University of Pittsburgh
February 13, 2015

Pitt Named a Top Producer of Fulbright Student Grantees

13 Pitt-affiliated Fulbright winners are researching, studying, and teaching worldwide
Contact: 

Anthony Moore

412-624-8252

Cell: 412-715-3644

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh is a top producer of Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant winners, placing eighth among U.S. public research universities and 17th among all research universities in the nation. The ranking was announced Feb. 12 by The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the flagship international educational exchange program for the U.S. government, providing annual grants for individually designed study and research projects or English teaching assistantships. The awards are bestowed to recent bachelor’s degree recipients, graduate students, and young professionals based on their academic or professional achievements as well as demonstrated leadership in their potential fields. 

Of Pitt’s 58 applicants, 13 won Fulbright grants for the 2014-15 academic year. Pitt was tied in the number of Fulbright recipients with Cornell University, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, The University of Texas at Austin, the University of Washington, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Among other notable research institutions in the top 20 spots were Brown University, Duke University, Harvard University, Northwestern University, and The University of Chicago. 

The following 2014 graduates from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, and the Swanson School of Engineering are Fulbright recipients. 

Zeba Ahmed, of Wyomissing, Pa., who earned her Bachelor of Arts in Japanese and sociology and a Certificate in Asian Studies, is conducting ethnographic research at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan. Ahmed’s research project focuses on the impact nonprofit organizations have made on urban areas in Japan. 

Jacob Boehmer, of Collegeville, Pa., who earned his Bachelor of Arts in Russian and a Certificate in Russian and East European Studies, is serving as an English teaching assistant at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration in Russia.  

Andrew Fichter, who earned a Master of International Development, is serving as an English teaching assistant in Jordan. 

Erin Harrington, of Scranton, Pa., who earned a Bachelor of Arts in history and Russian and a Certificate in Russian and East European Studies, is serving as an English teaching assistant at the Volga Region State Academy of Physical Culture, Sport and Tourism in Kazan, Russia. 

Kelsey Hughes, of Doylestown, Pa., who earned a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and English writing, is serving as an English teaching assistant for high school students in Madrid, Spain. 

Katherine Luke, of Blacksburg, Va., who earned a Bachelor of Science in economics and a Bachelor of Philosophy in environmental studies, was awarded a Fulbright United Kingdom Partnership Award to attend the University of Manchester in England. Luke is performing field research on land-use planning policies as well as conducting coursework towards a Master of Science in environmental governance. 

Mary Mallampalli, of Sewickley, Pa., who earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy, political science, and Spanish, is serving as an English teaching assistant in Brazil. 

Rachel Meyer, of Lititz, Pa., who earned a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering, is performing field research on wind-energy technology and conducting coursework towards a Master of Science in wind energy at the Technical University of Denmark. 

Milton Pratt, of Germantown, Md., who earned a Bachelor of Science in neuroscience, is performing research on anxiety disorders at the University of Crete School of Medicine in Crete, Greece. 

Kush Purohit, of Mt. Lebanon, Pa., who earned a Bachelor of Philosophy in neuroscience, is performing field research on the prevalence of diabetes in the native populations of the Rajasthan region of India. 

The following graduate students in the Dietrich School were awarded Fulbright grants.  

Madeline Eschenburg, a PhD candidate in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture, is researching and writing her dissertation in China. Eschenburg’s graduate research focuses on contemporary Chinese artists. 

Elise Thorsen, a PhD candidate in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, is researching and writing her dissertation in Russia. Thorsen’s graduate research focuses on the Russian empire in the early 20th century, with a specific focus on the years surrounding the October Revolution. 

Holly Yanacek, a PhD candidate in the Department of German, is researching and writing her dissertation in Germany. Yanacek’s graduate research focuses on the emotional norms and practices of different sociocultural groups in imperial Germany at the end of the 19th century. 

Established in 1946, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the namesake of the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. The program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the Department of State. To date, more than 360,000 individuals have been offered Fulbright grants. 

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