15 Johns Hopkins students, recent graduates named Fulbright Scholars

Editor's note: This article was updated after its original publication date to include the selection of two more Fulbright Scholars from Johns Hopkins University

Fifteen Johns Hopkins University students and recent graduates will have the opportunity to travel abroad to such places as Fiji, China, and France to study, teach, and conduct research after recently being named Fulbright Scholars.

Named for the late Sen. J. William Fulbright, who sponsored legislation creating the prestigious scholarship, the Fulbright Scholar Program is the country's largest educational exchange program, offering opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and school teaching worldwide. Approximately 8,000 grants are awarded each year, and the program operates in more than 155 countries.

"Johns Hopkins has been named a top-producing Fulbright institution for the last five years. Our results this year surpass those of the last three years and represent the commitment of our students, faculty and staff to this prestigious program," said Jeannette Miller, the university's assistant director for the national fellowships program. "Each student from the Homewood campus has made significant contributions to the Baltimore community during their time at Johns Hopkins—founding environmental clubs, volunteering to interpret at medical offices, and organizing conferences about world events. Their engagement in Baltimore will help them to fulfill one of the key aspects of the Fulbright grant: the importance of cultural exchange."

With the Fulbright Study/Research grant, a student designs a proposal for a specific country. The program aims to facilitate cultural exchange and promote mutual understanding by supporting study or research abroad.

The Johns Hopkins winners are:

  • Katie Botto, who will graduate in this year with a B.A. in international studies, East Asian studies, and sociology, will spend two years in South Korea earning a master's degree in global affairs and public policy at Yonsei University in Seoul. When she returns to the U.S. she plans to pursue a career in East Asia policy.

  • Justin Falcone, who will graduate this year with a B.A. in environmental archaeology, will travel to Fiji to continue work he started while living in French Polynesia and Kiribati for a semester. He will continue to research human-environment interactions in Fiji, collaborating with environmental geography professors at the University of the South Pacific.

  • Julia Gall, who is currently a student in the Masters of Science in Public Health degree program in International Health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, will be traveling to Moldova in January 2016 for her project "Assessing Mental Health among Moldovan Youth." Julia is fluent in Russian, and will be collecting mental health data to research depression and self-harm behaviors among teenagers while in Moldova. Julia's Fulbright award will fulfill the practicum requirement for her masters degree program, which she expects to complete in 2016.

  • Christina Meyer, who will graduate this year with a B.A. in public health and East Asian studies, will travel to China to research the impact of catastrophic health events on patterns of rural to urban migration in the Nanjing region. After her Fulbright year, Meyer plans to continue her research in the field of public health, focusing on improving access to quality health care in developing Asian nations.

  • Raychel Santo, who graduated in 2014 with a B.A. in public health and global and environmental change and sustainability, and now works as a program coordinator at the Center for a Livable Future, will travel to the United Kingdom where she will pursue a master's degree in Food, Space, and Society at Cardiff University. She will also participate in a local gardening cooperative and volunteer for Fairtrade Cardiff.

  • Mariam Banahi, a PhD student in anthropology, will travel to Hamburg, Germany, to research the kinship practices of Afghan refugees there. She will conduct interviews, working with the Hamburg Institute for Cultural Anthropology. She will also volunteer for First Contact e.V., an organization that assists foreign migrants in Germany.

  • Sue Kulason, a PhD student in biomedical engineering, will travel to France to research the shape of brain atrophy in Alzheimer's patients in the lab of Alain Trouvé, at the École Normale Supérieure de Cachan, outside of Paris. Kulason will also study French.

  • Harry Lang, a PhD student in mathematics, will travel to France to work in the Geometrica lab, in the Saclay suburb of Paris, where he will research topological data analysis. He also plans to participate in events at the Institut du Monde Arabe and volunteer with France Bénévolat.

  • Misha Mintz-Roth, a PhD student in history, will spend a year in India researching Gujarati-language sources to inform his dissertation on Indian-African relations in colonial Kenya. Mintz-Roth will focus on Ahmedabad, Surat, and Mumbai. He also plans to volunteer for organizations that aid children from low-income urban families.

  • Aditi Kantipuly, who received a master's of health science from the Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2014, and who has been working at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, will travel to India for her project "Using Childhood Glaucoma as a Model to Study the Management of Rare Diseases in India."

  • Lorenzo Nava, a doctoral student at the School of Nursing, will travel to South Korea to study the country's spike in obesity. The project, "Healthy Traditions: Preventing Cardiovascular Disease through the Traditional Korean Diet," will be the second extended stay in South Korea for Nava, who spent two months there in 2009 on an immersive language fellowship.

The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant programs place students in schools overseas to supplement local English language instruction and to provide a native speaker presence in the classrooms.

The Johns Hopkins winners are:

  • Margo Heston, who will graduate this year with a degree in biomedical engineering, will teach English in Poland where she will work with Polish instructors to expand the use of digital media. After Poland, Heston plans to resume research on biomedical technologies for the hearing impaired.

  • Joshua Langfus, who will graduate this year with a degree in philosophy and cognitive science, will teach English in Spain, where he plans to work with students on the Model United Nations Global Classrooms Project. Langfus plans to work as a clinical psychologist for adolescents.

  • Thalia Patrinos, who graduated in 2014 with a B.A. in English and Global Environmental Change and Sustainability, will teach English in South Africa next year. She plans to integrate her love of literature, theater, and circus arts into a distinct hands-on experience for her students. After South Africa, Patrinos plans to pursue graduate study in either English or Education, and continue to gain teaching experience working with both circus art and creative writing organizations.

  • Virginia Rogers, who graduated in 2014 with a degree in public health sciences, will teach English in Malaysia. Before heading there, Rogers will travel to Nepal to work with NGOs. She plans to pursue a career in international health.

More than 325,400 students have been awarded Fulbright grants since the program's inception in 1946. The Fulbright is administered by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

For more information about the Fulbright program at Johns Hopkins, visit http://fellowships.jhu.edu/