Fulbrights awarded to six Yalies

Six members of the class of 2011 have won Fulbright scholarships so far, but the award season is far from over.

Steven Feis ’11, Patrick Lee ’11, Yaron Schwartz ’11, Andrea Sohn ’11, Helen Tsykynovska ’11 and Paul Wainer ’11 have been notified that they have won Fulbright scholarships, which are one-year research and travel fellowships administered by the State Department. Co-director of the Fellowships Office Kate Dailinger said many Yale applicants are still waiting to hear from the program, and will not find out if they have won the award until May or later.

A music major who participated in the Yale Baroque Opera Project and the Opera Theater of Yale College, Feis will spend next year in Venice and Milan researching comic aspects of 17th century Venetian opera. Feis, who is in Branford College, said his Fulbright research is a continuation of his senior essay in the music department.

“I’m excited to be in Italy and improve my Italian,” said Feis. “It’s useful for all sorts of things in music.”

Literature major Tsykynovska, a member of Ezra Stiles College, will also spend next year in Europe. She will travel to Moscow to research bard song — a type of poetry sung with guitar accompaniment. Tsykynovska will take classes at the Russian State University for the Humanities, and said she would eventually like to attend graduate school for comparative literature.

Other Fulbright winners will conduct research outside the humanities next year.

Wainer, an economics major in Trumbull, will study economic development at the University of San Martin de Porres in Lima, Peru. He will examine whether it is possible for smaller farming cooperatives to use derivatives, financial instruments traditionally used by large companies. Wainer said he plans to conduct his research using principles of behavioral economics, his area of focus while at Yale. Wainer said the project allows him to also pursue his interest in Spanish, which he explored while studying abroad in Seville, Spain during the fall of his junior year.

Sohn will travel to South Korea on an English Teaching Assistantship after earning her degree in English and psychology this spring. According to the Fulbright Program website, English teaching assistants teach English in schools or universities outside of capital cities and may pursue individual study or research plans in addition to their teaching responsibilities. Sohn, a member of Calhoun College, said she does not yet know where she will teach in South Korea, but added that she applied to teach middle school or high school students.

“The cultural exchange aspect of it is interesting to me,” Sohn said. “I want to see what it means to grow up and get an education in Korea.”

A member of Pierson College, Schwartz will pursue a master’s degree in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He will research European Union foreign policy towards North Africa and the Middle East, a topic that he describes as a continuation of the research he had been doing in the course of his studies as a international studies and history major at Yale.

Also heading to England next year is Lee, who won a specialized Fulbright grant — the Alistair Cooke Award in Journalism, presented to one student from the United States and one student from the United Kingdom to support one year of study in a graduate journalism program or in a specialist subject related to journalism. An Ethics, Politics and Economics major in Saybrook College, Lee will pursue a Master of Science in medical anthropology at the University of Oxford. Lee has worked for the Boston Globe, the New York Times, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and CNN.com. He said he will report for the Wall Street Journal this summer before he begins his year at Oxford.

During last year’s cycle, a total of 31 Yalies accepted Fulbright scholarships, including students from Yale College and the University’s graduate and professional schools.

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