Kristen Seabolt 301-405-4621
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Twelve University of Maryland students and recent graduates were awarded Fulbright grants to study, conduct research, or teach English abroad during the 2015-2016 academic year. The students and alumni will travel to nine different countries around the world to carry out projects in fields such as library science, psychology, education, government and politics, health administration, chemistry, environmental science, bioengineering and journalism. Others will teach English at schools and universities.
Each year, the Fulbright Program awards approximately 8,000 grants to roughly 1,600 U.S. students, 4,000 foreign students, 1,200 U.S. scholars, 900 visiting scholars, and several hundred teachers and professionals to pursue international study, research, and teaching experience.
In the last five years, UMD students and recent graduates have earned a total of 72 Fulbright grants. This year’s recipients include five seniors, five recent graduates, and two graduate students.
“Each of this year's recipients of Fulbright awards are to be congratulated for achieving one of these prestigious grants,” said James Gilbert, UMD’s Fulbright program advisor. “They did so through hard work and thoughtful projects. Their success solidifies the University of Maryland's position as one of the top earners in this national competition.”
The Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State. Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 300,000 participants with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
2015 University of Maryland Fulbright Recipients
Natalie Baur, Mexico
Natalie Baur, a 2011 alumna of the Master of Library Science program, has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Grant for study in Mexico. Natalie will work with the Institute for Library and Information Research at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) to examine the role of archivists in supporting secure open access and preservation of digital resources in Mexico. She will explore how library and information science programs can train future archivists in managing and providing secure and open access to digital information. Upon her return to the U.S., Natalie will pursue a Ph.D. in Library and Information Science, with a focus on international approaches to open information access in the digital age.
Lindsey Benjamin, Spain
Lindsey Benjamin, a senior majoring in psychology and double minoring in Spanish and neuroscience, has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Spain. In addition to teaching, she plans to volunteer with an organization that provides services to adolescents struggling emotionally and socially. During the spring 2014 semester, Lindsey studied in Spain, taking advanced language and culture courses. For two summers she taught writing at a national non-profit for high-potential, underserved students. Upon her return to the U.S., Lindsey will explore master's programs as well as alternative teacher preparation programs for a career as a school counselor or teacher, working with underserved adolescent student populations in urban areas.
Laura Brady, Germany
Laura Brady, a 2014 graduate with majors in art history and Germanic studies, has been awarded a Fulbright Student Grant to teach English in Germany. In addition to her teaching duties, Laura plans to volunteer at a local art organization to assist with education, public outreach, or translation. She also hopes to organize fieldtrips to art museums and galleries for students who may not otherwise have access to these cultural centers. After returning from her Fulbright grant period in Germany, Laura plans to enter a graduate program with the ultimate goal of becoming a German language teacher.
Emily Cheung, Taiwan
Emily Cheung, a senior majoring in Chinese and psychology, has been awarded a Fulbright Assistantship to Taiwan. While teaching English in Taiwan she plans to become involved in the local musical community music by singing in choirs, and to study traditional Taiwanese folk songs as a way to better understand Taiwanese culture. After completing her Fulbright year, Emily plans to pursue a master’s degree in education or Child Development, with a focus on language development. She hopes to work with children professionally, as a mentor or teacher, developing and implementing programs to assist language learning.
Julia Connell, Turkey
Julia Connell, a 2014 graduate with a major in government and politics and a minor in global terrorism, has been awarded a Fulbright Student Grant to teach English in Turkey. In addition to her teaching duties, Julia plans to volunteer in Turkey with the Educational Volunteers Foundation of Turkey, which supports children's education and personal growth outside the classroom. Upon her return to the U.S., Julia will pursue a position with a development organization with a strong focus on education as well as work toward a master’s degree in international development. Ultimately she hopes to work abroad to help develop higher education programs and increase community engagement with education, particularly for women.
Amanda Hemmer, Denmark
Amanda Hemmer, a master’s student in the Department of Health Services Administration, has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Grant for study in Denmark. The focus of Amanda’s research will be to examine how hospitals use a mixture of several payment mechanisms to contain costs and safeguard quality patient care, and how these payment methods have affected the Danish health care system. She hopes that her research may provide insight for best practices and for other nations undergoing reform. Upon her return to the U.S., Amanda plans to publish the results of her research. She hopes to start working in health care administration or enter a Ph.D. program in Health Policy and Health Services Research.
Brittany Lashley, Taiwan
Brittany Lashley, a senior majoring in Chinese language and literature, has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Taiwan. At UMD, Brittany has been active as a peer mentor in the Education Abroad office, and as a participant in two alternative spring break programs with educational themes. She was the recipient of a Freeman-Asia Scholarship for study in China in 2012-2013. While in Taiwan, Brittany plans to build on her background working with a performing arts camp for the youth by volunteering in school-based theatrical productions. She also plans to use theatrical skits to help students gain and practice English language skills. Her goal is to help develop media-based language learning tools for a global educational services company.
Adam Lax, China
Adam Lax, a master’s student in the Department of Counseling, Higher Education and Special Education, has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Grant for study in China. Adam will examine the influence of central government English Language Teaching policy on the local school system in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province in southwestern China. His research is timely; the central government has taken efforts to expand, improve, and standardize English Language Teaching throughout the country. Upon his return to the U.S., Adam will pursue a career in international education policy research with a focus on East Asia.
Brandon Ng, Israel
Brandon Ng, a senior majoring in chemistry and minoring in nanotechnology, has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Grant for study in Israel. In Israel, Brandon will research treatments for multiple myeloma (MM) utilizing nanotechnology. In addition to his research, he plans to coach swimmers with disabilities, building on his coaching experience with Special Olympics. After returning from his Fulbright year abroad, Brandon plans to pursue a Ph.D., working with drug development and delivery. His career goal is to work in the pharmaceutical industry running drug development projects related to cancer therapy.
Scheherazade (Zadie) Oleksiw, India
Scheherazade (Zadie) Oleksiw, a 2011 alumna with a major in environmental science and policy, has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Grant for research in India. In India, Zadie will examine factors that contribute to the proliferation of solar microgrids in India's remote villages in Uttar Pradesh. She will focus on the role of the government's national solar program as well as challenges and barriers faced during the development of solar microgrids. Upon her return to the U.S., Zadie will apply to graduate programs in natural resources and sustainable development. Ultimately she plans to work at a global agency such as the United Nations Environment Program on energy projects that achieve social and economic development.
Sarah Sexton, Germany
Sarah Sexton, a 2014 graduate of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism and a Germanic studies minor, has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Germany. In Germany, Sarah plans to draw from her experience in multiplatform Journalism—skills in video, photography, and other visual tools—to engage students in learning English. Having sung with a university a cappella group for three years, she plans to assist with or start a school choir and help find opportunities for the students to perform. After her Fulbright year Sarah plans a career teaching English in Germany or working on the communications team in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.
Michael Sikorski, Spain
Michael Sikorski, a senior majoring in bioengineering, has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Grant for research in Spain. In Spain, Michael will evaluate the mechanical and structural benefits of new trilayer skin substitutes as compared to their previously constructed bilayer substitutes. He will be advised by Dr. Jose Luis Jorcano and Dr. Marcela Del Rio with the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Group (TERMeG) at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M). After returning from his Fulbright year abroad, Michael plans to attend medical school. With his fluency in Spanish and experiences in translational research, he hopes to serve diverse Spanish-speaking populations as a physician and contribute to international research collaborations as a scientist.