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Fulbright Fellowships Awarded to Seven in Pomona College Class of 2005

Seven graduates of the Pomona College Class of 2005 have received prestigious Fulbright Fellowships to pursue research or teach around the globe. The fellowships are awarded to college seniors based on their leadership potential and their proposed project for study or research. Designed to increase cultural understanding between U.S. students and citizens of foreign countries, the grants generally provide round-trip transportation, language or orientation courses, book and research allowances, and maintenance for the academic year, based on living costs in the host country.

Jennifer Ah-Kee, Satusuk Joy Bhosai, Constance Harrell and Joseph Richards were awarded fellowships research grants. Noah Buhayar, Angelica DeWitt and Anne Paprocki received grants to teach English in Chile, France and Indonesia. The recipients are among more than 1,000 nationwide who will travel abroad for the 2005-2006 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Program, which was established in 1946.

Jennifer Ah-Kee, a molecular biology major from Pukalani, Maui, Hawaii, will travel to Montpelier, France, to work in the laboratory of Philippe Pasero. At Pomona, Ah-Kee has worked with Professor Laura Hoopes to study the molecular biology of yeast for clues to how the genetic code relates to aging. Studying the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is an alternative to studying the genetic code of humans because the yeast has a well-defined genetic system, is commercially available and also has genes with human homologs. In France, Ah-Kee will study the technique of Dynamic molecular combing of DNA. Pasero was trained by the inventor of the technique and now uses it in his research. She hopes the technique will further research in the role of DNA replication in aging.

Satasuk Joy Bhosai, an anthropology and neuroscience double major from Clovis, Calif., will research healthcare in Thailand. She will analyze the socio-cultural context in which healthcare is practiced, with particular attention to the diagnosis and conceptualization of cancer. The issue of cultural values and their effect on healthcare is an important one in Thailand and in much of the world. Bhosai has previously volunteered in a Mexican clinic and is president of a campus social service club. Two medical schools will assist her in her work on this project. She intends to pursue a career in medicine.

Constance Harrell, an international relations major from Atlanta, Georgia, will study educational development and religion in Senegal. Largely based in Dakar, she will research how a variety of organizations are addressing the issue of homeless youth. “In Senegal, many of these youth are runaway boys from Muslim religious schools known as daaras,” she explains. Several organizations, she reports, are now working with teachers at these schools to create solutions and improve the quality of students’ lives, to keep the problem from expanding. “I hope my research will help shed light on how organizations can work to solve social problems that cross cultural and religious barriers,” says Harrell.

Joseph Richards, a mathematics major from Hacienda Heights, Calif., will travel to La Serena, Chile, to work on a project with astronomer Hugo Schwarz on a project to determine the three-dimensional structure of planetary nebulae. The Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in La Serena is one of the best observatories in the world, due to the high elevation and dryness of the region. Planetary nebulae are the products of the destructive deaths of low-mass stars and very little is known about their complicated structure. Richards will work with Schwarz on studying the origin of faint rings that surround the bright shell of many planetary nebulae.

Angelica DeWitt, a history major from San Jose, Calif., will teach English in Indonesia. DeWitt’s senior thesis is on the role of nationalism in literacy campaigns, and while in Indonesia she plans to research literacy with the aim of comparing it to research she’s done on literacy in Central America. In addition she plans to learn classical dance and batik making and to study Bahasa Indonesia, the primary language of Indonesia. She plans ultimately to study international education in graduate school and to pursue a career in educational policy.

Noah Buhayar, an English major from Kansas City, Mo., will teach English in Chile. While in Chile he plans to study Chilean literature, in particular poets who write on ecology and environmentalism. He hopes also to volunteer for a literacy program or a park or nature reserve. Eventually, he plans to pursue a master's in creative nonfiction or journalism.

Anne Paprocki, an English and French double major from Seattle, Wash. will teach English in France. She has worked as an America Reads tutor and has worked as a teaching assistant in English as a Second Language. While in France, Paprocki plans to study the writings of Marguerite Duras. She plans a career in teaching after earning either a master’s in education or doctorate in comparative literature.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, offers opportunities for recent graduates, postgraduate candidates and developing professionals and artists to conduct career-launching study and research abroad. Over the decades, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 250,000 students, scholars and professionals worldwide with the opportunity to observe each others’ political, economic and cultural institutions, exchange ideas and embark on joint ventures or importance to the general welfare of the world’s inhabitants.

Pomona College is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts institutions, offering a comprehensive program in the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Its hallmarks include small classes, close relationships between students and faculty, and a range of opportunities for student research.