Four graduate student alumni, one graduate student, and ten University of Pittsburgh student alumni have received the prestigious 2020 U.S. Fulbright Scholarship to study, teach, and influence worldwide.
On February 16, Pitt was named one of the best Fulbright student production facilities in the country for the tenth time in eleven years. The 15 scientists are the most in the history of the university. The Fulbright US Scholar and Fulbright US Student programs are sponsored by the Office of Education and Culture of the US Department of State to support academic exchanges between the US and more than 150 countries around the world.
“Our main motivation is not to break records, but to put students at the University of Pittsburgh on a path of lifelong learning and success,” said Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. “Our ability to produce Fulbright scientists year after year suggests we are doing this important work right.”
Pitt is one of nearly 600 US higher education institutions actively participating in the Fulbright Program, which began in 1946. The renowned program awards one-year scholarships for individually designed study and research projects or for assistance programs for English teachers worldwide.
Scholarship holders are supported by the University Honors College, which provides coaching and advice to all Pitt students. Scholar mentors provide guidance and feedback on essays, practical interviews and other help.
“Again this year, University of Pittsburgh students have demonstrated not only their academic excellence, but also their commitment to the importance of global perspective and understanding,” said Joseph J. McCarthy, vice provost for undergraduate studies and interim dean of the University Honors College. “Receiving a Fulbright Prize – one of the most prestigious international academic prizes – is uniquely impressive recognition, and I warmly congratulate this year’s recipients. University Honors College prides itself on the role it plays in supporting this ongoing external signal of the quality and achievement of our students. “
2020-21 recipients have studied at multiple Pitt schools, including the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, School of Nursing, and Swanson School of Engineering.
Maya Best of Pittsburgh: Graduated in 2020 with an emphasis on international and field studies, anthropology, and English writing with a minor in Japanese. She would like to research the integration of Bengali migrants into Japanese society and volunteer to support refugees in Japan.
Evelyn Bigini of Basking Ridge, New Jersey: Graduated in 2020 with a major in Nursing with a Certificate in Global Health. She wants to organize global health campaigns for displaced women and children in the Netherlands.
Mackenzie Brown from Pittsburgh: Received a Masters in University Management with a minor in Student Services in 2020; earned a bachelor’s degree in developmental psychology with a minor in studio art in 2017. She wants to improve student outcomes at a Lao university and plan community activities that combine Western art practices with local artists.
Jason Burrell of Corp Christi, Texas: Graduated in 2020 with an emphasis on Japanese and minors in Chinese and business. He wants to teach English in Taiwan and start a club teaching Shotokan Karate to promote self-discipline and a healthy lifestyle.
Alexandra Carapella of Pittsburgh: Graduated in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in painting conservation and currently a master’s degree in art and architectural history; She also holds Masters degrees from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Ljubljana. She wants to deal with immigrant and refugee communities in Serbia.
Madelyn Ferdock from Zionsville, Pennsylvania: She graduated in 2019 with a major in anthropology. She wants to teach English in South Korea and volunteer for the Red Cross to help others, including North Korean refugee centers.
Emily Finkelstein from Pittsburgh: PhD in Art History from Pitt; earned a Bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College, majoring in Art History and German, and a Masters in Art History from the University of Glasgow. She would like to improve the relationships between residents and refugees from the Middle East and Africa in Germany through art workshops and other public relations work.
Thomas Friday of Oreland, Pennsylvania: Graduated in 2020 with a major in Neuroscience and Psychology; studied science at the University of Cambridge. Frietag, also a Kanders Churchill Fellow, wants to be an LGBTQIA + activist in Dublin, Ireland, supporting those who suffer from social marginalization.
Joanna Gorka of Princeton, New Jersey: Graduated in 2020 with an emphasis on molecular biology with minor subjects in chemistry and conceptual foundations of medicine. She wants to research potential therapeutic targets and biomarkers for cancer in Poland and work with children with cancer.
Madeline Hobbs from Portsmouth, Rhode Island: Graduated in 2020 with a major in Bioengineering with a minor in French. She wants to share her passion for math and soccer with her Czech community.
Ellen Larson of Pittsburgh: Graduated in 2018 with a Masters in Art History and currently PhD in Art History in Pitt. She earned a Masters in Modern Chinese History from Minzu University of China and a Bachelor of Art from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. She wants to study the history of video arts and crafts in mainland China from 1988 to 2019.
Jacob Meadows of Langhorne, Pennsylvania: Graduated in 2020 with a major in bioengineering with minors in entrepreneurship, innovation, and product design. He wants to study in London and research healthy aging by starting a health technology company and also working on accessible product design.
Alexa Tignall of Pittsburgh: Graduated in 2020 with a major in Social Sciences with certificates in Russian, Eastern Europe and Eurasia. She wants to research feminism in Kyrgyzstan by interviewing local women.
Dominique Vickers of Monroeville, Pennsylvania: Graduated in 2020 with a major in Life Sciences with an emphasis on Chemistry, Music, and American Sign Language. She wants to volunteer for the fast growing South American migrant community in Spain.
Christopher Wallace from Williamsport, Pennsylvania: Graduated in 2020 with a major in Russian. He wants to start an American culture club in the Czech Republic to teach English as a foreign language and have discussions about American films, games, and sports.