Herbert PhD'26, Khilji '20 named Fulbright Scholars

Two Brandeis alumni that were named alternates for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program have been promoted to principal status.

Alexander Herbert PhD '26 has been awarded a research grant to Russia where he will examine environmental politics in the Soviet Union in the decade before collapse using the Leningrad "dam" as a case study to evaluate the growing importance of environmental politics, and how it became a lens through which journalists, activists, and artists began to challenge the Communist Party on a local and national level.

Herbert will work with a number of Russian environmental organizations and NGOs like Greenpeace and Ecodefense. He has also been invited to give guest lectures at the Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg. After completion of his Fulbright grant, Herbert plans to return to the U.S. to complete his PhD in History and conduct research that strengthens connections between environmental historians of the late 20th century on both sides of the former Iron Curtain. Herbert authored the book “What About Tomorrow?: An Oral History of Russian Punk from the Soviet Era to Pussy Riot,” He won the 2020 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award at Brandeis.

Sohaima Khilji BA '20 has been named a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Taiwan. An International and Global Studies major and recipient of a Humanities Fellowship and Segal Fellowship, Khilji also studied abroad with SIT Rabat in Morocco during her junior year.

She served as president of the Brandeis Muslim Student Association, and was an Orientation Leader and part of the Orientation Core Committee. She has also served as an English as a Second Language Teacher for refugees, and has worked with low-income Muslim youth.

While in Taiwan, Khilji is eager to promote dialogue about the broad range of American identities, actively engaging with the local Muslim community and mosque to develop spaces for this dialogue and to share her experience as a Pakistani Muslim-American. She also hopes to engage with the local Muslim community by developing interfaith activities and events where Taiwanese Muslims can discuss what life is like as a Muslim in Taiwan. After completing her Fulbright grant she plans to pursue a career as an immigration attorney.

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