Eleven University of Washington alumni who recently earned their undergraduate degrees have been awarded Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarships. This number of recipients sets an institutional record for the largest number of UW undergraduate Fulbright awardees. The alumni are: Masha Burina (’07), Glorya Cho (’07), Maria Hoisington, (’09), Joji Kohjima (’10), Sam Lim (’10), Sarah Munger (’10), Meleah Paull (’10), Caitlin Pratt (’10), Nathan Snyder (’10), Rachael Stovall (’10), Christina Ygona (’06). More detailed biographies for them follow. Four graduate students were also selected this year, for a total of 15 UW students joining the more that 1,500 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2010-11 academic year through the Fulbright Student Program. (For information about the UW graduate student Fulbright Fellows, contact Elizabeth Lowry at email@example.com.)
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Program operates in over 155 countries worldwide.
Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late US Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 300,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.
Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in government, science, the arts, business, philanthropy, education, and athletics. Forty Fulbright alumni from 11 countries have been awarded the Nobel Prize, and 75 alumni have received Pulitzer Prizes.
The undergraduate alumni Fulbright Fellows are:
Masha Burina, 2007 graduate
Fulbright country: Croatia
Majors: International Studies and Economics
Masha Burina will be conducting a research project on political and economic civic engagement in Croatia.
Glorya Cho, 2007 graduate
Fulbright country: Zambia
Majors: International Studies and Economics
Minor: African Studies
Hometown: Bainbridge Island, WA
As an undergraduate, Glorya Cho participated in Model United Nations, volunteered with the global youth organization One World Now!, mentored a middle school student through the Journey Unlimited Mentoring Program, and completed honors-level research through the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies. Upon graduation, she interned with an international non-governmental organization in the Democratic Republic of Congo, studied Korean in Seoul, and studied Mandarin Chinese in Beijing and Taiwan. As a Fulbright Fellow in Zambia, Cho will study the implications of globalization as seen through increases in Chinese migration and investment on youth development policy. She will attend the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Masters in Public Policy degree program in fall 2011 as a Rangel Fellow.
Maria Hoisington, 2009 graduate
Fulbright country: El Salvador
Major: Latin American Studies
Minors: Spanish and Human Rights
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Maria Hoisington became interested in working in Central America after participating in an exploration seminar on human rights issues in Guatemala, led by Professor Angelina Godoy. In 2009, she volunteered as an election volunteer in El Salvador and subsequently wrote her undergraduate thesis for Latin America Studies on the social effects of violence on young males from marginalized urban communities. Through this research, Hoisington became interested in the broader issue of creating a juvenile justice system that effectively rehabilitates and reinserts youth back into society so they may have successful futures and not fall into the revolving door of the adult penitentiary system.
As a Fulbright Fellow, Hoisington will examine the current juvenile justice system in El Salvador. In the future, she plans on pursuing a career in social work or psychology and working directly with incarcerated youth.
Joji Kohjima, 2010 graduate
Fulbright country: South Korea
Majors: International Studies and Pre-Med
Hometown: Tacoma, WA
Joji Kohjima has volunteered in schools and medical clinics in far-flung locales such as Thailand, Nicaragua, Ghana, and Vietnam. Joji’s interest in Korea began with hearing stories from his grandfather, who grew up in Korea. His interest in East Asia centers around cultural commonalities, such as philosophical traditions and linguistic relationships between nations. He is also interested in the divergent paths of Asian nations during the modern era. As a Fulbright Fellow, Kohjima will travel to Korea is to better understand Korean history, his family history and the legacy of medical missionaries in Korea. He also wants to understand the plight of leprosy patients in Korea during the 20th century, and to become proficient in Korean. Since completing his degree in International Studies at UW, Kohjima has been studying biochemistry and related sciences in preparation for medical school, which he hopes to start after he returns from Korea.
Sam Lim, 2010 graduate
Fulbright country: Germany
Major: International Studies
Minor: European Studies
Hometown: Spokane, WA
As a UW undergraduate, Sam Lim helped lead the student-initiated, student-run University of Washington Dream Project, a unique high school outreach/college degree completion program. Lim also worked for the UW State GEAR UP Program as a Summer Institute Team Leader and for the Making Connections program at the UW Women’s Center as the scholarship coach. Founder of the scholarship resource website ScholarshipJunkies.com, Lim has spoken to students, families, and educators across the country about how to make the most of scholarship opportunities. Lim also traveled and researched abroad in Germany, Italy, Greece, and Guatemala through UW-sponsored programs and as a 2008 Humanity in Action Fellow. Combining his academic interests and passion for international travel, Sam has expanded his research interests to explore issues of college access and affordability around the world. As a Fulbright Scholar to Germany for 2010-2011, Sam will conduct an ethnographic research project to explore the relationship between access to higher education and social mobility in Germany.
Sarah Munger, 2010 graduate
Sarah Munger will teach English in Indonesia.
Meleah Paull, 2010 graduate
Major: International Studies
Meleah Paull will be conducting a research project in Slovenia on the Roma Act and minority rights and integration.
Caitlin Pratt, 2010 graduate
Fulbright country: Morocco
Major: Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
Hometown: Stanwood, WA
Caitlin Pratt first became interested in studying Arabic and Middle Eastern cultures when she visited Morocco in 2005 during a trip to Spain. Later, after beginning her study of Arabic at UW, she decided to take Persian and Japanese to further broaden her ability to connect with people from other cultures. Because of her focus on languages, she began volunteering with the UW’s English Language Program, helping facilitate in-class discussions for students learning English. As a Fulbright Fellow in Morocco, Pratt will serve as an English-as-a-foreign-language teacher and study the Moroccan dialect of Arabic. She will continue working as an English teacher, in addition to considering careers in translation and international relations as her fluency in Arabic increases. She feels that the work of cultural ambassadors is extremely valuable to future relationships between the United States and the rest of the world.
Nathan Snyder, 2010 graduate
Fulbright country: China
Majors: International Studies and Economics
Hometown: Vancouver, WA
Nathan Snyder has pursued academic interests in China’s economy, rule of law, and economic growth theory. For his senior thesis, he conducted a survey of court cases from Guangdong province to determine how the court system is being used to adjudicate intellectual property rights disputes in China. He speaks Mandarin Chinese fluently and studied Mandarin intensively abroad in Beijing during 2008 and again in Harbin in summer 2009 courtesy of a U.S. State Department Critical Language Scholarship. Since January 2009, Snyder has been a research intern at the Washington State Department of Commerce, primarily focusing on trade issues between China and Washington State. In the near-term, he wants to spend a few years working in China in an international trade related job before entering an international relations graduate program. Snyder’s long-term goal is a career in US-China policy with academic or research institutions.
Rachael Stovall, 2010 graduate
Fulbright country: Jordan
Major: Public Health
Hometown: Kirkland, WA
Rachael Stovall taught children nutrition in a multicultural Seattle neighborhood through the organization Cultivating Youth, working with the elementary school children to grow, harvest, and discuss the benefits of vegetables. Stovall learned about foods in students’ homes, gaining an international perspective on nutrition. She subsequently developed research and analytical skills, abstracting nutrition policies for Washington state public school districts. Stovall also contributed to evaluations of strong and weak policies on the “Healthy Schools, Successful Students” website for Washington state school management, parents, and the community. In graduate-level epidemiology classes, she learned research methods for calculating risks of diseases and identifying confounding factors that muddle research validity. For her honors senior thesis, Stovall investigated students’ stipends and eating behaviors in a Seattle public school. Stovall plans to earn an MD and a master’s in Public Health to continue to help people improve their health, and conduct epidemiologic research focusing on child health. She hopes to further her knowledge of public health with her Fulbright research in Jordan.
Christina Ygoña, 2006 graduate
Fulbright country: The Philippines
Majors: Communications and Business Administration
Hometown: Bremerton, WA
Christina Ygoña first became interested in community-based models of tourism while she was in the Dominican Republic serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer. The primarily rural tourist attractions and projects she encountered there and beyond encouraged and excited her to consider community-based tourism as an integral solution to poverty alleviation, cross-cultural understanding, and community development. She considers herself a global citizen with multiple transnational relationships, including one with the Philippines that stems from her upbringing as a first-generation Filipina-American. She looks forward to researching the challenges and prospects of community-based tourism in the Philippines, not only for the professional and academic opportunities it presents in exploring a field of international development she finds extremely intriguing, but also because of the personal stories and experiences it will afford.
For more detailed Fellow bios, visit here.
For further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, visit here.
About the Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards
The Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships and Awards helps UW undergraduates develop the tools and personal insights necessary to match their goals with local and national merit-based scholarship opportunities. National scholarship opportunities include the Fulbright, Goldwater, Marshall, Rhodes, Truman scholarships and many others. The office is part of the Center for Experiential Learning in Undergraduate Academic Affairs.