Seven Amherst College Seniors and Alumni Awarded Fulbright Fellowships for Study and Teaching

May 18, 2009               

AMHERST, Mass.—Four Amherst College seniors and three alumni have been awarded J. William Fulbright Fellowships for study and teaching abroad during the 2009-10 academic year. The winners include Martin Aguilera ’09, Sarah Bass ’06, Raj Borsellino ’09E, Jesse Corradi ’08, Suzanne Hulick ’09, Kelly Rich ’08 and Jennifer Suh ’09E.
“Amherst had a large number of strong applicants this year,” said Denise Gagnon, the college’s fellowship coordinator. “We are pleased that the Fulbright program will provide our seniors and recent graduates with a wonderful opportunity to have an international experience after Amherst.” 

What follows is some brief information on each recipient and his or her plans.

Martin Aguilera
Aguilera, an art and the history of art major from Los Angeles, received a Fulbright grant to study the art of acclaimed artist Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, as well as work at the Museum of Modern Art in Lisbon, Portugal. At Amherst, he played intramural soccer, served as the art editor of The Indicator student magazine, produced drawings for various other publications on campus and co-chaired the Pride Alliance as well as La Casa, the college’s Latino culture house. He also participated in the Chicano Caucus and La Causa, the Chicano and Latino student organizations, respectively. In addition, he worked as a research assistant for several faculty members and a diversity intern for the Office of Admission. He received the Alpha Delta Phi and Wolansky Research Fund fellowship, which subsidized his thesis research during the summer and an Abele Fellowship, which funded his volunteer work abroad. When he returns to the United States after his time in Portugal, he plans to pursue a master’s degree in art history focusing on modern art.

Sarah Bass
An English literature and black studies major from West Chicago, Ill., and a 2006 Teach For America alumna of the Los Angeles corps, Bass will use her Fulbright to study the influences of ethnic hybridization between East Indians and Afro-Caribbeans on Trinidadian culture at the University of the West Indies in St. Augustine, Trinidad. She plans to use her newfound knowledge to improve the representation of Trinidadian experiences, especially those of women, in her own creative writing. During her time at Amherst, she participated in the Amherst Christian Fellowship, co-founded an Athletes in Action chapter at the college and served as a diversity intern for the Office of Admission. She received an Abele Teaching Grant, an American Bar Foundation Legal Fellowship and a MacArthur-Leithauser Travel Award, which funded her first research trip to the Caribbean the summer before her junior year at Oxford University. Her professional goal is to write literary fiction that borrows from post-colonial themes specific to the West Indies, particularly Trinidad, and to pursue her interest in photography.

Raj Borsellino
Borsellino, from Des Moines, Iowa, was awarded a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship to teach English in Indonesia. A political science major, he has held several student government positions at Amherst, including student senator and vice president of the Association of Amherst Students. He was a member of the Amherst College Democrats and the Faculty Committee on Admission and Financial Aid. He volunteered for Educate!, a club dedicated to funding college education for students in rural Uganda; iThemba Lethu Children’s Home in Durban, South Africa; Holyoke High School in Holyoke, Mass.; and the Teen Resource Project, also in Holyoke. He hopes to one day enroll in a law program with a focus on public interest and human rights law.

Jesse Corradi
Corradi, a political science major who most recently worked as a private equity analyst at Lehman Brothers/Neuberger Berman in New York, will teach English in Hong Kong on a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship. During his college career, the Poughkeepsie, N.Y., native played on the Amherst golf team, worked as a managing editor of the Amherst Student newspaper and received several honors, including the Latham Scholarship Award, an Abele Public Service Internship and a Tom Gerety Fellowship for Action. He also worked at the United States Department of State in Washington, D.C.; the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York; and Face to Face, a nonprofit organization in Mount Kisco, N.Y. When he returns to the United States, he plans to pursue a career in public and educational policy, international relations and/or business.

Suzanne Hulick
Hulick, a German studies and music major from New Boston, N.H., was awarded a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship to teach English in Germany. At Amherst, she played the violin for the Amherst Symphony Orchestra and received a Tom Gerety Fellowship for Action. She also spent her junior year at the University of Freiburg in Germany, where she served as concertmaster for the institution's student symphony orchestra. She is interested in one day attending graduate school for German language and linguistics and pursuing her teaching certification.

Kelly Rich
Rich, of Maple Grove, Minn., majored in English and law, jurisprudence and social thought (LJST) and is currently serving as a graduate writing fellow at Amherst’s Writing Center. She has received a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship to teach English in South Korea. During her time on campus, she worked as an undergraduate writing tutor, research assistant for the LJST department, music librarian and usher for the music department, chemistry peer tutor and an on-call Peer Advocate of  Sexual Respect. She was also awarded the LJST department’s Robert Cover Prize. Her plans are to one day enter graduate school to earn a Ph.D. in English literature, focusing on law and literature and British modernism. 

Jennifer Suh
Suh, a Latin American studies major from Chicago who completed coursework for her degree in December of 2008, will also work as an English instructor in South Korea for her Fulbright Teaching Assistantship. She plans to “teach in a way that excites my students and opens up a new world to them, as well as impart lessons I have learned and will be learning about appreciating one’s own identity.” At Amherst, she founded the Amherst Community Garden, volunteered with the Peruvian Education Initiative and Jones Public Library English as a Second Language program. She participated in the Mexico-U.S. Solidarity Network, the Aumi! summer English program in the Andes and Save the Children, where she spent three weeks helping an indigenous family build a home for six on the rural mountainside in Honduras. She was also the recipient of several funding prizes, including the W. MacLean Johnson ’38 Fellowship,  the Class of ’54 Commitment to Teaching Award and the Alpha Delta Phi Award. Her goal is to join the Peace Corps and work as a community organizer and English teacher in a Spanish-speaking country. After that, she hopes to return to school to earn a master’s degree in international education, social justice in intercultural relations or history. 

About the Fulbright Program
Congress created the Fulbright Program in 1946 to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges. Sen. J. William Fulbright, sponsor of the legislation, viewed scholarship as an alternative to armed conflict. Today, the Fulbright Program is the federal government’s premier scholarship program. Funded by an annual Congressional appropriation and contributions from other participating countries, it allows Americans to study or conduct research in more than 100 nations.

About Amherst
Founded in 1821, Amherst is a highly selective, coeducational liberal arts college with approximately 1,600 students from most of the 50 states and more than 30 other countries. Considered one of the nation’s best educational institutions, Amherst awards the B. A. degree in 34 fields of study.

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