Wellesley College Students Win Fulbright Grants for Research
May 8, 2006
Mass. -- Wellesley
College seniors Sandra Ahn of Cambridge,
Cotterman of Clearwater, Fla., Esther
Han of Plano, Texas,
Jenny Kim of Irvine, Calif., and Jessica
Urban of Holliston,
Mass., and 2005 graduate Cheryl Hojnowski of
Richmond, Va., have been awarded 2006-2007 Fulbright full
grants for international research
projects. Seniors Jennifer Sohn of Granada
Hills, Calif., and Maria Zade of Hingham,
Mass., have received Fulbright English teaching assistantships
Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, gives students,
and professionals the opportunity to do
international research, study or teaching. It was launched in 1946
after Senator J. William Fulbright presented a bill in Congress
to use the proceeds from the sale of surplus war property for the “promotion
of international good will through the exchange of students in
the fields of education, culture and science.” The program
awards about 1,100 grants a year and sends students to more than
the daughter of Young and Chi Hun Ahn of Cambridge,
Mass., has won a Fulbright full grant that will
take her to Egypt. She will take courses in Islamic art and architecture
at the American
University in Cairo as well as undertake an independent study on
the archaeological site at Fustat, the first Islamic capital in
Egypt. She will also conduct research at the Museum of Islamic
Art in Cairo.
and Near Eastern archaeology major, she applied for the Fulbright
to “be a part of the dialogue of peaceful,
cultural exchange between the United States and Middle East during
these difficult times.” She has been an intern at the Ancient
Egyptian department of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, at the
Molecular Pathology Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital and
at the Museum of Zoology at the University of Michigan. She has
been an editorial intern at the Journal Watch publication.
and Chinese studies double major Amanda Cotterman,
the daughter of Bruce Wilson Cotterman of Atlanta, Ga.,
and Sandy Konrad Cotterman of Clearwater, Fla.,
will travel to Shanghai, China, on her Fulbright full grant.
Cotterman spent junior year in Harbin,
a city in northeast China, and last summer worked for Dow Jones
Newswires in Shanghai. Through the Fulbright Program, she will
work on research to help prevent a housing crisis that could adversely
affect the Chinese economy. She will also take classes at Shanghai
International Studies University. After her year-long Fulbright
experience, she will work in Boston office of the investment bank
I hope to return to China to continue my career,” she said
of long-term plans. She has served as captain of Wellesley’s
NCAA varsity swim team and has been a member of its NCAA varsity
golf team, the Economic Student Association and the literary society
Esther Han’s Fulbright Full Grant will take her to Shanghai,
China. The daughter of Stephen and Mary Han of Plano, Texas, she
will study in Shanghai and work in the province of Yunnan researching
the epidemic of AIDS in China through ActionAID International.
Han has earlier been awarded an Elizabeth Luce Moore Asia Internship
to Shanghai with ORBIS, an international nonprofit organization
that provides eye care in rural areas. She spent her junior year
in Beijing. With her Fulbright grant, Han will take classes at
Fudan University in Shanghai and work at ActionAid International
in Yunnan to educate the public about HIV/AIDS.
An East Asian studies major, Han aims for a graduate degree in
international public health. She is a member of Wellesley’s
Chinese Students Association and has been an intern at the Autism
and Research Foundation at Boston University Medical Center.
I am planning on returning to the United States after the fellowship
ends and pursuing a master’s degree in public health,” she
said, adding that she hopes “to work in an organization where
people are just as passionate as I am about aiding the victims
of HIV/AIDS in China.”
English major Jenny Kim, the daughter of Seong-Lin and Seo-Hwa
Kim of Irvine, Calif., will conduct her Fulbright Full Grant research
in Seoul, Korea, on urban literature’s impact on personal
identity. Kim lived in Korea as a child, and an influential grandfather
sparked her interest in learning how literature shapes a country
and its people.
My desire to study Korean literature and people intensified through
a conversation I had with my grandfather,” Kim said. “I
knew that his hometown is Pyong-yang, North Korea, and that he
had lived through the Japanese occupation of 1910-1945. He recounted
how much he and his friends longed to speak and study Korean language
and literature during the Japanese rule. He told me that one of
the most painful and horrifying feelings was being conscious of
slowly losing his own identity.”
In addition to her Fulbright-sponsored independent research, Kim
will take courses at Yonsei University and Seoul National University.
She plans to attend graduate school in comparative literature.
At Wellesley, she has been president of the Asian Baptist Student
Koinonia, a member of Model United Nations and a counselor at the
Chinatown Afterschool Program.
Jessica Urban, the daughter of Maureen and Michael Urban of Holliston,
Mass., has been awarded a Fulbright Full Grant to study in Costa
Rica where she will work on research into the consequences of decriminalizing
prostitution. She will work with Defensoria de los Habitantes,
a women’s rights agency, and the University of Costa Rica,
evaluating policies and ways of protecting women’s rights.
She will also take classes at the university relevant to her research
and will work with a local agency, La Sala, to interview and record
the life histories of women.
“My project’s final stage will be the authoring of a booklet
with my findings and conclusions, which will be revised and published
by the Defensoria for subsequent distribution to the government
and other interested parties,” she said.
She earlier completed internships in Costa Rica, in which she analyzed
sexual harassment law, and with the League of Women Voters in Boston
and the Children’s Defense Fund in Washington. She is a member
of Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Sigma Alpha and was named All-American Attorney
at the 2004 National Mock Trial Tournament.
Jennifer Sohn, the daughter of Ik and Jessica
Sohn of Granada Hills,
Calif., will travel to Korea for her Fulbright
English teaching assistantship at a secondary school. She has taught
a second language to Korean children in Los Angeles, and at Wellesley,
she works at the children’s center.
Through summer work and volunteer efforts, she has been teaching
for nearly two years. “Some of the students have been born
and raised in America while some have only recently immigrated,” Sohn
said. “As a Korean American, I have had the rare advantage
of being familiar with both cultures, able to approach teaching
in ways that best fit the cultures.”
A double major in English and cinema and media studies, she is
interested in educational productions, having volunteered at KCET,
the PBS affiliate in Hollywood, and served as an intern for “A
Place of Our Own,” a bilingual television show.
At Wellesley, she has been a College Government senator, house
president, WZLY radio station news director, student coordinator
for Asian Awareness Month and helped to found the campus chapter
of Circle-K, a community service organization. She has also been
a First Year Mentor and vice president of administration in Freeman
Maria Zade, the daughter of Janet A. Zade of Hingham, Mass., will
also conduct her Fulbright Teaching Assistantship in Korea. She
will teach at an elementary school, building on previous teaching
experience during her junior year in Paris, where she worked as
an English language teaching assistant at a private school.
In my classes in Paris, I relied on demonstrations, pictures and
using other words to help my students grasp a (new) word or phrase’s
meaning,” she said. “This verbal acrobatics goes both
ways, as I encourage my students to find alternative means of expressing
She has been a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science
honor society, and has taken part in internships at WHDH-TV in
Boston in the Special Projects Unit for health, at WTTW in Chicago
as a news intern, as a campaign intern for the John Kerry for President
Boston headquarters, as a legislative intern in the office of State
Rep. Garrett Bradley and as an editorial intern at the Improper Bostonian newspaper. She has been assistant arts editor at the
Wellesley College student newspaper and took part in Model United
Nations. She plans to pursue a career in education.
Cheryl Hojnowski, the daughter of Karen and Michael
Richmond, Va., is currently living
in Portland, Ore.,
where she is a program assistant at the Wild Salmon Center. She
her Fulbright full grant in Russia, where she will work on protecting
the natural environment of Siberia.
“As a Fulbright fellow I will focus my studies in Vladivostock,
where I will be a student at the Environment Institute of Far Eastern
State University,” she said. Hojnowski will study in the
geography department and take part in a student group that coordinates
environmental outreach programs. In addition, she will complete
an internship at the Institute of Marine Biology, which conducts
Russia’s leading marine research. She will help to monitor
ecological conditions in the marine ecosystems of the Primorye
region and conduct her own research project on the environmental
history of Siberia.
graduated summa cum laude and with Phi Beta Kappa honors from
where she earned a Davis Grant for summer study
of the Russian language. She served as a research assistant in
Wellesley’s Russian Department and as a teaching assistant
for Russian language studies. She completed internships at the
Baikal Environment Wave, in Irkutsk, Russia, where she taught ecology
to elementary students, and at the Baikal Biological Station, where
she translated museum texts and lectures. She contributed to the
publication Ecosystems and Natural Resources of Mountain Regions,
taken from the proceedings of the first international symposium
on Russia’s Lake Baikal.
Each Fulbright award winner will leave this summer for a full year
in her designated country. The Fulbright grant covers round-trip
transportation, living costs, some research costs and, depending
on the country, tuition.
Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an
excellent liberal-arts education for women who will make a difference
in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300
undergraduate students from all 50 states and 68 countries. For
more information, go to www.wellesley.edu.