Emory students, alumni awarded Fulbright grants for research, teaching around the world

By April Hunt | Emory Report | Aug. 6, 2020

Story image

Thirteen Emory University students and recent alumni have been selected as Fulbright finalists to teach English, pursue graduate study and conduct research abroad during the 2020-2021 academic year. The current pandemic has postponed the departure for many of this year’s recipients until January 2021.

PrintPrint

Fourteen Emory University students and recent alumni have been selected as Fulbright finalists to teach English, pursue graduate study and conduct research abroad during the 2020-2021 academic year.

Four additional Emory alumni have been named alternates and may become grantees in the U.S. government’s flagship international exchange program.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program has provided grants every year since 1946 to nearly 2,000 students, early career professionals and artists who engage in the cultural exchange in more than 160 countries. Awardees are selected based on their academic merit, ambassadorial skills and leadership potential.

This year’s Emory’s recipients were selected from 62 undergraduate applicants, of which 37 were named semi-finalists.

“This year’s applicant pool of graduating seniors, recent graduates and professional masters’ students was the largest we’ve ever worked with,” says Megan Friddle, director of Emory College’s National Scholarships and Fellowships Program.

Fulbright recipients typically spend an academic year in their host countries, gaining experience in research and study while also engaging in cultural exchange. The current pandemic has postponed the departure for many of this year’s recipients until January 2021. Actual departure dates will vary, depending in part on each country’s travel restrictions.

Emory’s U.S. Fulbright grantees for the 2020-2021 academic year are:

  • Jessie Jiang 20C, biology and music, was selected to conduct research in a neurobiology lab in Spain, studying an overlooked drug target for the treatment of Alzheimer's Disease.
  • Aleksei Kaminski 20C, economics and African studies, was selected to study and conduct research at Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. His research will focus on shifting voting patterns in Brazil.
  • Margaret McLeod 16C, international studies and Spanish, will pursue an international MBA at the prestigious International University (IE) Madrid in Spain.
  • Zoe Robbin 19C, quantitative sciences and Arabic, was selected for her proposal to partner with the Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST), the National Agricultural Research Center (NARC) and EcoPeace Middle East in a mixed-methods study of wastewater filtration and water reuse needs among farmers and residents in the Jordan Valley of Jordan.

The following students and alumni were selected to serve as Fulbright English Teaching Assistants in countries around the world: 

  • Mary Bohn 20C, East Asian studies with global development studies minor, Indonesia
  • Jessica Bouvier 19C, English and creative writing with political science minor, Taiwan
  • Clara Caro 20C, neuroscience and behavioral biology, Czech Republic
  • Sara Cunningham 20C, English and creative writing and linguistics, Germany
  • MK Healy 20C, Arabic and international studies, Morocco
  • Connor Innes 20C, biology and East Asian studies, South Korea
  • Carmen Shaw 20G, population biology, ecology and evolution, Thailand
  • Aida Smajic 21G, Rollins School of Public Health, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • LaTonya Turner 20C, linguistics with Korean minor, South Korea
  • Grace Xu 20C, biology, Taiwan

The alternates are all 2020 graduates of Emory College. Selected as alternates for the English Teaching Award are Paula Manrique, an environmental sciences major and sustainability sciences minor, Spain; Kathryn Matuska, a chemistry major and sustainability minor, Malaysia; Sophia Minnillo, French studies and linguistics double major, France; and Jackson Richard, a double major in media studies and anthropology and human biology, Colombia.