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ASU a leader in Fulbright awards; 17 students to study, teach abroad

May 23, 2011

Seventeen Arizona State University students have won Fulbright awards to study and teach abroad next year, in 14 different countries. ASU is a national leader in student Fulbrights, coming in second once again only to the University of Michigan, among public colleges.

Five of ASU’s student Fulbright winners will teach English in foreign countries, while the others will tackle sophisticated research projects, ranging from sustainable energy to bee behavior.

The Fulbright Program is one of the most prestigious awards programs worldwide. The awards, funded by Congress, were founded to increase mutual understanding between the United States and other countries.

The following students have designed research projects and have located faculty or programs abroad to further their research:

Matthew Williams, a 2007 political science graduate who has been working for the ASU Foundation for three years, will go to China to study how Chinese universities are building partnerships with energy corporations to advance sustainable energy sources. He hopes to pursue a career in helping renewable energy innovations reach the market.

David Proffitt, who received a master’s in environmental and urban planning in December, will travel to India to study ways of mitigating the urban heat island. Formerly a journalist with The Arizona Republic, he has been working as a natural resource planner at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Paul Jackson, working on his doctorate in religious studies, is going to Taiwan to study the relationship between Taiwanese religion and language. Born in Italy, with an undergraduate degree in African and Asian languages, Jackson has acted as a volunteer legal interpreter for African refugees from French-speaking countries during his doctoral studies.

Gabriella Sanchez-Martinez, who just completed her doctorate in justice studies, is headed to Israel to study the role of transnational social networks in undocumented Latino migration and settlement in Israel. The research will serve as a comparative case study to her doctoral work on organizations that facilitate undocumented migration along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Daniel Pout, who earned his master’s and is now working on his doctorate in international relations and political theory, will spend the year in Macedonia. He will study the hospitality of the Macedonian state and how it affects people who have transitioned from one culture to the other during the Macedonia-Greece conflict.

Michael Rutkowski, an ASU research associate who earned a master’s in astrophysics and is now working on his doctorate in physics and astronomy, is going to Korea. Working with a research group at Yonsei University, he will conduct an investigation of UV-bright and young stellar populations in early-type galaxies.

Douglas London, working on his doctorate in medical anthropology, will go to Ecuador to study the relationship between food systems and health among the Waorani foragers along the Amazon. He will establish residence in both the hunter-gathering group and the Westernized group, comparing the diet and health of the two.

Gabriel Sears, a talented tubist who earned his bachelor’s in instrumental music education last December, will study tuba with famed soloist Jens Bjorn-Larsen at the Hannover University of Music and Theater in Germany. He hopes to compare American and European brass pedagogy in order to enhance his own abilities as a performer and educator.

Kirsten Traynor, who is working on her doctorate in biology, will travel to France to study the effects of brood pheromone on honey bee behavior. A photographer, writer and poet who started keeping beehives in 2004, Traynor became fascinated with their complex system of communication and seeks ways to prevent colony collapse disorder.

Kristen Barlish received the outstanding graduate award from the Del E. Webb School of Construction last year and is now working on her master’s in construction management. With a deep interest in building efficiency, she will travel to Italy to study how addressing facilities management needs upfront can lengthen the lifecycles of industrial buildings.

Charisse Carver, who earned her master’s and is now working on her doctorate in anthropology, will go to France to study the burial practices and the origins of ethnic groups in France during the early medieval period. Fascinated by what we can learn from the human skeleton, she will collect archaeological and biological data from 13 ancient cemeteries.

Lauren Gambino, who just received her bachelor’s in journalism, has received the Alistair Cooke Award, a Fulbright fellowship to enter a master’s program in journalism at the London College of Communication. Formerly a reporter with the State Press and News21, she won numerous awards while at ASU, including a Hearst Award for in-depth reporting.

These students will teach English in other countries:

Rebekka Cole, who received her bachelor’s in elementary education in December, will teach in Germany, building a portfolio of personal stories and experiences of everyday German people to share with her future classes in the U.S.

Kelly McVey, who earned her bachelor’s in English literature and history in May, will teach in Poland. She developed a love of teaching by working as a writing tutor at the Barrett Writing Center and by providing free cello lessons at the non-profit Rosie’s House.

Andrew Westover, who just received a master’s in secondary education with an English emphasis, has been teaching in Melvin E. Sine Elementary in the Glendale Elementary School District for two years as part of Teach for America. He will teach English in South Africa.

Andrew Karst, having just completed his master’s in secondary education, has been teaching at Coyote Ridge Elementary in the Glendale Elementary School District for two years, as part of Teach for America. He will teach English in Taiwan.

Elizabeth Meadows, who earned her bachelor’s in English linguistics and Spanish in May, discovered an affinity for languages when she grew up helping her friends with languages. A New American University Scholar award recipient, she will teach English in Argentina.