Pitzer College Recent Graduates Awarded 22 Fulbright Fellowships

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Claremont, Calif. (June 17, 2014) — Pitzer College congratulates its recent graduates who have received 2014-15 Fulbright Fellowships: Alaitz Aritza ’14, Adria Arko ’10, Samantha Bromley-Coolidge ’14, Evelyn Byer ’14, Katherine Cabrera ’14, Zavi Engles ’14, Danny Feinberg ’13, Shiyana Gunasekara ’14, Mayse Jarbawi ’13, Minji Lee ’14, Benjamin Levine ’14, Zoey Martin-Lockhart ’14, Natalie Mendoza ’13, Samantha Morse ’14, Elizabeth Pedersen ’14, Autumn Pham ’14, Nicole Pilar ’14, Alexander Rawding ’14, Claire Thoman Tedford ’14, Cesar Vargas ’14, Sarah Wright ’13 and Mia Yamashiro ’14. This is the fifth consecutive year Pitzer students and alumni have led the nation with 20 or more Fulbright Fellowships awarded.

Alaitz Aritza ’14, who designed his own music, culture and cognition major, has received a Fulbright to South Korea. Aritza studied abroad on the Pitzer in Ecuador program and plans to draw upon his various teaching experiences in music and sports to help his students build real-world communication skills.

Adria Arko ’10, an art and environmental studies major, has been awarded a Fulbright to Lithuania. Having recently completed a master in public policy with an emphasis on food systems, she plans to study the cultural significance of Lithuanian community gardens implemented during the Soviet occupation and the challenges the gardens face today. At Pitzer, Arko studied abroad on the Pitzer in Costa Rica program. Her future plans include working to make California’s agricultural and food policies more sustainable.

Samantha Bromley-Coolidge ’14, a double major in neuroscience and psychology, has been awarded a Fulbright to teach English in Bulgaria, where she will draw on her diverse teaching experience—ranging from being a neuroscience tutor to a stilt-walking instructor. Bromley-Coolidge hopes to explore the folk music community while in Bulgaria, and plans to earn a PhD and career in education.

Evelyn Byer ’14, a biology major with a Spanish minor, has been awarded a Fulbright to Spain. She plans to use her science background to teach English through science-inspired, theme-based instruction. Byer studied abroad through the Pitzer in Costa Rica program.

Katherine Cabrera ’14, an environmental analysis major, has been awarded a Fulbright to Malaysia. Building on her experience as a Spanish conversation leader and field tutor at Pitzer, she plans to incorporate environmental education into English lessons for her primary and secondary school students. Cabrera studied abroad though the Pitzer in Costa Rica.

Zavi Engles ’14, an English and world literature and urban studies double major, has been awarded a Fulbright to Argentina. She plans to use literature and creative writing as part of her approach to teaching English. In Argentina, Engles hopes to work with an organization focused on food justice or environmental issues. At Pitzer, she served as a Writing Center Fellow, interned at Huerta del Valle community garden and taught writing at Prototypes. She plans to pursue a graduate degree in English literature.

Danny Feinberg ’13, a psychology major and Spanish minor, has been awarded a Fulbright to Spain. He will use North American and Spanish poetry and song as a content base for teaching English—an approach that stems from his experiences as a songwriter. He plans to create an extracurricular, community-based program that encourages students and members of the school community to express themselves through music. He studied abroad in Pitzer’s Ecuador program.

Shiyana Gunasekara ’14, an economics and political studies double major, has been awarded a Fulbright to Sri Lanka. She will investigate changes in Sri Lankan high school curriculum and the role education plays in post-civil-war reconciliation. A Pitzer Admission Fellow, Gunasekara’s study abroad experience in India in spring 2013 helped prepare her for this research project. She was also named a 2014 Coro Fellow.

Mayse Jarbawi ’13 has been awarded a Fulbright to Malaysia. She is currently completing a master’s in diplomacy at the University of Haifa International School in Israel. As an English instructor in Malaysia, Jarbawi will draw on her wide-ranging educational and international experience, which includes being an Arabic language teaching assistant at The Claremont Colleges and a part-time teacher in Palestine at an NGO. Jarbawi studied abroad in Spain and majored in political studies.

Minji Lee ’14, an English/world literature and psychology double major, has been awarded a Fulbright to Turkey. Her experiences as a Writing Center Fellow, Jumpstart volunteer and program leader at Prototypes have prepared her to teach English to university students in Turkey. Lee also intends to explore art therapy in the Turkish community by introducing art activities centered on mindfulness and meditation at local children’s centers. Lee studied abroad in Ecuador in fall 2012.

Benjamin Levine ’14, an economics major, has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to teach English at the high school level in Indonesia. Levine will draw from his experience as an economics and finance tutor at Pitzer. A member of the Student Investment Committee at Pitzer, Levine plans to develop a similar club with students in Indonesia.

Zoey Martin-Lockhart ’14, apsychology, gender & sexuality special major, has been awarded a Fulbright to India. She will research interactions between LesbianGay Bisexual Transgender Queer Questioning
 IntersexAlly and the Hijra communities in India and the US, focusing on how these exchanges influence activism, understandings of communities’ histories, the language/labels community members use to describe themselves and sociocultural experiences of gender and sexuality. Martin-Lockhart studied abroad in Costa Rica and plans to pursue a PhD in psychology and gender studies.

Natalie Mendoza ’13 has been awarded a Fulbright to Colombia. A double major in sociology and Chicana/o Latina/o studies, Mendoza studied abroad on the Pitzer in Ecuador program.  She was involved with the Pomona Economic Opportunity Center as an undergraduate and was a Community Engagement Center Urban Fellow. She will bring these experiences as a community organizer to her role as an English teacher at a Colombian university.

Samantha Morse ’14, a double major in English & world literature and Spanish, has been awarded a Fulbright to teach English in Spain. A Pitzer Writing Center fellow, Morse has also taught English in Seville and Spanish at a local high school. In 2013, Morse received a US Department of State Critical Language Scholarship to study Arabic in Oman.

Elizabeth Pedersen ’14, a double major in philosophy and Middle Eastern studies, has been awarded a Fulbright to Brazil. During summer 2013, Pedersen taught English to Palestinian refugees in Beirut through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency and speaks Arabic, Spanish and Italian. A Pitzer Writing Center fellow, Pedersen was a member of the College’s Model United Nations team all four years at Pitzer, finishing her Model UN career as the most highly decorated delegate in Pitzer’s history.

Autumn Pham ’14, a double major in European political studies and German studies, has been awarded a Fulbright to Germany to teach English at schools with a high percentage of immigrant students. Pham will draw on her knowledge of German, French and Vietnamese, as well as her experience as a German tutor at Pomona College’s Oldenborg Center.  Pham won a 2012 and a 2013 German Academic Exchange Service undergraduate research grant.

Nicole Pilar ’14, a political studies major, has been awarded a Fulbright to Bulgaria. She has mentored students at more than 100 debate tournaments in the US and internationally. Pilar’s classes will be structured around a problem-based learning approach using a three-person team debate format. She would also like to establish an inter-country, community-wide debate tournament.

Alexander Rawding ’14, an international political economy major, has been awarded a Fulbright to Spain. He plans to draw upon his interest in rap music to develop English lessons focused on hip-hop history, freestyle rap games and self-expression. Rawding studied abroad in Pitzer’s Ecuador program and taught elementary school students with Jumpstart. In Spain, he plans to work with advocacy groups that promote public bike systems.

Claire Thoman Tedford ’14, a gender and feminist studies major, has been awarded a Fulbright to Sweden. She will research the “end demand” model for eliminating prostitution, examining the legal intent of Sweden’s Kvinnofrid law and its direct impact on sex workers. Tedford’s interest in this research topic was motivated by her experiences volunteering at Planned Parenthood and the Tubman Family Alliance Domestic Violence Shelter in Minneapolis. She also interned with Prototypes and studied abroad in Costa Rica while at Pitzer.

Cesar Vargas ’14, a pre-med student, political studies major and Spanish minor, has been awarded a Fulbright to Spain. He will spend the year researching healthcare disparities in access for undocumented immigrants living in Madrid and Catalonia. This research will build on his longstanding involvement with healthcare issues and undocumented immigrants in California. Vargas participated in Pitzer’s summer health program in Costa Rica and intends to apply to medical school after his Fulbright year.

Sarah Wright ’13 has been awarded a Fulbright to teach English in Malaysia, where she will draw on her years of working with Tutors for a Cause at Pitzer and hopes to offer creative writing and poetry classes to help her students hone their English skills. Wright studied abroad on the Pitzer in Ecuador program and double majored in anthropology and Spanish.

Mia Yamashiro ’14, a psychology major, has been awarded a Fulbright to Brazil. She plans to introduce slang as a teaching tool to help build confidence in new English speakers. Yamashiro’s experiences as an ESL adult instructor and teaching assistant in Hawaii will also influence her approach to teaching. She hopes to spend time with Japanese Brazilians to explore similarities and differences among Japanese diaspora communities. At Pitzer, Yamashiro studied abroad in Ecuador.

The Chronicle of Higher Education has ranked Pitzer College as the top producer of Fulbright students among all US liberal arts colleges for the past four years. Pitzer has been the national leader in Fulbright Fellowships per 1,000 students for 10 of the last 11 years.

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