Columbia College affiliates receive Fulbright U.S. Student grants

2020 Fulbright Awardees of Columbia UniversityFrom left to right, top to bottom: Andrea Pacheco CC’17, Augustus O’Connor CC’20, Matthew Petti CC’19, Amanda Ong CC’20, Kyle Creech CC’20, Matteo Di Bernardo CC’20, Justin Aruda CC’20, Katharine Garcia CC’20, Olubunmi Fariyike SEAS’20, Rowan Gossett CC’20, Benjamin Goldstein CC’20, William Fleming CC’20, Michael Kirschner SEAS’20, Rory Madigan CC’20, Lael Tate CC’20, Jasmine Bar CC’20.

Eighteen Columbia College affiliates have received 2020-2021 Fulbright U.S. Student grants, which offer funding for students and young professionals to undertake individually-designed international research and study projects or primary and secondary school teaching in English-language classrooms. Fulbright recipients this year expect to begin their fellowships in 2021:

Justin Aruda CC’20

Molecular immunologist Justin Aruda will travel to the Fundeni Clinical Institute in Bucharest, Romania. There, he will combine his electrical engineering research under U.C. Berkeley’s Dr. Boris Rubinsky with immunology research under CUIMC’s Dr. Hachung Chung to enable the first multiplexed application of irreversible electroporation and ADAR gene editing to treat inoperable tumors.

Jasmine Bar CC’20

Through the Open Study/Research Fulbright in Brazil, Jasmine hopes to explore the field of intergenerational psychiatry with a research team at the Universidade Federal De São Paulo (UNIFESP). Jasmine aims to help the UNIFESP researchers set the stage for high-impact preventative research and establish research infrastructure within a São Paulo public primary care clinic network in a high-risk, low-resource community where preventive effects can have a substantial impact.

Kyle Creech CC’20

Having a passion for teaching and a strong curiosity for Buddhism, Kyle has sought to combine these interests as an ETA (English Teaching Assistant) in Thailand. He hopes to learn more about the therapeutic benefits of meditation practices first hand.

Matteo Di Bernardo CC’20

During his Fulbright research period in Nigeria, Matteo will join a collaboration between Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City e Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital in Ile-Ife. His project aims to understand how outreach mechanisms to relatives of breast cancer patients can be used to create large scale screening programs to improve early cancer detection.

William Fleming CC’20

Will Fleming will be conducting research with Dr. Harry Becker at Freie Universität in Berlin, Germany, where he plans on using the Re-Os isotopic system and trace element concentrations in mantle peridotites to study sub-crustal melting histories. He has always enjoyed taking modern dance classes at Barnard College and hopes to keep dancing during his free time in Berlin.

Katharine Garcia CC’20

Having grown up on the U.S.-Mexico border, Katharine ‘Katie’ Garcia is passionate about finding ways to strengthen connections across cultural divides. While teaching English as a Fulbright Scholar in the Netherlands, she hopes to study the country’s successful bilingual education program and the ways in which similar practices could potentially be adopted in public schools in bilingual communities in the United States, like that in which she was raised."

Benjamin Goldstein CC’20

As a Fulbright Scholar in Madrid, Benjamin plans to sharpen his pedagogical skills as an English Teaching Assistant, while also conducting archival research for his ongoing history project on American foreign correspondents in fascist Europe in the 1920s and 30s.

Rowan Gossett CC’20

As a Fulbright ETA in Argentina, Rowan will continue to engage with topics of transitional justice and Latin American feminism while fostering her joy of teaching. Upon return to the U.S., she hopes to pursue a graduate degree in the field of education policy with a specific focus on girls' education.

Patricia Granda-Malaver CC'20

Patricia Granda-Malaver double majored in political science and human rights at Columbia. Growing up in an immigrant household, she gained a great appreciation for intercultural exchange and passion for education which she hopes to foster as a Fulbright ETA in Spain.

Sabina Jones CC’20

As a Fulbright ETA, Sabina Jones will teach English in Mexico. Sabina brings a passion for education and intercultural exchange to the ETA position, and hopes to eventually pursue a PhD examining the relationship between law, literature, and justice within the 20th century context of the Americas.

Stephanie Kim CC'18

Stephanie Kim majored in Human Rights with a specialization in Ethnicity and Race Studies. Upon graduating, she worked as a paralegal at the Queens District Attorney Office's Special Victims Bureau, where she worked on cases of physical and sexual child abuse, adult sex crimes, elderly abuse, and infant fatalities. She brings her commitment to youth empowerment and intercultural exchange to a Fulbright ETA in Spain.

Rory Madigan CC’20

While at Columbia, Rory Madigan studied political science and was a member of the Columbia Men’s Varsity Soccer Team. As a Fulbright ETA to Taiwan, Rory plans on using this fellowship to help foster intercultural exchange between the United States and Taiwan.

Augustus ‘Gus’ O'Connor CC’20

An English major, Gus’s academic interests in post-colonial/post-conflict literature and theory led him to Caen, France in the summer of 2019 to conduct independent literary research on the Algerian writer Kateb Yacine. He is excited for his Fulbright grant to Vietnam, where he hopes to bring his academic and extracurricular experience to his position as an English Teaching Assistant.

Amanda Ong CC’20

Amanda Ong, CC’20, double majored in creative writing and ethnicity and race studies, and looks forward to teaching English in Malaysia next year through the Fulbright. During her time at Columbia she was an involved member of Quarto, the official literary magazine of the creative writing department, and Asian American Alliance, a pan-Asian identity and political club on campus.

Andrea Pacheco CC’17

Andrea graduated with a major in Medicine, Literature and Society. Her experience outside of the US includes conducting public health research in Kenya and teaching English, Spanish and French in France and Mexico. She looks forward to teaching English in Brazil, while learning more about Brazil's healthcare system and its response to the Venezuelan refugee crisis.

Matthew Petti CC’19

Matthew Petti graduated with a degree in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies. He now works as a national security reporter at the National Interest and through the Fulbright will be returning to Jordan, where he had previously studied Arabic in 2018 under the Foreign Language Area Studies fellowship, to study “fake news” and media translations.

Lael Tate CC’20

Lael Tate majored in Ethnicity and Race Studies at Columbia University, which rests on Lenni Lenape land. Lael is Diné and her research interests include histories of confinement and diagnoses of insanity of Native American and Indigenous persons. Her professional focus is suicide prevention with Native youth, and through the Fulbright she will study Maori and Indigenous studies at the University of Waikato, specifically on Maori approaches to mental health and well-being.

Dennis Zhou CC’16

Dennis Zhou graduated with a double major in English and History, before completing a master's degree at the University of Oxford. He currently works as a fact-checker at The New Yorker. In 2021, he will be researching the legacy of literary magazines in Shanghai, China.

In addition, two Columbia Engineering affiliates, Olubunmi Fariyike SEAS’20 and Michael Kirschner SEAS’20 received an Open Study/Research Award to do research in Spain and Denmark, respectively.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards approximately 1,900 grants annually in all fields of study and operates in more than 140 countries worldwide. Fulbright U.S. Student Program alumni populate a range of professions and include ambassadors, members of Congress, judges, heads of corporations, university presidents, journalists, artists, professors and teachers.

During their grant periods, "Fulbrighters" meet, work, live with and learn from the people of their host country, sharing daily experiences and thereby promoting mutual understanding.

Students and Alums interested in learning more about applying for the Fulbright Award program are encouraged to connect with Undergraduate Research and Fellowships.