Five graduates from the Class of 2023 and one alum from each of the classes of 2019 and 2021 have earned coveted Fulbright grants, empowering them to conduct 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, humanities, arts, and natural sciences, the Fulbright program emphasizes cultural exchange and promotes mutual understanding.
The Swarthmore alumni earned three English teaching assistantship (ETA) grants, three research grants, and a study grant. Another 2023 graduate was chosen as a Fulbright alternate and could still be offered a grant this summer, says Melissa Mandos, fellowships and prizes advisor.
This year’s Swarthmore grantees:
Ana Curtis ’19, who majored in Honors economics and English literature at Swarthmore, received a study grant to pursue a master’s in global and international studies (with a focus in business and negotiation) at the Universidad de Salamanca, in the Castile-León region of Spain.
“It should be fun to dive back into schoolwork after a few years in the corporate world, and I'm excited to meet my future classmates, continue improving my Spanish, and remember how to write an academic paper!” says Curtis. “I'm also really excited to have some time to wander the city, where I spent a summer during my time at Swat, and hopefully to make lasting memories and connections there.”
Molly Erdman ’23, a biochemistry and Spanish special major from Wilmington, Del., received a research grant to pursue the topic, “Vaccine Assisted CAR-T Cell Therapy: New Cancer Treatment for Solid Tumor Cancers,” in Pamplona, Spain.
"I will be working with Dr. Sandra Hervás Stubbs at the Center for Applied Medical Research. My project will be focused on trying to design vaccine prototypes that help to improve the effectiveness of CAR-T cell therapy in solid tumor cancers. I am so excited to get to do biochemistry and immunology research in Spanish!"
Carlee Marquez ’23, a psychology and biochemistry special major from Houston, Texas, received a research grant to pursue the topic, “Novel Approach to Delivering an Anti-Inflammatory Agent and RNA to Neural Culture,” in Spain.
Emma Lee Miller ’21, who majored in art at Swarthmore, received an English Teaching Assistantship in South Korea.
Gabriel Straus ’23, an Honors sociology & anthropology and biology special major from New York, N.Y., received an English Teaching Assistantship in Spain.
“I’m very excited to spend next year teaching and learning from my students and my fellow teachers in Galicia,” says Straus. “I’ve always loved languages and working with kids, so I think I’ll find my work both meaningful and engaging — but most of all, I’m looking forward to the opportunity to immerse myself in a different culture.
Devika Subedi ’23, a medical anthropology special major from Winchester, Va., received an English Teaching Assistantship to teach at IE University in Madrid, Spain.
“While at Swarthmore, I have been able to bridge my interests in multilingualism, health equity, and migration through the medical anthropology major,” says Subedi. “This grant offers a unique opportunity to continue exploring these topics in a new context. I'm beyond excited to teach at an international university and engage with community-led reproductive health initiatives through a supplementary project. Overall, I'm looking forward to a year of growth in which I can strengthen my Spanish skills, learn from the perspectives of students and professors at IE, and broaden my knowledge of public health on an international scale.”
Harry Yeung ’23, an Honors political science and economics major from Danville, Calif., received a research grant to pursue the topic, “Disaster Policy in Malaysia: Preparing for an Eventful Future,” with two professors at the National University of Malaysia.
“I will be analyzing why the current system of disaster recovery is insufficient (as evidenced by severe public backlash to the government's response to the floods in 2022) while looking for possible solutions to these issues,” says Yeung. “I will be conducting interviews with actors at multiple levels, including civilians, members of disaster recovery organizations, and government officials to get a better sense of the problems that need to be addressed within Malaysian disaster response. I hope to contribute to increased risk mitigation before disasters and resilience after disasters.
"I am also just excited to live in a new country! I plan to play badminton (one of the most popular sports in Malaysia) and learn Malaysian traditional music. I also love Malaysian food and cannot wait to eat at the famed hawker stalls!”