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Isabelle Betancourt Offered Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship

April 20, 2020

Congratulations to Isabelle Betancourt (MS Communication ’19), a Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship recipient!

In addition to being awarded a Fulbright Study/Research grant to Indonesia, Isabelle Betancourt, Curatorial Assistant of Entomology at the Academy of Natural Sciences and a recent graduate of Drexel University’s Master of Science program in communication, has been offered a Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship from the U.S. Department of State and the National Geographic Society.

Isa was one of five fellows chosen from a pool of over 230 applicants for this prestigious opportunity.

Isa Betancourt
MS Communication '19

Fulbright Study/Research Grant, Finalist to Indonesia
Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellow

Isa is interested in documenting, protecting, and celebrating biodiversity. She has realized these interests through her work supporting research in the entomology collection at the Academy, through her book Backyard Bugs of Philadelphia, and through social media outreach initiatives like the #bugscope on

With the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, Isa will work with the National University (UNAS) in Indonesia to collect data on insect biodiversity at the University's field site in Borneo, which can be used to inform restoration initiatives. The project will document the biodiversity by creating an UNAS entomological research collection. The additional Fulbright-National Geographic Fellowship will allow her to undertake an in-depth examination of globally relevant issues. Utilizing a variety of storytelling tools, she will have the opportunity to share stories from her experience, and the stories of those she meets, through National Geographic and social media platforms.

Betancourt will receive instruction in storytelling techniques, including effective blog writing, video production, photography, public speaking, and other relevant training by National Geographic staff prior to her departure. National Geographic also provide editorial mentorship during the Fulbright grant period. Storytellers provide material for National Geographic’s Explorers blog on a frequent and ongoing basis throughout their grant term.

More About the Fulbright Program & The National Geographic Society

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to build relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries that are needed to solve global challenges. The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program, which operates in over 160 countries worldwide. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is administered by the Institute of International Education.

The National Geographic Society supports research, exploration, and conservation throughout the globe with a focus on projects that emphasize science, technology, and storytelling to help protect species-at-risk, better understand human history and culture, and conserve some of our planet’s last wild places.

For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit

For information and Fulbright policies about publicizing this news, please contact Kelly Weissberger, Associate Director, Drexel Center for Scholar Development at