US Congresswoman Honors Pitzer College Fulbright Scholars

Dan Segal Rep. Judy Chu Fulbright Reception
Rep. Judy Chu, Professor Dan Segal and Claremont Council Member Jed Leano.

Claremont, Calif. (December 21, 2018)—Pitzer College professors Daniel A. Segal and Suyapa Portillo Villeda ’96 received congressional recognition from US Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), who honored 10 US Department of State Fulbright Award Recipients from California’s San Gabriel Valley on December 18. Segal and Portillo were both awarded 2017-18 Fulbright US Scholar Research Fellowships.

“These devoted young professionals have displayed remarkable hard work and dedication in pursuing a better world,” said Rep. Chu, who represents California’s 27th Congressional District, which includes Pasadena and the west San Gabriel Valley. “They are true ambassadors who inspire all of us.”

Rep. Judy Chu, Professor Suyapa Portillo Villeda and Claremont City Council Member Jed Leano.

Segal, Jean M. Pitzer professor of anthropology and professor of history, was awarded a Fulbright grant to examine the entry of the Brazilian state into the northern Amazon. Within the context of a larger theoretical study of “the state” across historical contexts, Segal explored the impact of the increased presence of the federal state in the former Brazilian territory of Roraima from the late 1980s to today.

Portillo, associate professor of Chicano/a-Latino/a transnational studies, investigated narratives of migration from the point of view of Hondurans, focusing on the experiences of women and LGBTI youth. Portillo combined archival research with contemporary oral histories to better understand factors driving migration from Central America to the US.

Earlier this year, Segal and Portillo’s awards landed Pitzer on the US State Department and The Chronicle of Higher Education‘s joint list of top producers of Fulbright US Scholars for the first time. Pitzer ranked second in the bachelor’s institutions category, tied with Bucknell University, Colby College, Dickinson College, Swarthmore College and the US Naval Academy.

Through the Fulbright US Scholar Program, more than 1,100 US college and university faculty and other professionals are awarded Fulbright grants to teach or conduct research annually. Three Pitzer professors—Keck Science Associate Professor of Biology Gretchen Edwalds-Gilbert, Pitzer Associate Professor of Sociology Azamat Junisbai and Pitzer Professor of Economics Emma Stephens—joined Segal and Portillo on Pitzer’s growing list of Fulbright scholars when they received 2018-19 Fulbrights this year.

“I’m proud to support programs like the Fulbright that promote education, opportunity, and equality throughout the world,” said Rep. Chu, who serves on the US House Ways and Means Committee. “One of America’s greatest assets are our people, and through each of their respective times as Fulbright Scholars, these leaders gave of themselves to help others. They’ve laid groundwork for improvement while also learning lessons that can be applied elsewhere.”

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