AMHERST, Mass. – Eight scholars from the University of Massachusetts Amherst have been selected to participate in the prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Program.
The competitive program selects current university students and recent graduates for their academic success and leadership potential and supports a year of study abroad. Participants teach and conduct research with the opportunity to exchange ideas, observe political, economic and cultural institutions, and embark on joint ventures in foreign lands.
UMass Amherst psychology professor Susan K. Whitbourne directs the campus’s Office of National Scholarship Advisement, which aids talented students in competing for Fulbrights and other national scholarships. She praised this year’s winners, saying “This group of students really reflects the breadth of research and talent across the university. I’m very proud of them and this singular accomplishment which will continue to serve them for the rest of their lives. The UMass Amherst faculty and staff have been tremendously supportive in ensuring our students compete well and attain this kind of recognition.”
Alec Bernstein of Colts Neck, N.J., will travel toIndia to undertake research on the role that non-governmental organizations and other aid organizations play in water and sanitation distribution system sustainability. Bernstein worked on rural water systems in Honduras with Engineers Without Borders as an undergraduate at Lafayette College. He received a master’s in civil engineering from UMass Amherst in May.
Alex Carter of Washington, D.C., is a doctoral candidate in Afro-American studies. Previously, Carter worked as a public policy advocate for the Campaign for America’s Future. Carter will head to Australia to complete a year of research on Aboriginal activist Robert Maza and his links with the Black Arts Movement in the U.S. in the 1970s.
Nicholas DiSalvo of Marion, will go to Germany to teach English. DiSalvo graduated from UMass Amherst summa cum laude in May 2012 with a bachelor’s in German studies and distinction from Commonwealth Honors College. A professional musician, he and his band have recorded three albums. He spent his junior year abroad at the University of Freiburg.
Radhameris Gomez, of New York City, is pursuing a doctorate in transportation engineering. As part of her dissertation, Radha will perform a comparative study between Spain and the U.S. of the safe movement of road users where roadways cross railroad tracks. She will work with BB & J S.A. Consult in Madrid and the University of Castilla-La Mancha.
Jesse Horne of Birmingham, Ala., is a Commonwealth Honors College scholar majoring in linguistics. Horne will spend her Fulbright year in Austria studying code-switching between the standard and dialect forms of German among the Viennese. She will also have an opportunity to teach English there. Horne was formerly a dancer at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York.
Kathryn Julian of Northampton will spend a year at the Free University of Berlin, completing research for her dissertation on the survival and persistent appeal of religion in former communist East Germany. She is a doctoral candidate in European history at UMass Amherst where she was awarded the Ermonian Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 2011. She is a graduate of Birmingham-Southern College.
Emily Rivard of Norwood graduated last month from UMass Amherst where she earned a bachelor’s degree in public health and distinction from Commonwealth Honors College. Rivard will travel to Malaysia to teach English for the year. She participated in a range of campus activities, including four years as a coxswain on the UMass men’s rowing team.
Lindsay Smith of Turners Falls, graduated from UMass Amherst in May, earning a degree summa cum laude in comparative literature and distinction from Commonwealth Honors College. She will teach English in Germany. A writer and translator, Smith recently completed certification for Teaching English as a Foreign Language.
The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. More than 318,000 students and young professionals from the U.S. and other countries have participated in the program so far.