PULLMAN, Wash. Public health, the biosphere, and white-power music are the topics that three graduate and professional school students will study in the coming academic year as Fulbright U.S. Student Scholars. This trio represents WSU’s first Fulbright students since 2004.
The prestigious Fulbright awards allow the students to travel abroad for 10 months of research to complement their doctoral research or professional degree program.
Tessa LeCuyer, a fourth-year student in veterinary medicine, was awarded one of four Fulbright-Fogarty Fellowships to conduct research at the Botswana Harvard Aids Institute for HIV Research and Education in Gaborone, one of the most advanced research facilities in Africa. Fulbright-Fogarty Fellowships are offered in partnership with the National Institutes of Health to encourage research in public health in resource-limited settings.
Julian Reyes, a second-year doctoral student in civil engineering, will be studying at the University of Bonn, continuing his research on how atmospheric deposition of nitrogen affects the terrestrial biosphere. At WSU, Reyes has been working on BioEarth, a multidisciplinary project to create a systems model for the entire planet to help understand how the atmosphere, terrestrial biosphere and aquatic systems are related to each other, and how changes in one sphere can affect the whole. The Kent native earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering in 2010, and was an active member of the WSU Honors College.
Kirsten Dyck, a graduate student in American Studies, is also traveling to Germany on her Fulbright award. While at the Georg-August-Universitat Gottingen, she will be working with Morag-Josephine Grant as part of a research group focused on “Music, Conflict, and the State.” She also will be continuing her dissertation research at the Anti-Facist Press Archive and Education Center in Berlin.
WSU applications competitive
Sarah Ann Hones, director of Distinguished Scholarships program in the University College, said 11 students applied for the Fulbright scholarships; four made it to the final selection round and three received placements.
“The WSU students who received the awards this year are a very diverse group,” Hones said, with one student from the humanities, one from engineering and one from veterinary medicine.
“We passed the point long ago that these scholarships are only awarded to students at Ivy League schools,” Hones said. “If WSU is doing what it says it is doing, our students should be competitive for these awards.”
Raising Fulbright awareness
While WSU students have received Fulbright awards in the past, none had been granted since 2004. Since 2009, Hones said, her office has made a concerted effort to raise awareness about distinguished scholarships, such as the Fulbright, and to work with undergraduates to engage in the years-long process to be eligible to apply for the awards. Hones also works closely with academic advisors across the university and with several faculty who help to mentor these undergraduates. Interested faculty, staff, and students can contact her by email at email@example.com, or by phone at 509-335-8239.
Even if a student ultimately does not receive a Fulbright or other prestigious award, Hones said, the process is valuable because it forces students to think critically about their academic and professional goals and helps them set a high bar for what they want to accomplish in their education.
– – – – – – – – – – – – –
Media Contact: Hope Tinney, WSU News, firstname.lastname@example.org, 509-335-8741