Pitzer College Students and Alumni Awarded 21 Fulbright Fellowships

Fulbright logoClaremont, Calif. (June 12, 2015)—Pitzer College congratulates its graduating seniors and alumni who have been offered 2015-16 Fulbright Fellowships so far this year: Sebastian Aguiar ’14, Tassos Bareiss ’15, Braden Bernards ’15, Adrian Brandon ’15, Andrew Buitron ’15, Nour Bundogji ’15, Casandra Campeas ’11, Laura Gabriel ’15, Lindsay Galeste ’15, Miriam Goldfarb ’15, Matthew Hollander ’15, Ashton Hoselton ’15, Susan Klein ’15, Maria Krol-Sinclair ’15, Robert Little ’15, Valentina Michelotti ’14, Nicholas Morton ’15, Sophia Rehmus ’15, Isabel Semler ’15, Maeve Williams ’15 and Danielle Wilson ’15.

Pitzer’s Associate Dean for Global and Local Programs Nigel Boyle, who serves as the College’s Fulbright Program adviser, said this year’s Fulbright winners represent a vast array of academic interests and singular talents.

“There is no common denominator,” he said. “Pitzer is sending mathematicians to Laos, artists to Taiwan, biologists to Portugal, psychologists to Sri Lanka, dancers to Mexico and neuroscientists to Jordan. Our Fulbrighters represent the Pitzer student body in all its wonderful idiosyncrasy and intellectual diversity.”

For the past five years Pitzer students and alumni have set the bar for undergraduate institutions across the country by winning the most student Fulbright Fellowships. This is the sixth consecutive year Pitzer students and alumni have been awarded 20 or more student Fulbright Fellowships.

Pitzer’s 2015-16 Fulbright Fellowship awardees to date are:

Sebastian Aguiar, a human biology major with a minor in history who graduated with honors from Pitzer in 2014, has been awarded a Fulbright to Portugal, where he will research telomere dynamics and molecular mechanisms underlying cellular aging, genomic stability and cancer; this work has direct implications for age-related disease and stem cell therapy. Aguiar will engage with the community via the visiting scientist seminar series at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência. He plans to pursue a PhD in molecular biology.

Tassos Bareiss has been awarded a Fulbright to teach English in Laos in fall 2015. A mathematics major and a writer who mines the intersection of math and poetry, Bareiss believes that music can help students engage with language and culture. He has interned with a publishing firm in New York and with the Eviction Defense Collaborative in San Francisco.

Braden Bernards, a political studies and urban studies double major, has been awarded a Fulbright to Indonesia where he plans to investigate how public space is created and curated in Jakarta. A Robert Day Scholar, Bernards received a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad in Nepal in 2012. He also studied abroad in Germany for six months in spring 2014. Last year, he won The Claremont Colleges Library Undergraduate Research Award.

Adrian Brandon, an environmental analysis and studio art double major, has been awarded a Fulbright to teach English in Taiwan. He will encourage students to take risks in the classroom, using his artistic background to teach in an engaging and innovative fashion. A star of the Sagehens basketball team, he plans to draw upon his 15 years of experience in competitive sports to organize pickup games and join a local team in order to promote cross-cultural exchange. Brandon studied on the Pitzer in Costa Rica program during fall 2013.

Andrew Buitron, a psychology major, has been awarded a Fulbright to teach English in Malaysia. In the classroom, he will draw on his experience as a Jumpstart volunteer and a psychology statistics tutor, and plans to teach from the perspective of a first-generation college student of color, conveying the diversity found in the US. Buitron will engage with the community through his love of music and passion for sports. An admission fellow and diversity intern at Pitzer, Buitron studied abroad in the Pitzer in Italy program in spring 2014.

Nour Bundogji, a neuroscience major, has been awarded a Fulbright to Jordan, where she plans to study the neurological impact of art therapy on Syrian refugee children in the Za’atari refugee camp. Bundogji also plans to volunteer at Malki-Salaam Cultural Museum (SCM) Children Center to further reinforce her relationship with the children in her study. In addition, she would like to participate on medical missions with SCM, as her future plans include attending medical school.

Casandra Campeas, a studio art major, has been awarded a Fulbright to Spain as an English Teaching Assistant. Drawing from her experiences working with elementary and high school students, she plans to use her passion for creativity and art to inspire students to learn English. Campeas also plans to pursue photojournalism projects on the convergence of different cultures and ethnicities that exist in Spain. She would like to engage with the community through volunteering at a children’s art or dance center.

Laura Gabriel, a neuroscience major, has been awarded a Fulbright to teach English in Malaysia, where she plans to draw on her experience as a private trumpet teacher and use music to facilitate conversation.  She also wants to learn about traditional Malaysian music. Gabriel, who played for the Sagehens Softball team, hopes to use sports as a way of engaging with her host community. After her Fulbright, she plans to pursue a career in occupational therapy for special needs children.

Lindsay Galeste, an economics and Asian American studies double major, has been awarded a Fulbright to Malaysia. She plans to teach English through “patience, practice and pleasure,” using content that sparks students’ love of learning. She hopes to talk with everyone from teenagers to older adults in the local community about music, and ultimately produce a music video based on these conversations. During her time at Pitzer, Galeste studied abroad in China and worked with the College’s Office of Advancement. After her Fulbright year, she plans to pursue a degree in law and public policy so she can be an advocate for English-language learners.

Miriam Goldfarb, a Spanish and community & global health double major, has been awarded a Fulbright to Spain, where she proposes to evaluate migrant health services through the lens of Ecuadorian migrants living in Madrid and Cataluna. In addition to her research, Goldfarb plans to volunteer to teach English to pre-school or kindergarten students. She studied abroad in the Pitzer in Ecuador program in fall 2013.

Matthew Hollander, a psychology major, has been awarded a Fulbright to Sri Lanka as an English teaching assistant. He will draw upon his experience at the Claremont Autism Center during college and teaching English in Nicaragua when he was in high school. Hollander hopes to engage with the host community by becoming involved in his students’ sporting events and volunteering at local animal conversation facilities. He studied abroad in Seville, Spain, in fall 2013.

Ashton Hoselton, a major in neuropsychology and holistic health, has been awarded a Fulbright to Uganda, where she will be researching the formal and informal structures of the Ugandan prison system. Hoselton plans to create classes within the Ugandan prison educational systems that Makerere University Business School students can volunteer to teach. Last summer, she was a co-leader of two groups of students from the US that were invited to teach college classes in a maximum security prison outside Kampala, Uganda. In addition, Hoselton has been very active in the Prison Education Project at Pitzer. She ultimately plans to go to law school and act as a mediator for people who are incarcerated.

Susan (Susie) Klein, an organizational studies major with a dance minor, has been awarded a Fulbright to Mexico to research the impact of local culture on internal human resources at multinational organizations in Mexico City. She will participate in a full-time internship at a multinational organization and will take MBA courses at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de Mexico. She plans to engage with the members of the Jewish community, as well as volunteer at the Jewish Museum of Mexico City. Klein participated in Pitzer’s Ecuador study abroad program during spring 2014.

Maria Krol-Sinclair, a political studies major, has been awarded a Fulbright to China, where she will study how discriminative pedagogies affect migrant students’ educational achievement in Xi’an in northwestern China. She hopes her research will illuminate debates on migrant policy and teaching methodology both inside and outside of China. In her host community, Krol-Sinclair plans to work with sociology PhD students at Northwest A&F University. She has also been awarded a Princeton in Asia Fellowship.

Robert Little, an environmental analysis and sociology double major, has been awarded a Fulbright to South Korea where he will teach English to high school students using a discussion-based curriculum shaped by his experiences teaching ESL both at home and abroad. He plans to create an after-school bike maintenance workshop based on skills he perfected as manager of Pitzer’s Green Bike Program. Little studied abroad in the Pitzer in Costa Rica program and also won a Davis Projects for Peace award and a Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs.

Valentina Michelotti, a Russian & East European studies and English & world literature double major, has been awarded a Fulbright to Kazakhstan. She intends to research the effects of orthographical transformation in Kazakhstan, where a proposed switch from Cyrillic to Latin is being debated. For her research, Michelotti will interact with and interview a variety of people in the community—such as the elderly, women and those living in rural areas—who would be affected if such a switch takes place. She studied abroad in Russia in fall 2012.

Nicholas Morton, an international/intercultural studies and linguistics combined major, has been awarded a Fulbright to Argentina, where he will work collaboratively with teachers and students in a teacher-training college or university to help prepare future ESL teachers. Morton plans to engage with the community during his time in Argentina by volunteering at a special education school and participating in a rugby club. In 2013, he studied in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama.

Sophia Rehmus, a Spanish major with an anthropology minor, has been awarded a Fulbright to Spain to study the social benefits of intentional communities. She will engage in their daily activities and do interview-based research in five of these communities, largely located in abandoned medieval villages. Rehmus studied abroad in Pitzer’s program in Ecuador in fall 2013.

Isabel Semler, an environmental analysis major, has been awarded a Fulbright to teach English in Brazil. She plans to use a kinesthetic and reflective approach to teaching English, as well as engage educators in discussions about using theater in the classroom. To engage her host community, she will take Portuguese language classes, audition for a community play, as well as become involved with the Brazilian Network for Environmental Justice. Semler studied abroad in fall 2013 on the Pitzer in Ecuador program.

Maeve Williams, a sociology major, has been awarded a Fulbright to teach English in Malaysia. As an English teaching assistant in the Southeast Asian country, she hopes to draw on her experience teaching art, health and writing to create a learning community in which students feel safe to express themselves. She also looks forward to engaging in conversations about contemporary politics and social issues with local Malaysian women’s groups. She ultimately plans to pursue a PhD in education policy to help reform the US education system.

Danielle Wilson, a linguistics major with a mathematics minor, has been awarded a Fulbright to teach English in Germany. She will draw upon her TESOL certification and her own study abroad experiences in Germany to encourage a communicative approach in which the classroom prepares the students for real-life language use. Wilson is also excited to continue improving her German language proficiency and engage in her host community by seeking out smaller communities built around her passions for dance and outdoor adventure.

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 five years, and Pitzer has been the national leader in Fulbright Fellowships per 1,000 students for 11 of the last dozen years.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the US government. Designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, the program operates in more than 160 countries worldwide. Approximately 1,900 US citizens will travel abroad for the 2015-16 academic year through the Fulbright US Student Program.

“Fulbright fellowships are the finest form of person-to-person cultural diplomacy,” Boyle said. “Some of Pitzer’s best and brightest will go out into the world as cultural ambassadors not just for the US, but for liberal arts education.”

About Pitzer College

Pitzer College is a nationally top-ranked undergraduate liberal arts and sciences institution. A member of The Claremont Colleges, Pitzer offers a distinctive approach to a liberal arts education by linking intellectual inquiry with interdisciplinary studies, cultural immersion, social responsibility, and community involvement. For more information, please visit www.pitzer.edu.

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