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16 Earn Fulbright Awards

This year's Boston College Fulbright Award Winners (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

By Office of News & Public Affairs |

Published: May 24, 2012

Sixteen new and recent Boston College graduates have earned prestigious Fulbright awards, which support a year’s post-baccalaureate study abroad.

In addition to the 16 confirmed Fulbright winners, two graduating seniors were named as alternates, and at press time were awaiting confirmation of funding for their projects. [A third senior also was named an alternate but did not receive funding.]

The 2012 Fulbright winners will travel to countries such as Tajikistan, Germany, Jordan, South Korea, India and Colombia. Some will serve as English teaching assistants, while others will undertake projects that include studying the role of women in Tajik government and NGOs, Jordanian media reporting on Middle East issues, and the impact of an AIDS/HIV initiative in India.

Brooke Braswell
HOMETOWN: Tampa, Fla.
PROJECT: Research the correlation between the greater numbers of women in Tajik governmental roles and the successes of Tajik women’s NGOs.
PLANS: Pursue a master’s degree in public administration with a focus on non-governmental organization management, followed by a career in international research, especially in the Middle East and Central Asia.
"I could not imagine a better beginning to my post-grad life than doing research on a Fulbright. Much of my time at BC was spent in the Middle East on different research and study abroad trips. I've learned so much from those experiences that I feel prepared, or at least as much as I can be, to expand my focus into Central Asia. I'm ready for the adventure."

Sabrina Caldwell
PROJECT: English teaching assistantship.
PLANS: Long-term goal is to work for an international NGO.
“I'm really excited about doing the Fulbright year because I feel that it basically sums up my studies at BC. What better way to put to use my International Studies and German majors, than with a Fulbright award teaching in Germany?”

Kristin Canfield  
HOMETOWN: Oklahoma City
PROJECT: English teaching assistantship.
PLANS: To pursue a doctorate in English or American Studies.
“I am very grateful for the opportunity to spend a year in Poland as a Fulbright scholar. I decided to apply to the Fulbright program because I was looking for a fulfilling way to spend a year post-grad and since I am considering going to graduate school in English and becoming a professor, the opportunity to teach at a university level is very appealing to me. What's more, I am very excited to live in Central Europe, which has undergone a lot of change since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Finally, I hope to improve my Polish language skills.”

Lindsay Eimert (Class of 2011)
HOMETOWN: Boxford, Mass.
PROJECT: English teaching assistantship.
PLANS: Pursue an MFA, strive to build career as a published author.  
“Receiving a Fulbright grant was a wonderful shock. Being a relatively introverted and shy person, this Fulbright year will provide me with another chance to take a daring leap and broaden my personal and intellectual horizons, much as my years at BC did. Furthermore, I'll get the chance to hopefully inspire a love of language in young students just as my teachers and professors did for me.”

Ryan M. Folio
HOMETOWN: Allentown, Pa.
PROJECT: Investigate factors accounting for diversity in Jordanian reporting of other countries in the region, through translation of Jordanian news sources, interviews with industry experts and an internship at The Jordan Times.
PLANS: Graduate studies in Middle East Studies and Arabic; work internationally in public or private sector.
“Boston College's excellent professors and grant opportunities helped me to establish a research interest in Middle Eastern media during my sophomore year.  I am happy that I will have the opportunity to work in the field as a Fulbright scholar.”

James Hurlbert
HOMETOWN: North Hampton, NH
PROJECT: English teaching assistantship, and an additional research project on the integration of East and West Germany.
PLANS: Graduate school.
“I think doing a Fulbright will be a good chance to take some time away from school while doing something useful.”

Sarah Joo
PROJECT: English teaching assistantship.
PLANS: Attend medical school and ultimately work in a medically underserved area.
“I am very excited to spend a year in Korea building relationships with and teaching students. The Fulbright is a rare and perfect opportunity to immerse myself in a different culture, one that is in my blood, and bring to life my passions as an International Studies major. Teaching will help me become a better physician, better able to communicate with patients, and living in Korea will prepare me to work in Korea or another country in the future.”

Ana T. Lopez
HOMETOWN: Omaha, Neb.
PROJECT: English teaching assistantship.
PLANS: Pursue graduate studies in conflict resolution.
"My experience at Boston College as an English major and editor for The Heights will serve as a strong foundation for my work in Cyprus teaching English and establishing a journalism program for my students.  The experience of immersing myself in Cypriot culture while exchanging my own will be mutually beneficial and undoubtedly shape the perspective I bring to my future academic and professional endeavors."

Jacqueline Mabatah (Class of 2011)
PROJECT: Study the role and effect of the Gates Foundation’s Avahan-India AIDS Initiative in implementing an HIV Prevention Model and fostering community-based responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in high-risk populations in the city of Mumbai.
PLANS: To pursue a dual degree in law and international public health.
“For me, studying the successes of the Avahan-India AIDS Initiative will be an invaluable experience that will build upon the foundation that I have established through my coursework at BC and international service and research. More importantly, participating in the Fulbright program represents an opportunity for personal growth, and hopefully, a chance to develop meaningful relationships with the people and communities that I will work with.”

Gregory D. Manne
HOMETOWN: Weston, Fla.
PROJECT: English teaching assistantship.
PLANS: Attend graduate school with the aim of becoming a teacher.
“The Fulbright will enable me to experience the Spanish educational system, to see the impact of the my training in LSOE on international students, and to return to the United States with new ideas and a greater enthusiasm to share with our educational community.”

Matthew P. Richey

HOMETOWN: East Aurora, NY
PROJECT: Conduct research at Tel Aviv University and write an academic paper analyzing the impact prophetic text creation and destruction had in Judah during the Iron Age.
PLANS: Continue doctoral studies in Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East at the University of Chicago.
“I will benefit immensely from immersion in Israeli culture, especially the opportunity to take classes in Modern Hebrew. A knowledge of Modern Hebrew is becoming increasingly crucial for Western academics looking to stay on the cutting edge of the field.”

Katherine A. Ruddy

PROJECT: English teaching assistantship.
PLANS: Professional work for a couple of years followed by more studies in international relations or business.
“During my time as an English teaching assistant in Germany next year, I hope to continue learning about the German culture and language, and also to help students there learn as much English as they can. I also plan to travel often and make the most of this amazing opportunity.”

David J. Tapia (Class of 2011)

HOMETOWN: North Andover, Mass.
PROJECT: English teaching assistantship.
PLANS: Work in the field of diplomacy before pursuing studies in energy law and policy.
“By the program’s conclusion, besides perfecting my German and teaching skills, I want my students to feel a closer connection to the United States and express an enhanced confidence in their English comprehension and pronunciation."

Ellen Willemin (Class of 2011)

HOMETOWN: Arlington, Mass.
PROJECT: Teach English in Colombia and develop her skills to enhance a career in education, focusing on multiculturalism in the educational environment.
PLANS: Graduate school in education.
“The Fulbright is very significant for me because it will allow me to travel and to indulge my fascination with Colombian culture while simultaneously learning to teach. I have always imagined myself going into education, so this year will be an important formative step in my career path. While at BC, I worked as an undergraduate research assistant for two years on a Jewish Studies project, and I also look forward to continuing to delve into this area of study by way of my side project in Colombian Jewish Studies.”

Dorine Yang  

HOMETOWN: Woodbury, NY
PROJECT: Teach English language learners.
PLANS: Graduate school in education.
“Having the Fulbright allows me learn about an amazing new culture as well as gain valuable teaching experience.  I also hope to learn about another country's education system since I will be working in this field.  At BC I was an elementary education major and I knew that I wanted to teach.  After going to Australia through BC's year-abroad program and having the unique opportunity to teach while I was there, I realized how rewarding it can be in terms of academics and career. It was a way for me to learn more about other cultures and work with people and learn from others in the field.”

Zachary Zimmermann
HOMETOWN: Grand Rapids, Mich.
PROJECT: English teaching assistantship.
PLANS: Work as a teacher for English language learners.
"I am honored to receive the opportunity to teach English in South Africa and to represent the Fulbright program. The fellowship will enable me to carry out Boston College's Jesuit tradition of being a man for others."


Claire Kairys
HOMETOWN: Allison Park, Pa.
PROJECT: Combining an internship with study at Universidad San Francisco de Quito to analyze El Bono de Desarrollo Humano, a conditional cash transfer program with both the financial funding and federal support necessary to achieve significant poverty reduction.  
PLANS: Enter a master’s degree program in international human development.
"While in Ecuador, I hope to improve my Spanish language proficiency and contribute to international development efforts in Latin America. I credit my study abroad and academic experiences at Boston College with kindling this desire."

Ashley Schneider
HOMETOWN: Moorestown, NJ
PROJECT: In addition to English teaching assistantship, preserve Ukrainian churches to help guard pieces of uniquely Urkainian culture.
PLANS: Doctorate in English language and literature, with a focus in American literature, teaching position in a college or university.