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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2015 / 06 

Six Fulbright grants awarded to Virginia Tech students and alumnae

June 11, 2015

Fulbright student winners
From left to right: Rachael Kennedy, Amanda Nelson, Janani Ravi, Alexandra Hyler, Emma Flemmig, and Rachel Kirk.

From surveying rural households in India to assessing the impacts of ovarian cancer progression in Denmark, Virginia Tech students and alumnae will be contributing to communities around the world next year.

Six Virginia Tech recipients – four graduate students and two recent alumnae – have been awarded U.S. Fulbright Student Program grants. During the 2015-16 academic year, the recipients will conduct research, study, or teach abroad.

  • Emma Flemmig of Glidden, Iowa, a Ph.D. candidate in crop and soil environmental sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, will survey rural households in the Punjab state in India. The surveys are designed to measure dimensions of food security and agricultural productivity. The data collected will offer a comparison with Flemmig's current research in Haiti.  She has a master's degree from North Carolina State University and a bachelor's degree from Iowa State University.
  • Alexandra Hyler of Lawrence, Kansas, a Ph.D. candidate in biomedical engineering in the School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, will travel to Copenhagen this summer to begin research with Henrik Bruus, a leader in microfluidics and biophysical theory at the Technical University of Denmark. Hyler aims to understand how the body's natural environment impacts the progression of ovarian cancer. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of Kansas.
  • Rachael Kennedy of Blacksburg, Virginia, a Ph.D. candidate in agricultural, leadership, and community education in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, will spend a year in Turkey investigating food-oriented social movements. Her research will examine causal factors of social movements in Turkey and the potential for community resiliency. She has a master's degree from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and a bachelor's degree from the University of Georgia.
  • Rachel Kirk of Baltimore, Maryland, who earned bachelor's degrees in political science and French from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and was a University Honors student, will be serving as an English teaching assistant at a university in Morocco. Since graduating in 2012, Kirk has taught high school French in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of Teach for America.
  • Amanda Nelson of Salisbury, North Carolina, a Ph.D. candidate in chemistry in the College of Science, will be spending almost a year conducting research in synthetic chemistry at the University of Würzburg in Germany. Nelson's research aims to understand and improve approaches to synthetic chemistry. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
  • Janani Ravi of Richmond, Virginia, earned bachelor's degrees in English and international studies last fall from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and was a University Honors student. Ravi will serve as an English teaching assistant in the Nordrhein-Westfalen state of Germany.

"For 70 years the Fulbright Program has facilitated the exchange of knowledge and collaboration between countries," said Guru Ghosh, vice president for Outreach and International Affairs. "We look forward to seeing the contributions their experiences will have on the global community, and the university is fortunate to have them serve as ambassadors."

The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the U.S. government and, designed to increase mutual understanding, has provided hundreds of thousands of students and faculty opportunities to study or conduct research worldwide.

The Global Education Office oversees the Fulbright Program and provides faculty grants for the development of international programs. For questions or more information on the Fulbright awards, please contact Betty Watts.

Written by Rommelyn Conde

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