Athens, Ga. – Seventeen University of Georgia students were offered international travel-study grants from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program for the 2012-2013 academic year. Fourteen of these accepted the scholarships. This exceeds UGA’s previous record of 11 Fulbright offers in each of the previous two years.
Recipients of the U.S. Student Full Grants, which cover research, study and creative opportunities, include three students who earned undergraduate degrees: fall 2011 graduate Andrew Arnold of LaGrange; spring 2006 graduate Linnea West of Athens; and spring 2012 graduate David Zweig of Fayetteville, Ark. Four current doctoral students also received Full Grants: Rebeca de Jesús-Crespo of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico; Genevieve Holdridge of Mahopac, N.Y.; Oksana Lutsyshyna of Tampa, Fla.; and Ann MacFadyen of Philadelphia, Pa.
The English Teaching Assistantship Grants, which place recipients in K-12 schools and universities to serve as language-learning assistants, were given to one master’s student, Louise Goodman of Tampa, Fla., and six students who recently earned undergraduate degrees at UGA: fall 2011 graduate Isha Ghodke of Norcross; spring 2011 graduate David Gutierrez of Cumming; spring 2012 graduate Alex Knoblock of Columbus, Ohio; spring 2012 graduate Morgann Lyles of Roswell; fall 2010 graduate Kimberly Moxley of Lawrenceville; and spring 2009 graduate Thomas Stewart of Bethlehem.
For the past 66 years, the Fulbright Program has provided students, scholars and professionals an opportunity to pursue advanced research projects, graduate study and teaching assistantships worldwide. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright Program is the largest U.S. international exchange program. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards approximately 1,700 grants annually to U.S. undergraduate and graduate students.
“The record number of UGA Fulbright grants awarded again this year demonstrates the continued commitment of our students, faculty and staff to international education,” said Maria de Rocher, campus Fulbright U.S. Student Program adviser and program coordinator in the Honors Program. “It has been a great pleasure to get to know these students, each representing such different academic interests and backgrounds, but all of whom are clearly devoted to serving as cultural ambassadors and deepening our understanding of the wider world.”
Arnold, who graduated from UGA with bachelor’s degrees in international affairs and Japanese, will work on a documentary about environmental activism among Buddhist nuns in South Korea. While at UGA, Arnold worked closely with professors Hyangsoon Yi and Han Park to develop a research plan and in-country contacts. After the Fulbright, he hopes to pursue a career in documentary filmmaking.
West, who graduated from UGA with a bachelor’s degree in English, will research art and architectural history at the Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art in Budapest, Hungary. Her focus will be national identity among contemporary Hungarian artists, which she hopes to document through the creation of an accessible online resource. West has accumulated experience writing about art, first as a communications intern at the Georgia Museum of Art and most recently as a freelance writer in New York City.
Zweig, who graduated from UGA with bachelor’s degrees in English and environmental chemistry, will spend his Fulbright year in New Zealand studying nitrogen management in groundwater. The research examines methods to manage nutrient-containing runoffs economically and thereby minimize negative effects on the environment and health outcomes. After his Fulbright year, Zweig will study engineering with plans to open his own business focused on solving problems associated with agriculture and the environment.
De Jesús-Crespo, a doctoral candidate in ecology, will travel to Costa Rica to research sustainable practices for coffee farming. In collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance, she will investigate the role of shade tree density in the protection of stream bio-integrity in Costa Rican coffee farms. The findings will be compared to those of her separate study of similar ecosystems for cocoa farms in Ghana. Jesús-Crespo sees the research as vital to the development of sustainable land-use management criteria and the refinement of stream-monitoring tools.
Lutsyshyna, a doctoral candidate in comparative literature, will conduct dissertation research in Krakow, Poland on the author and painter Bruno Schulz. She is seeking to overturn some conventional opinions about Schulz and to increase Schulz’s influence outside of Europe. A native of Ukraine, Lutsyshyna is a published writer and has received numerous awards for her collections of poems and short stories.
Holdridge, a doctoral candidate in geography, will travel to Mexico, her second trip to the country, to continue her dissertation research on the geomorphology of the Late Quaternary Period within the state of Oaxaca. Holdridge will observe and record the effects of long-term deforestation on agriculture, as well as examine the more recent conservation efforts to combat erosion and gullying. She plans to work with local scientists and community officials to aid in their efforts to revitalize the degraded landscape.
MacFayden, a doctoral candidate in anthropology, will travel to Vietnam, her third trip to the country, to continue her dissertation research on how conservation interventions affect forest resource use. MacFayden will specifically investigate the relationship between gendered livelihoods of smallholders living in upland Vietnam and land-use changes introduced through conservation interventions. The work will contribute to understanding how major conservation initiatives carried out on a regional scale intersect with local livelihoods.
Ghodke, who graduated from UGA with bachelor’s degrees in public relations and German, will serve as an English teaching assistant for 3rd-6th grade students in Germany. While at UGA, she was active in the undergraduate Mock Trial Team and the campus chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. After her Fulbright year, she will enroll at New York University to study law.
Goodman, who received a master’s degree from UGA in Spanish and Portuguese literature, will teach English at a teacher’s college in Brazil. In her free time, she plans to start a children’s theater group in the local community, putting on American plays to help facilitate a dialogue about the two cultures and to provide children an opportunity to practice their English. Upon her return to the U.S., Goodman will pursue a career teaching Spanish and Portuguese at the secondary or college level.
Gutierrez, who graduated from UGA with bachelor’s degrees in international affairs, Spanish, and Latin American and Caribbean Studies, will teach English to university students in Mexico City. He also will engage in a side research project on Mexico’s shift to a more pluralistic system of government. After the Fulbright, Gutierrez will pursue a master’s in public policy at the University of California at Berkeley, where he will focus on economic development in Latin America, international migration and access to education for minorities in the U.S.
Knoblock, who graduated from UGA with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a minor in Portuguese, also will teach English at a teacher’s college in Brazil. Before the grant begins in February 2013, Knoblock will focus his teaching skills in Chile, where he will teach English to middle and high school students through the English Open Doors program. He plans on a career focused on Brazil and South America, either as a teacher or through some type of position in diplomacy.
Lyles, who graduated from UGA with bachelor’s degrees in French and African-American studies, will serve as an assistant teacher in a school near Paris, France. The school serves a large immigrant community, mostly from North and West Africa, which is of particular interest to Lyles, who has studied former French colonies and the cultures of French-speaking people of color. She looks forward to perfecting her conversational French and clarifying her future goals, which may include pursuing a doctoral degree in French.
Moxley, who graduated from UGA with bachelor’s degrees in linguistics and Spanish, will serve as an assistant teacher in a secondary school in Madrid, Spain. In addition to her core teaching duties, she also will research how the different autonomous regions of Spain are implementing bilingual education programs. Following her Fulbright year, Moxley will enter a master’s program in comparative education, education policy and/or language policy.
Stewart, who graduated from UGA with bachelor’s degrees in public relations and English, will teach English to secondary students in the Slovak Republic city of Banksa Bystrica. He spent the past three years teaching at a rural middle school on the big island of Hawaii through Teach for America. He plans to learn about the Slovak Republic’s educational system and then return home with a unique perspective on the system in the U.S.