Nine MIT students and alumni win Fulbright grants

Grant-winners will spend the 2014-2015 academic year conducting research or academic studies abroad.


Nine MIT students and alumni have been awarded U.S. Student Fulbright grants for the upcoming academic year. Eight of these are study/research grants and one is a newly created Digital Storytelling Fellowship co-sponsored by National Geographic.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the United States government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the peoples of the U.S. and other countries. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The grant allows students to undertake projects or academic programs in more than 100 countries around the world.

MIT’s 2014 Fulbright recipients have proposed a range of projects in countries as varied as India, Mexico, Tanzania, Brazil, Germany, Spain, Brazil, and Togo.

Mitchell Cook, from Arkansas, is currently a doctoral student in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. His interest in discovering the causes of social and economic inequalities in cities has led him to conduct projects in China and India. The Fulbright grant will allow him to return to India to study urban finance reform in Bangalore.

Sarah Dimson, from Missouri, completed a master’s degree in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning this spring and has been an MIT Legatum Fellow. Her interest in housing development has led her to Ghana and Pakistan. Dimson’s Fulbright project will take her to Tanzania, where she has already done research, to provide recommendations on housing and energy infrastructure.

Anna Ho graduated from MIT this past spring with a bachelor’s degree in physics. Ho will be studying the formation of the Milky Way at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany and will do science outreach at the Haus der Astronomie. After her Fulbright year, Ho plans to pursue a PhD in astronomy.

Caroline Howe, from Connecticut, completed a master’s degree in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning this past spring. The Fulbright grant will allow her to study unemployment and sustainable waste management practices in Spain. Howe’s interest in sustainability and environmental work has already taken her to Honduras, India, and elsewhere.

Melanie Bin Jung, from New York, completed a master’s degree in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning this past spring. She is interested in social and economic justice and has helped truck drivers in Seattle campaign for better conditions. The Fulbright grant will take Jung to Mexico, where she will do research on informal settlements on the edge of Mexico City.

Nicole Labruto, from New Jersey, is a doctoral student in the Science, Technology, and Society program. Labruto has conducted short-term projects in Brazil on wastewater reduction and recycling. With a Fulbright grant, she will return to Brazil to investigate how scientists in the country are producing energy from sugarcane and how this may contribute to sustainable energy policy in the country.

Elizabeth Qian, from Michigan, graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering. The Fulbright grant will take Qian to Germany where she will do research related to nonlinear systems at the Aachen Institute for Advanced Study in Computational Engineering Sciences (AICES). Qian has already had experience in Germany, teaching high school students through an MIT outreach program.

Alicia Singham Goodwin, from Illinois, graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in math and women’s and gender studies. She is interested in African Francophone culture. The Fulbright will take her to Togo to continue work she has done to help improve women’s access to HIV treatment in Togo and to help pilot a program focused on maternal and newborn health.

Michael Waldrep, from California, completed a master’s in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning this past spring. He is one of five winners (out of 860 applicants) of the new Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship. He will create a documentary video on the neighborhoods of Mexico City. Waldrep has done projects for Code for America and the San Francisco Planning + Urban Research Association.


Topics: Global Education and Career Development, Awards, honors and fellowships, Students, Alumni/ae

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