Recent Award Winners
Eric Astor '09
As a recipient of the scholarship, Astor will receive up to $7,500 per year toward his undergraduate expenses. He was selected for the award, named for Senator Barry M. Goldwater, on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,110 mathematics, science, and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. Astor, who has a double major in physics and honors mathematics, was one of 317 undergraduates to receive this honor. At Swarthmore, Astor is the president of Free Culture Swarthmore, a chapter of a national student organization advocating creative expression and copyright reform. He is also a member of Cantatrix, an early music a cappella group, as well as the Swarthmore College Chorus. Major: Mathematics Hamiltonian Paths in Hanoi Graphics
Natalie Bowlus '08
Bowlus plans to study mathematics at Eotvos Lorand University (ELTE) in Budapest, Hungary. In addition to her coursework, she will study how English language programs at ELTE and other universities are changing as a result of Hungary's recent entry into the European Union. She is a mathematics major at Swarthmore, and is very involved in the arts, including painting and theater. She also serves as a writing associate and writes a regular column for The Phoenix.
Rebecca Brubaker '06
An honors political science graduate, Brubaker plans to study refugee and immigrant issues at Oxford University. Brubaker, from Kimberton, Pa., attended Swarthmore as a McCabe Scholar, an award that recognizes achievement and leadership. During her senior year, she received a Fulbright Fellowship, which she used to travel to Cyprus to study conflict resolution and relations between the island's Greek and Turkish Cypriot residents.
Elena Chopyak '08
Chopyak will travel to Tunisia to study family planning promotions and various Islamic interpretations of family planning. She will be affiliated with a research center and she plans to visit family planning clinics in rural and urban areas. She also plans to speak with women involved in women's empowerment groups. Chopyak is a sociology and anthropology major at Swarthmore. During her time at Swarthmore, she worked as a telephone counselor for the Women's Law Project in Philadelphia, responding to women's legal inquiries. While studying abroad in France, she interned with Unité de Réflexion d'Action des Communautés Africaines, serving as a community health educator for African immigrants in Paris. Both of these experiences focused her attention on family planning and public health.
Christian DeSimone '06
DeSimone will research state surveillance and domestic security policy at the Freie Universität in Berlin, Germany. He will focus on the impact of recent federal counter-terrorism measures and Constitutional Court decisions on civil privacy. An economics and public policy major at Swarthmore, DeSimone currently researches youth disability issues in Washington, D.C.
Rahul D'Silva '08
D'Silva will travel to Dublin, Ireland, to undertake an M.Phil in Creative Writing at Trinity College, focusing on both poetry and fiction. He will also research the development of lyric poetry from Michael Longley to W.B. Yeats. D'Silva is an English major with a Creative Writing concentration at Swarthmore. He has published in both creative and critical journals at Swarthmore and outside, interned at the Asian American Writer's Workshop in New York, and studied English and creative writing at Oxford University. He has tutored at the Columbus Elementary School in Chester, PA, and has also competed on the Swarthmore Varsity Tennis Team. He has won various awards for creative and critical writing, and is a co-founder and co-editor of The Swarthmore Literary Review, Swarthmore's first international literary magazine.
Mark Dlugash '08
USA Today Academic All-Star
Dlugash, an Honors psychology and education major from New Rochelle, N.Y., is one of 20 college students from across the country to be named to this year's All-USA College Academic Team by USA Today. The program honors undergraduates who not only excel in scholarship but also extend their intellectual abilities beyond the classroom to benefit society.
Mark Dlugash co-founded an organization that recently completed an anti-malaria campaign to raise awareness about malaria in Uganda and funds for prevention. The group is now working to create a sustainable bednet program in the Acholi Quarter, a slum in Kampala, Uganda. In addition, he trains counselors for campus workshops in sexual assault prevention and directed a play, Anything for You, to spark dialogue about sexual misconduct on campus. Other volunteer work includes tutoring kids, helping low-income city residents get tax refunds, and providing hospice support for the elderly in Philadelphia. His honors thesis is a book he is writing about school-based depression prevention.
"After I graduate, I'm planning to spend six months to a year working in East Africa, " Mark says, "probably Ethiopia, Uganda, and maybe Tanzania, with AIDS orphans and street children, doing direct service and advocacy work."
Jonathan Edwards '06
Edwards will research urban sustainability in Bhaktapur, Nepal. He is particularly interested in studying the food culture of the Newar linguistic group including their agricultural practices, cooking, and related rituals, and how things are changing in this once self-sufficient city as a result of modern agricultural methods and globalism. A religion major and math minor at Swarthmore, Edwards has spent his time since graduation working in the restaurant industry, farming, and most recently, training in the Ayurvedic medical tradition.
Wren Elhai '08
Elhai's Watson Fellowship project is entitled "Who Needs Instruments? Mouth Music and Vocal Imitation." He will spend his fellowship year studying traditions of vocal music that use the voice to imitate sounds found in nature, or to replace instruments.
He plans to travel to the Russian Republic of Tuva, South Africa, Hungary, Scotland, and England in order to study with local musicians-sing with them, record their music, and talk with them about the significance of their vocal traditions. Elhai has sung since childhood, and has explored vocal percussion in his experiences with a cappella music. "Spending a year learning about the different ways people use their voices seemed the perfect way to explore the world," said Elhai.
Elhai, a political science major and Russian minor at Swarthmore, serves as the musical director for Sixteen Feet, Swarthmore's all-male a cappella group. He is also a founding member of War News Radio, a student-produced weekly news program that focuses on personal accounts of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Scott Fortmann-Roe '08
Fortmann-Roe is an engineering major at Swarthmore. He will spend his Fulbright year researching the remediation of fluoride in ground water in Poland. His mother Louise Fortmann, a professor of natural resource sociology at UC-Berkeley, has also been awarded a Fulbright Grant for 2008-09. She will be conducting research in Germany.
Michael Forster Rothbart '94
Forster Rothbart will document the lives of Chernobyl survivors in Ukraine. He will photograph daily life and interview residents of seven irradiated villages in the inhabited Chernobyl zones as part of his larger After the Nukes project examining Soviet-era nuclear industries. He will collect individual stories to explore the continuing social, medical, and economic impacts two decades after the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Forster Rothbart was an English and education major at Swarthmore. He has worked as a photojournalist since 1996 and has spent time based in India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, and Madison, Wis., where he was a staff photographer for the University of Wisconsin for six years.
Jeremy Freeman '08
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow
Freeman is an honors special major in neuroscience, combining neurobiology, cognitive psychology, mathematical statistics, and independent neuroscience research in his studies. He studies motion perception with Swarthmore Professor of psychology, Frank Durgin. Freeman has also done extensive research at the N.Y.U. Center for Neural Science with Professors Denis Pelli and David Heeger. His research has focused on understanding how objects are represented in the brain. Most recently, Freeman has used fMRI to measure interactions between different brain regions during object recognition, and to show how these interactions encode object information. Last year, Freeman received a Goldwater Scholarship. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Neural Science at New York University this fall.
Susannah Gund '08
Gund will research language attitudes and usage in Moroccan urban secondary schools. Gund is a special major in languages and linguistics, focusing on Arabic and French, and has a minor in educational studies. At Swarthmore she serves as a resident assistant and as a writing associate. She was also a founding member of the Genocide Intervention Network and helped lead Swarthmore Sudan.
Kavita Hardy '08
Udal Scholarship Honorable Mention
Nastassia Herasimovich '06
Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship for Graduate Study
Herasimovich will pursue a J.D. at Northwestern University Law School
Yusha Hu '08
Hu, an honors biology major at Swarthmore, will study water resource management in China. She will work with the director of the Institute for Environmental Management and Policy at Tsinghua University in Beijing. At Swarthmore, Hu writes a column about science and the environment for The Phoenix.
Mark Mai '09
Goldwater Scholar Honorable Mention
Noah Metheny '03
Metheny plans to study the legal issues that the HIV/AIDS communities are facing in Southeast Asia. Metheny has a long history of studying HIV/AIDS as a public health and human rights issue. While at Swarthmore he had the opportunity to conduct independent research on how non-governmental organizations shape drug availability for South Africans infected with HIV/AIDS. That experience solidified his decision to go to law school to become a public interest attorney working on legal issues faced by people living with HIV/AIDS. Metheny continued doing HIV/AIDS legal work while in law school at Berkeley. He currently serves as a staff attorney at the Whitman-Walker Clinic, Legal Services Program, providing legal services for people with HIV/AIDS.
Joel Mittleman '09
Mittleman is an economics major with minors in educational studies and public policy. At Swarthmore, he is a leader in programs which provide academic support to his fellow students. "Though I've always wanted to become a teacher, it wasn't until I came to Swarthmore that I linked my interest in education and my commitment to social justice. My course work has convinced me of the centrality of public education in the work of building a racially and economically just society," said Mittleman.
Marshall Morales '08
Morales, a special major in environmental science and a dance minor, plans to study landscape design in Asia. "I am interested in how Asian landscape designers use public spaces such as waterfronts, parks, plazas, wildlife preserves, to reconcile the tradition of landscapes, such as Buddhist Zen gardens, with the ecological and social pressures of urban life" said Morales. Morales' experiences at Swarthmore helped shape his interest in this topic. Morales founded a student-run organic garden on the Swarthmore campus, and his senior thesis is focused on urban environmental restoration. "In an age of environmental degradation, my aim is to plan and install projects that rectify destructive activities, and Japanese landscape design is the perfect extension of the work I have begun at Swarthmore," said Morales.
Nicole Nfonoyim '08
Nfonoyim will travel to Spain to study and document the immigrant experiences of Dominican and Sub-Saharan African Women in Madrid. She is an honors major in sociology and anthropology, with a minor in Latin American studies. At Swarthmore has been involved in several cultural organizations and the communities of the Intercultural Center and the Black Cultural Center.
Ronni Sadovsky '08
Sadovsky is an honors major in philosophy with a second major in linguistics. At Swarthmore, she founded the Lady Philosophers' Dinner group. She is also involved in Ruach and serves as a writing associate. She plans to spend her Fulbright year in Israel at the Center for the Study of Rationality at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, studying the way that people's thoughts, emotions and desires help them to perceive and fulfill moral obligations.
Jamie Saxon '09
Saxon is an honors political science and physics double major. He credits the Swarthmore faculty with fostering a rigorous and compelling atmosphere for pursuing these interests. Outside of the classroom, he has been involved in the outdoor adventure group, sung in the college choir, and served as secretary of the debate society. As a member of the High Energy Physics group of the University of Pennsylvania, he has worked for the past five summers on the A Toroidal LHC ApparatuS (ATLAS), one of two large, multi-purpose particle detectors now reaching completion at the European Laboratories for Particle Physics (CERN), in Geneva, Switzerland. He will continue that research this summer.
Andrew Sniderman '07
An honors political science and philosophy graduate from Montréal, Canada, Sniderman will study at Oxford University next fall.
During his junior year, Sniderman co-founded the Genocide Intervention Network, ultimately delivering speeches across the U.S. and helping to oversee a national lobbying, mobilization, and fundraising effort to provide citizens with tools to prevent and stop genocide. Currently he is serving in Ottawa as a fellow in the Parlimentary Internship Programme and as an Action Canada fellow.
Read an interview with Andrew in the Daily Gazette.
Lydia Thé '08
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow
Thé started doing science research in high school at the N.Y.U. School of Medicine through a New York Academy of Sciences program. As a biology major at Swarthmore, she has worked with Professor Elizabeth Vallen, studying the role of the myosin protein in yeast cell division. She has also studied germline development in the worm, C. elegans, with Geraldine Seydoux at Johns Hopkins Medicine. She presented her findings at the 2007 International C. elegans Meeting in Los Angeles. This fall, she will join the Molecular and Cell Biology Graduate Program at the University of California at Berkeley.
Alyssa Van Thoen'08
Van Thoen, a music and French double major, will teach English to students at the University of Ghent in Belgium. She also plans to play in a string quartet and take Dutch language courses. Heavily involved in music at Swarthmore, her experiences have included playing in a string quartet and the orchestra and directing an a cappella group.
Latika Young '03
Young, an honors dance major with minor in environmental studies, will teach English to students at the University of Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina and will advise on educational matters for the university and for outreach projects. In addition, she will create a video documentary that explores how artistic practices connect across socio-political boundaries within the country. Having become interested in the post-socialist state while studying abroad with the Swarthmore program in Poland, her most recent research took her to Kosovo in the summer of 2007, where she produced a documentary about the divided town of Kosovska Mitrovica with students from around South East Europe.