Yale alumni foster international partnerships as Fulbright Scholars

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Three recipients of Fulbright Program awards for 2014-2015 are alumni from the Yale College Class of 2014: Luming Chen, Jenna Cook, and McKenna Keyes. The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

“In addition to taking challenging coursework at Yale, these alumni actively and purposely engaged in study abroad, internships, summer courses, and fellowship programs that led directly to successful Fulbright experiences,” says Kelly McLaughlin, deputy director of the Center for International and Professional Experience and adviser for the Fulbright Program for Yale College. “They built upon their experiences during their four years at Yale, leading to Fulbright projects that have a high likelihood of fostering mutual understanding between U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries around the world. Thanks to that dedication and critical reflection, combined with tremendous support from the Fulbright Program, these alumnae are bound to make positive impacts on many lives while lending a deepened sense of purpose to their own.”

Luming Chen

As the recipient of a Fulbright Study/Research Grant, Chen will seek to find novel anti-inflammatory compounds produced by the symbiotic fungi of rainforest plants at the Sarawak Biodiversity Center in Malaysia. Her research, inspired by the Rainforest Expedition and Lab course at Yale, could lead to the development of new drugs to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Chen previously studied abroad in Cambridge, United Kingdom, and interned in Munich, Germany.

Jenna Cook

Cook was awarded the Fulbright Study/Research Grant. She has received multiple funding awards for an internship, thesis research, and language study, including the Richter Fellowship, Yale Public Service Fellowship, and Richard U. Light Fellowship.

McKenna Keyes

Keyes was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship grant, combining her passions for international education and Spanish history and culture. She will serve as a teaching assistant in English classes at a bilingual school in Spain and will be involved in the school’s Global Classrooms Model United Nations. While at Yale she studied abroad in Spain, received a Yale Alumni Community Service Fellowship, and took a Yale Summer Session course in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

The Fulbright Program, established in 1946 under legislation introduced by late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, is designed to increase mutual understanding between citizens of the United States and other countries. Approximately 325,400 “Fulbrighters” — 122,800 from the United States and 202,600 from other countries — have participated in the program since its inception. The Fulbright Program awards approximately 8,000 grants annually and operates in over 155 countries worldwide.

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Media Contact

Bess Connolly: elizabeth.connolly@yale.edu, 203-432-1324