Fulbright Program awards grants to Stanford doctoral candidates, alumni and graduating seniors

Next year, 11 Stanford students and alumni will fan out across the world to pursue special projects funded by the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

The program offers grants for graduating seniors, graduate students, young professionals and artists to study abroad for one academic year.

The Stanford contingent, which includes five graduating seniors, three doctoral candidates and three alumni, has won fellowships for the 2015-16 academic year.

The Stanford students and alumni will travel to 10 countries, including Colombia, France, India, Rwanda and Vietnam.

They are among the more than 1,900 students, artists and young professionals who have been offered grants to study, teach English and conduct research in more than 140 countries during the upcoming academic year.

During their grants, they meet, work, live with and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences. The program facilitates cultural exchange through direct interaction on an individual basis in the classroom, field and home and in routine tasks, allowing the grantee to gain an appreciation of others' viewpoints and beliefs, the way they do things and the way they think.

Through engagement in the community, the individual will interact with hosts on a one-to-one basis in an atmosphere of openness, academic integrity, and intellectual freedom, thereby promoting mutual understanding.

Stanford's U.S. Fulbright recipients are:

  • Andrew Aguilar, who earned a master's degree in history in 2014, will study the complex relationships involving state-driven attempts to organize a "French Islam" in France and will study their impacts on religious rivalry among national and local-level Muslim organizations.
  • Annalisa Bolin, a doctoral candidate in anthropology, will research how the post-genocide Rwandan government uses cultural and natural heritage for a project of social change and economic development (the "New Rwanda") and the different ways in which the Rwandan state, civil society and private sector engage with this project.
  • Alison Buchsbaum, a graduating senior who will receive a bachelor's degree in human biology, will teach English in Germany and conduct a comparative research project looking at the advantages and disadvantages of the German three-school system and vocational training program versus the U.S. system.
  • Felicia Darling, a doctoral candidate in math education, will use an ethnographic, mixed-methods approach to explore how middle school mathematics instruction in a Yucatec Maya school in Mexico capitalizes upon – or misses opportunities to capitalize upon community approaches for solving problems in everyday life.
  • Kunal Datta, who earned bachelor's degrees in engineering and in music in 2014, will partner with The Times Group of India, in conjunction with the Aravali Institute of Management in India, to study the effectiveness of a model of a locally maintained small scale photovoltaic nanogrid to power 10 homes in Aravali Nagar, Rajasthan, India.
  • Jean Guo, who earned bachelor's degrees in human biology and in economics in 2013, will identify and study the role that medical interpreter services play in health care service delivery in France, where there is a growing demand for medical interpreter services due to communication challenges.
  • Andrea Hale, a graduating senior who will earn a bachelor's degree in anthropology, will teach English in Taiwan and will explore and contribute to a relationship of exchange of culture and knowledge.
  • James Huynh, who will graduate this year with a bachelor's degree in human biology, will teach English in Vietnam to students in a high school setting and will host an after-school English club for local villagers.
  • E'lana Jordan, a doctoral candidate in anthropology, will examine the social factors and household dynamics that contribute to individual water insecurity in Colombia.
  • Joy Obayemi, a graduating senior who will earn a bachelor's degree in sociology, will analyze the experiences of second-generation West and Central Africans in the French health care system from a sociological perspective, by conducting ethnographic interviews and participant observation in immigrant communities near the city of Paris.
  • Rachel Waltman, who will graduate with a bachelor's degree in history and in Spanish this year, will teach English at a secondary school in Spain and will organize a weekly current events colloquium, where students of different backgrounds can come together and discuss global issues, such as immigration policy in Spain and in the European Union at large.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program, which was designed to increase mutual understanding between Americans and the people of other countries, provides grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs. Candidates are chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential.  It is one of several Fulbright programs sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Institute of International Education.

The Bechtel International Center's Overseas Resource Center advises students and recent graduates interested in Fulbright grants and administers the competition for Stanford.  For more information on the Stanford application process, visit the Fulbright Scholarships page on the Bechtel Center's website.