University of Rochester

EVENT: 3 Rochester Students Head to Germany through Selective Fellowship, Scholarship Programs

May 19, 2011

This year, three students from the University of Rochester were awarded fellowships to study in Germany. Mara Chinelli, a senior who will graduate next year with a bachelor of arts degree in anthropology, will travel to Berlin as a 2011 Humanity in Action (HIA) fellow. Juniors David Narrow and Ashley Haluck-Kangas were both selected to participate in the German Academic Exchange Service-Research Internships in Science & Engineering Scholarship (DAAD-RISE) program, and will each spend their summers conducting research in German laboratories.

Chinelli is the fifth Rochester student or alumnus to be selected as a HIA fellow since 2006, and the third student to participate in the summer program in Berlin. She is one of 50 fellows selected from a pool of more than 500 applicants. Formed in 1999, HIA is an international non-profit organization that promotes the protection of the rights of minorities and raises awareness of human rights issues. Fellows are placed in the United States, Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Germany, and Poland for a six-week program where they have the opportunity to engage with diplomats, journalists, scholars, and leaders of human rights organizations. The students also complete research and write a report on human rights or minority issues in their host country.

After her trip to Berlin, Chinelli will travel to the West Bank to conduct ethnographic fieldwork on activism in Palestine, which is the topic of her honors thesis in anthropology. As a Take Five Scholar, Chinelli will return to campus in the fall, spending a fifth year at Rochester to begin work on a year-long project titled African-American Narratives: Literary Expressions of Identity. In spring 2010, Chinelli was awarded an Undergraduate Research Grant through the anthropology department, allowing her travel to East Jerusalem and the West Bank to conduct ethnographic fieldwork on political tourism in Palestine.

While abroad, Chinelli volunteered at Cinema Jenin in Jenin, writing press materials, editing the organization's website, and networking and also worked at Bustan Qaraaqa Sustainable Farm in Beit Sahur, caring for a tree nursery, doing maintenance work on the property, and helping to improve a small-scale fish-farming project at the farm. Throughout the summer, she took intensive language courses in Arabic through the AMIDEAST Language Institute and the Center for International Education Exchange.

At Rochester, Chinelli has served as a teaching assistant in the anthropology department, is a contributing writer for the Campus Times, the University's student newspaper, and is a member of Students for a Democratic Society, where she participated in panels and symposiums on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), RISE is a summer internship program for undergraduate students from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom to conduct research in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences, and engineering. In the past four years, 20 Rochester students have been chosen as DAAD-RISE scholars; this year, three Rochester students won placements, with one declining the offer in order to participate in a different research program in Paris.

RISE students conduct research at universities and research institutions across Germany for up to three months during the summer. RISE interns are matched with doctoral students who serve as their mentors and receive a stipend from DAAD to assist with living expenses, while partner universities and research institutes provide housing assistance.

David Narrow '12, who is working toward of a bachelor of science degree in biomedical engineering with a minor in mechanical engineering, will spend the summer interning at the Julius Wolff Institute at Charité Hospital in Berlin. Narrow also was the recipient of a Portable Research Grant, which provides research expenses of up to $3,000 for undergraduate students working with a faculty sponsor. He has worked in the Holt Lab in the Department of Otolaryngology at the University's Medical Center and last summer, he served as a research assistant in a biomedical tissue engineering lab at Johns Hopkins University. Narrow, a native of Ownings Mills, Md., is a member of the engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi and the Biomedical Engineering Society.

Ashley Haluck-Kangas '12 will spend her RISE experience working in Greifswald, Germany in a molecular biology lab at the Ernst Moritz Arndt University. A native of Greensburg, Pa., she is working toward a bachelor of arts degree in biology with minors in political science and psychology, and previously served as a research assistant in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Rochester. She spent summer 2009 abroad in Finland, studying the Finnish language and history, and as a Take Five Scholar, she will work on a long-term study of the influence of Germany, Sweden, and Russia on Finnish culture. An active member of the campus community, Haluck-Kangas was elected vice president of the Student Association, Rochester's student government, for the 2010-2011 academic year.