UConn Students and Alumni Honored by Fulbright Program

The 2019 Fulbright U.S. Student Program honorees. First row, from left to right: Chriss Sneed, Ph.D. student in sociology; Angela Kang ’19 (CLAS); Brianna McClure ’19 (CLAS); Kim Sawicki ’19 (CAHNR). Second row, from left to right: Sahil Laul ’19 (CLAS); Dhruv Shah ’19 (CLAS); Omar Taweh ’19 (CLAS). (Bri Diaz/UConn Photo)

Scenes from the Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships 2019 Celebration of Excellence at the Alumni Center on April 23, 2019. (Bri Diaz/UConn Photo)

Students and alumni from across disciplines at UConn were honored by the Fulbright U.S. Student Program this spring. Twelve students total were honored, with seven earning Fulbright Student awards, two Fulbright Alternates, and three Fulbright Semi-Finalist.

Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

The Program operates in more than 160 countries and is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. It is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

The 2019 honorees are:

Alexander Holmgren ’18 (CLAS) received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Grant to South Korea, where he will spend a year teaching English to Korean secondary school students. He also hopes to fulfill a long-time dream of seeing the haenyeo, ancestral women divers in the Korean province of Jeju.

Josué Lopez, a Ph.D. candidate in curriculum and instruction in the Neag School of Education, received a Fulbright research grant to Guatemala, where he will conduct ethnographic research in a Mayan Ki-che village to better understand policy and practice relevant to multicultural education. He will partner with community organizing groups and USAID to advocate for educational access.

Christopher Manoharan, a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, received a Fulbright research grant to Turkey. There he will perform an ethnographic analysis of Sufi rituals and an assessment of the dhikr ritual utilizing heart rate sensors and accelerometers.

Kim Sawicki ’19 (CAHNR) received a Fulbright grant to the European Union. In collaboration with St. Andrew’s University in Scotland and the Marine Institute in the Republic of Ireland, she will explore successful efforts in the EU which preserve cultural coastal fishing communities. The results will be shared with domestic fisheries partners and marine conservation experts who seek to expand sustainable fishing practices.

Dhruv Shah ’19 (CLAS) received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grant to India. He hopes his time as an English Teaching Assistant will help him experience the unique stories, color, customs, and different ways of life that India has to offer. He will use his experiences to improve himself as a future physician, a writer, and as an informed citizen of the world. 

Chriss Sneed, a Ph.D. candidate in sociology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, received a Fulbright Research grant to Brazil. Sneed’s dissertation analyzes how constructions of identity shape individuals’ understandings and involvement in social justice organizations and practices. Specifically, they will use the grant to examine the role of identity in Black/Afro-descendent activist engagements within the United States and Brazil, with a special focus on work which sits at the intersection of race, gender, and sexuality.

Omar Taweh ’19 (CLAS) received a Fulbright Research grant to Jordan. As a physiology and neurobiology and psychological sciences double major minoring in human rights, Omar is interested in the intersection between resource access to refugees and their resultant health outcomes in local and international host countries.

Grace Bennett ’18 (CLAS) and Brianna McClure ’19 (CLAS) were honored as Fulbright Alternates for the English Teaching Award program. Jesse Amar ’19 (CLAS), Angela Kang ’19 (CLAS), and Sahil Laul ’19 (CLAS)were also honored as Fulbright Semi-Finalists.

The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments, host institutions, corporations, and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support.

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By Combined Reports | Story courtesy of UConn Today


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