More Fulbright grants were awarded to students from U-M than from any other U.S. institution for the 2012-13 academic year — the sixth time in the past eight years the university has held the honor, officials said today.

A U-M record 40 students received the grants, allowing them to participate in one of the most competitive and prestigious programs in the world. They will travel to 24 countries to do research, study or teach English for six to 12 months.

Their interests range from HIV/AIDS in Togo and political economy in Ukraine to urban transit in Germany and sculpture in China.

"The accomplishments of our latest Fulbright students speak to the global interests and impact of the University of Michigan,” President Mary Sue Coleman said. “The grants provide unique opportunities that will complement our students' impressive work on campus."

U-M also topped the nation in Fulbrights in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011.

This year, Harvard University ranked second behind U-M with 31 grantees and Brown University placed third with 29.

Ken Kollman, director of the U-M International Institute, said the continued success with the Fulbrights highlights U-M’s dedication to providing a global education.

“We are extremely proud of the results of this year’s competition, which reflect the tremendous effort of our students who plan compelling projects, the U-M faculty who readily lend their expertise and the advisers at the International Institute who consult with applicants,” Kollman said.

Fulbright recipient Emefah Loccoh with children in Togo, where she's studying HIV/AIDS. (Photo courtesy of Emefah Loccoh)

Nearly 1,700 American students, artists and young professionals in more than 100 different fields of study were offered  Fulbright grants for  projects in more than 140 countries worldwide beginning this fall. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the program provides the grants on the basis of academic or professional achievement as well as demonstrated leadership potential.

In the past 66 years, more than 44,000 students from the U.S. have benefited from the Fulbright experience, the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. It is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and other countries.

Emefah Loccoh, one of U-M’s grantees for 2012-13, is researching the health care system in Togo. She graduated this year with degrees in biochemistry and political science, and she plans to attend medical school.   

“This scholarship gives me the opportunity to further explore the field of global health, better understand surrounding issues and observe different aspects of the field in order to further understand my future role within global health,” she said.

Another new U-M grantee is Andrea Urbiel Goldner, who teaches in the School of Natural Resources and Environment. She is in Morocco studying landscape architecture.

“Anyone involved in design and construction in the current economic context of southeast Michigan has good reasons to become cynical and short-sighted,” she said. “The Fulbright grant has enabled me to breathe in and out again. It has given me space and context to remember why I love cities and their neighborhoods and the practice of landscape architecture.”

Fulbright program advisers at the International Institute provide individual advising to applicants throughout the application process. For more information go to

The 2012-2013 U-M Fulbright U.S. Student grantees, their degrees*, the countries where they will be studying, and their projects include:

  • Nurolhoda Bandeh-Ahmadi, Ph.D., LSA (Anthropology); India; Anthropology and Sociology in India
  • Meghanne Barker, Ph.D., LSA (Anthropology); Kazakhstan; Children as Animators, Puppets as Social Beings in Contemporary Kazakhstan
  • Aaron Bekemeyer, B.A., LSA (History, English); France; The Algerian War, the Extrême Droite, and Historical Memory in Postwar France
  • Nina Bhattacharya, B.A., Ford School of Public Policy (Public Policy); Indonesia; English Teaching Assistantship
  • Kristen Bialik, B.A, LSA (English); South Korea; English Teaching Assistantship
  • Elizabeth Boulter, Ph.D., LSA (Mesopotamian Studies); Germany; History, Guilt and Suffering in Neo-Assyrian Royal Self-Representation (721 - 631 B.C.E.)
  • Alexander Brown, B.A., LSA (German, French); Germany; English Teaching Assistantship
  • Eric Burnstein, M.P.P. and M.U.P., Ford School of Public Policy, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning (Public Policy, Urban Planning); Romania; Political Structures and Policy Outcomes in Romanian Cities
  • Louis Campana, B.A., LSA (English, Russian); Russia; English Teaching Assistantship
  • Margaret Cease, B.A., LSA (Psychology); Canada; The Role of Stereotype Threat in International Tests of Education
  • Erica Feldman, Ph.D., LSA (Anthropology); Kyrgyz Republic; Post-Soviet Youth Culture and Social Change in Bishkek
  • Kevin Gouge, Ph.D., LSA (History); Japan; The Ties that Bind: Land, Inheritance, Adoption, and Social Organization in Medieval Japan
  • Sara Hakeem, Ph.D., LSA (Comparative Literature); India; Oral Performance and Literary Historiography of Urdu Ghazal: 18th Century to the Present
  • Michael Herrick, B.S., Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning (Architecture); Germany; Stuttgart 21: Urban Transit Redevelopment in the 21st Century
  • Shin Hwang, M.Mus., School of Music, Theatre, and Dance (Piano Performance); Netherlands; Study of 18th Century Iberian Keyboard Music
  • Ryan Iseppi, B.A., LSA (German, Creative Writing); Germany; English Teaching Assistantship
  • Deborah Jones, Ph.D., LSA (Anthropology); Ukraine; Talk, Text, & Land Grabs: Language in Ukrainian Agrarian Political Economy
  • Lauren Kennedy, B.A., LSA (Spanish); Spain; English Teaching Assistantship
  • Andrew Kohler, Ph.D., LSA (Musicology); Germany; Gray Acceptable:  Carl Orff’s Professional and Aesthetic Responses to the Third Reich
  • Elizabeth Koselka, B.A., LSA (Anthropology, Spanish); Spain; English Teaching Assistantship
  • Vivian Li, Ph.D., LSA (History of Art); China; The Public Life of Art: Post-1949 Sculpture in China
  • Eméfah Loccoh, B.A. and B.S., LSA (Biochemistry, Political Science); Togo; Determinants of Health Care Utilization amongst HIV/AIDS Patients Living in the Northern Kara Region of Togo, West Africa
  • Kunal Malik, B.A., Ford School of Public Policy (Public Policy); Malaysia; English Teaching Assistantship
  • Paul Manganello, B.A., LSA (Philosophy); Switzerland; Finding the Physical in the Divine
  • John Mathias, Ph.D., LSA (Anthropology and Social Work); India; Deliberation and Moral Community in the Making of an Indian Public
  • Anna Megdell, B.A., LSA (Comparative Literature, Creative Writing); Mexico; English Teaching Assistantship
  • Ellen Myers, B.A., LSA (Anthropology); Indonesia; English Teaching Assistantship
  • Azure Nowara, B.A., LSA (Political Science); Malaysia; English Teaching Assistantship
  • Nevila Pahumi, Ph.D., LSA (History); Albania; Of Women, Faith, and Nation: a History of the Kyrias School for Girls, in Korça Albania, 1891-1934
  • Branden Prather, B.A., LSA (German); Germany; English Teaching Assistantship
  • Sarah Prensky-Pomeranz, B.A., LSA (English); South Africa; English Teaching Assistantship
  • Stephanie Rhodes, M.Mus., School of Music, Theatre, and Dance (Collaborative Piano); Russia; Becoming an American Advocate for Russian Operatic Repertoire
  • Samer Salamekh, B.S., LSA (Biochemistry), subsequent M.D., Ohio State University; Germany; Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Lactate
  • Nadia Selim, M.A., School of Education (Education); Morocco; English Teaching Assistantship
  • Seth Soderborg, B.A., LSA (Political Science); Indonesia; English Teaching Assistantship
  • Aaron Talsma, B.S., LSA (Cellular and Molecular Biology); Austria; Getting Lucky: Determining How the Male Courtship Song Contributes to Arousal in Drosophila
  • Andrea Urbiel Goldner, M.L.Arch, School of Natural Resources and the Environment (Landscape Architecture); Morocco; Community Appliances: Resilient Places in the City Landscape
  • Mai Ze Vang, B.A., LSA (Asian Studies); Thailand; Adding New Threads to the Hmong Paj Ntaub
  • Yishi Wang, B.A., LSA (German, Program in the Environment); Germany; English Teaching Assistantship
  • Ammy Yuan, B.B.A., Ross School of Business (Business Administration); South Korea; English Teaching Assistantship

(* Degrees listed are either the highest degree attained or the degree currently in progress.)