Seven graduates of the Class of 2022 and one from the Class of 2020 have earned coveted Fulbright grants, empowering them to conduct independent research, study at the graduate level, and/or teach English abroad next year.
The Fulbright is bestowed “to encourage collaboration between citizens of the U.S. and those of other countries to develop ideas and address international concerns.” With its vast academic focus, including the social sciences, the humanities, and the sciences, the Fulbright program emphasizes leadership development.
The Swarthmore alumni earned five English teaching assistantship (ETA) grants and three research grants. Another 2022 graduate was offered a Fulbright but elected to pursue other opportunities, and five other 2022 grads were chosen as Fulbright alternates and could still be offered grants this summer, says Melissa Mandos, fellowships and prizes advisor.
This year’s Swarthmore grantees:
Alana Ballagh ’22, who majored in environmental studies and political science, received an English teaching assistantship to Laos.
“I am so excited to spend the year teaching and learning from Lao teachers and the other Fulbright grantees,” says Ballagh. “I’m particularly excited to live along the Mekong River, where I will experience firsthand the environmental impacts of climate change on the Mekong and its cities.”
Bethany Bronkema ’22, who majored in engineering, received a research grant to Iceland to explore “Life Cycle of Iceland’s Aluminum Production Process Using Inert Metal Anodes” at Reykjavik University.
“I’m very excited to travel to Iceland and perform this research,” says Bronkema. “Aside from the beautiful natural landscape and outdoors-y lifestyle, I am excited to experience research outside of the U.S., especially in a field that I am really passionate about due to its environmental application. I'm hoping to put skills I learned in the Swarthmore engineering department to good use and learn more specific skills in a bigger, university setting.”
Anuk DeSilva ’22, who special majored in gender & sexuality studies, received a research grant to Trinidad and Tobago to investigate “The South Asian Diasporic ‘Third Gender’ in Indo-Trinidad and Tobago.”
Madeleine Palden ’22, who majored in Latin, received an English teaching assistantship to Schleswig-Holstein, the northernmost state of Germany.
“As a Latin major and German minor, I’ve always loved languages,” says Palden. “I’ve also always wanted to be a teacher, so I’m excited to teach English to native speakers of another language while learning more about the German education system.”
Lilly Price ’20, who special majored in environmental anthropology and most recently worked as director of operations for Women’s Campaign International, received a research grant to Fiji to explore “A Community-Driven Counter to Foreign-Owned Tourism."
Anna Suh ’22, who majored in English literature, received an English teaching assistantship to South Korea.
“I’m so thrilled and honored to be able to travel to Korea,” says Suh. “I’ve never been to Korea and never lived outside of the U.S. for more than two weeks, so I am excited to experience life outside of the limited sphere that I’ve been exposed to. Next year will be a great opportunity to explore teaching and progress a potential vocational trajectory, but I also think it will also be a critical time of reflection and exploration.”
Madeline Sutliff ’22, who majored in Chinese, received an English teaching assistantship to Taiwan.
Dulce Ventura ’22, who special majored in biology and educational studies, received an English teaching assistantship to France.