Undergraduates, recent alumni and a PhD candidate win Fulbright grants

A group of current Brandeis undergraduates, recent alumni and one doctoral degree candidate have been awarded Fulbright Fellowships.

Established in 1946 by Congress, the Fulbright grant program is a prestigious educational exchange that aims to foster cultural understanding between the United States and other countries. Recipients are chosen for academic merit and leadership potential, and are given the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

The following students and alumni have been awarded fellowships:

Matthew Chernick '16 has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student English Teaching Assistantship to Romania. He brings to the program a long-standing interest in and personal connection to the host country, a deep passion for teaching, and a highly interdisciplinary background in the humanities. In addition to teaching English, Chernick will serve as a resource for conversation, vocabulary, and reading and writing courses at a local university. He also hopes to organize events presenting American culture such as lectures, film screenings, and dramatic performances through his host institution. Chernick is a graduate student in the Program in Comparative Humanities, and received his Bachelor of Arts from Brandeis with a triple major in film, television, and interactive media; European cultural studies, and classical studies, along with minors in history and English literature. After teaching English in Romania, he plans to pursue a doctoral degree to teach film studies at the university level, and to use his newfound Romanian language and cultural background to become one of the preeminent sources on Romania's cinematic tradition.

Liana Gerecht '17 has been awarded an English Teaching Assistantship to Taiwan. In addition to majoring in both psychology and education studies with a minor in elementary education, Liana also has a broad range of practical experiences to draw upon as a teacher, including serving as a student teacher in the Arlington Public Schools, working as a camp counselor at the Washington, D.C. Jewish Community Center, and teaching in a Danish classroom during her semester at the Danish Institute of Study Abroad. At Brandeis, she has served as the Undergraduate Department Representative for the Education Program, as a volunteer mentor to students with disabilities through SPECTRUM, and as a volunteer tutor. In the future, Liana plans to pursue a master's degree in education with a focus on English language learners.

Katharine (Katie) Glanbock '14 has also been awarded an English Teaching Assistantship to Taiwan. Elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduating with majors in language and linguistics and philosophy along with a minor in East Asian studies, Katie has spent the last two years working in software development as a data manager and linguist. She has also served as a teaching assistant in Chinese for the China Institute Children's Program, a teacher's aide at First Avenue Daycare, a tutor with Brandeis' English Language Learners Programs, and a teaching assistant for typology in the Linguistics Department at Brandeis. She studied abroad in Hangzhou through the Middlebury School in China program and is now looking forward to exploring and learning about cultural and linguistic differences between Taiwan and Mainland China, and to understanding which teaching practices best suit the needs of Chinese speakers in Taiwanese educational settings. After her year in Taiwan, Katie plans to pursue a doctoral degree in educational linguistics and to embark upon a career in government, working on educational reforms that will improve English as a second language practices and expand multilingual education.

Amelia (Mia) Katan '15 will spend the upcoming year as an English Teaching Assistant in Vietnam. Since graduating with majors in international and global studies and politics along with a minor in legal studies, Mia has been working as a paralegal specialist with the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. While at Brandeis she earned the Joel Friedland Study Abroad Scholarship for her semester of study at the School for International Studies in Uganda, a Circle on Democracy and Cultural Pluralism Grant for research she conducted during her semester at the Brandeis in The Hague program, where she also completed an internship at the International Criminal Court, and a Social Justice World of Work fellowship for her internship at Interfaith Worker Justice. After teaching English in Vietnam, where she hopes to facilitate multicultural and multilingual literacy in her students, Mia intends to pursue a master's degree in human rights and international development.

Troia Reyes-Stone '17 has earned the Binational Internship to Mexico. Troia will graduate this spring with majors in international and global studies and in East Asian studies. She spent a semester abroad through the Brandeis in The Hague Program, where she conducted an internship at Parliamentarians for Global Action. She also conducted research on the Kellogg Briand Pact as a Schiff Undergraduate Research Fellow and has written several articles for the Brandeis International Journal. The Fulbright internship in Mexico will allow her to learn how to develop and maintain strong diplomatic and business relations between Mexican and U.S. industries and governmental agencies. She also hopes to volunteer as an English teacher at a local school and to explore traditional and modern Mexican art. After completing her Fulbright year, Troia plans to join the U.S. Army Reserves, volunteer as a legal intern for a women's shelter, and pursue a dual graduate degree in law and public administration.

Thaviny (Terry) Shaipitisiri '17 has been named an English Teaching Assistant to Thailand. A Posse Scholar from Atlanta, Terry is currently student teaching seventh grade history at McDevitt Middle School in Waltham as part of her combined Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Teaching program. Terry is eager to reconnect with her own cultural heritage while teaching English in Thailand, and to learn more about the Thai dances and songs she grew up hearing and performing. Terry hopes that the cross-cultural teaching practices she learns during her Fulbright year will enhance her ability to connect with and teach students throughout her career as an educator.

Yasmin Yousof-Ibrahim '15 has earned an English Teaching Assistantship to India. Yasmin graduated with a double major in politics and education studies. Yasmin was a Martin Luther King Jr. Scholar, a poet and performer in Dream Monologues, and an active member of the Student Support Services Program, the English Language Learners Program, the Brandeis Muslim Student Association, and the Brandeis Immigration Education Initiative. She also was awarded research funding from the Provost's Undergraduate Research Fund and from the Rapaporte Foundation to conduct a study of the Abaarso School of Science and Technology in Hargeisa, Somaliland. During her Fulbright year, in addition to teaching English in a non-profit school in India, Yasmin is eager to engage students' cultural and linguistic backgrounds by facilitating poetry workshops and performances. Upon returning to the US, Yasmin plans to pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching and to work as an English as a second language teacher in an urban setting with at-risk youth.

The following individuals were awarded grants, but have chosen to decline their award to pursue other opportunities:

Charles Stratford, a doctoral candidate in musicology, was awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student grant to Austria to conduct an archival study of Arnold Schoenberg's 1923 composition, “The Serenade.” Stratford received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and master’s degree in musicology from Brigham Young University before entering the doctoral program in musicology at Brandeis in 2012. He has published papers in The Journal of the Arnold Schoenberg Center and SONUS: A Journal of Investigations into Global Musical Possibilities, and has taught classes at Brandeis including "History of Rock".

Stephanie Weinstein '17 was awarded an English Teaching Assistantship to Malaysia. Currently serving as a student teacher full-time as part of her combined Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Teaching program, Stephanie has also worked as a teacher's aide, a summer camp counselor, and as a volunteer and then intern at Lemberg Children's Center. During her junior year she studied abroad at the National University of Singapore, and later served as a study abroad ambassador. She was also a member of the Brandeis Sustainability Committee, vice president of Students for Environmental Action, a student representative for the Brandeis Sustainability Fund, and an orientation leader. Stephanie is looking forward to a career as an elementary school teacher.

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