Tag Archives: Stem

Interview with Fulbright U.S. Student Alumna (2014-2015, China) and 2016 Rolex Awards Young Laureate Christine Keung

Christine Keung, 2014-2015, China

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“It was New Year’s Eve, and my Central Asian dorm mates all chipped in to buy a whole sheep. It’s a common Central Asian tradition to sacrifice a sheep to celebrate a big event, and given the fact that many of my international dorm’s residents were Muslim, the sheep had to be prepared to Halal standards…”

Such was how 2014-2015 Fulbright U.S. Student to China, Christine Keung, celebrated holidays in Shaanxi province during her award in Environmental Studies, where she worked closely with local university students to improve the region’s urban and rural waste practices.

Since completing her Fulbright award, Christine Keung has been named a 2016 Young Laureate by the Rolex Awards for Enterprise, a 2017 Time Magazine Next Generation Leader, and gained admission to the MBA program at Harvard University.

We recently interviewed Christine to learn more about how her Fulbright experiences have had an impact on her career trajectory, what advice she has for prospective Fulbright applicants, and how she has maintained strong ties with the friends and professional contacts she established while in China.

How did you originally hear about the Fulbright Program and what/who inspired you to apply?

I first learned about the Fulbright Program during my freshman year at Wellesley College. I had a Teaching Assistant who had been a Fulbrighter in Spain who encouraged me to apply before I graduated. As a first-year student who had not yet selected her major, who had never worked as a research assistant, and who had never studied abroad, I really couldn’t imagine myself as a Fulbright Student. It wasn’t until my junior year that I seriously considered applying for opportunities to live and work abroad after graduation. I had spent the summer after my sophomore year on a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant that allowed me to conduct independent research on China’s Loess Plateau. That trip allowed me to visit Western China for the first time and to form many of the relationships that helped make my Fulbright project a reality.

Bats: Misunderstood Mammals Making a Difference in Your Life

By Juan I. Moreira-Hernández, 2016-2021, Costa Rica

Juan I. Moreira-Hernández, 2016-2021, Costa Rica, working with bats that are captured using specialized nets called “mist nets.” Only rabies-vaccinated and trained professionals should ever handle bats or any other wild mammals.

Why are there so many plant and animal species in the tropics? This seemingly simple question has puzzled biologists for centuries, and even today, there is no definitive answer.

However, species are disappearing at an unprecedented rate, and the rate is faster in the tropics than anywhere else. My Fulbright research focuses on understanding how species interactions can promote and maintain high biodiversity in tropical regions. This understanding is necessary to predicting responses to environmental changes due to human activities, and to design effective conservation polices accordingly.

Plants, People, and the Mother City

By Tanisha M. Williams, 2015-2016, South Africa

Tanisha Williams, 2015-2016, South Africa, at Boulders Beach visiting the iconic beach penguins

Welcome to the Mother City. These are the first words you read walking out of the airport in Cape Town, South Africa. No one could have prepared me for that feeling, stepping onto the soil of the Motherland for the first time. My emotions were complex and overwhelming, but the feeling of excitement and sense of belonging stood out.

My Fulbright grant was two-fold, conducting research for my doctoral dissertation and giving back through outreach and other STEM-based initiatives. I spent my Fulbright year researching the impacts of climate change on indigenous flora throughout South Africa. The first half of my research was used to collect seed and propagate over 1,500 Pelargoniums, a highly-diverse genus of flowering plants, at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (Wellington, Bellville and Cape Town campuses). These plants are now growing in reciprocal transplant gardens at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden in Cape Town, Western Cape and at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape. Growth and development data will help me understand the effects of genetics, the environment, and the interaction between these two processes that aid in Pelargonium adaptation to different environments. Understanding plant adaptations to their environment sheds light on how plants will respond to the unprecedented rates of climate change.

Detecting Gravitational Waves at Home and Abroad

By Daniel Hoak, 2015-2016, Italy

Daniel Hoak, 2015-2016, Italy, visiting Florence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fulbrighters achieve remarkable things! Are you following the announcements for this year’s Nobel Prize winners? So far, two Fulbright alumni to France have become 2017 Nobel Laureates, Fulbright U.S. Student alumnus Michael Rosbash and Fulbright U.S. Scholar alumnus Kip S. Thorne, for Physiology or Medicine and Physics, respectively.

Today, we are re-posting an article written in 2016 by Fulbright U.S. Student alumnus to Italy, Daniel Hoak, as he was part of the team of scientists who worked on the the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves – the very project that contributed to Kip S. Thorne becoming one of this year’s Nobel Prize winners for Physics!

The Fulbright Program congratulates Kip S. Thorne and Daniel Hoak for their outstanding and ongoing work in the field of Physics.

Two months ago, physicists around the world were set ‘chirping’ with the announcement that gravitational waves had been detected for the first time. The detection is the culmination of decades of work, and it represents the beginning of a new era in astronomy.

Program Update: New U.S. Student Awards to Austria for Graduate Research in STEM

Kelvin Chan of Brooklyn, NY received his BA in Biology from the University of Virginia, VA. In 2013-2014, he studied neuronal migration disorders as a Fulbright U.S. Student at the Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna.

The Fulbright Program is pleased to announce up to five new awards for U.S. students to Austria: the Fulbright-Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation Awards for full-time research and/or study in fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). These awards are generously funded by the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation, which works to support cooperation and the transfer of knowledge between Austrian and American universities and academics.

Applications are being accepted now through October 6, 2017. Ph.D. candidates in STEM disciplines and related fields are strongly encouraged to apply. Applications from highly qualified graduate students and recent undergraduates with strong project proposals in relevant fields will also be considered.

The Austrian Fulbright Commission is particularly excited because these are the first awards targeted specifically at students in STEM fields, an area in which Austria is particularly strong. With up to five grants, this new award will give an unprecedented number of U.S. students the opportunity to conduct fully-funded STEM-related research in Austria with the Fulbright Program.

For more information, please visit the Austria country summary for details. Good luck!