Penn Fulbrighters for 2021-22
The Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CURF) wishes to heartily congratulate Penn students and alums who have been offered Fulbright grants for the 2021-2022 academic year. The awards are announced on a rolling basis, determined by the host country. This list is current as of May 19. See this story for the 2020-21 Finalists.
Fulbright Study/Research Grant
Little Rock, AR (Research-Iceland)
Robyn Barrow has been awarded a Fulbright-National Science Foundation Actic Research Grant to conduct research in Iceland. She studies art, materiality and trade in the medieval Nordic world, with particular interest in the relationships between European Scandinavians, Indigenous communities and the Arctic landscape. Barrow received her BA from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN before going on to an MA in medieval art at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. During her Fulbright year, Barrow will study belief systems surrounding wood and the effects of deforestation on art making and manuscript production in medieval Iceland.
SEAS ’20, ‘21
Wellesley, MA (Research – Portugal)
Gabriel DeSantis has been awarded a Fulbright Grant to conduct research in Portugal at the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory. There, he will be working with Dr. Sara Oliveira on creating a 3D bioprinted model to optimize the texture and nutritional profiles of cultivated meat. At Penn, DeSantis earned a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Bioengineering with a minor in Mathematics. His academic interests lie at the intersection of biology, food science, and sustainability, which he hopes to use to develop new systems of food production that will feed the world of tomorrow. On campus, DeSantis is a Penn Abroad Leader and Board Member of the Graduate Association of Bioengineers, and was the Chair of the Mask and Wig Club as an undergraduate. He currently works as a Research Assistant for Allevi, a Philadelphia-based bioprinting company.
COL ’21 (BA/MA)
Jacksonville, FL (Research – Germany)
Samuel Goldstein has been awarded a Fulbright Grant to conduct research at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Germany. At Penn, Goldstein works with Professor Bhuvnesh Jain's group on cosmology research and has previously worked with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Cosmology Group and Penn’s High Energy Physics Group. He is also a CURF Research Peer Advisor and a tutor. Goldstein is the recipient of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship, the William E. Stephens Prize, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Upon return to the U.S., he will pursue a Ph.D.in physics.
Pittsburgh, PA (Research – Germany)
Maria Kovalchuk has been awarded a Fulbright Grant to conduct research in Germany. Her current research interests include Greek-Latin translation and Hellenistic literature; reception; and literary theory. In addition to being a 4th year PhD student in Classica studies, she is also pursuing the Graduate Certificate in Global Medieval Studies and the CTL Teaching Certificate. She also serves as the Vice President of Financial Operations for SASgov.
Kovalchuk received her BA from Northwestern and her MPhil from Cambridge, both in Classics. She also studied at the American and British Schools in Athens, and interned at the Field Museum and the Getty Villa.
New York, NY (Study – Finland)
Andreas Nolan has been awarded a Fulbright Grant to study at the University of Turku in Finland, where he will pursue a master’s degree in Inequalities, Interventions, and the New Welfare State. There, he hopes to investigate when digital health services can effectively supplement in-person treatment, with a focus on overcoming barriers to care on these platforms. While at Penn, Nolan majored in psychology with a minor in English. His experiences developing Civic House’s Community Engagement Program and serving as co-director of Penn Benjamins Peer Counseling led to his interest in improving health care delivery.
Kildeer, IL (Research – South Korea)
Caleb Oh has been awarded a Fulbright Grant to conduct research in South Korea. He is majoring in philosophy with a minor in Biology. Oh is founder of Penn Junto, bringing together students from all walks of life who share a spirit of inquiry and a desire to improve themselves, their community, and the lives of the poor and vulnerable. He serves as a Mighty Writer's tutor for middle schoolers in Philly. He is currently a member of the Shen Bioinformatics Lab at Penn. Oh is also a Penn Center for Neuroscience & Society Fellow and a Moral Voices fellow. As a Fulbright Scholar at the Yonsei University Severance Hospital in South Korea, Oh will work on deep learning research in the field of radiation oncology. Upon returning to the U.S., he plans on pursuing a medical degree and continuing to work on projects at the intersection of computer science and medicine.
Columbus, OH (Research – India)
Neelima Paleti has been awarded a Fulbright Grant to conduct research in India. Neelima is a senior majoring in health and societies and biology with a minor in chemistry. In affiliation with the University of Hyderabad, she will be conducting an ethnographic study to explore the sociocultural factors influencing the strikingly high rates of C-sections and the larger implications on maternal health in South India. Her academic interests lie at the intersections of medicine, health policy, and anthropology. At Penn, Paleti was an ASAM fellow, director of operations at Service Link, president of UAEM Penn, and co-editor-in-chief of Penn Healthcare Review and PennScience Journal. At the Penn Center for Healthcare Innovation, Paleti helped to build a proactive mental health care model for hospitalized patients. Upon completion of her Fulbright, Paleti plans to pursue a career in medicine and public health.
Rocky River, OH (Research – France)
John Sigmier has been awarded a Fulbright Grant to conduct research in France. Sigmier is a PhD candidate in the Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World graduate group studying Roman archaeology and architectural history. His dissertation research draws upon archaeological evidence to explore how construction knowledge was shared in the northwestern Roman Empire, a topic he will investigate as a recipient of a Fulbright Grant for research in France. At Penn, he is a Kolb Junior Fellow, and has served on the board of the Penn Museum Graduate Advisory Council. He has also worked at archaeological sites throughout the Mediterranean, and currently excavates at the ancient city of Sardis in modern-day Turkey.
Los Angeles, CA (Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship – France)
Claire Sliney has been awarded a Fulbright-National Geographic Storyteller Grant to conduct research and make a documentary film in France. Sliney is majoring in Philosophy Politics & Economics and Gender Sexuality & Women’s Studies in the College of Arts & Sciences. She is a Co-Founder of The Pad Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating and cultivating global partnerships to end both the stigma surrounding menstruation and the poverty caused by periods as a mechanism for improving social, health, and economic conditions for all. With The Pad Project, Sliney Executive Produced the Netflix documentary short, "Period. End of Sentence." which follows a community of Indian women who fight the taboo surrounding menstruation and begin manufacturing sanitary pads. The film won the Oscar for Best Documentary Short at the 2019 Academy Awards. At Penn she is a Perry World House Student Fellow and a Millennium Fellow through the United Nations Academic Impact and Millennium Campus Network. As a Fulbright grantee in Paris, France, Sliney will study the sociopolitical and sociocultural implications of the depictions of French-Maghrebi women in French cinema and, in turn, will use cinema to reimagine French-Maghrebi female identity.
Philadelphia, PA (Study – France)
Marion Standefer has been awarded a Fulbright Grant to study in France. Standefer is majoring in sociology with a concentration in structures of opportunity and inequality and minoring in French and Urban Education. She is passionate about closing the educational opportunity gap and has spent the past four years directing after-school programs and mentoring students at public schools in West Philadelphia. Standefer is a member of the Sociology undergraduate advisory board, the Netter Center for Community Partnerships student advisory board, and has been the Vice President of Penn’s Synchronized Swimming team for the past three years. She currently works as a sociological research assistant, a resident assistant for the Music and Social Change Residential Program, and a teaching assistant for two academically-based community service (ABCS) courses. She is a member of both the Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society and the Pi Delta Phi French Honors Society, and her honors thesis about public- and private-school parent experiences during COVID-19 received the E. Digby Baltzell Award for best Senior Thesis. At CY Cergy Université, Standefer will pursue a degree in Education with a focus on social and territorial action. Upon returning to the U.S., she plans to fight for educational equity through policy and in the classroom as a public-school teacher.
Virginia Beach, VA (Study – Finland)
Edward Stevens IV has been awarded a Fulbright Grant to study in Finland. A member of Penn's first-generation, low-income (FGLI) and QuestBridge Scholar communities, Stevens sought out ways to give back to the community through involvement with the co-ed community service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, the Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps, and participation in Penn Alternative Break trips.
In pursuit of a career with a social impact, Stevens held internships with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, and the Netter Center for Community Partnerships. However, after having the opportunity to participate in impactful research projects with professors in the Department of Sociology and the Department of History, Stevens found his passion for using academic research to aid in social change.
With funding from the Fulbright - University of Helsinki Graduate Award, he will pursue a two-year master's degree in Contemporary Societies. The master's program will further his knowledge of Finland's social support system, build his quantitative and qualitative research skills, and ultimately, prepare him to pursue a Ph.D. in Sociology when he returns to the US.
Atlanta, GA (Research – France)
Judith Weston has been awarded a Fulbright Grant to conduct research in France. Weston is a PhD candidate in the program of Comparative Literature specializing in French literature and bibliography. She received her BA from Emory University, majoring in French Studies and English/Classics, and her Mst from Oxford University in Medieval and Modern Languages. In France, Weston will continue work on her dissertation entitled “Pulp” Fiction: A Bibliographical and Material Analysis of Vernacular Literature on Paper c. 1480-1540."
Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA)
Bronx, NY (ETA - South Africa)
Rhina Allende has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in South Africa. She is pursuing her master's degree in urban education with a concentration in special education. She is a first-generation, low-income (FGLI) student, and has spent the last six years focused on providing access and resources to underrepresented students in different contexts. As an undergraduate student, she worked in the Office of Intercultural Leadership for three years, where she mentored other FGLI students and worked with international students as well. She also volunteered with children from low-income communities, provided resources to recent refugee families, and interned teaching high-achieving, low-income students in Houston, TX. She also participated in the Undergraduate Research Symposium, received the President's Award for Leadership, and The Junior Service Award for the Department of History and Political Science. Upon entering her master's program, she participated in the International Leadership Program, which piqued an interest in foreign education. She continued working with underrepresented groups as the Latin American Graduate and Professional Student Association's operations chair. Currently, she is volunteering with the African Family Health Organization (AFAHO), wrapping up her 3rd (and arguable toughest!) year teaching in a hybrid model, and gearing up for her Fulbright award to teach in South Africa!
Yakima, WA (ETA – Mexico)
Daisy Angeles has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Mexico. She is majoring in psychology with a minor in Latin American and Latino Studies. She has fostered community at Penn as a Member of the Newman Intercultural Ministry, Marketing Chief of La Vida Magazine, and Board Member of Mujeres Empoderadas. A QuestBridge Scholar who identifies as a first-generation low-income student, she has tutored and mentored Latino high school students through the Lanzando Líderes program. Her Fall 2020 independent study explored the relationships between child brain development, neighborhood socioeconomic status, and sleep.
Pueblo West, CO (Debate Coach – Taiwan)
Saxon Bryant has been awarded a Fulbright Debate Coach Grant in Taiwan. Bryant is concentrating in business economics and public policy (BEPP) in Wharton, and majoring in political science in the College of Arts and Sciences. He is a Public Policy Research Scholar, Joseph Wharton Scholar, Benjamin Franklin Scholar, and QuestBridge Scholar. Bryant has conducted research with the Think Tank and Civil Societies Program and the Political Science department. He works as a Wharton Communications Fellow and teaching assistant for the BEPP department. At Penn, Bryant served as President of the Public Policy Initiative Student Group and Special Programs Director for Penn Model Congress. He also worked with the International Affairs Association and helped found Phi Chi Theta business fraternity. As a first-generation, low-income (FGLI) student, Bryant advocates for low-income and minority students through involvement with Penn First and organizing the 2018 1vyG Conference at Penn. Upon returning from Taiwan, Bryant plans to work in D.C. before enrolling at Harvard Law School.
Barrington, RI (ETA – Taiwan)
Youvin Chung has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Taiwan. At Penn, Chung is majoring in chemistry with minors in psychology and mathematics. Chung is passionate about pedagogy, tutoring Penn students in a variety of mathematics and science courses, serving as teaching assistants for electricity and magnetism lab, organic chemistry lab, and physical chemistry, and leading as a teaching assistant trainer. Youvin also was a section director for the West Philadelphia Tutoring Project, coaching English and mathematics tutors at West Philadelphia schools. Youvin was the president of the Penn Pre-Medical Association and an associate editor for Synapse; currently, he serves as a crisis counselor for the Trevor Project and a co-servant at Grace Covenant Church. During COVID-19, Youvin co-founded Lockdown Letters, an initiative that sent thousands of letters of appreciation to frontline workers in all 50 states, as well as served as a COVID-19 resource caller in Service Link. On a mission trip to Taiwan, Youvin was captivated by the culture, people, healthcare, and educational system in Taiwan and desired to go back to explore more of the community through the Fulbright program. Upon his return to the United States, Youvin plans to obtain a medical degree.
Murrieta, CA (ETA – South Korea)
Megan Everts has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in South Korea. Everts is majoring in International Relations and East Asian Area Studies with a minor in French and Francophone Studies. She is a QuestBridge and Benjamin Franklin Scholar (BFS). At Penn, she has developed a strong interest in exploring the world, as she enjoys connecting with people from different backgrounds, studying foreign languages, and traveling. Through Penn, she has had various experiences abroad: first traveling to France for a summer to study the language, secondly to Singapore for a week for one of her BFS courses, then back to France for a summer to intern at a think tank called Institut Montaigne, then to South Korea for a semester abroad, and finally to Japan for another semester abroad. She was awarded a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship, allowing her to further explore her interest in East Asia and study the Japanese language. When she was not abroad, she engaged with both the Fellowship for Building Intercultural Communities and the Intercultural Leadership Program at Penn. She has also served as Penn Abroad Leader. Megan has a passion for teaching English, as she has interned for ESL-focused organizations such as Come on Out - Japan and Teach North Korean Refugees. Additionally, she interned virtually with the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul, Turkey, working to improve the English language abilities of Turkish journalists. In the future, she plans to pursue a graduate degree in International Relations and ultimately pursue a career in the Foreign Service.
Plano, TX (ETA – Spain)
Bhavana Penmetsa has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Spain. At Penn, Bhavana is majoring in cognitive science with minors in computer science and linguistics. Passionate about education, she has been a writing tutor at Penn's Writing Center for three years and has also worked as a Teaching Assistant. On campus, Bhavana is a senior board member of PennVeg, plays piano for Penn Singers, and works at the front desk of the College Office. Through her educational and personal experiences, she has cultivated a love of language in all its diverse forms and is excited to bring together this passion with her teaching experience in Spain. She will be working at the Universidad de Málaga's Writing Center, where she will conduct academic writing skills workshops and update the Writing Center's curriculum. Upon her return, Bhavana plans to attend law school and pursue a career in education law.
Fairfield, CA (ETA – Spain)
Andrew Zheng has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Spain. Andrew is a psychology major with minors in statistics and neuroscience. At Penn, he served as a biology fellow and Co-Fellow Coordinator for Moelis Access Science in the Netter Center for Community Partnerships, Philanthropy Chair for Alpha Epsilon Pi, and a writer, Head of Digital Content, and Vice President of Internal Relations for UnEarthed Magazine, an educational magazine covering topics from the humanities to the sciences distributed to children around Philadelphia. He completed his senior thesis with the Wharton School's Rebecca Schaumberg on the negative effect of a just-in-time work style on interpersonal judgments of trust. He is interested in using psychology to positively impact organizational culture, education, and policy. In Spain, he hopes to advance students' data analysis skills and help restore buildings with historical significance in the Asturias region.