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12 students and recent alumni win Fulbright grants

April 17, 2017
collage of images of students with Fulbright logo

Twelve University of Rochester students and recent alumni have been offered 2017–18 grants in the prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Grant program. Ten of the successful applicants have accepted the State Department–sponsored grants to pursue advanced studies, conduct research, and teach English language and U.S. culture abroad. One, Casey Silver G ’19 (SM&D), declined the award in favor of a Doris Duke International Clinical Research Fellowship.

Rochester’s candidate pool consisted of 40 applicants, 19 of whom became semifinalists. The Fulbright U.S. program awards approximately 900 grants for research and study, and 1,200 English teaching assistantship grants each year. Applicants are nominated by their college or university’s Fulbright evaluation committee, which may also endorse alumni candidates.

Here’s a snapshot of Rochester’s 2017–18 Fulbrights.

Nina Baek

(University photo / J. Adam Fenster)

Nina Baek ’17, a linguistics and French dual major from Seattle, is heading to Belgium, where she’ll be placed at a university as an English teaching assistant. A four-year member of the women’s volleyball team, she was named a 2016 Provost’s Circle Scholar for excellence in academics and athletics.

Ivey Barker

(University photo / J. Adam Fenster)

Ivey Barker ’16 (MA) earned her master’s degree in photographic preservation and collections management. She’s headed to Krakow, Poland, where she’ll use her background in paper conservation, flood research, and preservation standards, to assist multiple museums and archives in identifying, analyzing, and preserving culturally significant objects.

Jon Boualavong

(University photo / J. Adam Fesnter)

Jonathan Boualavong ’16/T5’17 is earning a degree in biomedical engineering from the University. The Elkridge, Maryland, native will pursue an MPhil in chemical and process engineering at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.

Alexandra Cohen

(University photo / Alexandra Cohen)

Alexandra Cohen ’17 will earn two Rochester degrees this spring—one in German from the College and one in musical arts from the Eastman School. The Brooklyn, New York, native will work as an English teaching assistant in the German state of Lower Saxony.

Michael Gilbert

(University photo / Michael Gilbert)

Michael Gilbert ’17, a biochemistry major from Wayland, Massachusetts, is bound for the University of Hong Kong, where he’ll be part of a lab studying cancer and aging.

Ellen Kim

(University photo / J. Adam Fenster)

Ellen Kim ’17, a health, behavior and society major from Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, is headed to South Korea to work as an English teaching assistant.

Miriam Kohn

(University photo / J. Adam Fenster)

Miriam Kohn ’17, a linguistics major from Portland, Oregon, will travel to Laos to work as an English teaching assistant and a debate coach.

Dovas Lietuvninkas

(University photo / J. Adam Fenster)

Dovas Lietuvninkas ’16 (E) majored in trumpet performance and music education at the Eastman School. The graduate from Riverside, Illinois, is headed to Vilnius, Lithuania, to study trumpet and Lithuanian folk music and instruments. He’ll also work with students and composers at the Lithuanian Music and Theater Academy.

Khamai Simpson

(University photo / J. Adam Fenster)

Khamai Simpson ’17 is a dual major in German and health, behavior and society. The Miami native will travel to Berlin, Germany, to work as an English teaching assistant.


Julissa Thompson

(University photo / Jim Mandelaro)

Julissa Thompson ’16 graduated from the University with a degree in psychology. The Bronx native will head to Barbados to help establish a national data bank on childhood nutrition.


Carolina Vaczy

(University photo / Carolina Vaczy)

Caroline Vaczy ’16, a Rochester native who earned her degree in French, is headed to a university in Brazil, where she’ll teach future English teachers about the English language and American culture.

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