14 Johns Hopkins students receive Fulbright grants to study, teach, conduct research abroad

Fourteen Johns Hopkins University students and recent graduates have been awarded Fulbright grants, earning the chance to travel abroad to study, teach, and conduct research.

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.

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 recipients are:

  • Rebecca Anderson, who graduated in December with a degree in international studies and East Asian studies. She will spend the next two years in Seoul, South Korea, pursuing a master's degree in Korean Studies at Yonsei University's Graduate School of International Studies.

  • Savannah Karmen-Tuohy, who graduated in 2016 with a degree in neuroscience. She will pursue research on HIV and cognitive function testing in Malawi. She has spent the past year researching the bioethics of end-of-life decision making in severe stroke patients at Tel Aviv University in Israel, and after the Fulbright, she will begin medical school.

  • Komal Kumar is a graduate of both JHU's Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her training has been in epidemiology and biostatistics with the Epidemiology Research Group in Organ Transplantation. Her research focuses on transplantation, specifically access, barriers, and interventions to increase live donor kidney transplantation. With the Fulbright, she will go to South Africa to research knowledge and perceptions of HIV-positive to HIV-positive transplantation.

  • Jeremy McGale is a combined degree candidate in the Department of Chemistry. With the Fulbright grant, he will perform research at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion in Mülheim, Germany, where his work will focus on the investigation of vanadium-containing nitrogenase model complexes using X-ray emission spectroscopy.

  • Rocio Oliva, who will graduate this year with a degree in chemistry and history of art and a minor in Latin American studies, will travel to Peru to study and promote the contemporary art scene. In Cusco, she will take courses, complete an internship at a gallery, and work with contemporary artists. She will also volunteer at a local clinic and help establish an art-based educational outreach program.

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 recipients are:

  • Ben Davidson, who graduated in 2014 with a double major in Spanish and English. He has been a Spanish teacher in Baltimore City Public Schools for three years. Davidson will travel to Spain and will work at a bilingual high school in Galicia. When he returns to the U.S., he plans to attend graduate school with a focus on bilingual education.

  • Sam Hasty, who is pursuing his master's in education at Johns Hopkins School of Education, He will travel to Poland to teach English to university students and research entrepreneurship development programs. He also plans to volunteer for the NGO Monar, which supports populations struggling with drug addiction and homelessness.

  • Christopher Hinds, who will graduate this year with a degree in public health. He will teach English in Taiwan, where he plans to use games in conjunction with teaching to make learning English exciting. He will work with teachers, students, and parents to host cross-cultural sessions after school and take classes in Mandarin. After his grant, Hinds plans to attend medical school and become a primary care physician in California.

  • Rachel Kassler graduated in December with a degree in international studies, Latin American studies, and Spanish. She is interested in public health and humanitarian aid. On campus, she was president of the Refugee Action Project and a hotline responder for the Sexual Assault Resource Unit. She will teach English in Malaysia.

  • Anne Kuhnen, who graduated in 2016 with a Master of Science in Education, will travel to the Netherlands, where she will work in the hospitality studies department at the ROC van Twente vocational high school in Almelo.

  • Johns Schwarcz, a graduating senior with a triple major in economics, history, and international studies, will teach English in Germany. He also plans to engage with the community there through chess and soccer programs. He developed a passion for teaching during his time as a tutor and also as a volunteer chess coach at the GreenMount School.

  • Saraniya Tharmarajah, a graduating senior double majoring in public health studies and sociology and minoring in theatre arts and studies, will travel to India to teach English. She plans to incorporate creative writing and theater into her lessons. She also plans to volunteer for public health organizations and take classes on classical performance.

  • Tiffaney Tran will graduate this spring with a double major in molecular and cellular biology and public health studies and a minor in Africana studies. In Baltimore, she tutors elementary school students twice a week through the Tutorial Project, and on the weekends she coaches youth at Jump for Joy, a jump rope program at the 29th Street Community Center. She will spend a year teaching English in Taiwan, where she also plans to volunteer with health advocacy organizations and study Mandarin.

  • Zachary Winters, who graduated in 2014 with a degree in public health and English, will travel to South Korea to teach English, coach little league, and tutor North Korean defectors.

In addition, three more students—seniors Ashley Ezema, Mohammad Hudhud, and Helena Arose—were named alternates for a study/research grant.

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 the National Fellowships Program website.

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