Twelve Swarthmore Students and Alumni
Win Fulbright Fellowships
by Stacey Kutish
Eight Swarthmore College seniors and four alumni are recipients of Fulbright Fellowships for 2010. The Fulbright Program is designed to "increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries." Fellowships are awarded to American students, young professionals, and artists selected through a national, open, merit-based competition for study, research, internships and/or service abroad. With a broad academic focus including the social sciences, humanities, and the sciences, the program emphasizes leadership development. Approximately 1,200 awards are presented each year.
Madeleine Case, a history major and Latin American Studies minor, will be an English teaching assistant at a university and work with a women's empowerment organization in Bogota, Colombia. At Swarthmore, Case plays in the College's Jazz Band, coaches the men's club volleyball team, and helped to plan an annual Class Awareness Month. Case is a 2005 graduate of Carlmont High School and is the daughter of Claudia and Lebbeus Case of San Carlos, Calif.
Latavia Elmore plans to spend her fellowship studying the concepts of nationhood, diversity, and peace in Kazakhstan. She first became interested in the topics of ethnicity and religion while studying abroad in Georgia and Turkey during her junior year. She further explored these issues in her thesis papers for her sociology/anthropology and Russian majors. A 2005 graduate of Auburn High School in Rockford, Ill., she is the daughter of Beryl Tucker and Armond Dean Elmore.
Alison Flamm, a Chinese and economics double major, will conduct economic research focusing on the costs of water pollution in China. She will consider both the health and quality-of-life costs to those who consume polluted water and the monetary costs of transporting clean water to areas where there is a shortage. The daughter of Andrew Flamm and Jan Shaw-Flamm of St. Paul, Minn., Flamm graduated from Highland Park Senior High School in 2005.
Olivia Gruber Florek '03, currently a Ph.D. candidate in Art History at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, will spend her Fulbright year performing archival research in Vienna. This work will ultimately contribute to her dissertation titled "Empress Elisabeth and the Visual Culture of Femininity in Habsburg Central Europe." A semester abroad in Vienna while she was a student at Swarthmore initially sparked her interest in Viennese art. At Swarthmore Gruber Florek was an Honors art history major with a minor in medieval studies.
Gregory Jehle '08 plans to study the links between traditional oral storytelling in the Old City of Damascus and the classical Arabic literary tradition. He first became interested in this topic while studying abroad in Morocco where he had the opportunity to watch performances by professional storytellers in Meknes and Marrakesh. At Swarthmore, Jehle majored in comparative literature and his curriculum included the study of Arabic literature. On campus he was involved in WSRN, the Swarthmore College radio station. He is the son of Derek and Michele Jehle of Wading River, N.Y., he graduated from Shoreham-Wading River High School in 2004.
Patricia Park '03 will use her Fulbright Fellowship to research and write a novel called JANE, which is a modern-day reinterpretation of Bronte's Jane Eyre set in South Korea. At Swarthmore Park was an Honors English literature major with a minor in psychology. She is currently completing Boston University's MFA program in creative writing, studying under Ha Jin. She plans to blog about her Fulbright year at: myfulbrightyear.blogspot.com.
Laura Rainey, a psychology and educational studies special major with a minor in Spanish, will spend her fellowship year serving as an English teaching assistant at an elementary school in Madrid, Spain. She also plans to volunteer in the local community. In addition to her academic interest in educational studies at Swarthmore, she also taught swim lessons and helped with TOPSoccer, a student-led program that provides opportunities for young athletes with disabilities to learn how to play soccer in a safe and supportive environment. A 2005 graduate of Yorktown High School, she is the daughter of Karen and Kevin Rainey of Arlington, Va.
Mara Revkin will travel to Oman study the use of poetry as a form of public expression for Omani women, and she will also translate contemporary women's poems from Arabic into English. While studying abroad in Egypt, Revkin became interested in how poetry facilitates dialogue between ideologically diverse groups in the Middle East. An Honors major in political science, with minors in sociology/anthropology and Arabic, Revkin is a former Editor in chief of The Phoenix. A 2005 graduate of Wilbur Cross High School, she is the daughter of Carrie Redlich and James Revkin of New Haven, Conn.
Sofia Rivkin-Haas, an Honors English literature major with a minor in history, will spend her Fulbright year teaching English in Vietnam. She looks forward to learning from her experience within a foreign educational system and feels that perspective will serve her well when she returns to the United States to be a teacher, and eventually when she pursues a Ph.D. in education. While at Swarthmore she was active in theater and she hopes to further explore that interest with a study of Vietnamese water puppetry while abroad. Rivkin-Haas is from Berkeley, Calif., and is a 2005 graduate of Berkeley High School. Her parents are Michael Haas and Rosalyn Rivkin '64.
Lauren Stadler '06, began exploring efficient and cost effective wastewater management systems after graduating from Swarthmore with an engineering degree. She plans on using her Fulbright fellowship to evaluate applications for using algae harvested from wastewater ponds as fertilizer and a nutritional supplement. Stadler will conduct her research in India, where she hopes her findings will help diminish dependence on chemical fertilizers, and effect changes in malnutrition. The daughter of John and Cecile Stadler of Harvard, Mass., she attended The Bromfield School and Simon's Rock College of Bard before transferring to Swarthmore.
Lauren Stokes, an Honors history and German studies major, will study the nature of history education, Holocaust remembrance, and German citizenship while living in Berlin, Germany. While a student at Swarthmore, she spent time as a volunteer on a restoration team working at a former concentration camp in Ahrensbök, Germany. She is currently an editor-in-chief of the Daily Gazette, and wrote a column "Honors Denglish," while studying abroad in Germany. Stokes, the daughter of Ken Stokes and Dana Simpson-Stokes of Mountain Lakes, N.J., graduated from Kent Place School in Summit, N.J., in 2005.
Miranda Weinberg, an Honors linguistics major with minors in history and music, will study language preservation and education in Nepal. There are more than 100 languages spoken in Nepal today, but almost all education takes place in Nepali or English. Weinberg will focus her research on a primary school that teaches students in their primary language and will consider the effect this has on the educational success of the students. While at Swarthmore, she played violin in the orchestra, served as president of the folk dance club, and worked for Associate Professor of Linguistics, K. David Harrison in the Swarthmore Laboratory for Endangered Languages. Weinberg, the daughter of Debbie Levey and Crispin Weinberg of Brookline, Mass., graduated from Brookline High School in 2005.
Reads more about Swarthmore's Fulbright recipients in The Phoenix.