11 Fulbright winners map out travels

At least 11 Yale seniors accepted Fulbright Scholarships this year, International Education and Fellowships Program administrators announced Friday.

Since the awards are announced on a rolling basis by destination country, scholarship applicants hoping to go to the United Kingdom, Kazakhstan and the Dominican Republic have not yet received a decision, IEFP Fellowships Program Director Linda De Laurentis said. This year, 50 Yale students applied for the scholarship, down from a record 62 last year. The Fulbright is the largest American program offering opportunities to study, research and teach abroad.

David Shapiro ’08, Lea Krivchenia ’08 and Matthew Gummess ’08 are among the 11 seniors who accepted Fulbright Scholarships this year.
Margaret Katcher
David Shapiro ’08, Lea Krivchenia ’08 and Matthew Gummess ’08 are among the 11 seniors who accepted Fulbright Scholarships this year.

Yale winners will be traveling to at least 10 different countries, pursing projects that range from historical and anthropological research to teaching English.

Last year, Yale had the second most Fulbright recipients — 28 — among U.S. research institutions, topped only by the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, with 37.

Yale is almost always among the top five institutions nationwide for Fulbright winners, De Laurentis said. She attributed this in part to high student interest in the fellowship, combined with Yale’s focus on international exposure.

The Fulbright can be used for a range of activities including independent study and research, laboratory research, internships or teaching assistant positions.

“That’s the beauty of it: There’s lots of variety and diversity,” De Laurentis said. “It also gives you a break.

“I sometimes call it a mental health year,” she quipped.

Fulbright winner David Shapiro ’08 plans to travel to Bangladesh to study the feasibility of securitizing, or pooling and repackaging, microfinance loans in the United States. Shapiro, who first became interested in microfinance loans during a previous trip to Bangladesh, said he hopes to get a firsthand perspective of how the market for the loans functions during his time there.

“I think you need to spend real time out in the villages to get a good understanding of what’s going on there,” he said. “There’s a lot tied to village culture that might not be accounted for in economists’ models.”

Lauren Hallett ’08 will be living in Perth, Australia, working on a restoration ecology project as part of a group at Murdoch University. The group’s investigation of how to repair Banksia woodland shrub, which is unique to Australia, touches on Hallett’s interest in how climate change impacts the realistic restoration goals environmentalists can set, she said. She will spend a considerable amount of time becoming familiar with the shrub and its habitat, she said, but part of the project will also likely take place in the lab.

Juli Huang ’08 will travel to Turkey to pursue independent research on how multinational organizations adapt — or fail to adapt — to local cultures. By visiting NGOs in cities across Turkey, Huang hopes to look at whether organizations build upon local experience and how this affects the impact they are able to have on society. This research, a continuation of her senior thesis on organizational anthropology, will give her a good background for pursuing a career in social entrepreneurship, she said.

Jamie McSpadden ’08 will conduct research in Germany on the history of street renaming in Berlin. Since streets in Germany are often named after popular political figures of the time, many streets still bear the names of popular Nazi and Communist party figures. As the streets are gradually renamed, McSpadden said, some popular resistance results.

“History doesn’t just happen in a vacuum,” McSpadden said. “Rather, history is interpreted by people living in the present.

“My project will examine how the memory of past regimes is or is not still preserved in the built environment,” he added.

Lea Krivchenia ’08 will use her Fulbright to examine how Western and non-Western feminism affect peace activism in Sri Lanka. The research, which is a continuation of her senior thesis for the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies major, will focus on feminist responses to the civil war in Sri Lanka, she said.

Other Fulbright winners will travel to Chile, Russia, Spain, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

The U.S. Department of State has sponsored the Fulbright Program since 1946.


  • Ausgezeichnet!

    The project of Jamie McSpadden ’08 is fantastic. Anyone who read about or recalls the angst and controversy relating to attempts to name streets after Marlene Dietrich particularly the powerful and ultimately successful resistance in Berlin-Schöneberg, followed by the actual siting of the named streets, will understand instantly the richness of this topic. Anyone trying to read the naming will immediately be led to the very center of issues intertwined deeply -- and emotions right on the surface -- in the troubled waters of German History and tortuous path of the German Conscious or Unconsciousness. What a brilliant topic!

  • Anonymous

    Yale Daily News -- given the tenor of the "debate" about the place of Yale athletes, perhaps it would be nice if you, YDN showed some balance on this issue also. You, YDN, have an entire section devoted to "Sports." You cover the trials, successes and failures of various Yale sports -- whether or not they are "competitive" etc.
    Yet here, where the story is "world class" scholars and their scholarship you cannot seem to manage picture of even a majority of the recipients, you cannot spare even 20 paragraphs, you cannot at least describe each of the 11 recipients and their proposals, you cannot, incredibly even seem to fix the number accepting firmly: "At least 11 Yale seniors accepted Fulbright Scholarships this year…" "At least?" I know that you are the journalists, YDN, but pray permit me the liberty of one direct question about the topic of your article: "How many accepted?"
    From the looks of the meager bits you have doled out, these Fulbright scholars, or at least the few you apparently interviewed, sound truly accomplished. It's hard to believe the other recipients can't handle an interview -- I assume (but do not know for sure as the article never speaks to the issue) that these candidates were interviewed for the Fulbright. You took the photo of Mr. Gummess, yet you did not interview him? And you talked to Hallett, Huang and McSpadden, but did not take their photos? All told you appear to have talked to only 5 of the "at least" 11. So another question, a request really -- could you do a little more coverage?

    And, I would note for the record (since you, YDN, chose not to, the much much larger size of the Michigan student population when compared to Yale.

  • Very Anonymous

    The recipients in the your photograph look Amish.

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