Chengdu, China during her Fulbright year. Rachel is focusing on how increasing childhood obesity may be related to other changes that urban and rural families are experiencing around Chengdu, specifically urbanization and globalization. This topic stems from her Honors Thesis, which looked at the relationship between childhood obesity and household composition (presence of one or both parents, grandparents, and/or siblings). While her honors research provided a big-picture view of childhood nutrition in China, she hopes her Fulbright research will contribute to a better understanding of the underlying cause and effect.

Like many developing nations, China is transitioning away from acute disease toward chronic, and nutrition is a key factor in these changes. Rachel is fascinated by these global health trends, and as half-Chinese, is interested in China’s public health problems in particular. She has taken four years of Mandarin as an undergraduate, with her 3rd year of Chinese taken intensively in a summer abroad at Sichuan University in Chengdu. Rachel looks forward to returning to Chengdu to conduct her Fulbright research. She will be working with an epidemiologist at Sichuan University’s School of Public Health to conduct a field study on the local nutritional changes. Rachel hopes to pursue a degree in epidemiology and ultimately a career in global health.

Margaret Babayan, Scholar, Armenia, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, Public Health major

Babayan, Margaret

Margaret Babayan is a UW graduate with a B.S. in Public Health, the daughter of Armenian immigrants, and an advocate for human rights and health equity. Having once struggled to read and write in English, Margaret was thrilled to help students build their confidence in writing as a Writing Adviser at the Center for Learning & Undergraduate Enrichment (CLUE). Working one on one with students at CLUE piqued her interest in pursuing an English Teaching Assistantship in Armenia.

After graduating, Margaret continued her work with Health Equity Circle as a core leadership team member and co-instructor for “Community Organizing for Health Equity,” an inter-professional UW seminar. Margaret also found opportunities to engage with human rights off campus as a Commissioner, and later Co-Chair, for the Seattle Human Rights Commission.

Margaret plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in Public Health after completing her year in Armenia. She hopes her time there will be an exercise in pedagogy that will inform a career in community-driven public health practice and policy development. She sees parallels between how Fulbright ETAs build trust within their classrooms and how public health professionals form relationships within the communities they collaborate with. By working closely with students in the classroom, Margaret hopes to cultivate the leadership capacity necessary for a career in public health, all the while advancing her fluency in Armenian and promoting mutual understanding between Armenia and the United States.

Taylor Boyd, Scholar, South Korea, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, Neurobiology major

Taylor Boyd

Taylor Boyd is a senior in the interdisciplinary honors program, studying neurobiology, and could not be more excited to dive into post-graduation life as a teacher in South Korea so that she can use her global life experiences, and passion for teaching and empowering young people , to encourage student success and confidence. It was the completion of her final honors research project on Korean language and education, during which she learned about the barriers in heritage language retention, faced by many Korean immigrants and first generation Korean-Americans students attending public schools in Washington, which sparked her love and interest in Korean culture.

During the past three years as a Student Ambassador for the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity and also as a youth ESL tutor, she has been using tutoring and college-readiness assistance to help minority, refugee and first-generation students recognize their true personal and academic potentials. Further, her experiences of teaching, researching and volunteering in the Vhembe District of South Africa, Southern India and Darien Panama have taught her how to adapt quickly to new learning and teaching environments and cater more effectively to students of diverse backgrounds. These are skills, which she believes will allow her to be an effective teacher and help students in Korea thrive by creating culturally competent, innovative and intellectually stimulating lessons on learning the English language.

After her Fulbright Tay plans to join the next generation of health professionals by earning her MD-PhD and becoming a researcher, professor and a physician for Doctors Without Borders – a career choice which will definitely allow her to utilize what she has learned abroad about the beauty and power of cross-cultural learning and teaching.

Kelsey Brewster, Scholar, Malaysia, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, International Studies major

Kelsey Brewster

Kelsey Brewster is a graduating senior in the Jackson School of International Studies. Her formative years growing up in Germany and in 5 different states along the East Coast have fueled her passion for international affairs and travel. When she arrived at the UW in 2012, she followed her interests abroad and spent a year in Lyon, France at Université Jean Moulin.

Her time at UW has been spent learning about global affairs as well as what is happening right here in Seattle. She spent a summer interning for Horn of Africa Services, a non-profit focused on empowering the East African community of Seattle. Kelsey participated in their Summer Youth Engagement Program (SYEP), where she helped lead lesson plans and develop curriculum for the SYEP on the topics of healthy eating, active living, cultural competency, environmental stewardship, and community engagement. She hopes to apply some of what she learned to her teaching assistantship in Malaysia.

Following her Fulbright, Kelsey is not too sure what her future holds. She plans to pursue graduate studies or a career in diplomacy or the foreign service. She hopes to have a clearer idea after her time in Malaysia teaching English and enhancing cross-cultural relations. She is thrilled at having been selected for the Fulbright Fellowship and can’t wait to see what her time in Malaysia has in store for her.

Elizabeth Castro, Scholar, Mexico, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, International Studies major

Elizabeth Castro

Elizabeth Castro grew up in Mesa, Washington and Veracruz, Mexico. She identifies as the daughter of farm workers, as this term captures many of her childhood experiences crisscrossing between rural communities in two countries.

At the age of seventeen, Elizabeth was selected as a Junior Counselor in South Korea’s Camp Fulbright. In order to pay for a flight across the Pacific Ocean, Elizabeth worked thinning apple trees in Washington orchards and held a local fundraiser. Camp Fulbright is a two-week English language immersion program. Living and working with Korean students and engaging in cultural exchange convinced Elizabeth she would one day apply to become a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant.

Elizabeth and her older sister, Jessica, make up the first-generation in their family to attend college. Elizabeth graduated from Columbia Basin College, where she attended as a Washington Running Start student. At UW, Elizabeth has actively participated in the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), which serves students from a seasonal and migrant farmworker background during their transition to campus.

Elizabeth is now a senior in the UW Jackson School of International Studies. Her Task Force research explored post-secondary education for indigenous students in the Canadian Arctic and increased her awareness of Inuit language education. As a Ronald E. McNair Scholar, her current work highlights Mexican student advocacy in rural teacher colleges.

Elizabeth knows the process of language acquisition is a critical aspect in the lives of many underrepresented, low-income Latinx youth. Raised in a Spanish-speaking home, Elizabeth once confessed to her father her struggle to understand her teacher. She looks forward to a year of learning and growth as she supports students in Mexico who are learning English. Upon completion of her Fulbright award, Elizabeth will transition to the Education Policy and Management master’s program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Tessa Fager, Scholar, Jordan, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, Political Science and Near Eastern Languages and Civilization major


Tessa Fager will graduate in June 2016 with a double major in Political Science and Near Eastern Languages and Civilization (NELC). She was first introduced to Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies after she was awarded a National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) to study abroad in Morocco the fall after graduating high school. Tessa has since dedicated her collegiate studies and extracurricular activities to expand her knowledge and familiarity of the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region. For two years she served as an officer for the national student initiative Project Nur, which seeks to create a discourse of cross-cultural understanding of MENA peoples and culture on college campuses.

Eager to gain more experience living in the MENA region, Tessa spent her junior undergraduate year in Amman, Jordan where she studied Arabic at Qasid Language Institute. In additional to daily language classes, she volunteered with Dar al-Yasmin, a local NGO, teaching English to local Jordanians and Syrian refugees in Zaatari Village. Her time in Jordan was a valuable experience that inspired her to apply to the Fulbright program. She now looks forward to returning to Jordan to both continue her Arabic studies and share the gift of language learning with others as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant.

During the summer of 2015, Tessa had the opportunity to study at Howard University as a Rangel Scholar, which exposed her to various public sector careers. The Rangel Program helped shape her career goals and subsequently confirmed her ambitions to enter a career in public service. Upon returning from her Fulbright, Tessa plans to apply to graduate school for a master’s in Public Policy. She hopes to use her language and knowledge of the MENA to contribute to global development, influence international policy, and inspire cross-cultural understanding.

Emma Kibort-Crocker, Scholar, Vietnam, English Teaching Assistant

Literature and Education major

Emma Kibort-Crocker

Emma Kibort-Crocker was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. After graduating high school a year early, she spent two months in Ghana on a service-learning trip before moving to Rhode Island to complete a year of service with the AmeriCorps program City Year. She worked full-time in the lowest performing middle school in the state, tutoring and mentoring at-risk students during the day and running after school programs aimed to expand students’ horizons through international studies and wellness initiatives.

She returned to Seattle for college to attend the University of Washington where she studies literature and education. She has continued to work with at-risk youth throughout college, and has enjoyed working with many diverse communities in Seattle. She is currently an intern with the International Rescue Committee’s resettlement programs in King County, where she has facilitated cultural orientation classes, run a summer day camp, and worked with families and youth on school enrollment and preparation.

As an ETA in Vietnam, Emma hopes to utilize her experience in the field of education to connect with her students academically and personally and help them improve their English language skills. She also hopes to increase her own understanding of Vietnamese culture and language and explore the beautiful country of Vietnam. After Fulbright, Emma plans to obtain a Masters in Public Administration to aid and empower vulnerable populations.

Eric Nucci, Scholar, Chile, Academic

Class of 2014, Civil Engineering major

Imaan Ramezanzadeh, Scholar, Tajikistan, English Teaching Assistant

Class of 2015, Near Eastern Studies Language and Civilization and English major

Hamda Yusuf, Scholar, Austria, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, International Studies major, German and African Studies minor

Hamda Yusuf.Rangel2016

Hamda Yusuf is a senior majoring in International Studies and minoring in German and African Studies. She is a Somali-American and calls both Hargeisa, Somalia and Seattle, Washington home. Hamda has been heavily involved with the Somali Student Association on campus and served as the Community Affairs Officer. Earlier in the school year she was able to intern with Senator Maria Cantwell’s Seattle office where she focused on immigration and visa issues. During her time at UW she developed a passion for studying immigration pathways, cultural studies, and human rights. These passions were a big motivation in her applying for the Community Based Combined Grant in Austria during the 2016-2017 year. Having already participated in the Spring in Vienna study abroad program her sophomore year, Hamda feels well prepared to return to a city that she found both beautiful and perplexing. She will work as an English teaching assistant in an Austrian secondary school, attend classes at the University of Vienna, and work with an organization that finds better housing for refugees in Austria. If she manages to have any free time, she hopes to fulfill her dream of hiking parts of the Alps.

After her Fulbright year, Hamda plans to join the Rangel Fellowship Program and do her graduate studies at the New School’s Milano School of International Affairs in New York City where she will focus on conflict and security. Hamda hopes to eventually serve as a consular officer for the Foreign Service, where she will be able to work to promote security and increase understanding between nations. As a first-generation college student, Hamda wants to recognize her parents for always motivating her to be a positive force in the world.

Malika Garoui, Alternate, Turkey, English Teaching Assistant

Class of 2015, Math and Economics major

Kimberly Matsudaira, Alternate, South Korea, English Teaching Assistant

Class of 2015, Business Administration major

John McClung, Alternate, the Philippines, Academic

Class of 2015, Anthropology major

Sophia Winkler-Schor, Alternate, Brazil, Academic

Class of 2015, Environmental Science & Resource Management and Environmental Studies major

Bronwyn Clark – Semifinalist, UK, Academic

Political Science, Philosophy, and Economics major

Damian Kashfia – Semifinalist, Turkey, English Teaching Assistant

Global Studies major

Adiba Khan – Semifinalist, Bangladesh, English Teaching Assistant

Biochemistry and Communication major

David Lee – Semifinalist, Ireland, Academic

Sustainable Urban Development major

Elizabeth Wu – Semifinalist, United Kingdom, Arts

Drama and English major

2014 - 2015

Shannon Foss, Scholar, Romania, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, Comparative History of Ideas & Communication major

Shannon Foss

Shannon Foss is a 2015 UW graduate with double majors in Comparative History of Ideas and Communication and Interdisciplinary Honors. She became interested in education after taking several classes in the Honors program and working as a tutor both through the UW Pipeline Project and at the Odegaard Writing and Research Center (OWRC). The latter of these experiences also fostered her interest in English Language Learning, which was part of her motivation for applying to be an English Teaching Assistant in Romania during the 2015-16 year.

Another influencing factor was her experience studying abroad in Romania during the early fall of 2013, when she went on an Exploration Seminar with Professor Ileana Marin and wrote her final essay for the program on the discursive elements of post-Communist higher education. Since this experience she has continued to use discourse studies and rhetoric as frameworks for approaching issues in education. Her CHID senior thesis mobilizes rhetoric and Critical Discourse Analysis to examine the genre of the U.S. college applications essay and to critique the ways in which knowledge about it is commodified. She also gained further international experience while studying abroad in Prague with the CHID department in Autumn 2014, visiting several other Central and Eastern European countries in the process.

As an ETA in Romania, Shannon hopes to employ the pedagogical principles she has acquired as a tutor at the OWRC to Romanian higher education while simultaneously studying and learning from the country’s rhetorical environment. She is also excited about the opportunity for cultural exchange that the program will provide and hopes to strengthen her Romanian language skills. After her year with Fulbright, she plans to pursue a graduate education in discourse studies or rhetoric.

Lizbeth Garcia, Scholar, Brazil, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, Economics major

Jade Graddy, Scholar, Jordan, English Teaching Assistant

Politics, Philosophy, & Economics (UW Tacoma) major

Jade Graddy

Jade Graddy is a native of Eatonville, Washington located in the shadow of Mt. Rainier and possessing a single traffic light. Despite her small town roots Jade has always had big dreams, and following her graduation from Washington State’s Running Start program opted to pursue a gap year with an AmeriCorps program based in the Rainier Beach neighborhood of Seattle. During her service term, she worked as an ESL literacy tutor with students from a diverse array of backgrounds and this experience motivated her to study Linguistics with a minor in Human Rights at the University of Washington.

During her time at UW Jade was deeply involved in social justice pursuits including SARVA and the Dream Project. She led a College of Education-sponsored seminar discussing institutionalized racism and classism in the US education system for student leaders and ultimately impacted over 1200 students in the Greater Seattle Area. While an undergraduate, Jade was also able to study abroad through the School for International Training’s program in Rabat, Morocco, where she conducted a creative research project on Amazigh language and identity.

After earning her degree at the University of Washington, Jade knew she wanted to continue to broaden her horizons and was selected as an international intern with Tomorrow’s Youth Organization in Nablus, Palestine. Her time in the West Bank was incredibly impactful, and has shaped her desire to pursue a career in diplomacy in the future.

While in Jordan, Jade will be teaching English and volunteering with refugee communities in Amman. She is thrilled for this next chapter and the opportunity to represent UW and the USA as a cultural ambassador in the Middle East.

Sharon Newman, Scholar, Germany, Academic

Senior, Bioengineering major

Sharon Newman

As a 2015 Bioengineering graduate, Sharon Newman will be conducting research on neuroprosthetic devices in her Fulbright year. Her fascination with neuroprosthetic systems and brain-computer interfaces stems from her undergraduate work. For the past four years, she has worked in the BioRobotics Laboratory on topics ranging from low-cost synthetic tissues and 3D printed surgical training tools, to automating robotic sensory mapping. Additionally, Sharon worked to simulate a more natural gait cycle in exoskeletal robots during a summer internship in Taiwan.

Outside of the lab, Sharon is involved with outreach to younger students through elementary science fairs, a coding camp, and volunteering and judging at FIRST robotics competitions. She has also developed a bioengineering high school curriculum with the Gates Foundation and is a UW Residential Advisor. Throughout her undergraduate career, Sharon has striven to inspire peers and younger students to explore the world around them and to nurture their curiosity for science.

Following her graduation, Sharon will be working in Germany and collaborating with universities and hospitals in Switzerland and Italy to analyze neural signals for use in prosthetics. By working internationally, she hopes to utilize diverse ideas to create more effective healthcare and medical technology. After her Fulbright year, Sharon hopes to pursue a medical degree and continue her research helping to increase the accessibility of assistive devices.

Richard Ruoff, Scholar, Turkey, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, History and Near Eastern Studies and Civilization major

Richard Ruoff

Though only five credits away from receiving his degree in History and Near Eastern Studies, Richard Ruoff decided to spend a year studying abroad at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, intending to gain firsthand experience and understanding in the language, culture and history of Turkey in preparation for a graduate program specializing in Ottoman studies. He hopes this will lay the foundation of a successful career in academia.

He has gained invaluable experience and knowledge in his time abroad, but Richard, having once questioned whether he would be ready for Istanbul, now realizes with some bemusement how ready Istanbul was for him. Living and studying in an area with a mostly bilingual population, Richard has found it difficult to exercise his Turkish within a community that hospitably yet insistently accommodates the needs of the foreign students of Istanbul. While he greatly appreciates being treated as an honored guest in a foreign land, Richard knows his desire to become fully fluent in the Turkish language and break down the barrier between Foreigner and Native demands that he relocate to a more immersive environment. Having traveled the Anatolian heartland, he knows how much one’s language ability can grow when falling back on English is no longer an option. For this reason, Richard applied for the Fulbright Program in order to work in a newly-established university in a provincial locale far away from the cosmopolitan metropolis of Istanbul, where he hopes to absorb the language living less urbanized and more traditional parts of Turkish society.

While Richard looks forward to living and learning in a region where English is virtually unknown, he also intends to help his host community take a step toward changing the status quo. Having accepted a Fulbright English Teaching Assistanceship, he looks forward to providing his future students with prolonged exposure and access to a native speaker, which Richard knows can be a rare sight outside of Turkey’s main tourist cities. He hopes it will be a relationship of great mutual benefit.

Katherine Schroeder, Scholar, Russia, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, International Studies major

Katherine Schroeder

Katherine Schroeder is a graduating senior in the Jackson School of International Studies Honors Program. When she was fifteen, she received a grant to travel from her rural hometown in Central Washington to Gatchina, Russia for a language immersion program. This began her lifelong passion for Russian studies, helped her understand the value of foreign language education for cross-cultural understanding, and ultimately led to her desire to apply for a Fulbright English teaching position in Russia.

While at the Jackson School, Katherine undertook a senior thesis on online protest groups in Russia, and the intersection between discourse and historical narratives. This project involved ethnographic research in Kazan, Russia during the summer of 2014, as well as textual analysis in Russia. Not only does she hope to continue to explore the power of social media in Russia next year through the Fulbright ETA program, her desire to serve as a teacher has been motivated by her time as a writing tutor at the Political Science writing department, as well as her involvement with the Freshman Interest Group (FIG) program. These teaching experiences helped her explore the challenges and rewards of conveying knowledge to students. While in Russia, such experiences will help her work with students in a new cultural setting. She hopes her time with the Fulbright ETA program will allow her to make a positive difference for Russian students, and allow them to explore their own academic and political passions. After her time with Fulbright, Katherine plans to attend law school and eventually work in international law.

Clara Summers, Scholar, Indonesia, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, Anthropology & Eastern European Languages, Literature, and Culture major, Environmental Science minor

Clara Summers

Clara Summers graduated from UW cum laude in 2014 with a BA in Honors Anthropology and Czech Language, and a minor in Environmental Science. Following graduation she joined Episcopal Service Corps in Baltimore, a program that combines community living with work at a non-profit. Clara works as the Maryland Program Associate for Interfaith Power & Light, an organization that does climate change education and advocacy with faith communities.

Having spent two years of her childhood in Indonesia, Clara is excited to return to Indonesia with a Fulbright ETA fellowship and get a new perspective on a country that shaped her in so many ways. While in Indonesia, Clara hopes to achieve fluency in Bahasa Indonesia (which she studied throughout her time at UW) and get involved in local conservation and agricultural work.

In the long term, Clara is interested in a career in international social and/or environmental justice, and hopes to apply her Fulbright experience to further intercultural dialogue and understanding.

John McClung, Alternate, the Philippines, Academic

Senior, Anthropology major

Abraham White, Alternate, Rwanda, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, Medical Anthropology and Global Health major

Kailyn Elliott, Semifinalist, Denmark, Academic

Nursing (Bothell)

Sarah Kislak, Semifinalist, Indonesia, English Teaching Assistant

Class of 2014, Public Health and Comparative History of Ideas (CHID) major

Matthew Libby, Semifinalist, Zambia, Academic

Class of 2014, Society, Ethics, & Human Behavior (Bothell) major

Michael Wright, Semifinalist, Russia, English Teaching Assistant

Interdisciplinary Studies: Law, Economics, Public Policy (Bothell) major

2013 - 2014

Julia Evans, Scholar, Colombia, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, Spanish and Romance Linguistics major

Julia Evans

n May 2011 and summer 2012, Julia Evans volunteered in boarding houses in Arequipa and Macusani, Peru teaching English to the children who lived there, several of whom were orphans. These children were incredibly impoverished and underprivileged, so much so that they would have to walk a mile just to wash their clothes in a dirty river. Julia saw teaching English as preparing them for an increasingly globalized world and a brighter future. In 2013, Julia participated in a 3-month study abroad program in Quito, Ecuador. While there, she took classes at the Andean Center for Latin American Studies, lived with a local family, and volunteered at an association that works with terminally ill children.

These experiences in Peru and Ecuador reinforced her desire to become an ESL/Spanish teacher, and cultivated in her a deep fondness for South America. Since then, Julia has studied at the UW as a Spanish and Romance Linguistics double-major, graduated Cum Laude in March 2014, volunteered as a tutor for bilingual elementary students through Union Gospel Mission as well as an In-class facilitator for UW’s International English Language Program. As an English Teaching Assistant (ETA) in Bogota, Colombia, Julia hopes to help her students achieve native-like English pronunciation through a method known as articulatory phonetic training (APT). This technique aims to lessen a foreign accent by explicitly instructing language learners on the manner and place of articulation of target-language sounds. Julia began researching APT for her Romance linguistics senior capstone project and hopes to use her experience in Colombia as a springboard for her thesis in graduate school where she will continue researching it more in-depth.

Julia is grateful for this opportunity provided through the Fulbright grant and looks forward to living in Bogota for a year. In the future, Julia hopes to attend graduate school, serve in the Peace Corps, teach ESL/Spanish abroad, learn more languages, travel the world, and further her understanding of cultural and linguistic diversity.

Philmon Haile, Scholar, Jordan, Academic

Senior, International Studies major

Philmon Haile

Philmon Haile’s background, formative events in his early years, participation in OneWorld Now!, and his pursuit of higher education have fueled his passion to address global issues of equal access to education for underrepresented youth. Philmon was born in Sudan to Eritrean parents, who were both soldiers in the Eritrean War of Independence. He arrived as a refugee in Seattle at age three. He speaks Mandarin, Arabic, and Tigrinya.

Through OneWorld Now! (OWN), a global leadership program for underserved high school students, Philmon began to study Mandarin Chinese and develop leadership skills. Through the support of OWN, he spent his junior year in the U.S. House of Representatives Page Program. In his senior year of high school, he was awarded an OWN study abroad scholarship to Anshan, China for an academic year where he attended a local high school.

Following high school graduation, Philmon was accepted to Swarthmore College, where he was involved in a Chinese NGO that promotes awareness of Hansen’s disease survivors, leading a work camp in a rural village in Southern China recovering from the disease. At UW, he began to study Arabic, earning a U.S. State Department internship working at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing with Ambassador Gary Locke. Last summer, he studied Arabic in Jordan and began formulating his Fulbright research project while there.

Philmon was recently chosen to speak on a panel and present an award to Ambassador Gary Locke in Washington, D.C. Soon after, First Lady Michelle Obama quoted Philmon in a major speech in Beijing about the importance of studying abroad. After his Fulbright year in Jordan, Philmon will begin graduate study as a Rangel Fellow and looks forward to a career in the State Department Foreign Service.

Hani Mahmoud, Scholar, Kuwait, Academic

Senior, Bioengineering major

Hani Mahmoud

As a 2014 graduate of bioengineering, Hani Mahmoud spent a significant portion of his undergraduate career in research labs designing everything from surgical robots to devices to study the mechanics of proteins involved in strokes and heart attacks. When not in the lab, he could often be found around Seattle, collaborating with local institutions, striving to help reinvent the future of medicine. In the past, Hani had the opportunity to apply his bioengineering skills as an intern at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Philips Healthcare. He also worked with global health organizations like PATH and the Gates Foundation to develop novel tools for low-resource settings. Although Hani enjoys bioengineering work, he feels he is neither content nor realizing his full potential when limited solely to the lab. As a “people-person” and a cultural enthusiast, he embraces opportunities to become a more versatile scientist by first ensuring that he is an informed and engaged world citizen. Throughout his college career, Hani made it a priority to balance his engineering roles with interpersonal roles in which he could learn from others, share his knowledge, and work with many new people from diverse backgrounds. Over time, he has developed an affinity for educational roles, serving as a Peer Educator, Adviser, Dream Project Mentor, and Student-Athlete Tutor. He also enjoyed sharing science and medicine with local youth, engaging in educational outreach through the Northwest Association for Biomedical Research, UW, and the Pacific Science Center.

Next year, Hani intends to continue impacting medicine and making global connections by undertaking research and educational outreach as a Fulbrighter at Dasman Diabetes Institute (DDI) in Kuwait. In an effort to improve Kuwaiti health by decreasing diabetes rates (currently 25% of the population), Hani proposes to interview and study molecular samples from children exposed to a video game-based exercise routine. This will allow him to both study the molecular basis of exercise and develop lifestyle-based solutions to prevent diabetes. He will also participate in DDI’s educational outreach, hosting camps for local youth and visiting Kuwaiti schools and health centers. Hani hopes his work at DDI will foster collaboration between Americans and Kuwaitis, using their diverse perspectives and resources to attack shared issues from different angles.

After Fulbright, Hani intends to pursue an MD/PhD, allowing him to continue his medical research, and supplementing it with people-facing clinical work as a doctor who teaches and practices in both the US and Middle East.

Aspasea McKenna, Scholar, Indonesia, English Teaching Assistant

Business Administration (Bothell) major

Vincent Pham, Scholar, Vietnam, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, English major

Vincent Pham

Vincent Pham is a graduating senior in the Honors Department of the English Language & Literature program. As the son of Vietnamese immigrants, he had to reconcile the two demands of honoring everything his family did to provide him a good education while understanding that he had to live his own life. He luckily received a renewable scholarship intended for those who are passionate about a career in education. The experience of receiving this scholarship has offered Vincent the security and confidence to pursue his academic interests. More importantly, this experience has shown him that a single scholarship can change the narrative of not only a student’s education, but a family’s also. Therefore Vincent has been thrilled to be able to work so extensively with college access/scholarship literacy programs like the University of Washington Dream Project and the non-profit Scholarship Junkies.

At the University of Washington, Vincent been able to participate in an active community of undergraduate students interested in the relationship between higher education and social mobility. However, Vincent is interested to see how education can be a catalyst for social change in other countries, which is why he believes that serving as both a teacher and cultural ambassador in Vietnam will be so essential to his development into the best teacher and education advocate he can be.

Following his time with Fulbright, Vincent will examine other opportunities to teach overseas and experience education in different contexts before returning back to receive a Masters’ degree to teach in a low-income, urban high school for five to ten years. Eventually, he wants to use his experiences of working with underrepresented and marginalized communities as a basis for an Ed.D at a university. From there he wants to work with undergraduate students as they critically reflect on the intersectional ties in their identities and lives and use this personal growth to support others in a way that affirms, instead of patronizes underrepresented communities.

Emi Preston, Scholar, Taiwan, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, Spanish major, Chinese Language & Literature minor

Emi Preston

Emi Preston graduated in June 2014 as a Spanish major and Chinese minor in the University Interdisciplinary Honors Program. Her appetite for exploration, cultivated as a child living in seven different states, has led her to study abroad in Japan, Hawaii, and Spain throughout her academic career.

Her attraction to Taiwan stems from a desire to understand the unity and diversity that permeates Chinese culture. She hopes to add context to her comprehension and develop her skills as an instructor. Outside the classroom, she has had experience teaching and mentoring in a number of capacities: ESL tutor, Honors peer mentor, Vice President of Alumni Relations in Alpha Kappa Psi, and certified personal trainer. Unable to choose between pursuing language and fitness education in the future, Emi hopes her Fulbright experience will shed light upon a way to merge her two passions.

Kevin Shaw, Scholar, China, Academic

Senior, International Studies and Law, Societies, & Justice major

Kevin Shaw

Kevin Shaw will be going to Sichuan Province in China to study the effects of rapid urbanization on rural and peri-urban access to health care. He hopes to shed light on the intersection of China’s public health and urbanization policies and their implications for village residents and economic migrants. Before the beginning of his fellowship, he will spend four months strengthening his Chinese language skills in the city of Harbin. He is excited and grateful for the chance to redeem his literacy after years of procrastinating through Chinese school.

In August 2013, Kevin graduated from the University of Washington, where he double majored in International Studies and Law, Societies & Justice with a minor in Global Health. As a student, he worked with Amnesty International USA, Williamsworks, and the Council on Foreign Relations on projects relating to immigrants’ rights, neglected tropical disease, and universal health coverage. Before graduating, he attended a planning fieldwork studio in rural China that laid the groundwork for his Fulbright project proposal. He went on to work as a research assistant in the Department of Social Medicine at National Taiwan University, where he studies the effects of globalization on medical education.

Since September 2013, Kevin has lived and worked in Taiwan, where his parents were born. More than simply a research opportunity, the Fulbright presents the chance to continue an exploration: of roots, history, language, and diaspora.

Taylor Sloane, Scholar, Mexico, Academic

Class of 2010, Business Administration & Accounting major

Taylor Scholar

Taylor Sloane graduated from the University of Washington in 2010 magna cum laude from the Honors Department with concentrations in Finance and Accounting. Taylor’s love of Spanish and Latin America was kindled in 2008 when he studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Since that time Taylor has travelled regularly to Latin America including Brazil where he lived for three months to learn Portuguese. It was these experiences that solidified Taylor’s desire to pursue international business in Latin America as he sees it as a way to both have a meaningful career and explore the world. Taylor would like to thank the professors he had at the University of Washington including Clarke Speed, Tod Bergstrom, and Alan Hess for helping him mold his doughy young mind.

After graduating from the University of Washington, Taylor worked as a CPA at a Big Four accounting firm in San Francisco for three years where he became an Excel wizard and gained valuable practical work experience. During this time Taylor volunteered his skills in Spanish and as a CPA to help lower-income Bay Area families prepare tax returns. He also coordinated corporate volunteer opportunities with local social enterprises like The Bread Project.

During his Fulbright Taylor will be studying international business at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) and interning at an international organization in Mexico City. Taylor is very excited to learn more about international business between the United States and Mexico as well as the social and political context of doing business in Mexico and Latin America. He plans to complement these activities with a healthy dose of playing soccer, making friends, volunteering, and eating street tacos.

Following the Fulbright, Taylor will attend the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington DC to pursue a Master of Arts in International Studies with focuses on International Economics and Energy, Resources, & Environment.

Kailyn Swarthout, Alternate, Indonesia, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, International Studies and Law, Society & Justice major

Vanessa Szakal, Alternate, Morocco, Academic

Senior, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations major

Vanessa Szakal

David Whitlock, Alternate, Latvia, English Teaching Assistant

Norwegian and Psychology major

Kailyn Elliott, Semifinalist, Denmark, Academic

Nursing (Bothell)

Genevieve Gebhart, Semifinalist, Thailand, Academic

Senior, International Studies and Economics major

Genevieve Gebhart

Gennie Gebhart, a Sacramento native and now a proud Seattlite, grew up exploring libraries. Gennie plans to graduate from the University of Washington in June 2013 with a degree in International Studies and Economics. While her academic studies at the UW have focused on environmental economics and international energy politics, she is aiming to extend these fields of study into a career in information justice and international librarianship.

The UW Libraries have opened countless doors for Gennie, and she owes her current informatics skills and aspirations to them. Having worked at the UW Libraries‘ Odegaard Undergraduate Library, the Northwest branch of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, and the UW’s Media Center (the main multimedia library), Gennie has had hands-on experience in what it takes to keep a university library running from day to day through everything from budget cuts to large-scale renovations.

Gennie’s introduction to the art and study of cinema at the Media Center has led to her current senior Honors thesis on Italian film, which she has been fortunate to undertake in Rome during winter quarter 2013. Her activities in Italy so far have included trips to Naples for Christmas and New Years with strangers-turned-family, trying to fix her apartment’s water heater, and speaking as much Italian as possible.

Gennie’s greatest passion lies in the problem-solving and advocacy she has found as a student representative on the UW’s Library Student Advisory Committee and Faculty Council on University Libraries. In these groups, terms like “open access,” “information justice,” and “digital commons” have taken on tangible and urgent meaning. Gennie hopes to enter the global open access debate armed with international experience, a multidisciplinary education, and constant mindfulness of the vital human side of digital information technology. Gennie is a Luce Scholar.

Jade Graddy, Semifinalist, Jordan, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (UW Tacoma) major

Jade Graddy

Jade Graddy is a native of Eatonville, Washington located in the shadow of Mt. Rainier and possessing a single traffic light. Despite her small town roots Jade has always had big dreams, and following her graduation from Washington State’s Running Start program opted to pursue a gap year with an AmeriCorps program based in the Rainier Beach neighborhood of Seattle. During her service term, she worked as an ESL literacy tutor with students from a diverse array of backgrounds and this experience motivated her to study Linguistics with a minor in Human Rights at the University of Washington.

During her time at UW Jade was deeply involved in social justice pursuits including SARVA and the Dream Project. She led a College of Education-sponsored seminar discussing institutionalized racism and classism in the US education system for student leaders and ultimately impacted over 1200 students in the Greater Seattle Area. While an undergraduate, Jade was also able to study abroad through the School for International Training’s program in Rabat, Morocco, where she conducted a creative research project on Amazigh language and identity.

After earning her degree at the University of Washington, Jade knew she wanted to continue to broaden her horizons and was selected as an international intern with Tomorrow’s Youth Organization in Nablus, Palestine. Her time in the West Bank was incredibly impactful, and has shaped her desire to pursue a career in diplomacy in the future.

Jasleena Grewal, Semifinalist, India, Academic

Environmental Science major

Kayhan Nejad, Semifinalist, Azerbaijan, Academic

History major

Devon Walker, Semifinalist, Taiwan, English Teaching Assistant

Chinese Language & Literature and International Studies: Asia major

2012 - 2013

Taylor Boren, Scholar, Sweden, Academic

Class of 2012, Law, Societies, & Justice and Psychology major, Philosophy, Political Science, and Human Rights minor

Taylor Boren

Taylor Boren will research the evolving disability rights movement within Sweden—particularly, the unexpected intersection between the rise of dual-income households and disability decentralization, which has negatively affected many Swedish children with disabilities. Working in tandem with Jönköping University, he will distill his findings into policy proposals for the global disability movement and present these findings via lecture at the Swedish Institute for Disability Research (SIDR).

In June 2012, he graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in Law, Societies, and Justice (with Departmental Honors); a Bachelor of Science in Psychology; and minors in Philosophy, Political Science, and Human Rights. Inspired by an Honors Seminar on international law and disability rights during his junior year, Taylor began designing and implementing disability-related social justice projects through the Bipartisan Coalition, an organization which he had founded a year prior. Last spring, for instance, he led a campaign to finance disability-related efforts in Sub-Saharan Africa; this effort ultimately garnered the endorsement of Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI), an NGO that helped the United Nations craft its recent Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Taylor has also worked to scientifically further the disability movement through the Center for the Study of Health and Risk Behaviors, helping design studies to identify better treatments for psychological disabilities such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Finally, Taylor has explored international disability rights through an academic lens, completing a topical Honors Thesis (on the intersection between disability and Jewish Law in Israel) as well as a Senior Thesis (on the modern-day disability movement in Sweden)— the latter serving as the basis for his upcoming research throughout Sweden.

Ultimately, Taylor aspires to further the global disability movement—through continued disability-related research and, via further education, a career in disability law.

Merzamie Cagaitan, Scholar, South Korea, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, English Language & Literature and Comparative History of Ideas (CHID) major

Merzamie Cagaitan

Merzamie Sison Cagaitan (Mimi) is a graduating senior in the Honors Department of both English Language & Literature and Comparative History of Ideas (CHID). A first-generation immigrant and first-generation college student in the U.S., Mimi grew up believing in the promise of education to not only empower and liberate, but also to enrich and facilitate a kind of cross-cultural story-sharing that has informed much of her independent work as a McNair, Presidential, MacRae, and Mary Gates Research Scholar.

Mimi believes teaching in South Korea will be an important and relevant step in broadening her understanding of cultural identity and the effects of globalization. Consistently demonstrating great capacity for mentoring and teaching, Mimi has served as a tutor/mentor for UW’s Student Academic Programs, Dream Project, and YouthCare’s Casa de los Amigos. Mimi also served two years as a Resident Adviser on campus, three years as a Freshman Interest Group Peer Instructor, and two quarters as a Peer Facilitator in a class she designed and taught through CHID.

Her time in South Korea will help her further develop the abilities she needs to be an effective educator in what, someday, she hopes will be borderless classrooms. Her desire to teach in South Korea grows out of a fascination with its education system that is simultaneously extolled and criticized for producing overachieving exceptional students. Mimi wants to understand the reasons behind this ambivalence.

Following her Fulbright teaching appointment, Mimi will pursue a Ph.D. in English, and a position as an English professor at a university. She hopes to continue her studies on the cultural and corporeal geographies of transnationalism in literature, to implement her own educational programs addressing diversity and difference, and to research and teach on the intersections between race, gender, sexuality, and national identity in the lives of today’s increasingly mobile global population.

Jeremy Coppock, Scholar, Russia, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, Russian and Eastern European Literature, Languages, & Culture (Czech) major

Jeremy Coppock

Jeremy Coppock originally applied for a Fulbright ETA in Russia, but was waitlisted. He was then contacted by the Fulbright staff and asked if he would be interested in going to Belarus instead. He could not pass up such an opportunity. Jeremy double majored in Russian and Eastern European Literature, Languages, and Culture (Czech). He has been interested in this part of the world since high school, when he first started taking Russian. As a junior in college, Jeremy studied abroad for a year in Moscow, where he had many opportunities. Besides taking Russian language and culture classes, he travelled widely throughout European Russia with friends. Jeremy tutored Russians at the Center for American Education on how to write an application essay for American colleges and also gave several presentations about college culture in America. He held informal English conversation classes for friends of friends, gaining experience teaching English. He was also able to take independent translation classes with a visiting scholar. Upon his return to the United States, Jeremy continued studying Russian language, literature, translation, and Czech. He also completed an honors thesis about Nabokov’s last novel in Russian, The Gift.

Natalie Downs, Scholar, Italy, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Italian Studies major

Natalie Downs

Natalie Downs graduated from the UW in March 2013 with a double degree in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Italian Studies. During her studies she pursued both science and language education in the hopes of becoming an educator, and as such worked to gain as much teaching experience as possible. She began by volunteering abroad with non-profit groups, teaching health education in South Africa and English in rural Thailand. These experiences led her to take on her own classes as a TA and FIG leader, testing her skills as a teacher and knowledge as a biology student. Over the last two years she has held a very similar role as a peer advisor, providing guidance to underclassmen through academic advising. She finds this role of mentor and educator very rewarding and enjoys taking her experience as a student and sharing it with others. Being a student of foreign language herself, this will be her primary goal through an English Teaching Assistantship in Italy.

Following her time with the Fulbright program, Natalie intends to synthesize her science education, teaching and advising backgrounds in the completion of a master’s program in genetic counseling. Her volunteer work abroad helped her develop a passion for global health and development, and she would ultimately like to find a way to utilize genetic counseling in an international capacity. This may be achieved by also completing a subsequent master’s in public health or public health genetics.

Christopher Nelson, Scholar, Denmark, Academic

Nursing (Bothell)

Benjamin O’Connor, Scholar, Germany, Academic

Class of 2011, German Studies major

Benjamin O'Connor

Benjamin O’Connor’s love of German began with swearing. Learning swear words to entertain the German foreign exchange students at his high school actually sparked serious academic pursuits and a career pathway. He majored in German in college, spent a semester at a German University, and now has a Teaching Assistantship at a local high school in Germany.

Benjamin graduated from the University of Washington in 2011, and in addition to his Germanics degree, he also completed the prerequisites for UW’s nursing program. He hopes to become a nurse a few years down the road, and is excited to explore the ways teaching a language might be good preparation for nursing. Both practices involve understanding something so well you can explain it simply, and both require practice, excitement, and empathy.

When Benjamin isn’t thinking, talking, and dreaming in German, he loves to expand his expertise on all things Canadian – hockey, beards, and polite conversation. He looks forward to the Fulbright program for the opportunity to see what life is like as a longtime resident of another country, to get involved in a new and different community, and to become part of it.

Anna Stehle, Scholar, Brazil, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, Economics major, Spanish and Labor Studies minor

Anna Stehle

Anna Stehle graduated in June 2013 with a degree in Economics and two minors in Spanish and Labor Studies. Her interest in international affairs started in high school through friendships with peers from Latin America and Europe. At UW, Anna continued to focus her studies on an international scope and studied the implications of global poverty and stratification as well as economic courses in population and development, emerging markets and trade. Outside of the classroom she trained and competed on the rowing team for three years, participated on the student-athlete advisory committee, mentored students in the Dream Project and volunteered with a local union to develop educational workshops on immigration reform. Anna has also worked as a community development intern in her hometown with El Centro Su Teatro through a sponsorship from The Denver Foundation.

This will be Anna’s third time in South America. She has previously volunteered with a water infrastructure project in La Cuidad de Dios community in northern Peru as well as studied and worked in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In Argentina she worked at a language camp with middle school students to develop their English skills outside of the formal classroom through activities centered on cultural exchange. She is looking forward to developing lessons that will prompt bicultural dialogue and strengthen the linguistic skills of students as they prepare to be ambassadors for Brazil during the upcoming World Cup and Olympic Games.

In addition to teaching, Anna would like to become involved in research focusing on agricultural development in Brazil. Since graduation, she has been focusing on economic challenges for beef producers in Oklahoma and Texas as a scholar at The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation in Ardmore, Oklahoma. She is planning to combine this agricultural interest with her international experience to pursue a master’s degree in agricultural economics once returning to the United States.

Kaia Chessen, Semifinalist, Ghana, Academic
Silvia Gelbard, Semifinalist, India, Academic

Spanish and South Asian Languages major

Phobe Huang, Semifinalist, Malaysia, English Teaching Assitant
Martin Jarmick, Semifinalist, Argentina, Academic
Marcus Johnson, Semifinalist, Dominican Republic, Academic
Lucas Olson, Semifinalist, Finland, Academic
Olga Vilkotskaya, Semifinalist, Belarus, English Teaching Assistant

English (Creative Writing) major

2011 - 2012

Willy Cheung, Scholar (declined), Austria, English Teaching Assistant

Class of 2011, Computer Science major

Willy Cheung

Willy Cheung grew up in Monterey Park, California and moved to Seattle to attend the University of Washington in 2006. He graduated in 2011 with a degree in Computer Science with departmental honors. His honors thesis project involved developing brain-computer interfaces, which allows users to control devices directly with brain signals. On this project, he was able to combine two of his passions: understanding the human brain and making technology accessible to people. While working on research, he also found he loved the personal responsibility required, and being actively involved in an academic community where every day brings new knowledge.

For Willy, education has played a vital role in his life. Throughout college, he strived to improve his teaching skills, bring the joy of learning to others, and develop a deeper understanding of what education means. As a tutor for Seattle Education Access, an organization that provides higher education opportunities to people struggling with poverty and adversity, he has enjoyed teaching math and English. During his three active years in Pi Alpha Phi fraternity, he has mentored others and seeks to develop leadership qualities in its members.

Reflecting on his five years at the UW, Willy realized that his education not only consisted of academic coursework and research, but encompassed everything from becoming independent to experiencing the dynamic and diverse culture on the UW campus. When he found out about the Fulbright, he realized it would be an excellent opportunity to continue expanding his cultural horizons while pursuing his research. Willy’s Fulbright project involves developing a brain-computer interface framework based on reinforcing learning, so that the user and computer system can adapt to each other cooperatively.

Nicholas Crown, Scholar, Italy, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, History and Italian Studies major

Nicholas Crown

Nick Crown is a senior majoring in History and Italian Studies. A native of Seattle, Nick has a passion for teaching, the legal system and trial advocacy. Shortly after arriving on campus, he co-founded the university’s mock trial program, which strives to provide hands-on legal education and an intellectually stimulating, competitive outlet for UW undergrads. In December of 2010, he co-hosted a mock trial tournament at the UW School of Law, drawing 20 teams from a dozen universities across the country. Nick also volunteers with the UW Dream Project, Teen Feed and a local high school mock trial program. He is a recipient of the Sleizer Scholarships, a Mary Gates Leadership Scholarship and has received eight Outstanding Mock Trial Attorney Awards. After the Fulbright, he will be attending the University of Virginia School of Law starting in August 2013. Ultimately, Nick intends to apply his academic skills to a career as a teacher and attorney.

James Mahady, Scholar, Uruguay, Academic

Class of 2010, Spanish and International Studies: European Studies major

James Mahady

James Mahady struck out on the first leg of his international journey when he spent his junior year abroad in Cádiz, Spain with the University of Washington’s NW Cádiz Program. Although he had been in Spain several times before on family trips, it was during his nine months in Cádiz that he got to know Spain in earnest and, among other things, was impressed by its plethora of renewable energies. As he finished his studies at the UW in Seattle the next year he became increasingly set on returning for more.

James graduated with a double major in Spanish and International Studies: European Studies in 2010. He wrote his Senior Research Thesis on Renewable Energies in Spain and the European Union, and began looking for a way to return to Spain as well as opportunities in the Spanish renewable energies sector. He moved to Madrid in September 2010 to work as an English language assistant in an elementary school to fund his stay and garner a visa. He began volunteering for an NGO that works with renewable energies when various internship opportunities were stymied by visa limitations.

Outside of school and volunteering, James became part of various Spanish and international communities, improved his language skills, and embraced the city and culture and made them his own. In January 2013, James will set out to use his Fulbright Fellowship in Uruguay to study the development of renewable energies in an emerging economy, which he believes to be a burgeoning, fascinating field. It will be a vital step in his personal and professional development, and will pave the way for a prospective career in renewables. James will study at the Universidad de La República and collaborate with the PROBIO project team in Montevideo. PROBIO is installing a bio-fuel energy plant which sources residual waste from the paper and agriculture industries for fuel, and receives its funding from the United Nations Development Programme. His research will focus on the economic, international collaboration, public policy and business aspects of the undertaking. James is elated to have this opportunity, and is eternally grateful to everyone involved in helping him along the way.

Amy Tseng, Scholar, South Korea, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, Public Health and Geography major

Amy Tseng

As an undergraduate, Amy Tseng tutored immigrant elementary and middle school students in math, reading, writing, and comprehension. In addition to working with young children, she was a Freshman Interest Group Leader for three consecutive years and taught incoming college freshmen topics ranging from diversity, tolerance, justice, health and wellness.

Born as an American to Taiwanese parents, Amy has always been aware of cultural differences and intrigued by the complexities of languages and traditional customs. Throughout college, she studied abroad in South Korea, Switzerland, and Taiwan. Learning some basic Korean from her three week UW Exploration Seminar to Korea only fueled Amy’s passion to become fluent in the language. Through that brief one-time trip in 2008, she fell in love with Korea and has been yearning to go back. Continuing her exploration of languages, Amy went on a semester long direct exchange at National Taiwan University in 2010. She felt it was truly eye-opening and inspiring to attend public health courses and volunteer with a student club that traveled to a rural county to conduct home health screenings of aborigines.

With a Bachelor’s in Public Health and Geography, Amy’s future goal is to work in the public health field with underserved communities, linking them to basic necessities and care. Working as a full-time Health Resource AmeriCorps Member at the Neighborcare Health Rainier Beach Medical and Dental Clinic, Amy has organized over 40 dental education presentations and dental screenings for elementary and middle school classrooms, parent meetings, and community events. She sees the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship as a perfect fit in improving her ability to be culturally competent on an international level as well as acquiring other organizing and leadership skills. In the future, Amy wants to work in a setting where she will be educating a diverse group of people on healthy behaviors, and understanding another language and culture will be a valuable asset. She feels this teaching experience will better prepare her for graduate school and a job in the public health field.

Nicholas Wong, Scholar, Brazil, Academic

Class of 2007, Sociology and American Ethnics Studies major, Law, Society and Justice minor

Nicholas Wong

Nick Wong graduated in 2007 from the University of Washington with a double degree in Sociology and American Ethnics Studies, and a minor in Law, Society and Justice. On advice from his sister, he stayed a fifth year to study abroad in Granada, Spain and discovered a passion for traveling. In 2007 he won the Bonderman Travel Fellowship and spent 18 months wandering through the boxing gyms of Latin America. From Guatemala to Argentina, he trained and fought in 11 gyms through 9 countries, collecting stories of fighters and documenting what the sport meant to them. Since returning, he has been sharing his travel stories about boxing in presentations and seminars, and has been a regular speaker at Franklin High School to encourage underrepresented students to pursue travel in their lives. Recently he has been selected as a 2012 Jack Straw Writer and will be giving readings about his journey throughout the Puget Sound.

With the Fulbright, he plans to study sociology with Professor Sonia Giacomini at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and work closely with the organization “Fight For Peace”, a non-profit using a combined program of boxing, education and employment to deter young children from the drug trade in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. Using the research method of participant observation, he plans to engage in all gym activities to better understand the operations of the organization and how the sport and program function in the lives of its participants. He hopes this experience will move him closer to his goal of opening boxing gyms around the world.

Alana Zimmerman, Scholar, Germany, English Teaching Assistant

Class of 2011, Germanics major, European Studies minor

Alana Zimmerman

Alana Zimmerman graduated from the University of Washington in August 2011 with a degree in Germanics and a minor in European Studies. Beginning her study of the German language during her second year at the UW, she discovered an interest in studying languages and learning about other cultures. This led her to participate in the UW’s Spring in Vienna Program, which not only further developed her German language skills, but also reinforced her fascination with languages and culture. Studying abroad also fostered a yearning to travel even more. While at UW, Alana found it very rewarding to teach and help others to learn through proctoring for a German film class and tutoring for a German linguistics class. She now volunteers at her former grade school, helping third-graders to learn reading, math, art, etc.

Alana is excited to return to Germany (she traveled around Europe following her time in Vienna) and is extremely grateful for the opportunity afforded her by the Fulbright Program to serve as an unofficial United States ambassador, while helping others to learn English and immersing herself in the culture. Outside the classroom, she is looking forward not only to exploring more of Germany and surrounding countries while meeting lots of new and interesting people, but also to dancing as much as possible. Alana is trained in classical ballet and loves almost all styles of dance as well as yoga. Although still unsure of her ultimate career path, Alana is excited by the chance to participate in a Fulbright program and the opportunities and possibilities that will arise as a result.

Kyrstin Andrews, Semifinalist, Dominican Republic, Academic

International Studies: Latin America major

Kaia Chessen, Semifinalist, Ghana, Academic
Yolanda Eng, Semifinalist, Taiwan, English Teaching Assistant

Psychology major

Sarah Grover, Semifinalist, Canada, Academic

Psychology major

Sara Hefny, Semifinalist, United Kingdom, Academic

Senior, Near Eastern Languages & Civilization major

Sara Hefny

Sara Hefny is a senior in the Near Eastern Studies department with a focus in Languages and Civilizations. For the past two years she has worked with the Ottoman Texts Archive Project as an undergraduate researcher, translating and researching the history of a set of 19th century Iraqi diaries. In her research, she was struck by the migratory trends of the various ethnic communities in the Middle East and how they were affected by the political standing of the Ottoman Empire. Sara will carry this research to Rome for the 2011-2012 year to study the migration trends of Arab populations to Italy and the European Union as a result of the recent political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa. Following graduation and return from Rome, she hopes to go onto graduate school at Oxford or the Geneva Graduate Institute to study migration and development. In addition to her studies, Sara works at a downtown restaurant to fund her travel bug and coaches volleyball at Seattle’s Cascade Volleyball Club. She is a member of Washington’s Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and is a recipient of the University of Washington’s Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research Scholarship for her work with the Svoboda Diary Project. In her free time she enjoys playing volleyball, experimenting in the kitchen, and trivia nights with her friends.

Sherry Kim, Semifinalist, South Korea, Academic
Kristen Zipperer, Semifinalist, Nepal, Academic

International Studies and International Studies: Asia major

2010 - 2011

Martin Allen, Scholar, Hungary, Academic

Senior, Math and English major

James Connelly, Scholar, China, Academic

Senior, Architectural Studies and International Studies major

James Connelly

James Connelly began his studies at the University of Washington intent on pursuing a degree and career in Architecture. He began an internship at an international architecture firm, developed technical architectural skills and was also able to connect his core beliefs about conservation to architecture by researching sustainable projects for a firm’s major client. At the same time James became fascinated with the explosion of construction and economic activity in China, when he was exposed to some truly amazing projects his firm was designing in Shanghai. He decided to broaden his educational focus to international studies, and began to realize how architectural issues influenced and are affected by the broader economic and cultural forces in a society.

James became a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional the summer after he began the architecture program and completed another internship focusing on a variety of LEED certified projects in Seattle. His second year in the architecture program, he participated in an exchange program in Hong Kong and rediscovered a fascination with architecture in China as well as a new passion for the Chinese culture, language, and people. James committed himself to Chinese language studies when he returned to the US, and then spent the next summer at an intensive language program in Chengdu, China. Upon returning to the US, he focused all his academic pursuit on studying China’s environment, society, and economics. For his senior capstone project, James led a fifteen-member team in crafting a 250-page report on the US-China economic relationship.

James’ immediate plans on returning to the US are to pursue a career in the green building industry with a particular focus on China. He would like to work for an architecture firm, real estate development firm, or green building consulting firm that works on Chinese projects. He is also considering returning to graduate school, in law, urban planning, or architecture to further his skills and understanding of how green building rating systems and environmental regulation can influence a green future for China.

Will Damon, Scholar, Canada, Academic

Class of 2010, English and Laws, Societies, & Justice major

Will Damon

Will Damon graduated from the University of Washington in June of 2010 with a double major in English and Laws, Societies, and Justice. While at the University of Washington Will took hold of as many opportunity as he could find time for. He helped manage an emergency shelter for homeless adults, volunteered with Real Change (a local street newspaper), interned for the Washington State Bar Association’s Access to Justice Committee, and studied abroad twice (first to Sarajevo, Bosnia then Reykjavik, Iceland). He took part in the Summer Institute in the Arts and Humanities and conducted research with the support of the Mary Gates Undergraduate Research award. He worked as a research assistant to a professor studying the politics of genetically modified crops in Hawaii and assisted a public defender’s office in Seattle with a project to help homeless adults contest bans from public places. Will’s honors thesis for Laws, Societies, and Justice studied the effects of the Seattle Public Library’s increased use of trespass authority on homeless adults. Since graduation he has worked as a program assistant to Columbia Legal Services Homeless Education Advocacy Project. As an advocate for homeless youth Will assists a team of attorneys with a multi-modal advocacy strategy integrating GIS mapping and data analysis, traditional legal advocacy, and community education and outreach. He will bring these newly acquired skills to bear on his upcoming Fulbright research in Vancouver, Canada. With the support of the Fulbright grant he will research the effects of a recent B.C Supreme Court ruling that partially legalized camping in public spaces.

Brandon Fidler, Scholar, Germany, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, Germanics and Music major

Elizabeth Hiskey, Scholar, Belgium, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, English and French major

Elizabeth Hiskey

Elizabeth Hiskey is graduating in spring 2011 with departmental honors in both English and French. After completing several education courses in high school, she decided to pursue a career in teaching. Then, while studying abroad in Paris, Elizabeth rediscovered her love for travel and began searching for other international opportunities available after college. During her time at the University of Washington, Elizabeth spent four quarters volunteering with the Pipeline Project in classrooms at T.T. Minor Elementary and Hamilton International Middle School. She also volunteered as a conversation facilitator with the UW’s English Language Program during her junior year. Elizabeth served as the co-president of the UW French Conversation Club for two years and has enjoyed seeing the club grow over the last few quarters. Over the course of her senior year, she worked as an assistant preschool teacher at a bilingual French daycare, teaching French to Seattle-area toddlers. Elizabeth hopes that her experience working with prospective college students as a campus tour guide and with incoming freshman as a FIG leader have helped prepare her to teach English at the University of Ghent beginning this fall. While in Belgium, she plans to continue studying languages and hopes to improve her French and Spanish while also immersing herself in Dutch. After completing her Fulbright grant, Elizabeth will spend the next two years teaching in a low-income school district with Teach for America and believes that the knowledge and skills she will learn while in Belgium will help her achieve significant gains with her future students.

Kenny Li, Scholar, South Korea, English Teaching Assistant

Class of 2011, International Studies major, Education, Learning, and Societies minor

Kenny Li

Ken Li is a senior at the University of Washington graduating in June 2011 with a degree in International Studies and a minor in Education, Learning, and Societies. Ken chose to study International Studies because of his interest in developing a better understanding of global issues and his passion for learning different languages and culture. During his freshman year, Ken was involved with a student-led group called the University of Washington Dream Project which allowed him to explore critical issues in education such as social mobility, the achievement gap, and educational equality. This pushed him to pursue a minor in education, opening the door to deeper discussions in education related topics and issues. During the summer of 2008 and 2009, Ken traveled to southern Taiwan to participate in an English teaching program that served to help junior high and high school students improve their English conversation skills. Through his teaching program, Ken became interested in how overwhelming academic stress and parental pressure affected student creativity and independent thinking. This led him to participate in a direct exchange program with National Taiwan University the following academic year, hoping to gain a deeper understanding of local student views on education and future success. After returning to Seattle, Ken began interning with Teachers Without Borders, a non-profit organization that aims to enhance the quality of education globally through teacher resources and support networks. As a Fulbright recipient to South Korea for 2011-2012, Ken hopes to take advantage of his time inside school classrooms to not only serve as an English Teaching Assistant, but also to interact with the local Korean community, further understanding the Korean education system.

Taylor Mann, Scholar, Spain, English Teaching Assistant

Spanish and History major

Kristen Olson, Scholar, Georgia, English Teaching Assistant

Class of 2005, International Studies major

Kristen Olson

Kristen Olson was born and raised in Richland, WA. Her parents are Richard and Alexandra Olson. Kristen enrolled at the University of Washington to pursue a degree in International Studies. During the course of her studies she managed to study abroad three times in Russia, India, and Canada. In addition for her love of global affairs, Kristen also has a long-standing interest in education as a profession. She was a Freshmen Interest Group Leader at the UW for two years helping college freshmen transition during their fall quarter by teaching a two-credit seminar class about university resources. During the spring of her senior year she volunteered with the Alternative Spring Break Program through the Pipeline Project in La Push, WA. This experience solidified her resolve to apply to Teach for America. After graduation in 2005 Kristen flew to Baton Rouge to commit the next two years of her life to teach in a low-income community. Kristen’s experiences with Teach for America inspired her to combine her passions for international studies and education by applying for an English Teaching Assistantship Fulbright Award to Georgia. With her background in Russian and enthusiasm for learning Georgian, Kristen is looking forward to the opportunity to engage with a fascinating culture and uphold the goals of the Fulbright program to promote greater international understanding. Kristen hopes to apply for the Foreign Service after completing the Fulbright program or enroll in a Master of Education program. Kristen is also a certified Zumba instructor in her spare time and enjoys all forms of dance.

Cory William Potts, Scholar, Belgium, Academic

Class of 2010, French and English major

Cory William Potts

This is Cory Potts’ second year applying for a Fulbright grant. Last year, 2010, he applied for a full grant to study law in France, was nominated as a finalist, ultimately rejected, and decided anyway to move to Paris and teach English. He made it his goal to move to a country where he would speak French. Cory is really pleased that he went to Paris even after the negative response to his grant proposal. He found work as a bike courier and mechanic, lived and worked in the banlieue instead of a chic Paris neighborhood, and rarely speak English. Now, in response to his second attempt in 2011, he has been selected as a Fulbrighter to study criminology in Bruxelles.

“This is all to say: these applications made me think it was possible to move and live abroad, which is true, I found, even if you scrape together your own funding.”
Christopher Raastad, Scholar, Estonia, Academic

Senior, Mathematics and Computer Science major, Music minor

Christopher Raastad

Christopher Raastad moved to Olympia, Washington in middle school from Midwestern roots, his childhood split between the remote grasslands of Upton, Wyoming and the beautiful Black Hills of Spearfish, South Dakota. A graduating senior with degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science, a minor in Music, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa honor society, his four years at UW have been a unique jostling journey of academic and cultural exploration with music and quantitative reasoning as a foundation. His passion for mathematics sprung from attending the exhilarating SIMUW high school summer math program. He enrolled UW passionate about Mathematics and Physics to explore the foundations of the abstract and physical universe. He studied abroad four months in Hungary in the acclaimed Budapest Semesters in Mathematics program.

His research experiences in computational Geology, Polar Science, and Plasma Physics pushed him towards applied mathematics, and to switch to Computer Science. A summer REU program in High Performance Computing at UMBC revealed that his true interest was fundamental Computer Science. While doing research in Quantum Computing, a Computer Security class undoubtedly changed his interest to investigate the technical and social implications of the concern of this decade: Cybersecurity. During these academic shifts, he was absolutely committed to Choral music, singing in the audition University Chorale for three years, the graduate audition University Chamber Singers his final year, and even in a choir at the Lizst Academy of Music during his time in Budapest. These two paths crossed on a Baltic States choir tour where he discovered Estonia, a small country on the Baltic sea with an exceptional choral history and presence in technology and computer security. Chris will use his Fulbright to pursue a Masters program in Cybersecurity to research the influence of the 2007 Cyberattacks on Estonian education and culture, consider the implications of the adoption of Estonian technological and Internet conveniences to US society, and gain valuable skills in computer security applicable to government, business, and industry.

Eric Ravet, Scholar, Switzerland, Academic

Senior, Chemical Engineering major

Eric Ravet

Eric Ravet graduated from the University of Washington in June 2011 with departmental honors in Chemical Engineering. Eric was raised in Colville, Washington before applying to the University of Washington. In his five years at the UW, Eric has spent his free time volunteering at Engineering Days where he aided students of all ages in creating and learning about the chemistry behind Silly Putty. He also helped out with the refurbishment of the undergraduate Chemical Engineering laboratory capable of turning sugar into fuel-grade ethanol.

In the fall of 2008, Eric had the opportunity to study abroad in Nantes, France through the UW. In those short four months, he fell in love with both the language and culture and has longed to return since. Upon returning to Seattle, he strived to further his knowledge of the French language and next year, he will be able to put this to good use. In September, he will be traveling France’s neighbor, Switzerland, to conduct research on composite materials at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Lausanne. Here, Eric will work under Dr. Jan-Anders Månson, a leading specialist in his field, to investigate the effects of introducing nanoparticles in fiber-reinforced composites created from renewable and recyclable materials. After his completion of the Fulbright, Eric hopes to continue his education at the graduate level and pursue his lifelong dream of becoming an astronaut.

Jordan Swarthout, Scholar, Russia, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, International Studies and Russian Language & Literature major

Jordan Swarthout

A third generation Husky, Jordan Swarthout was born and raised in Olympia. An international focus began with his first immersion in foreign cultures during a high school trip to Europe. Lectures on campus by former UN Weapons Inspector Hans Blix and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright ignited his interest in nonproliferation and nuclear disarmament. Arms control became an informal emphasis within his International Studies major. Jordan has been active on campus through a variety of student organizations including the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Washington Student-Athlete Advisory Council, and most recently as Vice President of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management. He returned for a fifth year to complete a second degree in Russian Language and Literature, as well as continue competing on the Cross Country and Track teams. A two time NCAA National Championship competitor in Cross Country, he specialized in the 5,000m and 10,000m distances on the track.

Jordan spent the last two summers in Russia both working and studying the language. Summer 2009 he completed an intensive immersion program, studying in Kaliningrad under the auspices of the Critical Language Scholarship. This past summer he interned in the political section of the U.S. embassy in Moscow, where his portfolio included political-military affairs. Jordan recently passed the written section of the Foreign Service Exam and has long been interested in a career with the State Department. Also interested in positions through the Energy Department and other security related fields, Jordan will be pursuing a master’s in Security Studies at Georgetown University upon completion of the Fulbright.

Nicholas Wong, Alternate, Brazil, Academic

American Ethnic Studies and Sociology major, Law Society & Justice minor

Anna Xue, Alternate, Norway, Academic

Geography major

Lindsey Einhaus, Semifinalist, European Union , Academic

Philosophy and History major

Lindsey Einhaus

Lindsey Einhaus, a native of Port Orchard, WA, graduated cum laude from UW in December 2006 with double majors in Philosophy and History. As an undergraduate, Lindsey spent a summer teaching English in rural China, studied German language at the Goethe Institute in Berlin, and spent a semester studying and conducting independent field research in Kumasi, Ghana as part of a Jackson School of International Studies program. Upon graduation, Lindsey took a position as Legislative Aide for banking and finance regulation to U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) in Washington, DC. After covering the global financial crisis in this position for nearly two years, Lindsey joined the Peace Corps in March 2009 with an intention to serve in Ukraine so she could learn more about post-Soviet political and economic development. From 2009 to May 2011, Lindsey worked in the small city of Zhmerynka, Ukraine, as an official partner of the Zhmerynka City Council. Her work with the Council focused on helping it build relationships with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and during her service she designed and implemented three grants funded by the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) totaling more than $10,000. She also founded a group for volunteers in Ukraine called the Business and Economic Development Working Group, which serves as a forum for volunteers to meet with Ukrainian business leaders and discuss Ukrainian economic issues. Lindsey plans to pursue a joint Master’s degree in business and public policy.

Azmera Melashu, Semifinalist, Egypt, English Teaching Assistant

International Studies major

Andrew Reed, Semifinalist, Denmark, Academic

2009 - 2010

Masha Burina, Scholar, Croatia, Academic

2007 Graduate, Economics and International Studies major

Masha Burina immigrated to the United States at a young age from Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. A 2007 graduate majoring in Economics and International Studies, she undertook various projects applying her studies of global inequalities and development conundrums to her civic life. She engaged in issues by co-founding the national Student Trade Justice Campaign, traveling throughout the country, mobilizing other college students to advocate for equitable trade policies. On campus, she collaborated with other student leaders to affect administrative and corporate policies regarding Fair Trade Certification. Active in Washington State Model United Nations, Oxfam, and interning at a French NGO Aide et Action, and other human rights/activist projects indulged her intrigue with the famous Margaret Mead quote to “never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.” While working for an immigration law firm, she served on the Seattle Women’s Commission and as a steering committee member of the Community Alliance for Global Justice – amplifying local voices to the chambers of elected leaders. Thrilled to be back in the Balkans, her research will focus on similar issues of governance and civic participation. Through a labor lens, her project will focus on the state of civic engagement in Croatia, in the midst of a post-war and post-communist state of affairs, and EU accessionist policies. The research seeks to identify how one segment of civil society determines its appropriate channels for advocacy and articulates the concerns of its members to government.

Glorya Cho, Scholar, Zambia, Academic

Class of 2007, Economics and International Studies major, African Studies minor

Glorya Cho

Glorya Cho, a native of Bainbridge Island, WA, graduated cum laude and with College Honors from the University of Washington in June 2007 with double degrees in International Studies and Economics and a Minor in African Studies. As an undergraduate, Glorya participated in Model United Nations, volunteered with the global youth organization One World Now!, worked with a middle school student as a mentor through the Journey Unlimited Mentoring Program, and undertook research through the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies’ Honors Program. Her undergraduate research focused on Ghanaian youth as agents of cultural change and active participants in the public sphere, as exhibited through the Ghanaian youth musical movement called “hiplife”. She also worked with Future Island School (FIS), a primary school in Offinso, Ghana, as a fundraiser, hosting two benefit concerts in Seattle that raised more than $7,000 for the construction of the FIS school house. Upon graduation, she interned with an international non-governmental organization in the Democratic Republic of Congo, studied Korean language in Seoul, and studied Mandarin Chinese in Beijing and Taiwan.

Glorya combined her passion for Chinese language and African youth studies by applying for a Fulbright Research Grant to Zambia to study the implications of globalization, as seen through increases in Chinese migration and investment, on youth development policy. She will conduct this research in Zambia during the 2010-2011 academic year. Glorya’s background also piqued her interest in foreign affairs and diplomacy. As a result, she applied for and received the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship, which prepares students for careers in the U.S. Foreign Service. She will attend the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Masters in Public Policy degree program in fall 2011 as a Rangel Fellow.

Glorya would like to thank Ms. Mona Pitre Collins and Ms. Robin Chan of the UW Undergraduate Scholarship Office and Professor Deborah Porter, Adviser Linda Iltis, and Professor Joel Migdal of the Jackson School of International Studies for their unparalleled support and encouragement.

Maria Hoisington, Scholar, El Savador, Academic

Class of 2009, Latin American studies major, Spanish and Human Rights minor

I grew up in Seattle, WA, and first attended UW on a rowing scholarship. I became interested in working in Central America after my sophomore year when I participated in an exploration seminar on human rights issues in Guatemala, led by Angelina Godoy. I went to El Salvador for the first time in 2009 to volunteer as an election volunteer and write my undergraduate thesis for Latin America Studies on the social effects of violence on young males from marginalized urban communities. Through this research, I became interested in the broader issue of creating a juvenile justice system that effectively rehabilitates and reinserts youth back into society so they may have successful futures and not fall into the revolving door of the adult penitentiary system.

My Fulbright research will involve examining the current juvenile justice system, conducting interviews within the courts and youth detention centers, political and popular discourse on youth violence and civil society efforts to implement reforms. In the future, I plan on pursuing a career in social work or psychology and working directly with incarcerated youth. I currently live in El Salvador and work with Voices on the Border, a NGO that focuses on sustainable local development in rural communities. I have been greatly influenced by my mother, who worked for years in a boys group home, my father and step-mother, who have taught in schools in marginalized communities in Seattle and Bakersfield, CA, and a multitude of young activists that I have had the opportunity to meet or work with in the US and El Salvador, whose energy and initiative are a constant source of inspiration.

Joji Kohjima, Scholar, South Korea, Academic

Senior, International Studies major, pre-med

Joji Kohjima

Joji Kohjima was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington. His father is from Tochigi Prefecture, Japan, and his mother is from Richmond, VA. His mother’s grandfather was a surgeon who spent most of his career as a medical missionary to Korea from 1907 until 1941, when he and other American missionaries fled at the insistence of the Japanese government. He worked to treat leprosy, or Hansen’s disease, which was a common ailment in Korea at that time.

Joji’s interest in Korea began with hearing stories from his maternal grandfather, who grew up in Korea. This interest increased as he learned more about East Asian history and cultures. His interest in East Asia centers around cultural commonalities, such as philosophical traditions and linguistic relationships between nations. He is also interested in the divergent paths of Asian nations during the modern era. He studied abroad with professor Christoph Giebel to Vietnam in the Summer of 2007. He has also traveled in Japan, Thailand, Ghana, and Nicaragua, and has basic proficiency in Japanese, Spanish and Portuguese. He has also studied Burmese and Korean.

His goal in going to Korea is to better understand Korean history, his family history and the legacy of medical missionaries in Korea. He also wants to understand the plight of leprosy patients in Korea during the 20th century. He hopes to become proficient in Korean.

Joji completed a degree in International Studies at the UW, and has been studying biochemistry and related sciences for the past two years. His goal is to go to the UW Medical School after he returns from Korea.

Samson Lim, Scholar, Germany, Academic

Senior, International Studies major, European Studies minor

Samson Lim

Sam Lim is a senior at the University of Washington in Seattle graduating in June 2010 with a degree in International Studies and a minor in European Studies. Over his four years at the UW, Sam has helped lead the student-initiated, student-run University of Washington Dream Project, a unique high school outreach/college degree completion program that partners college students with local high school students to assist in the college admissions process while simultaneously teaching undergraduates about issues of social mobility, educational opportunity, and equal access. His experience in working with dozens of students across Seattle in their pursuit of post-secondary education has inspired him to pursue a career dedicated to public service. Outside of his leadership in the UW Dream Project, Sam also worked for the UW State GEAR UP Program as a Summer Institute Team Leader and for the Making Connections program at the UW Women’s Center as the scholarship coach. Sam also founded ScholarshipJunkies.com, a scholarship resource website designed to provide scholarship applicants with tips, advice, and suggestions from former national scholarship winners to assist in compiling competitive scholarship applications. Sam has spoken to students, families, and educators across the country about how to make the most of scholarship opportunities. As an undergraduate, Sam also traveled and researched abroad in Germany, Italy, Greece, and Guatemala through UW-sponsored and as a 2008 Humanity in Action Fellow. Combining his academic interests and passion for international travel, Sam has expanded his research interests to explore issues of college access and affordability around the world. As a Fulbright Scholar to Germany for 2010-2011, Sam will conduct an ethnographic research project to explore the relationship between access to higher education and social mobility in Germany.

Sarah Munger, Scholar, Indonesia, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, English Literature major, Political Science minor

Meleah Paull, Scholar, Slovenia, Academic

International Studies and Geography major

Caitlin Pratt, Scholar, Morocco, English Teaching Assistant

Senior, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations major

Caitlin Pratt is a senior in the Near Eastern Languages and Civilization department, focusing on literary Arabic, and will graduate in Spring 2010. She first became interested in studying Arabic and Middle Eastern cultures when she visited Morocco in 2005 during a trip to Spain. Later, after beginning her study of Arabic at UW, she decided to take Persian and Japanese to further broaden her ability to connect with people from other cultures. Because of her focus on languages, she began volunteering with the UW’s English Language Program, helping facilitate in-class discussions for students learning English, helping to improve their confidence and ability to converse in English, and also functioning as a “cultural ambassador” to help foster understanding and friendship among speakers of different languages. It was this work that led her to apply for the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Egypt, and, due to this year’s opening of a brand new program in Morocco, she was offered a chance to return to Morocco. In addition to gaining experience as an English-as-a-foreign-language teacher, Caitlin will study the Moroccan dialect of Arabic. She will continue working as an English teacher, in addition to considering careers in translation and international relations as her fluency in Arabic increases. She feels that the work of cultural ambassadors is extremely valuable to future relationships between the United States and the rest of the world.

Nathan Snyder, Scholar, China, Academic

Senior, International Studies and Economics major

Nathan is senior at the University of Washington graduating with degrees in international studies and economics. During his time at the university, Nathan has pursued academic interests in China’s economy, rule of law in China, and economic growth theory. For his senior thesis, he conducted a survey of court cases from Guangdong province to determine how the court system is being used to adjudicate intellectual property rights disputes in China. He speaks Mandarin fluently and studied Mandarin intensively abroad in Beijing during 2008 and again in Harbin, China in summer 2009 courtesy of a U.S. State Department Critical Language Scholarship. Since January 2009 Nathan has been a research intern at the Washington State Department of Commerce, primarily focusing on trade issues between China and Washington State. In the near-term he wants to spend a few years working in China in an international trade related job before entering an international relations graduate program. Nathan’s long-term goal is a career in US-China policy with academic or research institutions.

Nathan has a strong passion for education and found personal satisfaction as a campus tour guide throughout his four years at the University of Washington. Tour guiding has provided opportunities to share his college experience with prospective students and their families while enjoying the challenge of interacting with a spectrum of people. Nathan built upon this experience and worked at the 2008 Beijing Olympics as an on-site manager for the Coca Cola Company’s VIP hospitality program. Additionally, Nathan has enjoyed exploring the outdoors since the time he was small enough to be carried up mountains on his father’s shoulders. At the university, he continued pursuing his outdoor interest as an active member of the university’s Climbing Club. Nathan enjoys climbing and skiing Washington’s Cascade Mountains. He fully expects to continue his outdoor adventures regardless of where his future takes him.

Rachael Stovall, Scholar, Jordan, Academic

Senior, Public Health and French major

Rachael Stovall

I developed my Public Health interest through my UW coursework and after my first year of college I wanted to apply my classroom analysis towards working with people. My two goals are to improve children’s health and learn first-hand about the importance of intercultural work.

Through Cultivating Youth, I taught children nutrition in a multicultural Seattle neighborhood. These elementary school children asked me questions demonstrating their newfound knowledge as we grew, harvested, and discussed the benefits of vegetables. I learned about foods in students’ homes, gaining an international perspective on nutrition.

I subsequently developed research and analytical skills, abstracting nutrition policies for Washington State public school districts. Alarmed by inadequate guidelines for fat content in snacks and soda sizes, I contributed to evaluations of strong and weak policies on the “Healthy Schools, Successful Students” website for Washington state school management, parents, and the community. By analyzing and reporting how schools influence children’s eating environments, I revealed gaping disparities in food standards.

The graduate-level epidemiology classes I took helped me grow in my field and learn sophisticated research methods for calculating risks of diseases and identifying confounding factors that muddle research validity. I grasped determinants of health when rigorously analyzing nutrients and costs of foods served to children in daycare; I acquired a picture of what children were eating and discovered how income plays a major role in nutrition. For my honors senior thesis, I investigated students’ stipends and eating behaviors in a Seattle public school, learning how to create a survey, complete the Human Subjects application, and analyze my data with statistical software.

I will further my studies with an MD and a Masters in Public Health to continue to help people improve their health and conduct epidemiologic research focusing on child health. My hands-on experience in public health has granted me the knowledge to form a more comprehensive view of public health, which I hope to further next year during my Fulbright scholarship.

Christina Ygona, Scholar, the Philippines, Academic

Class of 2006, Business Administration (Marketing) and Communications major

I first became interested in community-based models of tourism while I was in the DR serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer. The primarily rural tourist attractions and projects I encountered there and beyond encouraged and excited me to consider community-based tourism as an integral solution to poverty alleviation, cross-cultural understanding, and community development. I consider myself a global citizen with multiple transnational relationships, including one with the Philippines that stems from my upbringing as a first-generation Filipina-American. I look forward to researching the challenges and prospects of community-based tourism in the Philippines, not only for the professional and academic opportunities it presents in exploring a field of international development I find extremely intriguing, but also because of the personal stories and experiences it will afford me.

I am thankful for programs such as the Fulbright Scholarship that encourage citizens to not just learn about the other places in the world, but to experience them from a place of inquiry, courage, and understanding. I believe that a transformative learning experience that an opportunity like the Fulbright can offer can be a catalyst for recognizing oneself as an agent for change.

Matthew Richardson, Alternate, Germany, Academic

English (Comparative Literature) and European Studies major

Britten Ferguson, Semifinalist, Mexico, Academic
William Potts, Semifinalist, France, Academic

2008 - 2009

Monica Barrett, Scholar, European Union, Academic

Business (Marketing and International) major

Alexandra Duncan, Scholar, Germany, English Teaching Assistant

European Studies and Germanics major

Cameron Rule, Scholar, Estonia, Academic

Russian Studies major, Linguistic minor

Alva Robinson, Scholar, Kyrgyz Republic, Academic

Near Eastern Language and Civilization major (1st year grad student)

Sandley Chou, Alternate, the Philippines, Academic

International Studies and History major

Kimberly Bailey, Semi-Finalist, Germany, English Teaching Assistant

2007 - 2008

Cadence McAfee, Scholar, Russia, English Teaching Assistant

International Studies: Europe major

Sarah Parton, Scholar, Netherlands, Research

Dance major

2006 - 2007

Kimberly Cheong, Scholar, South Korea, English Teaching Assistant

Biochemistry major