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CCI Students Selected as 2016 Fulbright Semi-Finalists

February 9, 2016

Two College of Computing & Informatics students were selected as semi-finalists for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, which provides funding for one academic year of self-designed study, research, creative projects, or teaching English in over 140 countries around the world.

Tim Gorichanaz, a doctoral student in information studies, and Sarah Kushner, a bachelor of science in computer science student, are among the five Drexel students who are named Fulbright semi-finalists chosen by Fulbright U.S. National Screening Committees. Their applications have been passed to the host countries for final selection.

In his research, Gorichanaz explores the human experience of using information, much of which is mediated through language and technology. He hopes to unite these research interests with his lifelong fascination of the complicated relationship between language and personal identity as a Fulbright grantee to the EU. He has proposed to study how bilingual speakers of European minority languages experience language-as-information in everyday life, spending a total of nine months in the Basque Country (Spain) and Wales (UK). While abroad, Gorichanaz plans to study Basque and Welsh as well as participate in a number of ultramarathons. He is grateful to his advisor, Assistant Professor Deborah Turner, PhD, who originally got him interested in applying for a Fulbright.

Kushner is a senior computer science major with a minor in digital media. With an equal love for art and science, Kushner had a hard time choosing a major when she first came to Drexel. She says she “wanted to find some way to combine all my interests into a magical topic.” The STAR program here at Drexel introduced Sarah to research, which she knew was the direction to go. After switching majors from Animation and Visual Effects to Computer Science, Sarah found that Computer Graphics — the technology behind creating visual images — was the perfect fit. Kushner hopes to pursue a master’s degree in Grenoble, France next year and complete a research project making software to ease the animation process.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study and research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs. During their grants, Fulbrighters will meet, work, live with and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences. The program facilitates cultural exchange through direct interaction on an individual basis in the classroom, field, home, and in routine tasks, allowing the grantee to gain an appreciation of others’ viewpoints and beliefs, the way they do things, and the way they think. Through engagement in the community, the individual will interact with their hosts on a one-to-one basis in an atmosphere of openness, academic integrity and intellectual freedom, thereby promoting mutual understanding.

For more information, or to view a complete list of this year’s Drexel Fulbright semi-finalists, please visit the Drexel Fellowships Office website.