Over half of the 19 GWU community members that were named Fulbright Scholars this year are conducting research or teaching in Asia. The awardees heading to Asia consist of 7 students and 3 faculty members.
The 7 student recipients include: Geoffrey Cain, Alison Dieringer, Matthew LeDuc, Swetha Ramaswamy, Megan Schmidt-Sane, Jessica Thompson, and Hedwig Waters.
Geoffrey Cain of Burr Ridge, IL was awarded a Fulbright research grant to Vietnam. Geoffrey’s research will focus on the role of the media in branding Vietnam as a rising economic powerhouse. Graduating in 2008 with a BA in International Affairs, Geoffrey has worked as a journalist covering Asia for TIME Magazine, The Economist, and the United Nations news wire service, IRIN. Upon completing his Fulbright, he looks forward to beginning his deferred acceptance into the MA program in Southeast Asian Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London.
Alison Dieringer of Parksburg, PA was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) to Indonesia. She will be teaching at a high school on one of the three major islands of Indonesia (Java, Sumatra or Sulawesi). In her free time Alison hopes to become fluent in Bahasa Indonesia, assist her school with after school initiatives and volunteer with her community. A May 2010 graduate of the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs with a BA in International Affairs and Economics, Alison plans to pursue either an MA in public policy or a PhD in economics upon returning from her Fulbright experience.
Matthew LeDuc was awarded a Fulbright research grant to India. He graduated from GW with an MA in Anthropology in 2010 and was a TA for Barbara Miller, Professor of Anthropology.
Swetha Ramaswamy of Cupertino, CA was awarded a Fulbright research grant to Nepal. Swetha’s research will focus on the social and economic status of women ages 15 to 24 who have migrated from rural to urban areas to work in Kathmandu’s carpet factories. As part of her project she will be affiliated with Tribhuvan University’s Central Department for Population Studies and the Women’s Rehabilitation Centre (WOREC), a non-governmental organization dedicated to the safety of migrant workers. Swetha graduated in May 2010 from the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs with a BA in International Affairs and History and a specialization in international development. In the future Swetha hopes to work with an NGO on poverty alleviation and women’s development.
Megan Schmidt-Sane of Medina, OH was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) to Bac Lieu University in Vietnam. When she is not teaching, Megan plans to do volunteer work in HIV/AIDS prevention or awareness education and study Vietnamese language. Graduating from The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs in May 2008 with BA in International Affairs, Megan hopes to enter a graduate program in either human rights law or education and public health after completing her Fulbright.
Jessica Thompson of Peoria, IL was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) to Danang University of Technology in Vietnam. As a May 2010 graduate of The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs with a BA in International Affairs, Jessica previously studied abroad in Vietnam during her junior year. Aside from teaching, Jessica looks forward to improving her Vietnamese language skills and hopes to volunteer with an organization engaged in social work while also continuing her research on Vietnamese higher education reform.
Hedwig Waters of Washington, DC was awarded a Fulbright research grant to Mongolia. As an affiliate of the Itgel Foundation, Hedwig will be researching ways to promote healthy body image and nutritional practices in the hopes of curtailing rising eating disorder levels among modern Mongolian women. A January 2009 graduate of The George Washington University’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences with a BA in Anthropology, Hedwig hopes to use the knowledge gained from her Fulbright experience to create photography exhibitions and to pursue further research on changing body and femininity ideals in developing countries through a masters and possible doctorate in gender anthropology.