May 26, 2002
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—Five recent graduates of Amherst College have been awarded J. William Fulbright Fellowships for postgraduate study overseas.

Alison Bickford ’02, who majored in neuroscience at Amherst and is the daughter of Debbie Bickford and Robert Bickford of Birmingham, Ala., will study at the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Endocrinology in Hannover, Germany. She will investigate the links between mind and body in the workings of circadian rhythms.

Sam Charap, a Russian and political science major in the Class of ’02 and the son of Karen Gilmore and Mitchell Charap of New York City, will study the intellectual milieu that fostered the recent fundamental changes in Russia’s orientation to the West, especially its relationship with the United States at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.

Jill Cirasella, a resident of Jersey City, N.J., who graduated in 1998 with a B.A. in computer science, will pursue an interdisciplinary investigation into logic and computer science at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation at the Univesity of Amsterdam.

Ross O’Connell ’02, the son of Susan and Michael O’Connell of Medford, Ore., was a physics and Russian major at Amherst. O’Connell will study the development of Russian animated film in the 20th century at the All-Russian Government Institute of Cinematography in Moscow, and also in the archives of Soyuzmultfilm, the great Soviet studio that began producing animated films in 1936.

Michael Rosenthal, the son of Julie and Mark Rosenthal of Sierra Madre, Calif., majored in Russian and political science at Amherst and graduated in 2002. He will study economic development in northwest Russia in the Faculty of International Relations at St. Petersburg State University.

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