What is it like to be labeled a “witch” in Ghana? How many blue whales swim in the waters near Chile? What are the most engaging ways to teach English to young people? These grant winners are about to find out. Ten members of the classes of 2020 through 2023 success- fully applied, through the College’s Office of Fellowships, for scholarships sponsored by the U.S. Department of State that will enable them to live abroad for the coming year. Four of them have won funding from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program to conduct research and/or earn graduate degrees. The other six will teach English through Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships (ETAs).
In northern Ghana, women accused of doing harm through witchcraft are exiled from their homes and sent to “witch camps.” With support from faculty at the University of Ghana’s Institute of African Studies, Ann Guo ’20 plans to conduct fieldwork at the Gambaga and Kukuo witch camps and produce an academic paper and a photography project showing how the women living in the camps reclaim and reshape their own identities.
Counting Blue Whales
“The continental shelf in southern Chile houses some of the most productive fisheries in the world, but they are threatened by overexploitation, and some have even collapsed,” explains Ella Rose ’23. Her research project at Universidad de Concepción will examine whether blue whale population sizes can be reliable indicators of how healthy the fisheries are.
Kate Redmond ’23 will pursue an M.A. in education, health promotion and international development at University College London, where she intends to conduct “research on current health promotion policies in Rwanda and the role the U.K. and U.S. can play in improving well-being there.” This will build upon her work with a Rwandan health NGO, Heart and Sole Action, with which she first collaborated as an outreach coordinator for the student organization Amherst College Health for Humanity.
“Does one cease to be a migrant when they’ve recovered the fundamental right to a secure home?” Camilo Toruño ’21 asked in his Fulbright application. This is one of many questions he’ll explore as he pursues an M.A. in migration studies at Mexico City’s Universidad Iberoamericana: “I will research policy and nongovernmental efforts to provide shelter and/or housing for Central American migrants traveling through Mexico and upon reaching the United States.”
Mexico is an especially meaningful place for Gabriel Echarte ’23, who will spend a year there on an English Teaching Assistantship (ETA). “Through teaching,” he wrote in his application, “I am reinforcing my commitment to an open and free world, one committed to education, exchange and greater connection.”
Ever since a high school Spanish teacher introduced Sika Essegbey ’23 to the Carlos Vives song “La Fantástica,” she wrote in her Fulbright application, “I have taken advantage of every opportunity to learn about the impact of African and Indigenous communities on Colombian history and culture.” She will spend a year in Colombia on an ETA.
The many education-related activities of Fulbright ETA winner Ryan Kyle ’23 include a 2022 teaching fellowship with Breakthrough Miami, the College’s Mammoth Mentorship Initiative and Big Brothers Big Sisters. “I am particularly excited to teach in the Uruguayan education system because of the country’s rich history of experimenting with different policies to promote educational equity,” she writes.
Rachel Rozenfeld ’22, “an eager student” of Russian and Greek, is learning a third language. Before she starts her Fulbright ETA in the Slovak Republic, she is enrolled in the Summer School of Slovak Language and Culture, Studia Academica Slovaca in Bratislava, “so as to be able to communicate with my students and my community as effectively as possible.” An aspiring librarian, she will share her love of American “dramatists like Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller and Stephen Sondheim, and poets like Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost and Edgar Allan Poe.”
Jake Kim ’23 will be an ETA in Taiwan. When not teaching, he hopes to volunteer with the Taiwan Root Medical Peace Corps. “I also intend to use music as a universal language by hosting musical extracurriculars,” he wrote in his application.
During her ETA in Taiwan, Vivian Wei ’22 will draw from her earlier work as a tutor and as an ice-skating teacher. “As an Asian American who has lived in vastly different areas of the United States”—including the Flushing neighborhood of Queens, N.Y., and a small suburb in the Midwest—“I will bring a more diversified picture of what it means to be American.”