Brandeisians Earn Fulbrights, Goldwater, Gates Cambridge

After months of planning, work and waiting, a happy — and sizable — group of Brandeis students and recent alumni have been notified that they earned nationally competitive scholarships.

Nine Brandeisians received Fulbright grants to study, conduct research or teach English abroad for a year. This is the largest Brandeis cohort to gain recognition by the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, which seeks to promote cross-cultural interaction.

In addition, a Brandeis student was named a Goldwater Scholar for the first time in several years, and the university celebrated the selection of its second-ever Gates Cambridge Scholar.

The latest crop of Fulbright honorees include:

Anwar Abdul-Wahab ’11, a politics major. Abdul-Wahab will teach English in Thailand. He intends to pursue a degree in law, specializing in immigration policy.

Dan Boyle ’14, a biochemistry/biology major. Working in Milan, Italy, Boyle will research novel bio-imaging dyes that have unique diagnostic potential. After his year abroad, he intends to enroll in an MD/PhD program to study pathophysiology.

Doreen El-Roiey ’12, a politics/international and global studies major. In Sweden, El-Roiey will study that country’s Jewry, their use of Yiddish, and the protections Yiddish receives under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. She hopes to become an officer in the U.S. Foreign Service.

Kara Faktor ’14, a neuroscience/biology/Hispanic studies major. Faktor will study local perceptions of short-term medical volunteer work in Honduras. After completing her Fulbright year, Faktor plans to attend medical school, with a focus on providing medical care to underserved populations in the United States.

April French, PhD’16. In Russia, French will conduct historical research on the Russian Baptists of Siberia from 1890 to 1990. After completing her doctorate at Brandeis, she hopes to become a university professor in European history, Russian history or the history of Christianity.

Anna Khandros ’11, a politics major. Khandros will teach English in Tajikistan. Later, she hopes to prepare for a U.S. Foreign Service career, pursuing a dual graduate degree in international relations and journalism, and studying identity-based conflict and civilians in war-torn societies.

Jonah Seligman ’10, a history major. Seligman will teach English in Malaysia. He plans to earn a graduate degree in public policy, with a focus on educational equity and poverty alleviation.

Two other Brandeis students who earned Fulbright English-teaching assistantships have declined their award to pursue other opportunities:

Abigail Simon ’14, an education studies major, has accepted a two-year position as an AmeriCorps scholar-coach with Chicago’s Schuler Scholar Program, which prepares bright, underserved students to succeed at the most competitive colleges and universities.

Dina Kapengut ’14, a philosophy/psychology major, will enter a PhD program in school psychology at Columbia University.

The university’s Goldwater Scholar is Noam Saper ’15. A chemistry major, Saper has worked in the labs of faculty members Barry Snider and Christine Thomas, and studies both organic and inorganic chemistry. He is Brandeis’ first Goldwater Scholar since 2009. The Goldwater Scholarship encourages the pursuit of research careers in mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering.

Finally, Sophie Rosenberg ’10 is the university’s second-ever Gates Cambridge Scholar. A citizen of France, she will work toward a PhD in politics and international studies at the University of Cambridge, in England. Her research interests include the politics of public international law, transitional justice and the International Criminal Court.

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship, established by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, allows students from countries other than the U.K. to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree in any subject available at the University of Cambridge.

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