The University of Michigan has 23 students named as finalists for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program 2017-2018. The term “finalist” denotes that a grant offer has been made but does not indicate acceptance/decline status. The notification process is dynamic and still in progress; therefore, the number of finalists can fluctuate.
Eleven English Teaching Assistantships were offered to recent graduates who will be serving as assistants to English teachers throughout Europe, South America, East Asia, Latin America, Central Asia, and the Middle East.
Eleven Fulbright Research Awards were made to PhD students and recent graduates undertaking independent research projects throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, South America, Europe, the Middle East, and East Asia. Projects range from examining Inca expansion into the Chincha Valley to better understanding Korea’s role in US-China relations to exploring gender, labor, and media in early twentieth-century Germany.
One student received a Study Award to support enrollment in a master’s program abroad.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is administered on campus by the International Institute. “We are excited to once again see that such a high number of our students and alumni have been named as finalists,” says Beth Dutridge-Corp, Fulbright Program advisor. “Our applicants propose exciting research projects and plans of study, and have impressive skills and experiences that will allow them to undertake either independent research or to serve as a teaching assistant in the classroom.”
The role of the Fulbright Program advisors at the International Institute is to provide applicants with the resources necessary to put forth a compelling and competitive application. “We hold information sessions and advising throughout the year, but we succeed because of the support from the International Institute and U-M faculty who participate in the campus process, which is a big part of what allows U-M applicants to excel in this competition," explains Dutridge-Corp. The campus deadline for the 2018-2019 competition is September 7, 2017. For more information, please contact a U-M Fulbright advisor: firstname.lastname@example.org.
University of Michigan U.S. Fulbright Finalists Include:
Clara Cullen (International Studies and Spanish ’17) will travel to Ecuador in September to work with La Universidad San Francisco de Quito, carrying out a mixed-methods research study about access to women’s healthcare among individuals displaced by the country’s coastal earthquake in 2016. As an international studies major with a concentration in Global Health, much of her academic work has centered on improving health outcomes in complex social circumstances such as low-resource and crisis situations.
"I have always been passionate about women's health, which comes with its own unique set of needs and is often overlooked in emergency situations," she explains. "Having spent a lot of time in Ecuador, the earthquake really brought my academic work close to home."
Clara would like to pursue a joint MD/MPP degree program, and strongly believes a huge part of healthcare comes down to the policies surrounding it. "As a physician, I'd aspire to use my clinical experience to shape and inform public health policy." Ultimately, she wants to work in the public sector or with a nonprofit organization.
Elizabeth Garno (International Studies and Spanish ’16) is traveling to Colombia where she will be an English Teaching Assistant working in the Universidad Pedagógica y Technológica. There, she'll teach English to university students who are studying to become teachers, and assist the professor in lesson planning. "I'm passionate about teaching because I believe there's value in learning other languages," she explains. "It increases understanding of other cultures and creates opportunities for professional development." Elizabeth's goal is to work in bilingual education policy, ultimately working in language pedagogy, reforming ESL programs, and training language teachers.
Laiba Husain (Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience ’17) will enroll in the master’s program in public health at the University of Birmingham in England—a critical step on her journey to becoming a physician. “Birmingham is the ‘City of Sanctuary’ for Syrian asylum seekers in England; therefore, it is the ideal place for me, not only to gain an education in public health, but to explore how their health care system provides for these refugees,” she explains. “Developed and underdeveloped countries are still suffering from many readily preventable and treatable diseases, and I believe that public health—especially community empowerment—is important in finding the underlying causes and treatments of illness and diseases that are currently pressing.”
Her career goal is to work as a physician and public health reformer within a non- profit humanitarian organization, providing medical aid to countries in need. She wants to use her medical and public health skill set as a vehicle for social justice and advocacy, and establish a strong connection between communities and health sectors at home and in unstable countries so they are able to achieve better physical, mental and social health.
Chiamaka Ukachukwu (Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology ’17) will travel to Belgium to study the bacterial cell envelope in E. coli. Her research project will focus on elucidating a stress response that contributes to the efficacy of the cell envelope. “Uncovering this mechanism will enable me to identify novel drug targets that will impede antibiotic resistance,” she says. “Bacterial resistance poses a major threat to global health; according to the World Health Organization, if no new antibiotics are developed, bacterial infections could cause 10 million deaths per year by 2050, roughly the population size of Belgium.”
Her career goals center on her passion for increasing diversity in STEM fields, as well as mentorship and promoting cultural exchange. She can see herself running a research lab at the forefront of combatting global health issues such as microbial infections. "I want to train future scientists and encourage them to participate in international research projects."