Drexel Students Offered Fulbright Grants

Fulbright Scholars 2014
Left to right (top): Matt D'arcy, Hunter Snyder and Kerry Hamilton with (bottom) Brad Boehringer, Lauren Pitts, Amanda Decker and Adams Rackes.

For the second consecutive year a record-breaking seven Drexel students and alumni have been offered study and research grants by the prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

Some of Drexel’s grantees and alternates have already received other prestigious fellowships this year, such as the Critical Language Scholarship and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. But the high number of grantees is as impressive as the “non-traditional” fields of research and study that will be represented.

 “The fact that four grantees are from the College of Engineering and two are in the College of Nursing and Health Professions is pretty unusual,” said Rona Buchalter, PhD, director of the Drexel Fellowships Office. “And one of those is in an online program—not what you typically see in Fulbright.”

The four College of Engineering recipients are part of a growing Fulbright trend to expand the role of American students in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields in the global spectrum. 

“The State Department has expressed a real desire to see more STEM applicants for Fulbright, and I think our students are benefiting from that,” Buchalter said.

Matt D’Arcy will travel to South Korea to join the mission efforts of KAUSAT-5, a small spacecraft designed and developed by the Space Systems Research Laboratory of Korea Aerospace University. The Honors student will graduate in 2014 from the College of Engineering with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. 

Amanda Decker will work with the oncology and medical engineering departments at Ruhr University of Bochum in Germany. She will study sonoporation as a drug delivery system and apply her chemical engineering plant skills through design work on microbubbles for large-scale pharmaceutical use. Decker, an Honors student, will graduate in 2014 from the College of Engineering with a BS/MS in chemical engineering.

Kerry Hamilton will conduct a risk assessment of Brisbane’s roof-harvested rainwater at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Kerry was an Association of Schools of Public Health fellow at the US Environmental Protection Agency and currently serves as president of Drexel Graduate Women in Science and Engineering, which organizes academic, community service and networking events for the Drexel community. Hamilton is an environmental engineering PhD student in the College of Engineering who will graduate in 2016.

Adams Rackes will collaborate with a leader in indoor air quality from Brazil’s Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina to develop a labeling system for naturally ventilated buildings. The architectural engineering honors student will graduate in 2016 from the College of Engineering with a PhD.

Bradley Boehringer will partner with Laurea University of Applied Sciences in Finland to establish and implement a mobile nursing simulation center for the country’s rural areas. Boehringer recently graduated from Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions with a master’s degree in nursing education. 

Lauren Pitts will study the impact of father-daughter communication on adolescent daughters’ sexual decision-making in Barbados. Before graduating with a master’s in Family Therapy from Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions in 2013, Lauren was awarded the department’s Ivan Boszomenyi-Nagy Social Justice and Clinical Excellence Award, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/ Health Resources and Services Administration scholarship. She is currently working on her EdD in Educational Leadership and Management and will graduate in 2017.

Hunter Snyder will explore the relationship of Greenland’s Inuit population with labor and land in light of the transformations caused by mining activity in the Arctic. He will travel to Greenland and Denmark for his work. Snyder is also a recipient of the National Geographic Young Explorer Award, a National Science Foundation EAGER Grant, an American-Scandinavian Foundation Fellowship and a grant from the Arctic Institute of North America. He graduated from the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in film and video studies and is currently a graduate student of anthropology at the University of Oxford. 

Emily Buck, an alternate, hopes to conduct biomedical research on proteins in damaged cardiac tissue at Switzerland’s École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne as a Fulbright recipient. She will also do the research as a 2014-15 Whitaker Fellow. Emily is also a 2013-14 Goldwater Scholar and 2014-17 NSF Graduate Research Fellow. The honors student will graduate in 2014 with a materials science and engineering BS/MS in 2014. 

This year’s Fulbright recipients reflect the strong track record Drexel has established in recent years. From 2003 to 2013, at least 29 Drexel students and alumni have received Fulbright awards.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards funding for one academic year of self-designed study, research, creative projects, or teaching English in one of over 140 countries around the world.

For more information, visit the Fulbright U.S. Student Program website or email fellowships@drexel.edu.