Recent Graduate Fellowship Recipients

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study/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.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Fulbright U.S. Student Grant program or the Fulbright UK Summer Institute program, contact UConn’s Fulbright Program Advisor, LuAnn Saunders-Kanabay.

UConn’s 2022-2023 Fulbright Grant Recipients

Bryan Greene, a doctoral student in sociology, whose research project, “From #ICantBreathe to #DontCallMeMurzyn: Exploring Anti-Blackness in Poland,” will examine conversations on anti-blackness in Poland and, more broadly, in Europe. His project builds upon his earlier experience with the New School’s summer institute, Democracy & Diversity, and will take him to Warsaw, Krakow, Lodz, and Wroclaw to conduct interviews with Afro/Black Polish citizens. His goal is to expand conversations on anti-blackness along with developing strategies to eradicate it. Upon his return, he will share his findings at conferences, departmental workshops, and complete his dissertation.

Josiah Grzywacz, a master’s student in oceanography, is also proposing a research project in Poland – “Symbiotic relationships in ciliates from a set of lakes in the Masurian Lakeland.” This project will find him collaborating with faculty at the University of Warsaw to examine the environmental conditions in an area of Poland with more than 2,000 lakes and ponds. His study of the microbial community in this area may help to predict future changes and lead to knowledge that can be used in public policy decisions. Upon his return to the United States, Grzywacz plans to pursue a doctorate in oceanography with a focus on microbiology and the ecology of aquatic systems.

Akriti Mishra received her undergraduate degree from UConn in psychology and molecular & cell biology. Mishra will be an English teaching assistant in the Communidad de Madrid in Spain. She will draw upon her experiences as an alternative spring break director and coordinator of a cultural immersion program for adult English-as-second-language learners to facilitate classes for students to practice their English conversation skills and learn about American culture. She also looks forward to volunteering with an organization supporting deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Upon her return to the United States, Mishra plans to apply to law school with a specialty in immigration law.

Drew Tienken graduated with a degree in environmental sciences and political science. He will take his interest in environmentalism and sustainable development to his role as an English teaching assistant in Taiwan. His experiences as a swim coach and camp counselor working with children from Taiwan drew him to the opportunity of spending a year in a Taiwan classroom. He looks forward to volunteering with an environmental justice group called “Citizen of the Earth Taiwan”. Upon his return, Tienken plans to attend law school, specializing in environmental law.

Robert Minh Lu Williams was inspired by a family visit to Vietnam and his experiences with the Asian American Cultural Center (AsACC) at UConn to be be one of twenty English teaching assistants in Vietnam. He will draw upon his experience as a mentor and coordinator of the Asian/Asian-American Mentoring Program at UConn to create an after-school mentoring program and collaborate with AsACC to create a bi-cultural exchange. He also plans to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity International and develop his interests in traditional medicine and herbology. Upon his return to the United States, he will apply to medical school, to pursue a specialty in psychiatry with a focus on childhood trauma.

Read more about these recipients and the Fulbright program in the May 13, 2022 issue of UConn Today.

UConn’s Past NSF GRFP Recipients

The National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions.

These are just a few of the many NSF GRFP recipients and honorable mentions representing the University of Connecticut. To search for more recipients from UConn, visit the NSF website by clicking here.

2016/2017 – Recipients
Kevin Jams Boyd – Structural Biology
Michael Cantara – Physics
Alexander Choi – Mechanical Engineering
Matthew Goberman-Pfefr – Chemistry
Stephanie Knowlton – Biomedical Engineering
Brandan Smalec – Genomics
Austin Spence – Ecology
Bittany Sprecher – Geosciences

2016/2017 – Honorable mentions
Marlyn Davila – Learning, Leadership, & Educational Policy
Jason Lech – Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Ohan Manoukian – Biomedical Engineering
Ashley Petrillo – Anthropology
James Steffes – Material Science & Engineering
Elizabeth Stanley – Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

2015/2016 – Recipients
Steven Burger – Developmental Biology
Anne Kaplan – Structural Biology
Ellen Woods – Evolutionary Biology
Yingzhi Wu – Mechanical Engineering

2015/2016 – Honorable Mentions
Daniel Violette – Physics
Kayleigh Ryherd – Psychology
Sharon Scott – Environmental Engineering
Daniel Sheehy – Chemistry
Robert Stickles – Genomics
Andrea Suria – Microbial Biology
Elizabeth Tripp – Mathematical Sciences