The recipients will use their grants to study or teach in one of 10 countries.
Editor’s note: This story was updated on June 29 to recognize Sharidan Russell ’18, who was offered a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Morocco after the original story was published.
Teaching English in Brazil, South Korea, and Morocco. Studying journalism in Germany, immunology in Poland, film in Ireland, international security in Canada, politics in India, and public health in Ecuador and the Dominican Republic. These are some of the projects that 15 students and alumni will engage in as Fulbright Scholars next year.
Sponsored by the U.S. government, the Fulbright Program is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other nations through international educational exchanges in more than 155 countries. Fulbright awards are available for research, graduate study, and teaching English.
Associate Director of Undergraduate Advising and Research Holly Taylor, who advises Dartmouth students and alumni through the Fulbright application process, says this year’s Fulbrights will be living and working in 10 countries on five continents.
“We had very strong applicants for Fulbright this year, and I’m delighted that so many were successful,” Taylor says. “Fellowship Advising truly gets invested in helping Dartmouth applicants, both current students and alumni. Our office is nearly as excited as the recipients to hear about their success.”
To learn more about how to apply for the Fulbright and other programs, visit Dartmouth’s Fellowship Advising Office.
Government major; French minor
Research/study grant, Canada
If the 2016 presidential election had gone differently, Charlotte Blatt might be working in Washington post-graduation instead of going to Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, as a Fulbright research fellow at the Centre for International and Defense Policy. As president of the Dartmouth College Democrats and a campaign fellow with Hillary for America in New Hampshire, she says she’s proud of the effort she and fellow College Democrats made to help people vote.
“We weren’t asking people if they were Republicans or Democrats, we were just like, have you voted, can we take you to the polls?” The election only deepened Blatt’s commitment to public service, she says. “I think the role of government is to be an institution of good in the lives of Americans.”
Blatt—who will attend Yale Law School after completing her Fulbright—discovered a passion for international relations and American foreign policy at Dartmouth, publishing a paper on the 2007 Iraq troop surge in Parameters: The US Army War College Quarterly and coauthoring a paper on U.S. Syria policy for the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, where she interned last summer. She is currently writing a thesis on how the U.S. assesses the decision to initiate war. At Kingston, she’ll be studying how NATO countries can better integrate women into the international security community.
Asian and Middle Eastern studies major; Arabic minor
English teaching assistant grant, Morocco
Madeleine Coffey describes herself as “a language person”—and at Dartmouth she has immersed herself in Arabic, serving as a drill instructor, living in the Arabic Language Program living learning community, and spending an off-term teaching English to recent immigrants through the Arab American Association of New York.
But her other passion is cooking—in high school she kept a food blog (and was even commissioned by her town’s mayor to bake a wedding cake), and at Dartmouth she helps cook a weekly community dinner as co-chair of Students Fighting Hunger. So on an Arabic language study abroad program in Morocco, she was excited about the food. “My host mom was a really good cook; I lucked out. She would make this one tagine with potatoes and preserved lemon and chicken and olives—it’s so good.” When she returns to Morocco through Fulbright, she says, “learning how to cook that would be fantastic.”
Coffey works in a lab at the Geisel School of Medicine that is developing tests to diagnose Parkinson’s disease, and plans to apply to medical school. As a physician, she hopes her Arabic skills will help “break down language barriers that can lead to health problems.”
Of teaching in Morocco, she looks forward to “the one-on-one relationships that you develop and can translate in the classroom to deeper learning. That’s what I like about Dartmouth, too—close relationships with my professors.”
Dix Hills, N.Y.
Government major; Spanish minor
Research/study grant, Dominican Republic
“I discovered a love for public health at Dartmouth, and this Fulbright is the culmination of my internships, research, and volunteer work,” says Sarah Cohen. Cohen will be working on preventative health education at a clinic in the Dominican Republic and collecting oral histories of people living with HIV.
Internships at Population Services International in Washington, D.C., and the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality, in Boston, spurred an interest in improving the health of vulnerable populations, work that “has a big impact on people’s lives,” she says. “I plan to look at the health education patients are receiving and understand their local context in order to best address pressing health challenges and promote behavior change.”
This year, she worked with The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice on research on shared decision-making in breast cancer treatment. “That’s helped me think about the importance of actually hearing patients voices,” she says. Other Dartmouth experiences include volunteering with STAR, a mentoring program that matches Dartmouth students with teenagers with chronic health conditions; traveling to Argentina on a Spanish FSP; and serving as a research assistant for Professor William Wohlforth in government. She also participates in Hillel and Chabad and rides on the varsity equestrian team.
Of the Fulbright, Cohen says, “It’s an incredible honor. I’m excited to learn all I can.”
English and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies double major
Research/study grant, Ireland
Through Fulbright, Mary Liza Hartong will study Irish film and literature at University College Cork, work on a novel, and establish connections with a network of LGBTQIA+ writers and artists in Ireland. “Ireland was the first country in the world to legalize gay marriage by popular vote, and that spurred my curiosity about what queer artists were doing in Ireland right now,” she says.
Hartong decided to major in English after “I ‘accidentally’ took an upper-level seminar on Gertrude Stein and Virginia Woolf my freshman fall,” she says. The course “whipped me into shape. Everything has been easier since.”
Outside of class, Hartong wrote for The Dartmouth and performed improv with Casual Thursday. “Improv really does inform writing—you can’t be embarrassed about anything or take too much time to think, you just have to go with it,” she says. “That’s taught me to keep going, even when I feel I can’t write another word. You can.”
Staying on campus to pursue her master’s in liberal studies with a concentration in creative writing has given her time to write and to enjoy the Dartmouth community. “It’s been nice to have time to think about what I want to do,” she says. “I’m grateful for all the help that I’ve gotten from staff and professors and people in my classes who have been willing to talk about Fulbright. It feels good.”
Kennett Square, Pa.
Government and Asian and Middle Eastern studies double major; women’s, gender, and sexuality studies minor
Research/study grant, India
Alyssa Heinze planned to study biology and chemical engineering at Dartmouth. But she was curious about the world, she says, and that led her to government classes, internships in Nepal and India, and ultimately, to change her major to government and Asian and Middle Eastern studies.
The course “Telling Stories for Social Change”—in which students work with women at a drug rehabilitation center—had a big impact. “That experience reified my desire to bridge academic disciplines to each other, and academia to the world.” Her thesis, on women leaders’ intersectional identities on their political performance in India, grew out of a foreign study program in Hyderabad, an off-term internship in Mumbai, and field research this spring. “Being able to spend almost a cumulative year of my college experience in South Asia is something I don’t think I would have gotten at another college,” she says.
She plans to use her Fulbright-Nehru research grant to study Marathi language and research “the efficacy of NGO-provided training programs that target first-time women politicians and seek to help them build their confidence and leadership skills in the beginning of their tenure as politicians,” in Maharashtra and Mumbai.
Prior to beginning her Fulbright studies, Heinze will be in India, studying the Marathi language through a Dartmouth Paul L.’83 and Neil T. McGorrian Fellowship.
Her long-term goal is to earn a PhD in political science. “Having 15 months in-country to pursue language training and research is truly a privilege,” she says. “I hope to build on this research for a doctoral dissertation, and, eventually, through a career as a political science professor.”
New York City
Film and media studies major, modified with digital arts
English teaching assistant grant, South Korea
Amanda Herz has long been interested in Korean pop culture, but her interest in the country’s history, politics, and art solidified when she happened be traveling in Seoul during protests against then-President Park Geun-hye, and later, through a Dartmouth course in Korean film history taught by Associate Professor Sunglim Kim. “I learned about the Korean annexation by Japan. Going from that through years of military dictatorship and government corruption to becoming one of the biggest economies in the world is just a crazy progression,” she says. “It’s fascinating to see people who are so resilient and have gone through so much rapid transformation.”
She came to Dartmouth planning to study government, but a film and media studies department open house led her to sign up for a found-footage course taught by Associate Professor Jeffrey Ruoff. “It was my first class and it was one of the best classes I’ve taken at Dartmouth,” she says. Now Ruoff is her honors thesis adviser.
Outside of class, Herz works at Tiltfactor, the game-design lab run by Mary Flanagan, the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor in Digital Humanities. Favorite projects include a game she’s worked on from concept to beta testing. “I really got to see something that was a vision in my head become reality.”
Of receiving the Fulbright, Herz says, “I’m really excited—it means a lot. It’s nice to get recognition for the work I’ve put in.”
Government and Asian and Middle Eastern studies double major
English teaching assistant grant, South Korea
As an undergraduate, Axel Hufford was student board president of Dartmouth College Hillel, an editor of The Dartmouth and World Outlook, and an intern with the U.S. Department of Justice Office of International Affairs, the Center for American Progress, and the office of Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.), among other activities.
He’s currently a business analyst at Deloitte Consulting in Arlington, Va., but has maintained an interest in Korean culture, sparked by a class co-taught by associate professors Sunglim Kim and Soyoung Suh that “examined the history of the Korean peninsula and analyzed Korean culture and its place in the American consciousness,” he says.
After graduation, Hufford traveled to Asia with friends and spent a week in Seoul. “While we spent most of our time singing karaoke and learning how to properly cook Korean barbecue, I knew that I wanted to return one day as more than a tourist,” he says.
“As someone with an interest at the intersection of law and diplomacy, I cannot thank the Fulbright program enough—along with my professors, mentors, and other supporters—for helping me pursue this opportunity. I’m eager to jump into the unknown and act as an English teacher and cultural ambassador. I hope to spend my year with Fulbright learning as much Korean as I possibly can, honing my teaching skills, and, of course, perfecting my Korean barbecue palate.”
Santa Clarita, Calif.
Biomedical engineering major
Research/study grant, Poland
Through Fulbright, James Jung will study the pathogenesis of psoriasis in the department of immunology at Jagiellonian University in Krakow. “I’ll also be taking classes in immunology, biotechnology, and the history, culture, and language of Poland,” he says.
Jung, who is currently a predoctoral research associate at the Lebanon, N.H.-based biotech company Adimab, loved Poland when he visited after graduation. “It was a place I could picture myself living for an extended period of time,” he says.
His interest in disease mechanisms grew out of witnessing friends and family experience illnesses like psoriasis, diabetes, and cancer. “At a young age I didn’t understand the mechanisms of diseases, but I was curious about them.”
At Dartmouth, he worked in two research labs and served as a teaching assistant in chemistry and engineering courses. “My favorite parts of classes were the labs where I actually got to apply what I learned,” he says. “Dartmouth is great in that you have all this access to research advisers, and even as an undergrad you can get a significant amount of time in a lab.”
Among other Dartmouth activities, Jung was organization chair and volunteer coordinator for Special Olympics. He hopes to continue to be involved in Special Olympics in Poland.
“I hope to promote cross-cultural dialogue,” he says. “That seems especially important today. I’m passionate about research, but I also see this as a unique opportunity for cultural exchange.”
Arabic language and literature major; French minor
Research/study grant, Morocco
Natasha Maldi discovered Arabic her first year at Dartmouth, and fell in love with Morocco during a language study abroad program her junior summer. For the past two years she’s worked as a management consultant in New York City, but her dream has been to return to North Africa. “When I left Morocco, I realized that I wanted to go back on my own terms to do my own research,” she says.
Through Fulbright, she will study short stories published in an Arabic language newspaper that advocated the nation’s independence from France in the early- to mid-20th century. “Authors began to form this concept of a Moroccan literature that was distinct from French identity, and they chose to publish only in Arabic. I want to explore what they were writing about, how they portray Morocco—what it looks like to have a national Moroccan literature.”
Through Dartmouth, Maldi also participated in an FSP in Paris and was director’s assistant for an FSP in Lyon. “Living with host families makes you feel like you’re a part of the culture—it makes the language come alive,” she says.
Maldi was a drill instructor for Arabic and French and a presidential scholar in history, and wrote a thesis on dreams in contemporary Arabic literature—an experience that, she says, “solidified my love of research and writing and literature.”
Of receiving the Fulbright, she says, “I’ve never wanted anything more. I’m looking forward to being able to study what I love.”
Geography major, modified with Latin America, Latino, and Caribbean studies
English teaching assistant grant, Brazil
For Gricelda Ramos, Fulbright combines her interests in Portuguese, a language she’s learning at Dartmouth; in teaching, which she’s experienced as a Spanish drill instructor and as a Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth volunteer; and travel.
An aspiring foreign service officer, she spent two terms as an exchange student in Japan and a summer in the Dominican Republic through a Dickey Center fellowship. Her love of learning and international service comes, she says, “from the dream of my mother, who immigrated from Honduras with the hope of a better future. I’m so grateful to my mother and my family who have devoted their lives to give me this opportunity.”
Ramos served as a War and Peace Fellow and a Rockefeller Leadership Fellow, and as mentor for the First-Year Student Enrichment Program. She’s also performed in student theater productions and directed the V-February program, which promotes gender equity. “The education that I’ve been given at Dartmouth has opened my eyes and has given me the language to identify solutions to problems, navigate uncomfortable situations, and succeed.”
This fall, Ramos will begin a master’s program in international economics and Latin American studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. (She’ll take nine months off for Fulbright.)
She calls winning a Fulbright “humbling. This is the United States trusting in you to bring the world closer together.”
Philosophy major; global health minor
Research/study grant, Ecuador
Through Fulbright, Alexandra Reichert will conduct ethnographic research on indigenous Ecuadorian women’s experiences with traditional and Western health services, working with two clinics, including one where she interned during her junior winter.
Reichert originally planned a career in medicine, but a course on public health that let her and her classmates partner with a local NGO on a public health initiative “made me realize that I’m more interested in health from this big picture perspective.” At the same time, courses on contemporary morals and ethical theory “got my philosophy wheels turning.”
“I liked having this big picture—what are ethics and where do moral inclinations come from—and then, with public health, having this very tangible, on-the-ground way to understand ethics in situations relating to health care.”
A philosophy FSP in Edinburgh was formative. “Being in Scotland and constantly being surrounded by philosophy—having that constant academic conversation—was amazing. Coming back from that trip I was like, I’m a philosopher now; I really care about this.”
Outside of class, Reichert served on lodge crew for first-year trips, as an admissions tour guide and tour guide trainer, and as president of Chi Delta.
Of Fulbright, she says, “It’s a big honor. I’m excited to dive deep into this project.” Ultimately, she hopes to pursue graduate study in anthropology or public health and to work in a health policy setting.
Asian and Middle Eastern languages and literatures and Asian and Middle Eastern studies double major
Research/study grant, Morocco
Sharidan Russell’s interest in Arabic began in high school, on a church service trip to the West Bank town of Bethlehem. “I had this desire to learn more, specifically about the Israel-Palestine conflict and to understand Arabic,” she says.
At Dartmouth, her interest became a passion. “I completely fell in love with the language and with the department. I studied abroad in Morocco, and that expanded my vision of what I could accomplish.”
Through a Dickey Center fellowship, she returned to Morocco to intern with the Orient-Occident Foundation, teaching English to refugees, and she received funding from the Leslie Center for the Humanities for thesis research in the West Bank. “I don’t know that I would have had those opportunities elsewhere,” she says. “I’m so grateful to Dartmouth for that.”
She served as a learning fellow for a religion class on modern Islam and worked as a drill instructor in Arabic. “It was great to share the excitement I have about Arabic with other students,” she says.
Through Fulbright, Russell plans to study the social implications of writing in the Moroccan Arabic dialect instead of Modern Standard Arabic—a cultural trend that has developed in the past 20 years and is still controversial. “It has implications for literacy and education, because it’s more accessible to more people than standard Arabic,” she says.
Of receiving the Fulbright, she says, “It’s rewarding to be trusted with Fulbright’s mission and to be able to go to Morocco to study what I want, but also to give back.”
History and Asian and Middle Eastern studies double major
English teaching assistant grant, South Korea
Nicole Simineri came to Dartmouth determined to travel. “A huge goal of mine was seeing the world and learning about other cultures and languages,” she says. She went to London on a history FSP; to Japan for language study abroad and again through a Goldstein Fellowship from the Dickey Center; to Poland and Greece through Dartmouth Hillel’s Project Preservation; and to Washington, D.C., as an intern at the Department of Justice through the Rockefeller Center for Public Policy.
Her time in Japan “confirmed my interest in East Asian history and foreign policy as well as my love for learning languages,” she says. Since graduation, she has served as a WorldTeach Global Education Fellow in China and has traveled throughout Southeast Asia.
At Dartmouth, she was a Global Leadership Fellow and a War and Peace Fellow, wrote and edited for The Dartmouth, served as an undergraduate adviser in the Global Village and Gender Equity Program, and volunteered with America Reads, among other activities.
Now, she says, she’s excited to learn Korean language and culture while teaching English. In addition to teaching, she hopes to volunteer with defectors from North Korea and conduct independent research.
“I don’t know what the future holds after Fulbright, but I’m working hard to seek out and embrace any and all opportunities to expand my mind as much as possible, and Fulbright is an unparalleled opportunity for me to do exactly that.”
Research/study grant, Germany
A self-described “newshound,” Catherine Treyz is currently the White House and Capitol Hill assignment editor for CNN, the network she joined in 2015 after a year as a desk assistant at Fox News. “There is no ordinary day in breaking news,” she says.
Now, through Fulbright’s Young Professional Journalist Program, she’s looking forward to diving deep into research. She plans to use her Fulbright to research and report on the restoration of stolen Nazi-era artworks to their rightful owners. “I’m excited to show that history, too, can be news, and while it may not be as fast-paced, it’s important to help audiences understand the depth of an issue.”
As an undergraduate, Treyz worked at The Dartmouth and the College radio station, and interned in the rights and clearances department at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., an experience that “introduced me to this world of ownership”—part of what piqued her curiosity about the provenance of stolen art.
The English department was “my home,” she says. On an FSP in Dublin, she did an independent study on Irish news media, and later wrote an honors thesis on Sherlock Holmes. Professors from the department “played a huge role in my Dartmouth career, and themes I learned in their classes have propelled my interest both as journalist in D.C. and in what I hope continues beyond.”
Psychology major; sociology minor
Research/study grant, India
As a Fulbright-Nehru Scholar in Goa, Karen Wen will partner with a mental health NGO, Sangath, to study drug use among adolescents. “I’m interested in access-barriers to care for adolescents who misuse drugs, and it’s a chance to have an extended field experience in a new country and dig deep into the field of global health,” she says.
Her interest was shaped in part by the Dartmouth course “Telling Stories for Social Change,” which provided an opportunity to work with women in drug rehabilitation. “That was my first experience of addiction face-to-face, instead of abstracted in a book,” she says. As a presidential scholar with Geisel psychiatry professor Robert Santulli, she helped establish an art-viewing program for people with dementia, an experience she calls formative. “It catalyzed my interest in combining mental health with community programs and public health.”
She also served as a program assistant for HIV/AIDS activist Dawn Averitt women’s empowerment initiative in Swaziland. “She is a big reason I’m so interested in working at a grassroots level and exploring the structural barriers to health care access,” Wen says. Wen currently works as a program assistant for UCSF’s Global Health Group. She plans eventually to pursue graduate study in clinical mental health and public health.
“I never could have imagined all of the opportunities that I’d have when I got into Dartmouth, and the space I’d have to explore so many different interests,” she says.
Hannah Silverstein can be reached at [email protected].