Five Dartmouth students selected as Fulbright scholars

by Cassandra Thomas | 4/18/19 2:10am

Last month, five Dartmouth students and one recent graduate were informed that they had been selected as 2019 Fulbright scholars. The scholars will receive grants to teach, research or study in their respective commissions in international programs. 

The six recipients are Gabrielle Bozarth ’17, Ashley DuPuis ’19, Bethany Malzman ’19, Victoria McCraven ’19, Arista Ngodinh ’19 and Neerja Thakkar ’19. There were also seven Dartmouth students selected as alternates for the scholarship whose names have not been released.  

The Fulbright scholarship applications were due in August 2018, but Dartmouth applicants were required by the College to submit their application essays by July 1, according to DuPuis, who received a Fulbright scholarship to study in Budapest, Hungary. DuPuis also said that Dartmouth supports its Fulbright applicants by assigning them a faculty advisor to guide them throughout the application process.

DuPuis said she has a pointed interest in migration and asylum studies, and when she discovered the Budapest Fulbright commission, she knew it “checked off all the boxes” of her interests. She delayed a job offer by a year in order to commit to the scholarship.

DuPuis plans to work at a think tank in Budapest, where she will be studying issues related to the Visegrád Group, or V4, which consists of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. 

“I’m looking at the history of migration and asylum policy in law in the V4,” DuPuis said. “There are similarities in their policies, but there are also nuances in their policy, so I’m trying to tease out those nuances.” 

DuPuis said that the Fulbright scholarship allows scholars to stay in their country of research for an entire year, allowing students to immerse themselves in ways that go beyond a vacation or study abroad program.

“[Budapest] is a beautiful city,” she added. “To experience life there, not just for a few days on a vacation, but to actually live there for nine months is going to be fantastic.”

Malzman will use her background in education and communications to teach English as a second language to students in northern Spain next year. As a Dartmouth student, she visited the country on a study abroad program, and was able to teach English there during an off-term. Malzman said she is confident that her experience abroad will make the transition much easier.

“I loved my off-term so much, I felt like I was learning every day being there from the kids and the other teachers,” Malzman said. “I chose Spain based on the culture. Since I had already been there for six months of my life, I’m more acclimated to their culture and way of life.”

 McCraven received a Fulbright to study at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. She will be enrolled in a one-year master’s program.

McCraven said the course of her academic career changed after she took a class called SOCY 79.8, "Lest we Forget: History, Collective Memory, and Slavery" at Dartmouth. In the class, she learned about an African American man named Augustus Washington who studied medicine at Dartmouth in the mid-1800s and then emigrated to Liberia. 

McCraven said her studies will delve into African-American migration to West Africa during the mid-nineteenth century and the photography that was produced by American migrants to West Africa.

“Ideally, this year will be an opportunity for me to learn about Liberia, to learn about the techniques used … and hopefully go there and do research after I’ve done all my preparations and possibly pursue a Ph.D. in the U.S. or in the U.K.” McCraven said.

Thakkar had a similar experience in a Dartmouth classroom that introduced her to the research that would inspire her Fulbright application. In a computational photography class, Thakkar was introduced to the work of a computer scientist in Spain who studies cameras that can capture the speed of light.

Next year, Thakkar will be working alongside that scientist in his lab.

Thakkar lauded the Fulbright program for fostering dialogue among scholars from across the world.

“The research community is very international,” Thakkar said. “There’s a lot of cool work going on everywhere and a lot of people working together to come up with really cool, new ideas and projects. I think this is a great way to be a part of it … It’s important that we’re all working on this collectively and globally, not just in one sphere.”

Correction appended (April 18, 2019): The original version of this article cited HIST 16, "Race and Slavery in US History" as the class that inspired McCraven. The actual class was SOCY 79.8, "Lest we Forget: History, Collective Memory, and Slavery." The article has been updated to reflect this change.