By: Kasey Andrade
This year, six BSU seniors and one alumna applied for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, a prestigious award offering research, study, and teaching opportunities in more than 140 countries. The Honors Program is proud to announce this year’s Fulbright applicants:
David Braga ‘17, a history major, applied for a research grant in Canada to study how the international border between the United States and Canada impacted Portuguese immigration to Canada post WWII and how this changed after 9/11. His proposed research project aims to discover if the border and its meaning factored into a migrant’s decision when selecting a country. David selected Canada because of the country’s large Portuguese population, aligning with his desire to conduct research tied to Portuguese immigration. David’s family is from Portugal, and this personal connection inspired his interest in the subject. If awarded the Fulbright, David will be enrolling in a yearlong master’s in history program at York University in Toronto and will work with the Portuguese Canadian History Project.
Adam Costa ’17, a political science major and anthropology minor, applied for a research grant in the UK with an affiliation with the University of Manchester. Adam’s proposed research is a comparative program analysis on youth violence reduction programs in Ma
nchester and Boston. This study would analyze what resources were used, how they were used, who they were used by, and how effective they were. Adam selected Manchester because the city’s population demographic, political landscape, and policy language is similar to that of Boston. If awarded the Fulbright, Adam plans to not only study legislation, but volunteer his time to get to know the people and the situation from their perspective in an attempt to bring about positive change for the youth population.
Mikayla Cote ’17, a biology major, applied for a research grant to study water quality in Cambodia. Her proposed project focuses on wastewater treatment in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she would attempt to improve upon a prototype of a wastewater treatment reactor that her mentor at BSU, Dr. Jenna Mendell, designed in Cambodia. Her interest in water quality research began when she conducted undergraduate research focusing on improving biosand filters for use in the rural villages in Cambodia, and her interest deepened when she participated in a three week study tour to Cambodia. If awarded the Fulbright, she will build and test this reactor with the help of the people at Wetlands Work!, a social enterprise focused on improving contaminated water, and plans to take classes at Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia.
Emily Molyneux ’16, a biology major with a minor in biochemistry, applied for a research grant to study how the Zika epidemic, and ultimately the public health education efforts to prevent its spread, affect women’s reproductive health practices in Trinidad and Tobago. If awarded the Fulbright, Emily will conduct interviews with women in both rural and urban areas about their experiences with Zika and their thoughts on contraception. Emily chose to apply to conduct this research in Trinidad and Tobago because they are Anglophone, have an ethically and religiously diverse population, and because BSU has strong connections to the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine.
Kelsey Murphy ’17, a history major with a minor in film, applied for a research grant in Canada to study radical unionism among lumbermen. Her mentor, Dr. Brian Payne, received a Fulbright to Canada to study Canadian history, influencing Kelsey’s decision to choose Canada and her research topic. This proposed research will examine Canada’s labor history, which is comparative with the United States. Kelsey also chose this topic because she is drawn to studying both radicalism and unionization. Her advice to anyone applying for the Fulbright is to find two to three faculty members who specialize in the country or field of study for the proposed research. Kelsey emphasizes that these relationships are very important and can be beneficial in providing feedback on application drafts.
Jamie Nelson ’17, a mathematics major with a minor in computer science, applied for a research grant in Italy to study virtual reality cell phone applications. While at BSU, Jamie’s undergraduate research has been focused on virtual reality cell phone applications and she hopes to continue this research in Italy by creating a virtual reality application exploring a gelato factory. Jamie first became interested in studying in Italy because her grandparents were born in the country, and her interest deepened when she traveled to Rome and fell in love with the environment.
Emily Wiegand ’17, an English major with minors in Latin American and Caribbean studies and secondary education, applied for an English Teaching Assistant award to Argentina. Emily chose to apply for an English Teaching Assistant Award because of her life-long passion for teaching. She decided to apply for the Argentina program because it would allow her to work with other teachers like herself, in a nation that has a literacy rate significantly higher than that of the US. If awarded the Fulbright, Emily hopes to learn how to improve student literacy in her own classroom through her collaboration with Argentinian teachers.