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Four Syracuse Students/Alumni Named as 2021 Fulbright Recipients
Four Syracuse University students/alumni have been named as 2021 recipients of awards through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Five students were also chosen as alternates.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program funds a range of awards that include English teaching assistantships (ETA) and study/research grants in over 140 countries.
The 2021 recipients are:
- Jenna Burgess, a 2021 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the College of Arts and Sciences and Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and in linguistics (Korean) from A&S—English Teaching Assistantship, South Korea;
- Steven Harris, a 2016 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in earth sciences (College of Arts and Sciences) and anthropology (A&S and the Maxwell School) and a minor in Chinese studies and a current Ph.D. student in anthropology in Maxwell—research grant, Barbados;
- Ashley Hudson, a 2020 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in policy studies from the College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School—English Teaching Assistantship, South Korea; and
- Vivian Whitney, a 2021 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in magazine, news and digital journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications with minors in food studies in the Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics and French and francophone studies in the College of Arts and Sciences—study grant for a master of gastronomy degree, Italy.
The 2021 alternates are:
- Erin Elliott, a 2020 graduate with bachelor’s degrees in public relations from the Newhouse School and in English and textual studies and fine arts from the College of Arts and Sciences—English Teaching Assistantship, Norway;
- Lara Hicks, a 2020 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in international relations with a minor in global security studies in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School, currently enrolled in the Maxwell School’s M.P.A./M.A.I.R. program with a C.A.S. in civil society organizations—study grant/master’s degree in public policy, Netherlands;
- Brittnee Johnson, a 2021 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in political science from the College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School, beginning M.P.A. program at Maxwell in summer 2021—English Teaching Assistantship, Malaysia;
- Hanna Nichols, a 2020 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in policy studies and citizenship and civic engagement from the College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School and a minor in data analytics from the School of Information Studies—English Teaching Assistantship, Malaysia; and
- Alexa Shephard, a 2020 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School and a minor in Spanish from the College of Arts and Sciences—English Teaching Assistantship, Spain.
The following alumni will be engaging in Fulbright experiences this year that were deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Brandy Boden, a 2020 graduate with a master’s degree in studio arts from the College of Visual and Performing Arts—study grant for art, Ireland;
- Gwendolyn Burke, a 2020 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School, a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the Newhouse School and minors in economics and Chinese language—English Teaching Assistantship, Vietnam;
- Leah Garlock, a 2016 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in communications design with a minor in communications photography from the College of Visual and Performing Arts—English Teaching Assistantship, South Korea;
- Jamie Lustig, a 2020 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish language, literature and culture from the College of Arts and Sciences and a minor in public communications studies in the Newhouse School—English Teaching Assistantship, Spain;
- Katherine MacDonald, Ph.D. candidate in geography in the Maxwell School with a C.A.S. in food studies from the Falk College—research grant, Tajikistan; and
- Nathan Shearn, a 2019 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School and a minor in Russian from the College of Arts and Sciences. Shearn previously received an English Teaching Assistantship to Belarus. Because of the suspension of the Fulbright program in Belarus, his Fulbright experience will now take place in Bulgaria.
Burgess will arrive in South Korea in early January and work as an assistant English teacher in classrooms for third through fifth graders. “I will likely assist in both teaching lessons and planning them as well. I also really hope to take Korean classes and continue improving my language skills while I am there, as well as engaging with the community as much as I can through clubs and volunteer work,” she says. Burgess plans to get involved with North Korean refugee initiatives and possibly join or start a historical literature club in her area, focused on increasing knowledge and understanding of Korean-American relations and history.
Her long-term goal is to work in a bilingual preschool or kindergarten classroom using both English and Korean. “This Fulbright grant is a great next step for me,” she says. “The knowledge I will gain about the structure of Korean language classrooms, and the language and vocabulary related to education and learning activities Korean teachers use will be extremely helpful in my future career. Living in the country and gaining further competence in the language and culture will be extremely useful as well. I am very grateful to have received this award.”
Harris will travel to Barbados in October for his 10-month research endeavor. His current project is a continuation of archeological research originally conducted by Doug Armstrong, professor in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School, at Trents Plantation in Barbados. “My research is largely centered around conducting archival research and elemental analysis on a collection of iron and steel artifacts recovered from a cave site on Trents plantation, to better understand when they were used, what purpose they served and who would have interacted with them,” says Harris. “While excavations concluded a few years ago, research findings during my Fulbright research term may result in future excavations on the island.”
Harris is hopeful that his project will contribute to other research discussions regarding the value and relevance of metal artifacts in the archaeological record. “While much has already been said about metal artifacts in other parts of the world (U.S., Europe, West Africa, etc.), I want this project to showcase how archaeological sites in the Caribbean can also improve our understanding of the social and cultural significance of metals in the past,” he says.
He is very eager to have more opportunities to work closely with the Barbados Museum and other members of the community. “Every time I have visited Barbados, I have always felt loved and welcomed, and right now I am really looking forward to giving back to the community,” he says.
Hudson will be assigned to a teaching position in South Korea in January. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in educational policy and administration in the United States after her Fulbright experience and is keen to explore South Korea’s educational system to inform her future studies. She is also very eager to explore the country’s rich history, and how traditions are maintained alongside progression. “I am most excited about getting to know the people and immersing myself in the culture,” she says.
Whitney has received the Fulbright/Casten Family Foundation Award to attend the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy, in their Master of Gastronomy: World Food Cultures and Mobility program. The program starts in October and comprises 10 months of actual school—lectures, workshops, tastings and fieldwork—and three study trips—one in Italy, one in Europe and one outside of Europe (COVID restrictions-permitting). The program concludes with a 14-week internship or final research project conducted in Italy. Whitney’s specific master’s program is focused on different world food cultures and systems and how they move and change, with a focus on sustainability and food sovereignty.
Whitney, who has a degree in magazine journalism, aspires to be a food writer. “I’m incredibly interested in food cultures and the when, where, why and how we eat food, especially as it relates to food justice and food sovereignty. I want to, in some capacity, share stories that will help build a better, more sustainable, equal, fair, just, compassionate, delicious food system from production to consumption,” she says. “I have the storytelling experience from Newhouse, but this program will help inform any food writing I do and give me a more global perspective of food, which will, in turn, help my understanding of food culture and systems in the United States.”
“I just love food and all our connections to it, and I want to share those stories,” she says.
Students interested in applying to the Fulbright program should contact the Center for Fellowship and Scholarship Advising at 315.443.2759 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The campus deadline for the 2021-22 application cycle is Sept. 14.