Recent Yale alumni promote international cultural exchange with Fulbright awards

The Yale College Class of 2015 boasts 13 recipients of Fulbright Program awards. 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.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs for an academic year. The program is designed to facilitate cultural exchange through direct interaction on an individual basis in the classroom, field, and home, and in routine tasks, allowing the grantee to gain an appreciation of others’ culture. Through engagement in the community, the individuals will interact with their hosts on a one-to-one basis, thereby promoting mutual understanding.

Yale has consistently been ranked as one of the top-producing institutions of U.S. Fulbright students, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Fulbright Grants for English Teaching Assistantships (ETA) place Fulbright scholars in classrooms to provide assistance to the local English teachers. ETAs help teach English language while serving as cultural ambassadors for the United States. 

Recipients of 2015-2016 Fulbright ETAs, their majors, and the countries where they will teach are: Emily Efland, history, Russia; Margaret Claire Kandel, linguistics, Malaysia; Lincoln Howard Mitchell, political science and African -American studies, Colombia; and Ashley Renee Schwarzer, ecology and evolutionary biology, Spain.

Recipients of Fulbright Grants for Study/Research design their own projects and work with advisers at foreign universities or other institutes of higher education.

The 2015-2016 awardees, their majors, and their research projects are:

  • Cynthia Xin Chan, molecular, cellular, and developmental biology: occupational cancer in China
  • Joshua Christian Cofsky, molecular biophysics and biochemistry: isolate and characterize novel fluorescent proteins from fish inhabiting the reefs of the Red Sea in Israel
  • Kenneth Suranga Gunasekera, molecular biophysics and biochemistry: public health research in Sri Lanka
  • James Arthur Knight, molecular, cellular, and developmental biology: biological research in Spain
  • Chelsea Jordan Messinger, history of science and medicine and public health: antenatal care in Malaysia
  • Samara Olguin Amaris, religious studies: the Tibetan medical study of psychopathology in Tibet molecular biophysics & biochemistry
  • Maria de Lourdes Ortiz, sociology: sociological research in El Salvador
  • Elena Kim Perry, ecology and evolutionary biology: biological research in New Zealand
  • Sonya Prasad, political science,:child nutrition in Bangladesh

The FulbrightU.S. Student Program is the largest U.S. exchange program offering opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide. The program currently awards approximately 1,900 grants annually in all fields of study, and operates in more than 140 countries worldwide.

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