UIC Students, New Alumni Awarded Fulbright Grants

Fulbright ProgramEight students and recent graduates of the University of Illinois at Chicago have received Fulbright grants to teach or conduct research abroad beginning in the 2016-2017 academic year.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and those of other countries.

Recipients are selected for their academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

John Albright, a senior in teaching of chemistry, was awarded an English teaching assistantship from the Fulbright Fellowship U.S. Student Program to teach in Spain for nine months beginning in September. While based in the autonomous community of Galicia, north of Portugal, he will serve as a teaching assistant at plurilingual high schools.

Albright, a native of Evanston, Illinois, will return to UIC to complete his student teaching before pursuing a career either teaching English abroad or science and math in the U.S.

Prior to attending UIC, he earned a bachelor’s degree in music from DePaul University, where he was in the Honors College.

Daniel Bunn, of Calumet City, Illinois, was awarded an English teaching assistantship to teach in Laos for approximately one year beginning in July. His exact destination is yet to be determined.

At UIC, he is pursuing a graduate degree in computer science in the College of Engineering. His thesis work focuses on helping English as a Second Language individuals improve their listening skills through the aid of computer software.

Bunn earned a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems, with a minor in business management, from Calumet College of St. Joseph.

Jinit Desai, a UIC School of Public Health graduate student in Community Health Sciences, will travel to Cali, Colombia, in August for a 10-month English teaching fellowship at La Universidad del Valle.

Desai, a resident of Lisle, Illinois, has previously traveled to Chile and Costa Rica for study abroad and volunteer opportunities. In 2015, he conducted intensive foreign language study in Jaipur, India, supported by the U.S. State Department’s Critical Languages Scholarship.

Before embarking upon the Fulbright assignment, he will complete his master’s degree and apply to medical school, which he hopes to enter upon his return. His career plans include global health affairs in Latin America and India.

He is a 2015 UIC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences graduate in neuroscience and philosophy and was in the Honors College.

Daniel Dunson, a 2016 UIC graduate in art history, was awarded a Fulbright research grant to survey the visual culture of cemeteries in Ghana.

Focusing on grave markings with figurative and iconic symbols of the dead, he will study the hybrid traditions that allow for the placement of royal grave markings alongside symbols of Christianity and Islam. He will be based in Accra, Ghana’s capital city, and spend time in the central and Ashanti regions of the country.

Dunson, a resident of Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, will work under the guidance of researchers at the University of Ghana in Accra and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

Earlier this year, Dunson was awarded the U.S. State Department’s Gilman scholarship to study abroad in Rabat, Morocco. He plans to pursue a doctoral degree in art history with a focus on the arts of the Black Atlantic.

Aldo Foe, a doctoral candidate in anthropology, received a Fulbright grant for his dissertation research exploring the possible social, political and economic reasons for Islamic conversion on the Indonesian islands from the late 7th century to the late 13th century. He will be based in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, for 10 months through an affiliation with Gadjah Mada University.

Foe hopes that ceramic analysis and archival research tracing the movement of Islam across the archipelago will lead to future excavation sites where he can gain macro-regional and micro-local perspective on the Islamization process.

Foe, who studies through the UIC-Field Museum Collaborative Program, is from Queens, New York. He earned his bachelor’s degree in archaeology from Queens College and a master’s in anthropology from UIC.

Bridget Hansen, a 2016 UIC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences dual-degree graduate in anthropology and classical studies and a former Honors College member, was awarded a Fulbright to teach English in Bahrain for 10 months beginning this fall.

She will instruct students in their first, or “foundation year,” of medical school at Arabian Gulf University in Manama.

Hansen, a resident of McHenry, Illinois, previously studied abroad in Oman and Jordan after receiving two U.S. State Department scholarships – Critical Languages in 2014, and a Gilman in 2015. In fall 2017, she will begin doctoral studies in cultural anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta.

Alexis Reisch, a 2016 UIC graduate in neuroscience and former Honors College member, received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant for neuroscience research in Sweden.

Reisch will spend 10 months working on a project to examine how childhood abuse affects emotional regulation in adulthood. Her research at Linköping University’s Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience begins in September.

The native of La Grange Highlands, Illinois, participated in UIC’s Undergraduate Research Experience and worked in a cognitive neuroscience lab in the UIC College of Medicine. She also served as president and co-founder of UIC’s chapter of the National Honors Society in Neuroscience.

Tiffany Wilson, a doctoral candidate concentrating in central European history, will use her Fulbright research grant in support of her dissertation research on the history of Polish miners between 1926 and 1939. Beginning in October, she will spend nine months conducting research via state archive materials in Katowice, Poland.

She will examine the miners’ growing participation in government, foreign management through the Anaconda Mining Company, and how personal interactions between the employer and employees influenced global politics. Her research will be sponsored by the University of Silesia.

A native of Laramie, Wyoming, Wilson earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from the University of Wyoming.