Scholarship Awardees & Finalists

National Scholarship Awardees & Finalists
2020–21

We are delighted to announce this year’s national scholarship awards recipients and finalists as they come in. University of Massachusetts Amherst’s undergraduates, graduates, and post-graduate students share how they plan to utilize their awards to fulfill their research, studies, and teaching goals. Congratulations to all recipients!

DAAD Scholarships and Grants (German Academic Exchange Service)

Alyssa Ryan
Ph.D. Civil Engineering, Transportation Program; 2022
Host Country: Germany

This DAAD award provides doctoral candidates and young academics and scientists with a fully-funded opportunity to carry out research and continue their education in Germany. The project Alyssa Ryan will be undertaking in Germany focuses on driver safety and speed. In 2016, there were 4.41 deaths per one billion vehicle kilometers traveled on U.S. interstates. While lowering speed limits continues to be a leading conversation to decrease the seriousness of crashes, highway speed limits in the U.S. continue to rise. Conversely, in Germany no speed limits exist on many portions of their motorways (a policy unique to the country) and even higher average speeds. However, their motorways are achieving double the safety level than in the U.S., with 1.61 deaths per one billion vehicle kilometers traveled. Alyssa’s research aims to investigate methods to achieve higher levels of motorway safety through the modeling of infrastructure, human behavior, and survey data of German motorways, along with the completion of government official interviews. This holistic safety approach is a shift away from traditional traffic safety policy and has begun to be adopted by many countries under the title “Vision Zero.” The goal is to achieve a roadway system with no fatalities or serious injuries through perfecting the transportation system, not the user. Alyssa will be working in coordination with Dr. Constantinos Antoniou, chair of Transportation Systems Engineering at the Technical University of Munich.

Fulbright Scholarship

Alison McIsaac, Fulbright Awardee 2020-21
Alison McIsaac '17
B.A. Economics; minor: French & Francophone Studies
English Teaching Assistant
Host Country: Poland

The Fulbright grant awards me the opportunity to serve as an American cultural ambassador and English instructor at a Polish university. I hope to use my experience working in the education technology sector in learning and development to create engaging and interactive lessons that will inspire confidence in my students. Outside of the classroom, I plan to join a local ballroom dance studio and organize professional development workshops aimed at preparing graduates for the global workforce.

Alyssa Ryan
Ph.D. Civil Engineering, Transportation Program; 2022
Host Country: Germany

FULBRIGHT ALTERNATE

 

 

Gaurav Dangol
Master's of Public Health in Epidemiology, 2020
Research
Host Country: Nepal

Cigarette smoking disproportionately affects the health of people in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). Similar to other LMIC, smoking prevalence is high in Nepal—particularly among people who inject drugs (PWID). Given this burden, Gaurav’s project seeks to evaluate the effects of the 5A (Ask, Advise, Assess, Assist, and Arrange) smoking cessation program among PWID attending opioid substitution therapy (OST) in Kathmandu, Nepal. This project will be carried out in partnership with the Society for Positive Atmosphere and Related Support to HIV and AIDS and Kathmandu Medical College. During Gaurav’s ten-month stay, he will conduct a baseline survey, intervention, and follow-up surveys at two OST sites in Kathmandu Valley. The primary outcomes of this project will include quit rate, quit attempts, quit duration, and changes in smoking frequency. Additionally, he will utilize local health care workers at the OSTs to conduct the group-based counseling for tobacco cessation. Systematically educating this population already vulnerable to various detrimental health outcomes may be beneficial to PWID, their families, and the nation’s health care infrastructure as a whole.

Glorimar Estevez, Fulbright Awardee 2020
Glorimar Estevez '20
Dual degree: Sociology and Portuguese
English Teaching Assistant
Host Country: Brazil

My future goal is to teach English as a second language in a Lusophone community. The Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Brazil will help me gain experience working in the classroom. I want to center my classes in Brazil on social justice, culture, diversity, and social issues, and to connect and compare these issues to the United States. I want my future students, both in Brazil and the United States, to not only improve their English skills, but also become people who are socially and culturally aware.

Joseph Williams '19
B.A. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Host Country: Laos

FULBRIGHT ALTERNATE

 

 

Mark Mangelsdorf
M.F.A. English, 2020
Host Country: Romania

FULBRIGHT ALTERNATE

 

 

Tanya Lama
Ph.D., Environmental Conservation; Wildlife, Fish & Conservation Biology, 2023
Research
Host Country: Spain
Tejaswini Pallikonda '20
B.A. Political Science
Host Country: India

FULBRIGHT ALTERNATE

 

 

Goldwater Scholarship

Shannon Silva, Goldwater Scholarship Awardee 2020
Shannon Silva '21
B.S. Biology

Career Goals: Ph.D. in molecular cancer biology

 

 

Truman Scholarship

James Cordero, Truman Finalist 2020
James Cordero '21
B.A. English, Social Thought & Political Economy

NATIONAL FINALIST

 

 

Gilman Scholarship

Kristal Yee
Kristal Yee '21
Political Science & Legal Studies, Chinese Minor
Host Country: Hong Kong

Due to its location and culture, studying in Hong Kong has always been a dream for me. The Gilman Scholarship has made my dreams come true as it has lifted an immense financial burden off my shoulders. In fall 2020, I will study at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where I will learn more about the politics, economy, language, and culture that shapes the Asian world while also improve my Cantonese and Mandarin language fluency. The Gilman Scholarship has allowed me to fund my study-abroad program, achieve my academic goals of enriching my knowledge of Asian politics, and brings me closer to my professional goal of working for the U.S. Department of State as a foreign service officer.

Priyanka Bhakhri
Priyanka Bhakhri '21
Biology, Political Science minor
Host Country: South Africa

The Gilman Scholarship has helped make it possible for me to study abroad in a country that I would have otherwise never seen. As a first-generation immigrant, opportunities like the Gilman Scholarship are immeasurable in their impact. I am so grateful and encourage everyone to apply!