For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

2019 Fulbright Semifinalists

February 4, 2019

Nine Drexel students have been selected as semi-finalists for the prestigious Fulbright US Student Program for 2019-20. These students spent considerable time developing research proposals, crafting application essays, and incorporating feedback from supportive readers. We are very happy for them.

After being chosen by Fulbright US National Screening Committees, their applications have been passed to the host countries for final selection. They will hear in the coming months whether they receive the award. We wish them the best of luck!

2019 Fulbright Semi-Finalists

Michael Cimorelli
PhD candidate, Chemical and Biological Engineering
Fulbright Program: Study/Research Grant, Netherlands

Michael Cimorelli is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering studying under the advisement of Dr. Steven Wrenn. The broader strokes of his research focus on the development of the next generation ultrasound enhancing agent that is engineered for quantifying myocardial perfusion, monitoring ischemia, and detecting infarction. As a Ph.D. candidate in the Wrenn Lab, he specializes in medical imaging techniques, surface force interactions, and developing and characterizing lab-derived vesicles. If awarded a Fulbright, he hopes to take his skill set that he’s honed in the Wrenn Lab and translate it to a new problem – developing a biomarker for kidney cancer from liquid biopsy by using Surface Plasmon Resonance Imaging under the guidance of Dr. Rienk Nieuwland at the University of Amsterdam’s Academic Medical College. 

Sheridan Clements
BA Anthropology '19, Honors
Fulbright Program: Study/Research Grant, United Kingdom

Sheridan Clements is an anthropology student minoring in German. While at Drexel they were an officer for the Anthropological Association. They were also involved in the Student Center for Diversity and Inclusion’s trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming student committee. Their second year, Sheridan began research as a Humanities and Social Sciences Fellowship student. They spent their co-op in Greece, working in the archives of the Historical Museum of Crete. Most recently, Sheridan has returned from a study abroad semester at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Through Fulbright, Sheridan hopes to pursue a master’s degree in Archaeology.

Candace Davis
BS International Business and Marketing
Fulbright Program: 
English Teaching Assistantship, Taiwan

Candace is a senior double majoring in international business and marketing, with a minor in film studies.  She has focused her studies on creative marketing, public relations and language, with a particular interest in entertainment and film marketing. She has been awarded the Intermediate language proficiency in French and is currently pursuing proficiency in Mandarin. Candace has spent time abroad through her undergraduate career, including a co-op in Beijing, China where she was able to learn public relations marketing and event planning for a foreign audience. She hopes to expand her knowledge of the Mandarin language as well as intercultural communication as a Fulbright ETA. Candace is grateful for the continues support and guidance from Kelly Weissberger and the entire Center for Scholar Development.

Erik Dolson
MS Economics '19
Fulbright Program: Study/Research Grant, Benin

Erik is currently pursuing his master's degree in economics at Drexel. He is passionate about economic development in Africa and hopes to have a career focused on developing meaningful and actionable research on economic development policy. He has traveled to several countries in Africa and participated in the Princeton in Africa program, through which he interned at Imani Development in Malawi, an economic development consulting firm. Erik is planning on pursuing a PhD in Applied Economics or Public Policy to study industrial policy and economic growth in Africa and to jump start his research career. He is also interested in African languages, having studied several, including Wolof, Chichewa, Yoruba, and Zulu.

Maha Malik
BS Public Health '18
Fulbright Program: English Teaching Assistantship, Azerbaijan

Maha graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in public health. Her interest in public health, and specifically women’s health, was sparked long before University, when she worked at a doctor's office in Virginia in high school. Throughout her time at Drexel, she was a member of the Student Ambassador Program and served as an Executive Ambassador and a Mentor, leading 5 students as they started in the program. During her junior year, Maha completed her co-op at the Society of Family Planning, where she worked in reproductive health and engaged in the scientific grant funding process. After graduation, she has continued to work in scientific grant funding as a contractor in Washington DC. She hopes to one day to work in public health education, focusing in on women’s health, and is thrilled by the possibility of teaching in Azerbaijan, building upon her previous teaching and mentoring experiences and contributing to cross-cultural understanding.

Dakota Peterson
BA Political Science '18
Fulbright Program: Study/Research Grant, Bosnia

Dakota graduated from Drexel in 2018 and is interested in studying U.S. foreign policy in post-conflict settings. Throughout his academic career at Drexel, Dakota has demonstrated a keen interest in research and policy centered around marginalized communities. As a research assistant to Dr. Zoltan Buzas, Dakota explored the intricacies of the World Wars to help contextualize present day marginalization and criminalization of the Roma population in Eastern Europe. He then gained practical experience at the U.S. Department of Labor working to ensure compliance with Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity policies. Dakota is currently part of the Asia team at the University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tank and Civil Societies Program, researching, writing, and editing a manuscript on think tanks and their effect on government policy.

With his background in research and passion for policy development, Dakota is seeking to employ his research skills in Bosnia and Herzegovina through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. He looks forward to the opportunity to work with top scholars in the field and formulate new strategies to facilitate peaceful transitions. After gaining more research experience, Dakota plans to pursue a career at the United Nations, concentrating on post-conflict transitions around the globe.

Greg Risser
PhD candidate, Biomedical Engineering
Fulbright Program: Study/Research Grant, Netherlands

Greg Risser is a PhD candidate in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Sciences and Health Systems. Ever since he learned how biomaterials can help heal serious injuries, Greg has been researching biomaterial designs to increase their healing potential. The project Greg proposed to complete in the Netherlands will examine the effects of drug-delivering microparticles on immune cells, called macrophages, which are crucial to mending injuries. This research will provide information on how to better design microparticles to alter macrophage behavior and thereby improve healing and blood vessel growth in injured tissue. When not working in the lab, Greg enjoys homebrewing, running and reading. Greg would like to thank Dr. Kara Spiller and Emily Coyle for their support and advice during the application process.

Ginny Robison
MPH '18
Fulbright Program: Study/Research Grant, Taiwan

Ginny Robison is a recent MPH graduate with research interests focusing on vulnerable communities, infectious diseases, and viral hepatitis. Ginny began her public health career in 2011, working for the Influenza Incidence Surveillance Project at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Her interest in viral hepatitis surfaced in 2013 when she was appointed as the Cross-Program Surveillance Coordinator, working with perinatal hepatitis B cases, education, and prevention. In 2016, she became one of the nation’s first Perinatal Hepatitis C Coordinators, spearheading the Perinatal Hepatitis C Program. In 2017, Ginny worked as the Electronic Disease Notification Coordinator, managing sensitive tuberculosis investigations for immigrants and refugees. Ginny presented a poster on the revamped immigrant and refugee follow-up process at the 2018 National Tuberculosis Conference and plans to present more findings at the 2019 conference.

If awarded a Fulbright grant, Ginny hopes to research the effects of the new hepatitis C treatment regimens on the Truku indigenous group and how their health beliefs can influence the acceptance of the new HCV treatment Program in Taiwan. Ginny would like to thank the remarkable team in the Center for Scholar Development as well as Rabbi Nancy E. Epstein, Dr. Heather Peters, Dr. Carol Larach, Dr. David Feingold, Alexandra Shirreffs, and Lilly Chen for their support and guidance throughout her application process.

Keziah Sheldon
BS Physics '19
Fulbright Program: Study/Research Grant, Austria

Keziah Sheldon is an undergraduate physics major with a minor in mathematics. She has been active in research beginning with her STAR project with Dr. Gordon Richards, and continues working with him on a project that explores the possibility of using quasars as cosmological distance probes. She has been active in societies such as the Women in Physics Society (President 2017-18, VP 2018-19) as well as the Society of Physics Students, and the coordinator for the WIPS hosted series 'Happy Science Fun Night,' an informal event (with snacks) for undergrads and grads to discuss their research. She was a SURP student for the Dunlap Institute at the University of Toronto (summer 2017) working on a quasar luminosity function cosmology project with Renee Hlozek. She has presented her research at AAS 2018, APS 2015, and Physcon 2016, as well as the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (2016,2017). Through the Fulbright, she would be working in the quantum photonics lab of Dr. Philip Walther at the University of Vienna, working on constructing a single-photon detector by using an entangled multi-photon system. In addition to physics, she is also a cellist and has also been active in the Drexel Symphony Orchestra since 2014. She has many other interests including coffee roasting (& drinking), writing sci-fi, and restoring manual typewriters. 


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

For more information please visit the Fulbright U.S. Student Program website or email

Special thanks to the Drexel faculty and staff members who worked with us during the summer and fall to advise individual applicants, review campus applications, and conduct preliminary review and campus interviews:

Lloyd Ackert, Teaching Professor, History

Peter Amato, Director of Programs in Philosophy and Teaching Professor, English and Philosophy

Katie Barak, Associate Director, Honors Program

Ben Barnett, Instructor, English Language Center

Lotte Buiting, Senior Study Abroad Advisor, Education Abroad

John Doherty, Assistant Director of Cooperative Education, Steinbright Career Development Center

Dan Dougherty, Director, Honors Program and Associate Dean, Pennoni Honors College 

Kevin Egan, Director, Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry

Tim Gorichanaz, Associate Teaching Professor, Informatics

Mary Hagenbach, Study Abroad Advisor, Education Abroad

Travis Harman, Gateway Program Director, English Language Center

Marcia Henisz, Senior Director of International Health, Safety, and Security, Office of Global Engagement

Kate Hughes, Interim Director of Global Studies Major and Academic Adviser, Global Studies and Modern Languages

Brian Kantorek, Assistant Director of Marketing and Media, Pennoni Honors College

Emily Kashka, Program Manager, Office of Undergraduate Research

Eric Kennedy, Assistant Director, Honors Program

Emmanuel Koku, Associate Professor of Sociology and Graduate Faculty Member, Communication, Culture & Media

Chris Laincz, Associate Professor of Economics and Director of PhD Program, LeBow College of Business

Frank Lee, Director of Entrepreneurial Game Studio and Professor, Digital Media

Melinda Lewis, Associate Director of Marketing and Media, Pennoni Honors College

Emily Lurier, PhD Candidate, Biomedical Engineering

Brent Luvaas, Director of the Minor Program and Associate Professor, Anthropology and Graduate Faculty Member, Communication, Culture & Media

Janel McCloskey, Assistant Director, Writing Center

Jaya Mohan, Associate Director, Office of Undergraduate Research

Kristine Mulhorn, Teaching Professor and Department Chair, Health Administration

Ana Nye, Associate Director, Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry

Adrian Shieh, Associate Teaching Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Suruchi Sood, Associate Professor, Community Health and Prevention

Kathryn Steen, Associate Professor, History

Loyc Vanderkluysen, Assistant Professor, Department of Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science

Nielufar Varjavand, Associate Professor, Medicine

Julia Wisniewski, Program Coordinator, Honors Program

Adam Zahn, Associate Director of Global Engagement, Office of Global Engagement

Erica Zelinger, Director of Marketing and Media, Pennoni Honors College

Emily Zimmerman, Director of the Criminal Law Program and Professor, Law