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Recipient profiles

Kunal Kapoor

Fulbright, 2010, India

When Kunal Kampoor returned to the States after studying abroad in England, he looked for any reason to go back. Kapoor’s wishes were fulfilled when he was chosen for a Fulbright scholarship to study in the United Kingdom.

Kunal, on applying for scholarships: "It's a way to examine our core-self, to illuminate our desires and to understand how our existential passions can revolutionize the world. This self-illumination opens the door to a deeper understanding of the self and one’s purpose in this world.  Beginning this quest, in my view, is winning.  Applying for scholarships, therefore, is a win-win opportunity.  You cannot lose.  Only gain. Why be fearful? Take a risk.  Open up your heart and go for it."

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Tennessee Dixon

Fulbright , 2010, England

Tennessee Dixon’s time abroad in Hungary on a Fulbright scholarship taught her a lot of valuable life lessons. When Dixon received an email about a Fulbright scholarship information session, she saw it as a way to achieve her dream.

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Julie Charbonnier

Fulbright, 2010, Spain

When Julie Charbonnier received her Fulbright award, it felt like a long time coming. Charbonnier, a Master’s student studying Amphibian Ecology here at Virginia Commonwealth University, applied to Fulbright twice before receiving.

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Michael Trujillo

National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship Award, 2015, United States

Michael is a doctoral candidate at VCU who studies Health Psychology. He is a recipient of a 2015 Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation and a past recipient of the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Scholarship.

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Ghatul Abdul Qayum

Fulbright ETA, 2015, Malaysia

Ghatul is a recipient of the 2015-2016 Fulbright English Teaching Assistant scholarship. She will be teaching English in Malaysia.

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Lindsey Fitzgerald

Fulbright ETA, 2015, Morocco

Lindsey, a graduate of the honors college at VCU,  is a recipient of the 2015 Fulbright ETA award. She will be travelling to Morocco along the Ivory Coast to teach English.

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Caitlin Forgione

Fulbright, 2013, Germany

Caitlin Forgione, from Clifton, Va., received her bachelor’s degrees in health, physical education and exercise science and German from VCU in 2013.  With the support from her Fulbright grant, Forgione researched the Four Components of Instructional Design (4c/ID) Model as it pertains to the education of physical therapists in Bochum, Germany at the Hochschule fuer Gesundheit. 

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Catherine Purdy

Fulbright ETA, 2013, Taiwan

Catherine Purdy, from Richmond, Va., received a master’s degree in early and elementary education from VCU in 2012.  Purdy served as an English Teaching Assistant (ETA) in Taiwan for the 2013-2014 academic year.  

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Laura Hayward

Fulbright, 2014, Australia

Laura Hayward, from Richmond, Va., received her bachelor’s degree in chemical and life science engineering from VCU in May of 2014.  With support from her Fulbright grant, Hayward researched diagnostic devices for cancer, which will contribute to the field of personalized medicine, in Australia at the University of Queensland, Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology. 

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Asya Wilson

David L. Boren Scholarship, 2015, United Arab Emirates

Asya Wilson has been awarded the David L. Boren Scholarship to study abroad in the United Arab Emirates during the 2015-2016 school year. 

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Abigail Byram

CLS, 2017, China

Abigail will graduate from VCU in 2019 with dual degrees in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics. With the Critical Language Scholarship, she will spend the summer studying Chinese at the intermediate level.

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Arshelle Carter

Fulbright, 2017, Indonesia

Arshelle was awarded a 2017 Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Indonesia. She will emphasize the importance of cross-cultural understanding while crafting lessons and organizing events.

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Charlene Gaw

Critical Language Scholarship, 2014, China

Charlene Gaw, an undergraduate major in chemistry and psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University, was awarded the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study advanced Chinese abroad.

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Charles Perris

Fulbright, 2016, Germany

Charles is a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant for 2016 in Germany. He intends to master the German language, advance his educational and professional trajectory, and better craft his teaching and community engagement skills.

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Chris Rories

Fulbright ETA, 2015, Malaysia

As a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, Chris will teach English in Malaysia. Outside of the classroom, Rories will create and facilitate a Model UN Club for his students, so that they may learn how global issues connect directly to their own lives and communities. 

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Cole Cridlin

Fulbright ETA, 2012, France

Cole Cridlin taught English in the suburbs of Paris at the Lycée Evariste Galois a Sartrouville, an upper-level secondary school that prepares students for the baccalauréat degree required for admission to French universities. 

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Cole Williams

Critical Language Scholarship , 2016, India

Coleman “Cole” Williams, from Virginia Beach, Virginia, is a senior majoring in Religious Studies in the School of World Studies. 
After he graduates in May, Williams will study Hindi at the beginner level in Jaipur from June through August.



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Cydni Gordon

Fulbright, 2017, Argentina

Cydni Gordon will travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina, on a Fulbright Scholarship to work with Dr. Sergio Strejilevich of the Bipolar Disorder Program and Institute of Neurosciences at Favaloro University.

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Dylan Halpern

Fulbright, 2016, Brazil

With a 2016 Fulbright scholarship, Dylan plans to study the effects of Lei Cidade Limpa, a law in São Paulo, Brazil, that prohibits advertising signage, on people’s awareness of advertising and the resulting consumer decisions.

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Ellen Korcovelos

Fulbright, 2016, Canada

During her time as a Fulbright student scholar, Ellen plans to join a project at the University of Toronto that is currently investigating the spoken language of dementia and Alzheimer's disease patients.

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Erin Coggins

Fulbright, 2016, Bulgaria

With a Fulbright ETA grant to Bulgaria, Erin hopes to further develop her teaching skills on a cross-cultural basis.

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Fajir Amin

Fulbright, 2016, United Arab Emirates

Fajir was awarded the Fulbright student scholarship to study the effects of looping on student’s attitudes towards English language acquisition in the United Arab Emirates.

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Gabby Beckford

Boren Scholarship , 2016, United Arab Emirates

Gabby received a Boren Scholarship to study Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) for one academic year at American

University in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. 

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Hannah Standiford

Fulbright, 2017, Indonesia

Hannah has applied to study keroncong and other string Indonesian music traditions while learning to play langgam jawa keroncong and stambul fajar.

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Jade Kern

Gilman International Scholarship, 2014, Tanzania

Jade Kern, an alumni with a degree in biology, studied with the School for Field studies in Tanzania in summer 2014.

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Jared Snyder

SMART, 2017, U.S., Department of Defense

Jared will graduate from VCU in 2020 and was awarded the Science, Math, and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship for Service. With this award, he plans to focus on learning and applying new skills through his summer internships with the Department of Defense.

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Jennifer Lawhorne

Fulbright, 2015, Italy

With the support of her Fulbright grant, Jennifer will conduct community-based research in Messina, Italy, working with immigrant populations to use film as a way to share their stories of integration. 

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Kaelne Koorn

Fulbright, 2016, Mexico

Kaelne will be studying the history of the Parián market in Mexico City and the Manila Galleon trade system that brought it into existence, conducting preliminary research for future graduate studies.

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Kevin Yang

NREIP & SMART, 2017, U.S. Department of Defense (Navy)

Kevin Yang plans to graduate in spring 2019 with a major in Computer Engineering and minors in both Computer Science and Mathematics. He has received a Science, Math, and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship for Service as well as a spot in the Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program (NREIP).

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Lama Elsharif

Critical Language Scholarship , 2016, Jordan

Lama Elsharif, from Dumfries, Va is a senior majoring in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations in the College of Humanities and Sciences. She is also pursuing two minors: Arabic & Middle Eastern Studies and Islamic Studies. After her May graduation, Elsharif studied Arabic at the advanced level in Madaba from June to August.


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Levester Williams

Fulbright, 2016, Johannesburg, South Africa

Levester is exploring the continuing contradictions and complexities in Johannesburg's transformation to a post-apartheid city through the critical lens of art.

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Lynn Secondo

Fulbright, 2016, Greece

Lynn’s Fulbright project will characterize a newly designed portable sampler in order to investigate how the change in composition of diesel exhaust emissions from the use of nanoceria additives affects the response to exposure measured using in-vitro lung models.

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Maria McClintock

Fulbright, 2012, Greece

McClintock graduated with a major in chemical and life science engineering and a minor in mathematical sciences and chemistry. McClintock conducted research in Thessaloniki, Greece, focusing on localized wastewater treatment using biological species. She hopes to map out a genetic circuit that can be used for water filtration. She is from New York City.

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Mary Beth Bird

Fulbright, 2015, Lesotho

With her Fulbright grant, Mary Beth Bird will travel to Lesotho to conduct anthropological research examining experiences of maternity in the remote highlands of northern Lesotho.

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Maya Chesley

Fulbright, 2016, Panama

Maya is a recipient of the 2016 Fulbright English Teaching Assistant scholarship in Panama.

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Millie Shah

Critical Language Scholarship, 2015, South Korea

Millie Shah, from Burtonsville, Maryland is a junior majoring in biomedical engineering major in the School of Engineering. Shah studied Korean at the beginner level at Chonnam National University in Gwangju, South Korea from June 14 to August 18.

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Pahul Hanjra

Fulbright, 2017, Norway

During her time as a Fulbright student scholar, Pahul plans to explore the genetic link between endometrial cancer and obesity at the University of Bergen.

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Quiamony Gaskins

Gilman International Scholarship, 2014, United Arab Emirates

Quiamony Gaskins from Norfolk, Va. is a senior currently pursuing a degree in International Studies with minors in French, Arabic, and Middle Eastern studies. 

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Sameen Meshkin

Goldwater Scholarship, 2015, United States

Sameen Meshkin, a sophomore, received scholarship funding to cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year. Meshkin, a member of the VCU Honors College, majored in biology through the College of Humanities and Sciences and music through the School of the Arts.

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Samuel Wojcicki

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace , 2016, United States

student Samuel Wojcicki has been awarded the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Junior Fellowship. Wojcicki is the first VCU student to be awarded the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Junior Fellowship in the university’s history.

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Sarah Sweeney

Boren, 2017, Thailand

Sarah will be graduating from VCU in 2018 with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Environmental Studies. With the Boren Scholarship, she will spend a year studying Thai language and ecology in Thailand at Chiang Mai University.

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Shannon Laribo

Fulbright, 2016, England

Shannon is attending the University of Leeds for an M.A. in Global Racism to prepare a thesis that evaluates and compares the school-wide race education initiatives in the UK and U.S.

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Tarfia Faizullah

Fulbright, 2010, Bangledesh

Tarifia used her Fulbright grant to travel to Bangladesh to write poems about the lives of the birangona. These Bangladeshi women were taken as sex slaves by the West Pakistani army during the War of Independence in 1971. She hoped that speaking with Bangladeshis and becoming immersed in their culture would enrich her perspective to better write her poems about their conversations and experiences. 

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Theresa Dinh

Boren, Freeman (Asia), and Rangel, 2017, Vietnam

Theresa is working towards her degree in International Studies with a concentration in World Cinema and will be graduating from VCU in 2019.

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Tschuna Gibson

Fulbright ETA , 2012, Austria

Tschuna Gibson served as a teaching assistant for high school-aged students while attending courses at the University of Vienna.

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Tyler Tresslar

Fulbright, 2017, Ivory Coast

Tyler was awarded a 2017 English Teaching Assistantship in the Ivory Coast, where he will further his tutoring skills and learn about the multitude of cultures present in the country.

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Vanessa Diaz

Fulbright, 2016, Jordan

Vanessa is a 2016 Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Jordan, where she will promote language and cultural exchange and global citizenship and activism.

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Wade Angeli

Fulbright ETA , 2015, Andora

Angeli will be teaching English to secondary school students in Andora as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. 

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Yumna Khalid

Fulbright, 2017, Malaysia

As an English Teaching Assistant in Malaysia, Yumna will use the skills she has honed as a Resident Assistant, English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher, and Teaching Assistant to help her students learn English.

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Zach Canfield

Goldwater Scholarship , 2015, United States

Zach Canfield received scholarship funding to cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year. Meshkin, a member of the VCU Honors College, is majoring in chemical engineering through the School of Engineering. In the past, he has received the Dean’s Undergraduate Research Initiative Grant. 

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