Meet UConn’s Gaither Junior Fellows Nominees

Caitlin Briody (CLAS ’17) from Storrs, CT is an Honors student, 2014 New England Scholar and two times Babbidge Scholar (2015, 2016) with a double major in Political Science and Sociology and a minor in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies. A Writing Center tutor and Orientation Leader, Caitlin was an intern in the Washington DC office of Sen. Chris Murphy in the summer of 2016 in addition to interning with the Treatment Action Campaign in Cape Town, South Africa.  Her research interests range across several topics, including judicial selection, gender based violence, the Shelby v. Holder decision and her thesis project is researching the gender gap in political participation. As a Carnegie Junior Fellows nominee, Caitlin aspires to work with a Senior Fellow in the Democracy and Rule of Law Program.


Jacob Burte (CLAS ’17) from Andover, MA is an Honors student and three-time New England Scholar with an Individualized major in International Relations, Middle East concentration and minors in History and Political Science. The B-side captain for the Men’s Rugby team, he is also a member of the Huskies for Israel and co-founder of the Syrian Resettlement Project at UCONN, which allows him to pursue his interests in the politics of the Middle East.  His senior thesis will focus on Washington’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy with regard to Israeli nuclear research and development during the 1950’s and ‘60’s. As a Carnegie Junior Fellows nominee, Peter aspires to work with a Senior Fellow in the Nuclear Policy Program.

Six UConn Students Named Fulbright Finalists

2016-17 Fulbright finalists
2016-17 Fulbright finalists Dominick Sansone ’15, Francine Quintino ’16, Meghan Brown ’16, Michelle San Pedro (GRAD), Jia Li Liu (GRAD) and Carmen Britton (GRAD).

“The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments, host institutions, corporations, and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The Program operates in over 160 countries worldwide.” The Office of National Scholarships & Fellowships is pleased to announce that the following University of Connecticut students have been notified of their selection as either a Semi-Finalist or Finalist in the 2016-17 round of competition.  [The status of “Fulbright Semi-Finalist” means that the applicant was recommended by the National Screening Committee to the Fulbright Commission in-country. The status of “Fulbright Finalist” means that the applicant has been notified that they’ve been offered a grant to the country but have not yet completed official paperwork.]

Carmen Britton (Ph.D. Human Development & Family Studies, CLAS) Finalist for a research grant to Sri Lanka. Her project seeks to document the dynamics of people’s experiences within community-based rehabilitation programs in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Meghan Brown (M.A. Curriculum & Instruction, NEAG) Finalist for an English Teaching Assistant grant to Mexico. As an aspiring ELL instructor, her future plans have her working with the immigrant population in southern California.

Ryan Hatcher (M.A. Educational Psychology, NEAG) Semi-Finalist for a research grant to Poland. His project will examine the relationship between teacher and student creative self-beliefs utilizing the resources at the Academy of Special Education in Warsaw.

Jia Li Liu (Ph.D. Human Development & Family Studies, CLAS) Finalist for a research grant to Hong Kong. Her research project will examine mother and teacher perceptions of Chinese immigrant children’s shyness in Hong Kong.

Cecilia Menendez (’15 French & Spanish, CLAS) Semi-Finalist for an English Teaching Assistant grant to Andorra. Her future plans include earning a master’s degree in foreign language or bilingual education.

Iva Petkova (’16 Political Science & Human Rights, CLAS) Semi-Finalist for an English Teaching Assistant grant to Korea. With a passion for teaching English and learning about politics and culture, she plans to attend law school to focus on international human rights law.

Francine Quintino (’16 Political Science, CLAS) Finalist for an English Teaching Assistant grant to Colombia. Her future plans include graduate study in higher education and student affairs with a focus on first-generation college students.

Mary (Molly) Rockett (’15 Political Science, CLAS) Semi-Finalist for a study grant to Royal Holloway College, UK. She plans to earn an MSc in elections, parties and public opinion and return to the U.S. to run for higher office.

Michelle San Pedro (Ph.D. Anthropology, CLAS) Finalist for a research grant to Nicaragua. Her research project aims to investigate the relationship between midwives and pregnant women during prenatal visits in Esteli, Nicaragua.

 Dominick Sansone (’15 Exercise Science, CAHNR) Finalist for an English Teaching Assistant grant to Bulgaria. Drawing upon his experience in Macedonia, he aspires to a career in international public service with a concentration in the Balkan region.

2016 Critical Language Scholarship Winner



Sara Ailshire (Ph.D. candidate, Anthropology) is a 2016 recipient of a Critical Language Scholarship to study Hindi in Jaipur, India. As a doctoral student in medical anthropology, Sara has traveled to the state of Bihar to conduct research on public health communication and community attitudes toward development. While there, she collaborated with the Population Council, an international health research NGO, gathering data on public health message diffusion and attitudes towards development.

Sara plans to apply for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and the Fulbright Critical Language Enhancement Award to further her study of Hindi and enable her to conduct interviews for her dissertation research in the area of reproductive health policy, health and development, and patient experience.

Meet the 2016 Carnegie Junior Fellows Nominee

The Carnegie Junior Fellows program is a very selective, paid postgraduate internship program for students who have a serious interest in international affairs. Following graduation, fellows spend one year working for a research associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in one of their research divisions including areas such Democracy and Rule of Law, Energy and Climate, International Economics and Nuclear Policy. Find more information about the program here.

Peter Bassine (POLS & PHIL ’16) from Milford, CT is an Honors student and three-time New England Scholar. A recipient of the Philip and Barbara Kaplan Scholarship (2015), awarded to seniors with a commitment to international public service, Peter was an intern in the Washington DC office of Congressman Jim Himes in the spring of 2014 in addition to interning with a Chicago law firm and the Connecticut State Police. His interests in international politics and philosophy have led to an independent research project on the democratic legitimacy of judicial review and a proposal to conduct independent research on Finland’s strategic posture and NATO membership via the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. He is also a founding member and editor-in-chief of the new UConn Undergraduate Political Review, publishing opinion and analytical essays four times a year. As a Carnegie Junior Fellows nominee, Peter aspires to work with a Senior Fellow in the Democracy and Rule of Law Program.

Julianne Norton Wins Prestigious Mitchell Scholarship!

Congratulations to Julianne Norton who is a recipient of the prestigious Mitchell Scholarship for postgraduate student in Ireland.Julianne-Norton-web

Check out the US-Ireland Alliance Press Release:

And the feature on UConn Today: