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BC Fellowships Span Globe and Range of Disciplines

Front row (L-R): Christina Pump, Alexis Tercero, Lauren Rever and Alyssa Ellard. Back row (L-R): Andrew Gier, Alison Wawrzynek, Kimberly Crowley, Brian Chung, Lauren Audi and Anthony Kuzma. (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

By Office of News & Public Affairs |

Published: May 22, 2014

Boston College students and alumni have earned impressive fellowships for the 2014-15 academic year, including Fulbrights, a Boren Scholarship, a Congressional Policy Fellowship and a Goldwater.

BC continues to be one of America’s top producers of Fulbrights – which support a year’s post-baccalaureate study abroad – with nine confirmed at press time; three other students were chosen as alternates, pending confirmation of funding for their projects.

In addition, two students were selected for Teaching Assistantship Program in France (TAPIF) fellowships, a sister program to the Fulbright administered by the French Ministry of Education.

A look at Fulbright and TAPIF winners, and Fulbright alternates:

Lauren Audi

Ballston Spa, NY
PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship
FUTURE PLANS: Work with indigenous groups on issues of literacy and conservation; graduate study.
QUOTE: “I feel very lucky to be given the opportunity to complete a Fulbright teaching assistantship in Ecuador. I look forward to immersing myself in a culture that is so rich with compassion, humanity, and color. As an English student at Boston College I have learned just how powerful a tool language is in our society. While in Ecuador, I hope to teach English through a critical lens with the aim of making language about understanding rather than control.”

Tiixa Chukwuezi ’09

PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship
FUTURE PLANS: Continue working with East Asian youth, pursue a master’s degree in international relations with a focus on East Asia.
QUOTE: “Through my service work at Boston College in places like Mississippi and Uganda, I discovered the world is a classroom. Working with Hurricane Katrina victims and the children of Uganda taught me the uniqueness of each country’s challenges and culture. I am pursuing an ETA in Taiwan to explore its potential cultural similarities to my Cape Verdean and Native American heritages. The unique beliefs, traditions and ceremonies – like the Harvest Festival of Taiwan’s Aborigine population – have similarities to my own Native American heritage 7,124 miles away.”

Andrew Gier
Barrington, Ill.
PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship
FUTURE PLANS: Enroll in a PhD program to study early modern European economic history with a goal to become a professor of history.
QUOTE: “More than anything, I would say that the Fulbright program gives me the opportunity to give back to a country that has given me so much during my time at BC. As someone who majored in economics, history, and German, I really believe that the Fulbright grant will give me the opportunity to combine the wide range of things I have learned in the classroom to create a truly interdisciplinary experience for my students.”

Anthony Kuzma
PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship; conduct research on the current crisis in Ukraine and its effect on Bulgaria.
FUTURE PLANS: Hopes to get involved with an international organization like the United Nations to make use of his experience; continue teaching and attend graduate school.
QUOTE: “To have the opportunity to go to Bulgaria and teach in an entirely different educational culture is exciting and one I take with great responsibility. Representing the US abroad as a Fulbright Scholar is a dream come true and I could have never done it without the support of my friends and family.”

Christina Pump
Chatham, NJ
PROJECT: Combined grant to teach English and conduct research to better understand the nitrogen-fixing ability of legumes and its potential impact on fertilizer use, which could affect agricultural practices and have larger environmental implications.
FUTURE PLANS: Attend graduate school and to apply the knowledge gained in Austria.
QUOTE: “The opportunity to pursue a Fulbright allows me to follow my passion in environmental sciences and to hopefully make a meaningful contribution to the world.”

Benjamin Reedy ’12
Ames, Iowa
PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship, engaging students on policy and cultural reconciliation topics. Research project contrasting healthcare access and outcomes in Germany, with emphasis on the Turkish immigrant population in Germany.
FUTURE PLANS: Pursue an advanced degree in health/public policy or strategic management for a career that serves the international and/or medical community.
QUOTE: “It’s thrilling to be a part of the Fulbright Scholar Program and I cannot think of a better way to process the rich experiences I have had over the past years at Boston College and in the business world. I'm looking forward to continuing my personal and professional growth by teaching German students and offering them some of my own insights and perspectives as an American.”

Lauren N. Rever
Derry, NH
PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship
FUTURE PLANS: Graduate study in historic preservation or museum curation.
QUOTE: “Teaching English and American studies in Germany gives me the chance to combine my two majors at Boston College – history and German – in a really exciting way. I cannot wait to get back to Germany and explore the culture.”

Alexis Tercero
Lynn, Mass.
PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship to tutor marginalized youth; directing a college-access non-profit.
FUTURE PLANS: Work in education initiatives for underserved students, perhaps at a non-profit; hopes to also earn law degree and master’s degree in education.
QUOTE: “Earning a Fulbright has been a true accomplishment for me. My parents emigrated from Guatemala to the United States in search for a prosperous future and to have the opportunity to go back to my parents’ native homeland and work with Mayan communities is a blessing. I would say that my experiences at Boston College, whether it has been doing community service or studying abroad, have helped widen my perspective on issues affecting people from different backgrounds. I have to thank those professors who have challenged me and made an effort to build strong relationships with me.”

Alison Wawrzynek
Glenview, Ill.
PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship, with focus on inequality and personal identity as it relates to the asymmetrical development and modernization of the former East and West Germany. Her proposed curriculum will allow students to analyze the similarities and differences of the American and German experiences.
FUTURE PLANS: Pursue a career in international business, with emphasis on public and international policy; pursue advanced degree in business administration, public policy, or international affairs; long-term goal includes working for an international nonprofit or NGO.
QUOTE: “I am thrilled to return to Germany in September as a representative of Boston College and the Fulbright Program. The supportive community at BC has taught me a great deal about developing a global perspective through education, and I look forward to teaching and learning alongside of my students next year.”


Brian Chung

Oyster Bay, NY
PROJECT: English Teaching Assistantship; establish student club on environmental awareness, and organize community run/walk to support a local charity.
FUTURE PLANS: Graduate studies in civil engineering, to help communities prepare for hazardous natural events like floods and earthquakes.
QUOTE: “I have had a personal interest in Ukraine throughout my life, but only recently did I develop an academic interest. My family, friends, and professors are the ones who inspired me to pursue this passion. The Slavic Languages and Literatures Department has been a family to me during my time here and I am privileged to take its lessons with me wherever I go. The fact that the Fulbright program has chosen to continue in Ukraine this year despite the turmoil and unrest speaks volumes to its intense and unwavering commitment to maintain international education. I am honored by the continuing prospect of facilitating this dialogue.  Traveling to Ukraine at this time would be a treasure, with the opportunity to experience the region at such a critical crossroads in its life as a nation. It is an opportunity to view how Ukraine’s people respond to adversity and an opportunity to use my project founded on English language.”

UPDATE: Brian Chung to receive Fulbright funding for year in Ukraine

Logan Gallagher

San Diego
PROJECT: Research whether the pacification of favelas (slums) in Rio de Janeiro has improved access social services and public resources for residents; volunteer in pre-kindergarten school to teach English and assess early childhood education programs.
FUTURE PLANS Pursue master’s degree in public policy, or work in public sector.

Elizabeth Wall
Frankfort, Ill.
DESTINATION: Bulgaria/Romania
PROJECT: Study Bulgaria and Romania’s involvement in the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center to analyze why their cooperation has been effective in the fight against drug trafficking but declined in anti-human trafficking efforts.
FUTURE PLANS: Work in international law enforcement; pursue graduate and doctoral studies in European integration, institutions and politics with goal of employment in academia.


Kimberly Crowley

Copley, Ohio
FUTURE PLANS: Earn a doctorate in education policy or a related field; study the political, legal, bureaucratic, economic and social factors affecting the US education system; hopes to work in the Department of Education or as a researcher at an education think-tank.
QUOTE: “This project is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – a chance to really chase a few of my major passions. I have been studying the French language and culture since I was 12 years old, and I have wanted to work with children for almost as long. This grant will allow me to finally live within and truly experience a culture that I have admired for almost half my life, while working in a field that profoundly inspires me.”

Alyssa Ellard
Brewster, Mass.
FUTURE PLANS: Graduate school to study language and linguistics.
QUOTE: “I am looking forward to this opportunity to live and teach in France as a means of furthering my classroom study here at Boston College both as a student of the French language and of linguistics. Through this experience, I hope to learn more about French education and the challenges facing French students as well as French culture in general. During my time in France, I hope to incorporate my own passion for learning, which has been so inspired by my time at BC and the amazing professors I have encountered, into my role as a teacher and to continue to learn from my students and from this immersion experience.”