Claremont, Calif. (May 2, 2017)—Pitzer College congratulates its graduating seniors and alumni who have been awarded 2017-18 Fulbright US Student Program fellowships: Tyler Cohen ’15, Kyra Ghosh ’17, Julia Gibas-Jones ’12, Natalie Honan ’17, Jordan Jenkins ’17, Davida Koren ’17, Douglas Lewis ’17, Aminah Luqman ’17, Andrew Lydens ’17, Rebecca Nathan ’17, Kristen Park ’17, Lily Peterson ’17, Uriel Rafael ’14 and Rebecca Rubin ’17.
The largest exchange program in the US, the Fulbright US Student Program offers research, study and teaching opportunities in more than 140 countries to outstanding seniors and recent graduates. Fulbrights, both English Teaching Assistant (ETA) awards and Fulbright Study/Research grants, promote cultural exchange and increased mutual understanding. They are awarded on a rolling basis beginning in the spring. Pitzer’s 2017-18 Fulbright US Student Program awardees to date are:
Tyler Cohen ’15, a sociology major, has been awarded a Fulbright to Thailand, where he will teach English to fourth, fifth and sixth graders in the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat. He plans to use his skills as a self-motivator to make English-language learning memorable for students. Outside the classroom, Cohen aims to learn more about Thai cuisine and produce collaborative artwork. After his Fulbright year, he hopes to become an educator and engage in intergenerational collaborations.
Kyra Ghosh ’17, a history major, has been awarded a Fulbright to teach English in Indonesia. She plans to use skills she developed teaching schoolchildren English in Senegal, as well as other innovative pedagogies in a high school in Indonesia. Ghosh’s host country engagement will include creating an afterschool batik and poetry workshop. After her Fulbright year, she plans to earn an MA degree before becoming a high school teacher. Ghosh studied abroad with the School for International Training program in Senegal.
Julia Gibas-Jones ’12, an international & intercultural studies and narrative studies double major, has been awarded a Fulbright ETA to Brazil. She plans to use international news, in both mainstream and social media, as a tool for content-based instruction. Outside the classroom, she will use Portuguese to immerse herself in her community and to gather a collection of oral histories. While at Pitzer, Gibas-Jones studied abroad in Botswana, Morocco and China.
Natalie Honan ’17, a human biology major, has been awarded a Fulbright ETA award to Spain. She will use her Spanish language skills and passion for teaching to help design a culturally relevant and intersectional curriculum. Honan will engage with her community by teaching health education to high school students. In the future, she plans to go to medical school.
Jordan Jenkins ’17, a political studies major and Spanish minor, has been awarded a Fulbright to teach English in Spain. She will use her Spanish language skills to bring a collaborative and dialogical approach to language learning and to create a productive and engaged classroom. Jenkins plans to establish an after-school running program in order to promote discipline, self-reflection and personal growth. As a Pitzer College Writing Center fellow, she would like to bring writing center practices into high school curricula in the US after her Fulbright year. Jenkins studied abroad in the Pitzer in Ecuador program.
Davida Koren ’17, a sociology and organization studies combined major, is the recipient of a research Fulbright to Canada, where she will examine the impact that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has had on Aboriginal educational programming. For her community engagement, Koren plans to become a tutor or teaching assistant at an elementary school in the district where she will conduct her research. During her time at Pitzer, Koren tutored at School on Wheels and Camp Afflerbaugh-Paige. After returning to the US, she plans to apply to graduate school and study educational programming that advocates for marginalized groups.
Douglas Lewis ’17, a public policy analysis-sociology major, has been awarded a Fulbright ETA to Bulgaria. Lewis is a Pitzer Writing Center fellow who served on the College’s Appointments, Promotions and Tenure Committee, studied abroad with the Pitzer in Nepal program and helped establish the campus’ first competitive ping-pong club. Ultimately, Lewis plans to pursue a master’s or doctorate degree in public policy with a focus on education.
Aminah Luqman ’17, an international political economy and Spanish double major, has received a Fulbright ETA award to Colombia. She will draw upon her experience teaching English to Spanish-speaking day laborers in the US, as well as past teaching experiences in Nicaragua. In Colombia, Luqman plans to learn more about the African diaspora in the Americas and use this knowledge as a teacher or policymaker committed to education reform. While there, she plans to engage with the community through her love of music, dance and soccer. During her time at Pitzer, Luqman played midfield on the Sagehens Women’s Soccer team and participated in the Sarah Lawrence College exchange program in Cuba.
Andrew Lydens ’17, a philosophy, politics, and economics major, is the recipient of a Fulbright ETA award to South Korea. At Pitzer, Lydens served as the student body president as well as the Judicial Council chair. He believes his leadership background along with his cultural awareness and teaching skills will be key to a successful learning experience. Additionally, by tapping into his love for the outdoors, he hopes to create a forum for language and cultural exchange by organizing a hiking group in his community.
Rebecca Nathan ’17, psychology, studio art, and gender and feminist studies triple major, has received a Fulbright ETA award to South Korea, where she plans to focus on interactive student-led learning, while maintaining the cultural relevance of the test-based Korean educational system. Nathan, who has family in North Korea, hopes to mentor and tutor North Korean defectors. After her Fulbright, she would like to serve in the Peace Corps in Mongolia. While at Pitzer, Nathan studied at the University of Essex through an exchange program.
Kristen Park ’17, a psychology and Asian American studies double major, has been awarded a Fulbright to teach English to high school students and North Korean defectors in South Korea. She aspires to create a classroom that allows the students to take ownership of their knowledge and English education. Outside the classroom, Park will volunteer with a nonprofit that helps resettle North Korean defectors through educational empowerment. In addition, she would like to start a running club for high school students. Ultimately, Park plans to pursue a PhD in education with a focus on equity in higher education.
Lily Peterson ’17, an international and intercultural studies major, has been awarded a Fulbright to teach English in Malaysia. Drawing on her passion for teaching and her interest in the intersection of education and culture, she plans to create activities that help students engage with English and US culture. Outside the classroom, Peterson will use her background in literature, theater and art to design narrative-based activities for youth. At Pitzer, Peterson has served as an admission fellow, a peer-health educator, Student Senator and conducted research with Professor of Creative Studies Albert Wachtel. She studied abroad with the Pitzer in Italy program.
Uriel Rafael ’14, a human biology and psychology double major, was awarded a Fulbright to Mexico, where he will teach English using a student-centered, culturally relevant pedagogy, based on his bilingual fluency and personal experience as a language learner. Rafael will also volunteer as a mentor and work with a nonprofit organization called Dream in Mexico that helps people who have been deported reunite with their families. Rafael plans to earn a PhD in educational psychology.
Rebecca Rubin ’17, a human biology major and Spanish minor, has been awarded a Fulbright to Mexico to teach English. Drawing on her extensive experience with youth as both a teacher and health educator in Latin America, Rubin plans to use project-based lessons to encourage students to learn through collaboration. She also plans to volunteer with an organization that works with Mayan communities to promote economic independence for women while preserving cultural heritage. During her time at Pitzer, Rubin was a peer-health educator at the Gold Student Health & Wellness Center. After her Fulbright year, she hopes to attend medical school.
Pitzer College has been named a top producer of US Fulbright student fellows among bachelor’s institutions by The Chronicle of Higher Education for the past nine years, and was the top producer for six of those years. Since 1994, Pitzer students and alumni have won more than 240 US Fulbright student grants.