Claremont, Calif. (April 21, 2016)—Pitzer College congratulates its graduating seniors and alumna who have been awarded 2016-17 Fulbright US Student Program fellowships so far this year: Amanda Chang ’16, Ciera Fleming ’16, Nicola Ying Fry ’16, Hannah Leib ’16, Amanda Leon ’16, Jennifer Lowe ’12, Nina Matsumoto ’16, Sarah Norise ’16, Christopher Norwood ’16, Fiona Nugent ’16, Enrique Romero ’16, Mayra Sandoval ’16, Genna Scarano ’16, Charles Yoshimura ’16 and Lucia Zerner ’16.
For the past six years Pitzer students and alumni have won more student Fulbright fellowships than undergraduates from any other US bachelor’s institution. Professor Roberta Espinoza, the interim director of the Institute for Global/Local Action & Study, which advises Fulbright applicants, says the College’s track record reflects Pitzer students’ ethos and interdisciplinary approach to education.
“So many students are drawn to Pitzer because they’re both curious and conscientious about the world,” Espinoza said. “Once they’re here, their academic pursuits and study abroad experiences help them develop into the kind of global citizens who foster international understanding through programs like the Fulbright.”
Pitzer’s Fulbright Fellows will be teaching English and conducting research around the world, from Bulgaria to Vietnam. The College’s 2016-17 Student Fulbright winners to date are:
Amanda Chang ’16 has been awarded a Fulbright to Vietnam, where she will use creative writing and oral narratives to teach English. She hopes that teaching through storytelling will facilitate an atmosphere that gives students the confidence to speak freely. Chang also plans to learn about the many regional cooking styles throughout Vietnam and how food travels from the farm to the home. An environmental analysis and history double major, Chang studied abroad on the Pitzer in Costa Rica program in spring 2015.
Ciera Fleming ’16, an organizational studies major, has been awarded a Fulbright to teach English in Malaysia. In spring 2015, Fleming taught high school students English while on Pitzer’s study abroad program in Parma, Italy, and she plans to draw upon that experience in Malaysia, where she hopes to spark interest in language learning by focusing on subjects, like music or food, that intrigue her students. Outside the classroom, she wants foster leadership and creativity through creating a club or student organization. After the Fulbright, she plans to continue teaching while pursuing an MBA.
Nicola Ying Fry ’16, a sociology major and Asian studies minor, has been awarded a Fulbright to Taiwan, where she will draw on her experience of teaching English in the summer of 2013 to middle school students in Taipei. As a student-athlete on the Sagehens women’s soccer and lacrosse teams who won Pitzer’s 2016 Most Outstanding Female Student Athlete Award, Fry plans to help promote physical activities that enhance teamwork and instill leadership qualities both inside and outside the classroom. Her future plans include pursuing a graduate degree in Asian studies and teaching at a liberal arts college.
Hannah Leib ’16 has been awarded an English teaching assistant Fulbright to Bulgaria. She will work with local teachers to create a learning environment that emphasizes goal-setting strategies. The writer and producer of a comedic web series, Leib hopes to integrate comedy and humor into her classroom. She studied abroad at the University of Bristol in England in 2014. A psychology major and media studies minor, Leib plans to help local psychologists who are working to eliminate the stigma of mental health issues.
Amanda Leon ’16 has been awarded a Fulbright to Spain, where she plans to teach English by incorporating the diverse cultural history of the US into language lessons. Outside the classroom, Leon hopes to volunteer at local health organizations and enroll in dance classes to expand her knowledge of Spanish culture. A human biology major who studied abroad on the Pitzer Summer Health Program in Costa Rica, Leon plans to become a doctor and aims to translate the teaching skills she develops as an English teaching assistant in Spain into her eventual interaction with patients.
Jennifer Lowe ’12 has been awarded a research Fulbright to India, where she will investigate the financial, social and cultural factors that limit access to care for pediatric cancer patients. She will interview physicians, hospital support staff, patients and their families in large cancer treatment centers in five cities across northern India. Lowe also plans to volunteer in the hospitals to help renovate pediatric oncology wards. A human development and sociology major, she studied abroad through the Pitzer in Nepal program in 2010. Currently, Lowe is the director of programs at the Jiv Daya Foundation, where she oversees the Dallas-based nonprofit’s India Maternal Health and Pediatric Oncology Initiatives. Her future plans include pursuing a master’s in public health with an emphasis on global health.
Nina Matsumoto ’16 has been awarded a Fulbright to Bulgaria, where she will teach English in Galabovo. A sociology major, Matsumoto will draw upon her previous experience teaching English as a second language to create a student-oriented pedagogy. Outside the classroom, she will explore how cultural practices and national identity manifest themselves in traditional forms of performance. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in education or international relations. Matsumoto studied abroad in the Pitzer in Ecuador program in spring 2015.
Sarah Norise ’16 has been awarded a Fulbright to Malaysia, where she will teach English to school children, drawing on her previous experience as an ESL tutor for people preparing for the US citizenship exam. She said she is excited to be part of Malaysia’s educational system, which is committed to multilingual learning. She hopes to engage with the local community by learning traditional games as well as exploring food and food politics in Malaysian culture. A psychology major and Spanish minor, Norise studied abroad on the Pitzer in Ecuador program in spring 2015. After her Fulbright, she plans to pursue a PhD in psychology with an emphasis in child development.
Christopher Norwood ’16 has been awarded a Fulbright to teach English in Malaysia, where he will draw on his experience working in the field of speech-language pathology, and musical background to engage students and the community with music as a bridge to overcoming barriers in communication. A human biology major, he also hopes to volunteer in the healthcare field, particularly care related to communication disorders in hearing and speech. Norwood studied abroad on the Pitzer in Botswana program in fall 2014 and co-produced a documentary on his experiences in southern Africa. His future plans include completing a doctoral degree in audiology.
Fiona Nugent ’16, a psychology major and Spanish minor, has been awarded a research Fulbright to Mexico, where she will examine how the incorporation of professional midwives into the country’s health system impacts maternal care. Her research will provide a valuable case study on a period of transition in Mexico’s health care services, offering the perspectives and experiences of midwives and patients. She plans to supplement her research with participation in doula training and an internship with CASA maternity center in San Miguel de Allende. Nugent studied abroad through the Pitzer Summer Health Program in Costa Rica in 2014. She plans to pursue a master’s in public health with a focus on family planning and maternal, newborn and child health.
Enrique Romero ’16 has been awarded a Fulbright to Mexico, where he will draw on his previous experience teaching abroad as he mentors students and develops their confidence in their English speaking skills. He plans to couple his bilingual fluency and personal experience as a language learner in shaping his pedagogy. Romero will work with two NGOs in Mexico to inform deported youths about educational and occupational resources available to them. A Spanish and sociology double major, Romero studied abroad with Pitzer twice: through the Summer Health Program in Costa Rica in 2014 and with the Pitzer in Italy program in spring 2015. He plans to pursue a graduate degree in education and work with low-income Latino students.
Mayra Sandoval ’16 has been awarded a Fulbright to Mexico as an English teaching assistant. She plans to use a culturally relevant pedagogy to help students find meaning in language acquisition through lessons that provide a cultural bridge between the US and Mexico. A sociology research assistant who has analyzed issues surrounding college access for underrepresented students, Sandoval will also work with a local NGO and help Professor Will Perez of Claremont Graduate University organize screenings of Una Vida, Dos Países (One Life, Two Countries), a documentary funded by the US-Mexico Foundation that shares the stories of children whose lives are divided between the US and Mexico. A sociology major and economics minor, Sandoval studied abroad in spring 2015 through the Pitzer in Italy program. She ultimately plans to earn a PhD in education policy.
Genna Scarano ’16, a linguistics & cognitive science and Italian double major, has been awarded a Fulbright to Italy, where she will teach English to high school students using a kinesthetic teaching style. Scarano will use an approach that incorporates embodied learning—engaging the body and the mind—to encourage student creativity and participation. She hopes to explore the relationship between foreign language teaching and body movement through collaboration with a local dance school.
Charles Yoshimura ’16 has been awarded a research Fulbright to Japan, where he will study students who are protesting the new interpretation of the Japanese Constitution’s 9th Article. He hopes to shed light on these students’ motivations and intentions as well as explore these protests as part of a history of student response since World War II. To further engage with the community, he plans to lead workshops on bike maintenance and organize bike-based community events such as bike polo and bike scavenger hunts. An Asian studies major and Japanese language minor, Yoshimura studied in Japan through Pitzer Summer Study in 2013 and spent spring semester at Kwansei Gakuin University in 2015.
Lucia Zerner ’16 has been awarded a Fulbright to Nepal as an English teaching assistant. Zerner will use her previous volunteer teaching experience in Nepal, in both rural and urban settings, to provide the extra support needed in the classroom as a co-teacher to help students succeed and thrive in English language environments. She also plans to create a study group for 10th-grade students to help prepare them for the School Leaving Certificate, a crucial exam for students to continue their education. An anthropology major and Asian studies minor, Zerner studied abroad in India in 2014 and in Singapore in 2015. She plans to pursue a graduate degree either in social work or refugee studies.
The largest US exchange program, Fulbright US Student Program offers research, study and teaching opportunities in more than 140 countries to recent graduates and graduate students. Fulbright Fellows meet, work, live with and learn from the people in their host country. The program promotes cultural exchange and increased mutual understanding through daily interaction in classrooms, research sites and homes. Fulbrights, both English Teaching Assistant (ETA) awards and Fulbright Study/Research grants, are awarded on a rolling basis, generally starting in the spring.