Fulbright grants awarded to record number of Johns Hopkins students

Award programs allow students to study, conduct research, and teach abroad

A record number of Johns Hopkins students have received awards from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. With 22 students from the university winning awards, 10 students have received Study/Research Awards, 11 have received English Teaching Assistantship Awards, and one student has received a Fulbright-Fogarty Award in Public Health.

Named for the late Sen. J. William Fulbright, who sponsored legislation creating the prestigious scholarship, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the country's largest educational exchange program, offering opportunities for students and young professionals to meet, work, live with, and learn from the people of the host country. The program awards approximately 2,000 grants annually and operates in more than 140 countries worldwide.

More information about the Fulbright application process can be found on the website of the National Fellowships Program.

Learn more about the awards and the winners from Johns Hopkins below:

Study/Research Awards

Winners of the Fulbright Open Study/Research Award design their own research or academic course of study in a specific country, and winners of Fulbright partnership awards undertake a graduate degree at specific partner institutions. The program aims to facilitate cultural exchange and promote mutual understanding by supporting study or research abroad.

The winners from Johns Hopkins are:

Ayesha Durrani: A 2018 graduate in political science with a minor in Islamic studies, Durrani will spend the year in Brighton, England studying for a master's degree in migration studies at the University of Sussex through a partnership award. While in Brighton, which is known as a refugee-friendly city, she will volunteer with the Migrant English Project and Student Action for Refugees.

Marios Falaris: A PhD candidate in anthropology, Falaris will spend the year in Delhi, India, doing dissertation research on the role of land in stitching together Kashmiri communities across India. He will explore local archives and complete ethnographic fieldwork, focusing in particular on land redistribution in the 1950s and forced displacements in the 1990s. When not researching, he will interview local academics for the AnthroPod podcast and will volunteer with women and children displaced by conflict.

David Hamburger: A 2018 graduate in Medicine, Science and the Humanities and international studies who is completing his master's in international economics and international law and organizations at SAIS, Hamburger will study for an LLM in European law at Leiden University in the Netherlands. In Leiden, he looks forward to providing English tutoring to young adult immigrants and joining the university kayaking club.

Lex Londino: After graduating this spring with a master's degree in public health, Londino will research the reproductive health needs of sex workers and LGBTQ individuals in eSwatini, to contribute to the National AIDS Programme's efforts to improve health care access for disadvantaged populations. Londino will put many years of nursing and midwifery experience to use as a volunteer doula and/or midwife at a government hospital, and will volunteer in wildlife conservation at the Lubombo Conservancy.

Thera Naiman: A PhD candidate in history, Naiman will spend the year in France engaged in research for her dissertation on how 19th-century French spaces that exhibited animals expressed human notions of civilization and animality. She will concentrate on state and institutional archives in Paris, with a few months' detour to Aix-en-Provence, to explore how scientific classification at two Parisian zoos embodied conflicts over social hierarchies of race and class. While in Paris, she looks forward to playing for the women's soccer team at a local sports club.

Aine O'Sullivan: A 2017 graduate in biomedical engineering, O'Sullivan will work on improving hydrogel scaffolds for the regeneration of cartilage and ligament damage at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. A veteran outdoor enthusiast, O'Sullivan hopes to make lasting personal connections through hiking by joining the Club Montagne at EPFL.

Aisvarya Panakam: After graduating this spring with a degree in public health and molecular and cellular biology and a minor in Spanish for the Professions, Panakam will devote the year to creating proteins that could prime the immune system to fight off HIV infection at the National Center for Microbiology in Majadahonda, Spain. Outside the lab, she will nurture her interest in Spanish literature by joining the Ciervo Blanco Literary Club in Majadahonda and connect with fellow practitioners of Krav Maga by joining a local training center.

Thaara Shankar: After completing her degree in the history of art with minors in Museums and Society and classics, Shankar will research the arts scene in New Delhi, India, from partition to the present. She will work with curators and artists at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art and the Triveni Kala Sangam, an arts school and gallery space. While in Delhi, she will volunteer with Art Reach India to contribute to arts programming for children and continue her study of the classical dance genre Bharatanatyam.

Lidya Tadesse: After graduating this spring with a degree in public health and a minor in psychology, Tadesse will investigate the health beliefs and experiences of the growing community of Habesha migrant women with chronic illnesses in Bern, Switzerland, with the goal of promoting better health care policies for this underserved population. While in Bern, she will volunteer with Action for Women, which supports migrant women and children, and further her watercolor painting skills by taking classes at a local arts school.

Neha Thomas: A PhD candidate in biomedical engineering, Thomas will spend the year at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Germany, exploring ways to combine automatic slip prevention and haptic feedback in a hybrid control method for prosthetics used by upper-limb amputees, with the goal of providing better object manipulation. While in Stuttgart, she plans to mentor younger female students in her lab and join Germans and refugees in communal cooking and other activities run by Freundeskreis Flüchtlinge, a local refugee aid society.

Fulbright-Fogarty Award in Public Health

The Fulbright-Fogarty Awards in Public Health promote the expansion of public health and clinical research in resource-limited settings. Offered through a partnership between the Fulbright Program and the Fogarty International Center of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the award carries the same benefits as the traditional Fulbright Study/Research grants and is designed for candidates who are currently enrolled in medical school or in a graduate-level program and who are interested in global health.

The Johns Hopkins winner of the Fulbright-Fogarty Award in Public Health is Yasmin Ogale, a PhD candidate in international health. She will study the feasibility of STI self-sampling among HIV-positive and -negative adults in Rakai, Uganda—research that will contribute to prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections in Uganda. She will also volunteer as a community counselor on HIV testing and looks forward to joining a local choir and dance group.

English Teaching Assistantship Awards

The English Teaching Assistantship Program places Fulbright winners in classrooms around the world to provide assistance to the local English teachers and to serve as cultural ambassadors for the U.S.

The winners of English Teaching Assistantship Awards from Johns Hopkins are:

Elysia Chou: After graduating this spring with a degree in biomedical engineering, Chou will travel to South Korea, where along with teaching she hopes to continue taekwondo training and to volunteer as an ESL mentor in underserved communities.

Colin Friedman: A 2016 graduate in mechanical engineering who has since worked in data science and visualization consulting, Friedman will spend the year teaching in Malaysia and sharing his life-long love of baseball.

Amanda Jan: A 2017 graduate in English and neuroscience, Jan will trade her work in pulmonary research at UC San Francisco for teaching in Taiwan, where she hopes to volunteer in medical services in her host community.

Kain Kim: After earning her English degree this spring, Kim will travel to Macedonia to take up teaching and volunteering in mobile delivery of health care for women.

Jacquie Lapple: Completing her master's degree in secondary education this spring, Lapple will use the skills she has gained teaching English and ESL in North Carolina through Teach for America to help students in South Korea and offer English-related activities in the community.

Kush Mansuria: After graduating with a degree in molecular and cellular biology last December, Mansuria will travel to Indonesia to teach and to experience the implementation of universal health care by volunteering at a local health organization.

Daniel March: A 2017 graduate in East Asian studies with a minor in economics, March is currently teaching ESL in a Newark charter school. He will spend the year teaching in Taiwan, where he plans to create a communal garden in his host community.

Lindsay Martin: About to finish her degree in English and psychology, Martin will be posted in Taiwan, where she looks forward to teaching elementary school students and volunteering with a youth sports organization.

Daniel Parra: After graduating in neuroscience with a minor in Latin American studies, Parra will travel to Mexico, where he plans to organize a community garden with a local nutritionist or general practitioner in addition to teaching.

Maddlyn Sivilli: A 2018 graduate with a master's in secondary education, Sivilli will bring with her to Spain the experience she gained as a social studies and special education teacher in Hawaii through Teach for America. Outside the classroom, she plans to volunteer with groups who aid marginalized populations in Spain.

Cole Stalter: A 2018 graduate with a master's in educational studies, Stalter will spend the year in Malaysia, coaching sports and fine-tuning the teaching skills he acquired working with English language learners in Hawaii through Teach for America.

Four additional students from Johns Hopkins were named alternates for Fulbright grants this year: Dylan Balter, a senior public health major; Shirley Lung, a PhD candidate in sociology; Ruchit Patel, who is completing his neuroscience degree; and senior Amanda Tuchler, a public health and Medicine, Science and the Humanities major.