Penn Fulbrighters for 2018-19

Penn students and alumni are starting to be offered Fulbright grants for the 2018-19 academic year.  This list will be updated as we hear back from host countries over the next several months.  See this story for the 2017-18 Finalists.

The Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CURF) wishes to heartily congratulate Penn’s Fulbright Finalists for grant year 2018-2019:


Fulbright Study/Research Grant

Kevin Berry
PhD Candidate, Architectural History
Indianapolis, IN

Kevin Berry will begin his Fulbright research in Germany in September 2018. He will be conducting research on the architectural critic Adolf Behne, who theorized architecture's role in political revolution from a Hegelian-Marxist perspective in 1920's Berlin. Before entering the Ph.D. program in Architectural History at PennDesign, he received an M.A. in philosophy and taught as an adjunct professor of philosophy at Boston College, Northeastern University, and Indiana University.

Petra Creamer
PhD Candidate, Art & Archaeology of the Mediterranean World
Monclova, OH

Petra Creamer will begin her Fulbright research in Germany in September 2018. She intends to study ancient Assyrian mortuary material in the museum collections of the Pergamon Museum, Berlin, to understand how the Assyrian Empire impacted the perception of death and the afterlife in the Near East.  Petra has undertaken archaeological fieldwork in many countries, including Italy, Azerbaijan, and Iraq.

Lacy Feigh
PhD Candidate, History
Columbia, SC

Lacy Feigh is a PhD student in the History Department specializing in the 20th century Horn of Africa and the Middle East. She will begin her Fulbright research in Ethiopia in the fall of 2018 and spring of 2019 in combination with a SSRC IDRF. Lacy’s dissertation examines labor migration and transformation across the Horn and the Gulf in the early 20th century. Prior to her graduate studies at Penn, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ethiopia (2012-2014) and received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Amman, Jordan (2014-2015). 

Alisa Feldman
SAS '18
Newton, MA

Alisa Feldman will be conducting an ethnographic study on IVF and infertility in Israel on a Fulbright Scholarship. She is a senior studying Health and Societies and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. At Penn, Alisa served as Editor-in-Chief of the Penn Healthcare Review and has been involved in numerous academic fellowship programs, including the Wolf Humanities Center Fellowship and the Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy Fellowship.

Marco Herndon
SAS '16

Marco Herndon plans to use his Fulbright research grant to study urban planning in Peru in the context of the Peruvian internal conflict of the 1980s. Marco received his BA in Urban Studies from Penn, cum laude and with honors in the major. He has most recently worked in the People Analytics space at Google. As an undergraduate, he conducted fieldwork in Argentina, Brazil, and Peru. 

Amber Henry
Joint PhD in Anthropology and Africana Studies
Brooklyn, NY

Amber Henry is a joint PhD Student in Anthropology and Africana Studies. Her Fulbright research will be conducted in Colombia, where she will investigate the role of tourism in crafting post-conflict spaces along the Caribbean coast.  Amber has worked closely with Afro-Colombian women activists, and her commitment to engaged scholarship has been supported by the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, the Benjamin A. Gilman Grant, and the Humanity in Action Fellowship.

Ari Lewis
SAS '18
Los Angeles, CA

Ari Lewis (C'18) will use her Fulbright Award to study for her Master of Arts in International Film Business at the University of Exeter and the London Film School in the fall of 2018. She is double majoring in Communication and Cinema & Media Studies, and aims to become a creative film producer. At Penn, she works at the Kelly Writers House and is a part of the Kinoki Senior Society, CityStep and the Vagina Monologues/V-Day Movement.

Brian J. Liu
SAS '18
San Francisco, CA

Brian J. Liu is a Philosophy, Politics, and Economics major and an incoming military intelligence officer in the U.S. Army Reserve. He is deeply interested in Chinese-Korean relations, having interned for the State Department's human rights office for North Korea and China. He also spent three semesters studying in Beijing and Hong Kong on the Boren and Gilman Scholarships. With a Fulbright, he plans to research China’s soft power campaign in Africa.

Julia Miller
GSE '17
Langhorne, PA

Julia Miller will begin her Fulbright research in Finland in September 2018. She will be conducting research in an early childhood learning center, studying the positive effects of social play in a learning environment to prove that the play-based and play-absent test conditions can be evaluated to quantify and characterize academic attainment. Before beginning her grant, Julia completed her two-year commitment to Teach for America, and worked as a first grade teacher in an elementary school in North Philadelphia. Post- research, she plans on implementing her social play research to create a program that will deeply integrate a pedagogical platform that deploys social play as a driver of academics.

Meghana Nallajerla
SAS '18
Atlanta, GA

Meghana Nallajerla will begin her Fulbright research in Sri Lanka in Fall 2018. She will research intergenerational trauma among Tamil families who survived the Civil War. Meghana is currently a senior majoring in Psychology and Gender Studies. Her previous work includes research on perceptions of depression amongst South Asian immigrants, and discrimination and wellbeing amongst ethnic minorities in India. Meghana is the former Chair of the Penn Association for Gender Equity and the founder of the South Asian Women’s Space.

Kristina Nielsen
PhD Candidate, Anthropology
Mount Horeb, WI

Kristina Nielsen is a linguistic anthropologist who studies language in India's call center industry. Her research centers on the emergence of a so-called "Neutral Accent" in India's call center industry. Working with companies that train and hire people based on their manner of speech, Kristina will investigate how "global" ways of speaking are creating new labels for old forms of class and regional discrimination in India.

Kristen Pearson
SAS '18
Norwich, VT

Kristen Pearson will begin her Fulbright research in Mongolia in Fall 2018.  She will analyze archaeological textiles from an anthropological perspective, using macro- and microscopic textile evidence to better understand the society and ecology of mobile pastoralists in ancient Inner Asia. At the Penn Museum, Kristen is a student and volunteer in CAAM and Associate Editor of Expedition Magazine. 

Sara Ray
PhD Candidate, History & Sociology of Science
Canton, ME

Sara Ray will begin her Fulbright research in the Netherlands in September 2018. Sara uses historical anatomical collections of “monstrous births” to examine the entwined histories of disability, scientific embryology, and natural history at the turn of the nineteenth century. She was previously a graduate fellow with the Wolf Humanities Center for their yearly theme Afterlives.

Kate Sohn
SAS '18
Princeton, NJ

Kate Sohn will be in South Korea for her Fulbright Research Scholarship. She will be conducting research on understanding the diverse experiences of Korean breast cancer survivors as they make the important and difficult transition from patient to survivor. She is currently a senior with a Health and Societies Major and a Bioethics Minor. Kate was inspired by her internship at the Brem Foundation to Defeat Breast Cancer in the summer of 2017.

Drew Starling
PhD Candidate, History
SAS '13
New Orleans, LA

Drew Starling is a PhD candidate in history at the University of Pennsylvania and was a Penn undergraduate (SAS ’13). He will be spending a year in France, studying the many ways in which Jansenism, a heterodox form of Catholicism, impacted eighteenth-century French debates about public opinion, censorship, and truth. His research will be supported by a Fulbright Fellowship and a CLIR Mellon Fellowship for Dissertation Research in Original Sources.  

Sharonya Vadakattu
SAS '18, WH '18
Dublin, OH

Sharonya Vadakattu will begin her research next February in Brazil. She will analyze a home-visitation pilot program in São Paulo which seeks to improve child neurodevelopment and holistic maternal-child health. At Penn, Sharonya has been involved with the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics and the Joseph Wharton Scholars Program. Through Fulbright, she is excited to deepen her interest in health policy and childhood development.


Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Grant (ETA)

Gabriel Delaney
SAS '15
New York City, NY

Gabriel A. Delaney will begin a Fulbright teaching assistantship in Colombia in August 2018. During his Fulbright grant year, he is looking forward to teaching English, fostering Colombian-American intercultural exchange, and researching Colombian post-conflict peace building narratives. Before beginning his grant, he pursued a Master of Philosophy in Politics degree at the University of Oxford where he submitted a dissertation on the role and construction of political narratives in American foreign policy.

Joshua Jordan
SAS '18
Warrington, PA

Joshua Jordan is majoring in Health and Societies and minoring in English. While teaching in India, he hopes to volunteer with an organization that focuses on economic empowerment while continuing to learn Hindi and the sitar. He is the former president of the Penn Symphony Orchestra where he plays the cello, a research assistant at the School of Social Policy and Practice, and is active in Penn Democrats and political campaigns in Philadelphia.

Caroline Kim
SAS '17
Bakersfield, CA

Caroline Kim majored in Political Science – International Relations and minored in Creative Writing and Asian American Studies. Some of her more formative experiences are the ones informed by, but happened outside of, a classroom at Penn: studying abroad in Seoul, South Korea; learning Spanish in Buenos Aires, Argentina; and taking a gap semester to organize in the 2016 presidential election in Las Vegas, Nevada. She hopes to add this experience—teaching English in Indonesia—to that list.

Amalia Lund
SAS '16
Miami, FL

Amalia Lund (SAS’16) will be traveling to Brazil in 2019 through a Fulbright English Teaching Award.  A Miami native, at Penn she studied Comparative Literature and Art History with a focus on Latin America, queer theory and postcolonial literature.  She is currently working as a writing professor at the Escuela Politécnica Nacional in Quito, Ecuador.  After Brazil she hopes to earn a doctorate in Latin American public policy and international relations. 

Jodi Marcus
SAS '18
Los Angeles, CA

Jodi Marcus will begin her Fulbright ETA fellowship in India this June. Originally from Los Angeles, Jodi is an Urban Studies major who is passionate about issues of equal access to opportunity. She gained invaluable insight into the challenges of the Indian education system while working for a skill development start-up in Delhi this past summer and is excited for the opportunity to tackle those challenges head on. Jodi loves working with youth and can't wait to meet her students.  

Amanda Nart
SAS '18
Houston, TX

Amanda Nart (SAS '18) will begin her Fulbright ETA to Colombia in July 2018. Amanda studies Hispanic Studies and History. She teaches bi-lingual literacy with Puentes de Salud in South Philadelphia. Additionally, she is involved with the Cipactli Latinx Honor Society, the Cuban-American Undergraduate Student Association, and at Penn. In addition to teaching in Colombia, Amanda hopes to engage with community by interviewing older Colombians about their life experiences, taking dance lessons, and by traveling throughout the country. 

Farah Otero-Amad
SAS '18
Berkeley, CA

Farah Otero-Amad (SAS ’18) will begin her Fulbright award in Argentina in March 2019. She will be an English Teaching Assistant for Argentinian youth. She previously taught English to Japanese high school students in Tokyo last summer. After her Fulbright, she will begin graduate school at Columbia University for a dual degree program in Journalism and International Affairs.

Haley Rugh
SAS '18
Middletown, CT

Haley Rugh will be graduating from the college this May with a degree in chemistry and a german minor. Haley will begin her journey as an English Teaching Assistant in September. She will be returning to Germany after studying at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich last spring. Haley has been a dedicated member of the Penn Band and Women’s Rowing Team during all four years at Penn. Before receiving her Fulbright, Haley held a diverse array of teaching positions, including as a ski instructor and teaching assistant at Maritime Education Network. 


Reece Sisto
SAS '18
Crystal River, FL

Reece Sisto is graduating with honors from the Urban Studies Program. He will begin an English Teaching Assistantship through Fulbright Colombia in August with a focus on engaging the country’s increasingly visible queer urban youth. Having tutored students here in West Philadelphia and across the equator in Buenos Aires, Reece is excited to extend his expertise to work through the Fulbright program.  

Julia Slater
SAS '17, GSE '18
Burbank, CA

Julia Slater will start her fellowship in Mexico in the Fall of 2018. Julia studied English and Urban Education at Penn before submatriculating into the Graduate School of Education. Julia has lived, learned, grown, and worked in both Nicaragua and Peru and looks forward to the opportunity to deepen her relationship with the hemisphere we share. Outside of her studies, Julia fosters cats, avidly reads Octavia Butler, and works with organizations in Philadelphia focusing on educational justice and immigrant advocacy. 

Karis Stephen
SAS '18
Tyler, TX

Karis Stephen will begin her English Teaching Assistant Fulbright in Malaysia, starting in January 2019. At Penn, she majored in English and Cinema & Media Studies with a Minor in Music. Karis ran the After School Arts Program through Platt Performing Arts House, is the former Community Service Chair on the Performing Arts Council Executive Board, and is a member of Counterparts A Cappella, Benjamin Franklin Scholars Honors, Osiris Senior Honor Society, and Friars Senior Honor Society.

Sarah Tang
SAS '18
Saratoga, CA

Sarah Tang is a PPE major originally from Saratoga, California. She is excited to begin her Fulbright ETA in Malaysia in January and build upon her interests in international development and education. At Penn, Sarah is involved in Grace Covenant Church, 180 Degrees Consulting, and the Student Committee on Undergraduate Education (SCUE). 

David Thai
SAS '18
Philadelphia, PA

David Thai is graduating this spring with a BA in Health & Societies. During his time at Penn, David has held numerous leadership positions to serve the growing first-generation, low-income (FGLI) community. Most recently, he co-founded a non-profit called the Collective Success to meet the professional needs of FGLI students in Philadelphia. David will begin his Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Vietnam during the summer of 2018. 

Shirin Vetry
SAS '18
Houston, TX

Shirin Vetry will begin her ETA fellowship this August in Colombia. Her initial interest in teaching in Colombia began during her internship at the Organization of American States in the department of integral development. Now having completed a semester studying development and conducting research with displaced persons in Uganda, Shirin hopes this upcoming experience will build on her knowledge of integral development and displaced persons through exposing her to these two issues in a different region of the world.


The individuals listed above will be magnificent additions to the ranks of Penn “Fulbrighters,” who now number over 250 since CURF’s founding in 2001.  Interested candidates should submit this brief webform to request access to CURF's Canvas site for Fulbright applicants. Potential future Fulbrighters (undergraduates, graduate students, and alumni) are encouraged to call CURF at 215-746-6488 to schedule an appointment with Penn’s Fulbright Advisor, Lauren Orr (, and to take advantage of the support CURF offers to all Penn applicants to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.