Twenty-seven graduating seniors, recent Yale College alums win Fulbrights

More than two-dozen members of Yale College’s Class of 2024 or recent alumni will spend a year abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.
Collage of portraits of the 2024 Fulbright recipients

Twenty-seven graduating seniors from Yale’s Class of 2024 or recent Yale College alumni were offered Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards for the 2024-2025 academic year from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

In partnership with more than 140 countries worldwide, the program enables graduating college seniors, graduate students, or young professionals to pursue graduate study, research, or teach English abroad. During their grants, Fulbrighters meet, work, live with, and learn from the people of their host country.

Recipients are selected based on academic and professional achievement, as well as their record of service and leadership potential in their respective fields. 

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is administered at Yale College through the Office of Fellowship Programs in the Center for International and Professional Experience. Yale has long been a top producer of U.S. student Fulbright awardees, with more than 80 Yale students or alumni winning the prestigious honor in the past four years alone.

Information about this year’s Fulbright recipients follows:

Julia Wang, Fulbright Spain and American Space Valencia Teaching Assistantship

Julia Wang ’24, who is from southern California, majored in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology on the pre-medicine track at Yale College, with an intensive certificate in education studies. On campus, she was involved with Splash at Yale, Camp Kesem, and the Yale Symphony Orchestra.

Maya Albold, Fulbright Mongolia English Teaching Assistantship

Maya Albold ’24, who is from St. Augustine, Florida, majored in history (politics, law, and government) and East Asian studies. At Yale, she served on the board of the Yale International Relations Association, volunteered through the Migration Alliance at Yale, and directed the East Asian Studies Student Advisory Council. Last year, she studied human rights in Nepal, Jordan, and Chile, and then interned at the Department of State in the Human Rights Bureau’s East Asia Office. She looks to apply the lessons learned during her time at Yale in Mongolia next fall as a Fulbright ETA.

Eric Linh, Fulbright Taiwan English Teaching Assistantship

Eric Linh ’23, ’24 M.P.H., who is from Philadelphia, graduated from Yale College last year with a Bachelor of Science in biomedical engineering and a language certificate in Chinese. He recently finished a Master of Public Health in health policy through the accelerated 5-year program. He will serve as an English teaching assistant in Taiwan during the upcoming academic year.

John Nguyen, Fulbright Vietnam English Teaching Assistantship

John Nguyen ’24, who is from Saint Paul, Minnesota, graduated with a B.A. in English, with a concentration in nonfiction writing. He will travel to Vietnam next year on an English Teaching Assistantship. He’s been recognized by the Frederick Mortimer Clapp Fellowship, the National YoungArts Foundation, and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, and represented Yale in the Connecticut Poetry Circuit.

Chase Daneker, Fulbright-Garcia Robles Grant, Binational Business Program

Chase Daneker ‘24, from Bethesda, Maryland, majored in global affairs with an advanced language certificate in Spanish. At Yale, he received the Thomas C. Barry Travel Fellowship, which supported his independent research on collective memory formation following the Peruvian internal conflict from 1980 to 2000, and the O’Leary Cepeda and Leitner International Fellowships, which supported his work for CEDRO, a Peruvian NGO implementing alternative development projects in the Amazon. Next year, he will participate in the Fulbright Binational Business Program in Mexico.

Francesca Nyakora, Fulbright Brazil Research Grant

Francesca Nyakora ‘23 studied political science and African studies at Yale while also receiving certificates in French and Human Rights. She also served as the president of the inaugural Yale Model African Union, on the board of the Yale International Relations Association, and as a Kerry Fellow. She also interned at the Department of State and the United Nations Development Program. Since graduating, Nyakora has worked at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace as a junior fellow. Upon completion of her junior fellowship, she will begin her Fulbright in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Ravi Balasubramanian, Fulbright France Research Grant

Ravi Nicholas Balasubramanian ’24, won a Fulbright Fellowship Independent Research/Study Award to France, where he will work at the Institut Curie in Paris, researching the biological principles and mechanisms of developmental synchrony, with the goal of understanding how cells in an organism coordinate their growth and divisions. At the same time, he will be pursuing the Integrated Masters in the Life Sciences (IMaLiS) degree at the École Normale Supérieure. At Yale, he double majored in molecular, cellular, developmental biology (MCDB), with a focus in quantitative biology; and comparative literature, in the literature and comparative cultures track, with a focus in Spanish.

John Klein, Fulbright Taiwan English Teaching Assistantship

John Klein ’24, who is originally from Fairfax, Virginia, studied history at Yale on the Empires and Colonialism track. At Yale, he was a peer mentor for the Department of History, a research assistant at the Yale Institution for Society and Policy Studies, and a member of the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps. He also competed for the Model United Nations Team at Yale (MUNTY) and was a member of the Yale International Relations Association. Next year he will travel to Taiwan as an English Teaching Assistant through the Fulbright program.

Emily Lau, Fulbright New Zealand Study Grant in Indigenous Studies

Emily Lau ’24, who is originally from Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, but has lived in Maine for several years, studied math and computer science at Yale. She was also a member of the Yale Glee Club and the women's club basketball team and has been a peer tutor for various math classes for four years. This summer she will return to Hawaiʻi to learn more about loko iʻa and food sovereignty in Pacific islands and will then travel to Aotearoa New Zealand next January on a study/research Fulbright for a Masters in Indigenous Studies.

Sean Piñón, Fulbright Switzerland Research Grant

Sean Piñón ’24, who is from Albuquerque, New Mexico, aspires to pursue both neurological research and medicine. At Yale he conducted biochemical and intravital neuroimaging experiments for a research project concerned with the development of novel cell-type specific pharmacotherapies for the potential treatment of chronic neuroinflammation in neurodegenerative disease within the Grutzendler Lab. He received a Study/Research Award to conduct a study on vascular remodeling post microstroke in a glial-vascular neurobiology lab at the University of Zurich in Zurich, Switzerland.

Alexander Goldberg, Fulbright Italy Research Grant

Alexander Franco Goldberg ’22, ’23 M.M., who graduated from Yale College with a B.A. in philosophy, is a violinist who “ties music to larger aesthetic and literary concerns that illuminate his performances.” Goldberg, who is interested in linking musical performances with literature, poetry, and art, is currently studying with Salvatore Accardo in Cremona at the Stauffer Center for Strings. At Yale, he also completed a masters in violin at the Yale School of Music, where he was the first and then-only student admitted to the new B.A./M.M. dual-degree program. He was also awarded the Head of College Cup for “outstanding scholarly achievement and creative promise,” and the Selden Award for “verve, idealism and constructive interest in music and the humanities.”

Melina Joseph, Fulbright Kyrgyzstan English Teaching Assistantship

Melina Joseph ’24 studied comparative literature and psychology with a certificate in translation studies. On campus, she served as a fellow with Dwight Hall, was a peer liaison with the Yale Chaplain’s Office, and co-president of Bridges ESL (English as a Second Language), a nonprofit sponsored by Dwight Hall and the Asian American Cultural Center. She served as an undergraduate fellow in European Studies as well as Latin American & Iberian Studies at the Yale MacMillan Center. She has also completed research assistantships at the Yale School of Medicine and Yale Law School, and has served on the boards of the Yale International Relations Association and the Yale Undergraduate Legal Aid Association. 

Lisbette Acosta, Fulbright Spain English Teaching Assistantship

Lisbette Acosta ’24 studied psychology, education, and pre-medicine studies at Yale College. Originally from La Vega, Dominican Republic, and currently based in New Haven, she bridges the two locations with her research centered on improving the health outcomes of Eastern Caribbean adults. Her teaching experience ranges from local to international. On campus, Acosta served as an instructor for the Yale Young Global Scholars Solving Global Challenges Track and an Organic Chemistry Course-Based Peer Tutor for the Department of Chemistry. She was also involved with Matriculate as a head advising fellow, outreach coordinator, and curriculum creator, guiding hundreds of low-income high school students through the college application process nationally and on Yale's campus. She also served as an academic strategies peer mentor for the Yale Prison Education Initiative, tutoring incarcerated students in math, chemistry, and English.

Sai Rayala, Fulbright India Research Grant

Sai Rayala ’24, who is from Powell, Ohio, studied history at Yale and received a certificate in human rights from Yale Law School. Her research interests include South Asian environmental history, forced migration, and international human rights law. At Yale, she served as the project leader for the Lowenstein Human Rights Program's Crimes Against Humanity Project, city editor of the Yale Daily News, and online managing editor of the Yale Review of International Studies. With the Fulbright Research Grant she will spend next year in Delhi, India, studying how dams have shaped India’s developmental path in the post-independence period.

Benjamin Everett-Lane, Fulbright Taiwan English Teaching Assistantship

Ben Everett-Lane ’24 graduated from Yale with a degree in environmental studies on the Climate & Energy track with certificates in Chinese and data science. His interests center around climate change communication, particularly at the international level. He received an English Teaching Assistant Award for Taiwan.

Steven Lewis, Fulbright South Africa Research Grant

Steven Lewis ‘18, who was born and raised in New York and currently lives in Brooklyn, is an M.D.-Ph.D. student in the Medical Scientist Training Program at Stony Brook University studying breast cancer epigenetics and the tumor microenvironment at Cold Spring Harbor Lab. His fellowship project will focus on analysis of genomic sequences of children with cancer and healthy controls in South Africa.

Em Tchorz, Fulbright Uzbekistan English Teaching Assistantship

Em Tchorz ’23, who studied neuroscience at Yale, was also a four-year varsity sailor and a member of the Polish Society. Since graduation she has been working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and plans to continue working in the public sector after her grant period. 

Nicholas Wade, Fulbright-Garcia Robles Grant, Binational Business Program

Nicholas Wade ’21, who is originally from outside of Cincinnati, Ohio, received his bachelor’s degree in political science and Middle Eastern studies at Yale, while also earning a certificate in the Arabic language. Previously he had travelled extensively to the Middle East via the Critical Language Scholarship. He worked at Goldman Sachs in investment banking, specifically in the infrastructure and structured finance team. He currently works in the investment office at the Andrew Mellon Foundation, focused on real estate, private equity, and public equities. 

Daniela Naumov, Fulbright Mexico English Teaching Assistantship

Daniela Naumov ‘24, who is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, majored in neuroscience on the pre-med track at Yale. The daughter of immigrants from Serbia and Macedonia, she is dedicated to supporting immigrant communities through accessible and equitable healthcare initiatives. A former co-director of patient services at the HAVEN Free Clinic and of student programming at Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services (IRIS), a New Haven-based nonprofit, she works to increase access to comprehensive health services among New Haven community members.

Eli Kennard, Fulbright Algeria English Teaching Assistantship

Eli Kennard ’24 majored in computer science and psychology. In his senior thesis he explored game-based disinformation interventions. His passion for understanding how people learn has inspired him to teach community and consent courses as well as lead backpacking trips for young adults in transitional periods of their lives. A throughline in his educational journey has been the use of language to explore new places and connect with new people; At Yale he took courses in Arabic, Italian, and Swahili. He will teach English in Algeria next year.

Mariela Barrales, Fulbright Mexico English Teaching Assistantship

Mariela Barrales ’24, who is from East Los Angeles, was a double major in political science and Spanish. Her first-generation, low-income background inspired much of her work at Yale, which largely centered on higher education accessibility. She worked as a Dwight Hall Community Response Fellow and interned with The Perfect Blend, an education nonprofit in New Haven. She has also served as an admissions fellow with College Match LA, coaching high school juniors through the college application process. With the Fulbright grant, she plans to take a year to work as an English Teaching Assistant in Mexico.

Scott Hicks, Fulbright Istanbul Study Grant

Scott Hicks '18 will be in Istanbul, pursuing a master's degree from the Atatürk Institute for Modern Turkish History at Boğaziçi University. He will be researching the recently discovered diaries of Eveline Thomson Scott, an English-American woman who was born in Istanbul and lived in the city until her passing in 1976. For the past four years, Scott has been traveling while working as an essay coach.

Ben Kramer, Fulbright Sweden Study Grant

Ben Karmer ’24, who is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, double majored in music and linguistics at Yale while also pursuing a joint master's degree in linguistics. His research interests lie in phonetics, laboratory phonology, and sociolinguistics. At Yale, he was a member of the Yale Phonetics Laboratory and the Yale Undergraduate Linguistics Society, and he was the winner of the Abraham Beekman Cox Prize for Music Composition. For his senior project in musical theater composition he wrote a musical about the AIDS epidemic, and previously served as musical director of the Yale Whiffenpoofs and sang with the Yale Spizzwinks, Redhot & Blue of Yale, and the Yale Glee Club.

Fiona O’Brien, Fulbright France Study Award

Fiona O’Brien ’22 graduated from Yale summa cum laude with a B.S. in environmental engineering and a certificate in French. While at Yale, she participated in the Global Health Studies program, supported several volunteer organizations, including Engineers Without Borders and Community Health Educators, and went on many long runs and bike rides in New Haven. She currently works in climate and sustainability consulting in New York. As the recipient of a Fulbright France Award, she will pursue her Master of Science and Technology in Smart Cities and Climate Policy at École Polytechnique.  

Sandhya Kumar, Fulbright India Study Grant

Sandhya Kumar ‘23 continued her studies at Yale as a Master of Public Health student in Health Policy with a concentration in Global Health at the Yale School of Public Health. Originally from Rochester, Minnesota, she is in the accelerated 5-year BA/MPH program and received her bachelor’s degree in global affairs and global health from Yale College. On campus, she volunteered with the Neighborhood Health Project in New Haven, led a summer high school program with the Yale International Relations Association, danced with the Yale Rangeela Bollywood fusion dance team, and was co-president of the South Asian Society. She will continue exploring topics in global health in Mumbai during her Fulbright year. 

Renee Deminne, Fulbright Armenia English Teaching Assistantship

Renee Deminne ’24, who is originally from Charles County, Maryland, recently completed a degree in Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies. At Yale her interests have been in film, transnational culture, and education. She has worked in the Poorvu Center as a Pedagogical Partner and with Dwight Hall as a public school intern. Previously, she received scholarships for study in Moldova, Armenia, and Poland. This fall she will begin an English Teaching Assistantship in Armenia.

William Salaverry, Fulbright Open Study/Research award in Guatemala

William Salaverry ’24, who graduated this year with a B.A. in Latin American Studies, will complete the Fulbright Open Study/Research award in Guatemala.

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