ANN ARBOR, MICH., February 25, 2011—The University of Michigan International Institute announced today that seven U-M students have been awarded a prestigious U.S. Department of Education Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad fellowship.

The Fulbright-Hays Program provides grants to colleges and universities to fund individual doctoral students who wish to conduct research abroad for periods of six to 12 months. The highly competitive program is designed to foster U.S. competence and expertise in foreign languages and area or international studies. Award amounts for the U-M grantees totaled nearly $300,000.

“Our applicants’ success is due to their excellent academic records, proposal of meaningful and important projects, and demonstration of outstanding promise as scholars in their fields,” said Kelly Peckens, lead Fulbright Program advisor at the International Institute. “In addition, the staff member who advises applicants has 30 years of experience with this fellowship.”

At U-M, the Fulbright-Hays Fellowship is administered by the International Institute where dedicated staff members are available to advise students and faculty regarding fellowship opportunities in any of the Fulbright Program’s 11 grant categories.

“The advice provided by the International Institute staff was integral to my selection for this grant,” said Elana Resnick, a doctoral student in the Department of Anthropology. “From the start, I received a tremendous amount of help, support, and encouragement in drafting my proposal.”

For further information about the fellowship, visit

The 2010-2011 U-M Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad grantees, the countries where they will be studying, and their projects include:

Tara D. Diener, Ph.D., LSA (History & Anthropology), Sierra Leone & United Kingdom
Starched Caps and Childbirth in a Creole City: An Ethnographic History of Maternity Care in Freetown

Nicolas Q. Emlen, Ph.D., LSA (Linguistic Anthropology), Peru
Language Contact at the Andes-Amazon Borderland

Krista A. Goff, Ph.D., LSA (History), Azerbaijan
What Makes a People? National Minorities and Soviet Structures, 1953-1968

Jack R. Merchant, Ph.D., LSA (History), Vietnam
Unbounded Time: The New Poets, Movement, and Language in 1930s Viet Nam

Elana F. Resnick, Ph.D., LSA (Anthropology), Bulgaria
Waste, Work, and Racialization in Bulgaria

Tasha K. Rijke-Epstein, Ph.D., LSA (History & Anthropology), Madagascar
The Road to Mahajanga: Mapping Socio-Political Geographies in Madagascar

Rufin J. Saul, Ph.D., LSA (Religious Studies), India
When a Local God Goes Translocal: The Modern Making of Balaji

University of Michigan International Institute
The University of Michigan International Institute houses 18 centers and programs focused on world regions and global themes. The institute develops and supports international teaching, research, and public affairs programs to promote global understanding across the campus and to build connections with intellectuals and institutions worldwide. For more information, visit


News Category: students
Department: International Institute